Whether it’s the killing summer heat or the freezing winter cold nothing beats the comfort of the car whether you’re on your way to work or prepping up for a trip. While you own a fancy car (who doesn’t want to right?) paying for its fuel can be a whole different ballgame.
And with fuel prices on the uptrend lately, we wanted you to know exactly how much a road trip or everyday use of car can cost you. Turns out, it varies on the state you are in. Below we cover in detail the countrywide prices of gas.
What We Found Out
The 5 Budget Friendly States
If you’re living in Arkansas or Oklahoma, well, you’re in for a treat. Arkansas tops the charts by being the most pocket-friendly state for regular gas at a price of $2. 436 per gallon.
And if you’re looking for Premium or Mid-grade oil, Oklahoma’s the place to be with prices at $2.834 and $2.650 respectively (why not give your car a taste of premium today?).
Furthermore, making up the top 5 states for cheapest regular oil are Missouri, Missippi, and Louisiana.
As for mid-grade oil, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa take up the remaining 4 spots
And if you’re looking to treat your car to premium oil the other states you’d want to be in are Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota or Arkansas.
Why is Oil so cheap in Oklahoma?
So why does Oklahoma enjoy cheap gas prices while many of you have to pay the big bucks? One of the main reason behind it is its geographical location. Firstly, it’s a centrally located state which puts it in close proximity to domestic refineries.
Secondly, the low tax structure (the 5th lowest in the USA) not just makes gas cheaper but overall living cost as well.
The 5 most Expensive States
Now let’s move to the states where you’d rather take the subway than drive your way down to work (considering your budget conscious).
Being more a tourist spot plus the expensive lifestyle means it’s no surprise that Hawaii comes in as the most expensive state for regular oil at $3.570.
Closely followed at no. 2 by California at $3.549. Washington, Alaska, and Oregon take up the remaining spots.
In case of Mid-grade oil, California is the most expensive at $3.549. Hawaii comes in at second place at $3.678 with Washington, District of Columbia and Oregon being the other most expensive states.
And if you’re willing to pay the big bucks (really big bucks) and load up your car with premium oil, in California it’s going to cost you about $3.800 per gallon (yup, that high).
Next up is Hawaii at $3.797 with Washington, Illinois and District of Columbia not too far behind.
Regular vs Mid-Range vs Premium Gas
The major difference between all the 3 gas types lies in the octane level with it being the highest in Premium gas and lowest in regular gas. So what exactly does octane level of the fuel mean?
The higher the octane level the less likely it is that your car’s engine will combust at unwanted periods. Ever heard your engine create a ‘knocking’ sounds? Yup, that’s your engine combusting wrongly and regular knocking can lead to an engine breakdown.
But does that mean premium oil is your only choice? Definitely not. Whether the car needs premium oil or not is determined by the manufacturer and it’s luxury cars like SUV’s etc. that often require premium oil.
But remember, a high octane oil is no guarantee of a better performance and neither will it turn you into the 4-wheeler flash. Thus unless stated by the manufacturer the use of premium or mid-grade oil is only burning a hole in your pocket.
How do I Save on Gas?
Nothing beats the daily hustle like a road trip to the woods with your family or friend, isn’t it? But have the above-mentioned gas prices given you a headache?
Thinking of the next big excuse to skip the extra expenditure? Don’t be a party pooper, we’ll tell how to save a few bucks on gas.
Use Gift Cards
With sites such as Gift Card Granny, Gift Card Mall etc. at your service you can easily save up to $5-$10 using gift cards. Apart from that, even big-time gas brands such as Exxon and Shell or convenience stores like 7-11, RaceTrac offer similar cards. Go get yours today.
Avoid the weekend fueling trips
Did you know that the fuel is likely to cost you higher during the weekends or special holidays? Yup, just like the restaurants, shops etc. so does the gas station bump up the prices for the weekend. So when do you fuel up? According to experts, get your car locked and loaded early Thursday morning or at least before 10 pm.
Avoid Premium gas
I’m sure the premium gas prices of certain states made your eyeballs pop out like a cartoon so do you really need premium gas? No, until and unless stated in your car’s manual but even then the fuel you use is up for experimentation.
In most cases, use of other fuels can lower performance. But in case you seen no change in mileage, performance etc. a switch to regular or mid-grade fuel is a welcome change (especially to your pocket).
Let’s a say premium gas costs just 20 cents more per gallon. That means you’ll be saving about $2.5-$3 per 15-gallon tank, a steal in my books.
Be smart about re-fueling
With the daily ups and downs in the fuel prices, I understand the urge to drive down to Oklahoma (currently the cheapest) and get your car refueled. But until and unless it’s on your way or really close by is that really feasible?
Most likely, it’s not. Rather I’d recommend you use apps like GasBuddy or AAA Triptik to keep track of the stations offering the cheapest fuel in and around your area. This, teamed with a gift we mentioned above and you know you’ve scored a bargain 😉
Also, avoid rush hours on your way to fuel station (don’t want to burn it all up stuck in a jam, right?).
Lastly, you’d also want to keep an eye on warehouse clubs such as Costco. On a lucky day, you get gas for as low as 40-50 cents per gallon. Keep an eye on their prices with the above-mentioned apps.
Credit Card Rewards
A credit card can be both a curse and a boon. While purchases (including gas) earn you reward points which can be later redeemed while fueling they usually come at a higher interest rate.
So until and unless you’ve saved enough to pay off the credit at the end of the month I’d recommend you try other methods (don’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of interest and fees).
Similarly, some supermarket giants like Kroger, Winn-Dixie etc. offer gas reward programmes you’d want to check out.