Road Trip: Where to Find the Cheapest Gas

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So I'm furious about the continually creep upward of gas prices, and it hits me. There are web sites out there that will tell you how to find cheap gas.

I've known about this for a couple years, but do I think to take a look at any of them before I go driving? No. So telling everyone about this is as much for me as it is for you. Maybe if I take the time to go through the list of some of the sites that are out there, it'll be in my mind, and I'll start actually using them.

The best that I've seen is GasBuddy.com, though for all I know, it's only the fourth best, or the 14th. Still, it seems really comprehensive, and when I checked to see what gas stations I could find in Cincinnati with the cheapest fuel, there were quite a few options, and they had all been updated within hours of my looking. When I went to Automotive.com's gas price web site, the information for my town was pretty comprehensive--but two days' old. I also got a kick out of the fact that GasBuddy shows where the highest gas prices are, in case I want to stay away from stopping for gas in a certain area, or if I develop a sudden urge to give the oil companies more of my money. Stranger things have happened to me. Once several years ago, when gas prices first shot up and things felt futile, I almost mailed my credit cards and wallet to Shell Oil, figuring that I might as well cut out the middleman.I hardly feel like mentioning any other sites, because both the above Internet sites are recommended by FuelEconomy.gov, run by the United States Department of Energy. Nevertheless, let's see what else is out there...

OK, FuelTracker.com looks pretty impressive, but since they only track the gas in San Diego, it doesn't really help me--or most of our readers, but you San Diegoites can have a blast.

MotorTrend.com offers a cheap gas web site.

And a fun one is Mapquest, which has its own cheap gas prices site. You can get local gas prices, but you can also find the cheapest gas in the country, which, at the time of this writing, is Hayes Service, a gas station on East Liberty Street in Farmington, Missouri, where they're selling gas for $2.35 a gallon. Oh, yeah! So you know it -- I'm planning a road trip first thing tomorrow. It should only take me about 870 miles, round trip, to get there and back, which, of course, will cost me a lot of gas, so I should fill up before I go...

Oh.

Geoff Williams is a freelance business journalist, primarily for Entrepreneur magazine, and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale, 2007).
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