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Best Day to Buy Gas

Is there a best day of the week to buy gas?  If you search this on the Internet, you’ll find that most people say ‘yes.’

‘Of course,’ they say, ‘Gas prices are lowest on a Wednesday, after dropping on Monday and Tuesday, then prices are raised for the weekend.’

Sounds logical, but is it true?

The best source I could find for North American gas prices was www.gasbuddy.com, a site where you can search current gas prices by city.

I plotted out the last few months of gas price data for numerous cities in North America to determine the best day for pricing.  I have 3 recommendations.

#1 Don’t buy gas on Thursday, Friday or Saturday

If you’re looking for the best gas prices, avoid Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  In many locations, gas prices are higher on these days.

#2 Don’t wait for Wednesday

Let me clarify that.  Waiting for Wednesday doesn’t always work – by Wednesday, gas prices in some locations are already rising again.

I plotted out numerous cities, but many of the larger ones (New York, L.A., Chicago, Houston) did not show clear trends.  This just goes to show you how much variance there is, when you put in large numbers of gas stations.  Over the last 3 months, a random sample of smaller cities did show a trend for days when gas prices are lowest:

Victoria, BC: Monday or Tuesday
Toledo, OH: Wednesday
Boise, ID: Sunday
Detroit, MI: Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday

These smaller cities, as well as others not listed above, show that generally early in the week is better.

Again, when I considered larger areas (states and countries), there was no clear lower-priced day that showed up. So Wednesday is not the cheapest day everywhere.

#3 Check out www.gasbuddy.com to find out your local gas pricing.

If you look up your city, or area by zip code or postal code, you will see a listing of gas prices by gas pump location.  Volunteer gas price spotters constantly update the prices, so you can see at a glance what pricing is like.

If you’re interested in price trends historically, you can also look that up on this site.  The selection of cities is limited for historical data, but if you’re interested in chart data, check it out.

There are even Gas Buddy apps for your mobile device.  How cool is that?

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