Sunday, 17 December 2017

Gas Prices and Irrational Behaviour

During my visit to Costco this morning, there was a significant lineup at their gas station. I pulled over on the side of the road and thought to myself that the rebate must be quite good because people are waiting 15+ minutes. So I snapped a couple pictures and guessed that gas price must be about 5 cents cheaper that the competition. If my Tahoe was on empty, that would represent a $5.00 savings - it has a 100 liter gas tank. Not bad, but not enough for me to wait 15 or 20 minutes to fill her up.

No more than 2kms from Costco, the gas price at Ultramar was $1.119 per liter. That's right, a whooping $0.02 difference. I'm going to guestimate that an average car has a 60 liter gas tank. If it were completely empty, you'd save $1.20 by filling up at Costco. In the case of my Tahoe, I'd save $2.00.

So is a 15+ minute wait worth saving $1.20 or even $2.00 on a purchase of $66 or $110, respectively? If you really want to save money, bag your lunch and cut back on Tim Hortons, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks instead. Just saying...


  1. Haha its always crazy when i see this. Like you i rather pay a couple cents.more drive ti thw next station and fill up in peace.

  2. its like the old saying...penny wise pound foolish. I think your time is worth more than $2 :)

    1. Yep. I bet most of the people in line won't think twice about spending big bucks on stuff they don't need.