GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting nearly 70 million drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, identifies the state borders with the most drastic gas price variance -- “spread” in industry parlance. According to GasBuddy’s 2017 Summer Travel Survey, a record number of people are traveling more than 500 miles during their road trips, meaning many are crossing state borders.
Looking at 20 high-risk areas where factors can create wide border differences, GasBuddy data found that price spread differed by an average 44 cents per gallon between the two sides, or $10 per tank. In some extreme cases, drivers can spend an extra $25 when refueling the tank if on the wrong side of the line.
“Generally, the price spread between states next to each other is the difference in state and local taxes, but can be enhanced if the two neighbors have different types of required gasoline from different regions,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “Usually, traveling across state borders isn’t an event that sticks out to motorists who might be busy taking pictures of the welcome signs, but gas prices can stealthily surge just by crossing over the state line. To avoid overspending, motorists should mind the price spread and look up gas prices on both sides of the border in advance to make an informed decision on where to fill up.”
Many residents who live close to certain state borders have noticed the large price difference and regularly cross their state borders to save.
GasBuddy user Shawn M. from Macungie, Pa., heads to New Jersey to get gas after work. “The 20 cents difference in gas prices are more than enough to make up for the extra mileage during the trip. The savings could be anywhere up to roughly 30-40 dollars per month if not more depending on the differences in cost.”