if i had waited ten more exits the gas would have been 10 cents cheaper!
June 26, 2008 10:31 AM   Subscribe

How can I find the cheapest gas along a route?

I know how to find the cheapest gas in my area code or city, but I'm going on a 6-hour round trip this weekend and would like to figure out where to stop along the way for the best gas prices. Are there any websites out there that will let you plug in a starting city and destination city? Or perhaps a google maps plug-in? Ideally the results would be limited to gas stations within a few miles of a highway exit (or whatever route you choose).
posted by kidsleepy to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
10 cents a gallon on a fill up of (we'll pretend you have a suburban) 40 gallons is a difference of $4.00. Not really worth spending 5 minutes going out of your way (or $5 on a Metafilter membership ;-) to find slightly cheaper gas, especially if it's just a one time trip, and not your regular weekend outing.

Though if you're determined, there is always GasBuddy.com, and just figure out around where you'll be when you need to fill up for your trip there and back...
posted by Grither at 10:40 AM on June 26, 2008

You can view current gas prices on a map at Gas Buddy, though I don't think you can punch in a route. Still, you should be able to manually do this with very little work.
posted by nitsuj at 10:41 AM on June 26, 2008

GasBuddy also has a Google Maps gadget.
posted by katillathehun at 10:42 AM on June 26, 2008

tracing my route manually on the map on GasBuddy shows that an exit on my route has gas for $3.73, which is 24 cents cheaper than here at home! down here in the south, i can spend my saved $4 on another beer this weekend instead :)

i'm still holding out for an automatic tool, but thanks for the answers so far.
posted by kidsleepy at 10:51 AM on June 26, 2008

My father told me about this study that he read which may come in handy if you don't have any technology available.

When you feel like you are about to need gas, look for the first gas station you can find. Check the price and use it as a baseline (don't buy gas there). Purchase gas at the next available gas station that has a price lower than the baseline - this one is statistically most likely to be the lowest price on your route (for that particular fuel stop).

(citation needed)
posted by backseatpilot at 12:06 PM on June 26, 2008

This sounds a little like the secretary problem, although to apply that algorithm you would need to know the number of gas stations you expect to pass before running out of gas.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:41 PM on June 26, 2008

Mapquest.com has an option that will show the prices along your route.
posted by CwgrlUp at 2:51 PM on June 26, 2008

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