(NEXSTAR) – Gas prices continue to rise and show no signs of stopping. Of course, not every station has the same prices. But saving money at the pump doesn’t just mean knowledge Where for refueling – it also helps to know when fill up.
In general, gas prices tend to be lowest early in the week, on Monday and Tuesday, said Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s lead petroleum analyst. Gasoline prices tend to rise throughout the week until they reach their most expensive point over the weekend – especially on Friday and Saturday.
What is driving this trend?
“If I had to make a guess, energy markets are closed on weekends, but they’re open Monday through Friday,” De Haan said. “By the weekend, (gas stations) may pass on any increases that took place earlier in the week.”
There is also a key government report that comes out every Wednesday, De Haan said, that can affect the wholesale price of oil.
Basically, when gas stations see the price of oil going up during the week, they pass that cost on to customers so they don’t lose money.
“They’re also less likely to lower prices early in the weekend because a lot of people are filling up at the weekend, so there’s less incentive,” De Haan said.
Gasoline is not always the cheapest on Monday, emphasized De Haan. It varies from place to place and depends on what’s going on in the oil markets at any given time. The broad trend was identified in a recent GasBuddy study.
The average gas station changes prices a few times a week, De Haan said, but there are volatile times when a gas station can change prices multiple times a day. When they see their competitors’ prices go up, gas stations are more likely to do the same.
“One tip is to always look around. Prices can vary significantly from block to block,” De Haan said. “If you’re careful, you could save $100 or even $200 to $300 over the course of the year.”
Suggest a correction