How far should you drive for cheaper gas?

The Globe and Mail has an interactive tool to calculate if it’s worthwhile driving a certain distance for cheaper gas.  A lot of Canadians do this, especially on a trip down to the States.  I’d probably never go down on purpose just to get gas.  I’d likely fill up if I were going on a trip south.  So I fill up once I cross the border and once before coming back home. Then getting gas would be worth it

A Google search of Blaine gas prices suggested that the Chevron near the border actually sells regular gas for $4.35 per gallon.  I based the calculation on this $4.35 per gallon price which works out to about $1.15 per litre.    The distance is from somewhere in Vancouver proper to the Chevron just across the border. The car chosen for this calculation was a Honda Fit.

I would save less than $5 driving to the border for gas.

What this calculator doesn’t take into account, though, is the time spent lining up at the border.  My savings are probably eaten up in a long queue to cross the border.  If you a Nexus card, then maybe the effect of the line up on the savings would be mitigated.

The only time I ever fill up across the border is if I am actually going to spend time in the States for a day or two.  Otherwise, I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.  I would only save less than $5.  I might as well spend my time doing something locally.


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