Awkward Hugs

Is It Worth Driving to a Faraway Gas Station for Cheaper Gas?

truck at gas station

The other day, I drove out of my way to fill up my truck’s tank at Costco, knowing that it would be cheaper than the gas station in town. But after I got back, I started to wonder if I had actually saved any money. Sure, the gas was 15 cents cheaper per gallon, but I had burned up extra gas driving over there. Were the savings enough to cover the extra gas? After trying — and failing — to do the math in my head, I put together a quick calculator to do it for me. It turns out that my plan to save money actually cost me an extra 9 cents. And that’s not even taking into account the wear and tear on my truck, the time I spent driving, or the damage to the earth that burning up that extra gas did.

Want to see if your trip is worth it? Adjust the sliders (or type in your values) below to come up with your savings… or additional cost.

Gas Savings Calculator

Tank cost at per gallon
Tank cost at per gallon
Potential savings
Extra gas used
Cost of that gas
Actual savings

Don’t forget that you’ll probably have to drive round trip to the gas station. So, for example, if it’s an extra 5.6 miles each way, you should set the extra mileage to 11.2 miles.

After playing around with these numbers a bit, you’ll start to see that it’s often not worth driving out of your way for cheaper gas.