Lower Fuel Prices?

I recently took a road trip to Spokane, Washington recently and was astonished at the price difference of regular unleaded fuel. When I left Seattle, I fueled at an AM/PM gas station. The price for unleaded last Saturday was $2.569. I was relieved to see it only took $60. to fill up the Dodge pickup. I drove approximately 150 miles and stopped at a Shell station along I-90 in central Washington. I didn’t get gas, but I noticed the price was a whopping $3.099 for regular unleaded! I politely asked the cashier why their gas prices were .50 cents per gallon higher than those in Seattle. The cashier informed me that they were unaware of the prices in the Seattle area and would look into adjusting their prices. I arrived in Spokane and noticed prices were a little better, but still averaged about .30 cents per gallon more than those in Seattle.

Prices for diesel did not change noticeably between Seattle and Spokane. Remeber 25 years ago when everyone was purchasing diesel fueled cars because the fuel was so much cheaper? What happened to diesel prices over the years? Is there an increased demand for diesel?

I have two new links in the right column today. I have linked directly to the AAA Daily Fuel Cost page and the AAA Fuel Cost Calculator. The daily fuel price page accurately states prices for all fuels in all 50 states. Diesel is located at the far right of the page. The fuel price calculator is geared toward automobiles. But you can still enter the information as “other” and enter your MPG. This will give you an estimated cost in “Regular Unleaded” prices. Figure that Diesel is about .30 cents per gallon more and that should give you a pretty good idea of what your trip will cost in fuel. For instance, I used the example of Los Angeles, CA to Atlanta, GA, using “other” for vehicle and an average 6 MPG. The cost for the trip was approximately $987. dollars. The calculator does not take into consideration idle time, traffic, detours, contruction, etc. It is still a useful tool and I think it represents the rough costs very well.

When traveling to the northwest, fuel before entering Washington. Prices should be a little better near the coast if absolutely necessary. The same advice goes for California, fuel in Arizona or Nevada. Prices are still high throughout the state, and if necessary, fuel at a Pilot or Flying J to keep costs down.

I am not a fuel price expert, but I do pass along a little advice and personal experience when I have the opportunity.


(Note: As of 09/21/2006, Idaho and Washington have some of the highest fuel costs in the nation! California is .10 cents cheaper than Washington and .19 cents cheaper than Idaho. Source: AAA)

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