January 7, 2004 - How Much Gas?
So you used the
spiffy little map on the edhat.com web site to find that you could save 6Ę per gallon by driving a few extra blocks. Now 6Ę isnít a lot of money these days Ö it only buys you 3.4% of a cappuccino at Espresso Roma. But then again, you donít just buy 1 gallon; you buy lots of gallons! And, the more you buy, the more you save. But how much gas do people buy at one time?
To answer this question, the dedicated staff of edhat.com spent yesterday lurking around gas stations. We watched customers go about their business pumping gas, cleaning windshields, and running into the mini-mart for tortilla chips. Neither we nor our incredibly hip edhat hats were noticed. We were so invisible that two female customers carried on an unreasonably personal conversation practically in front of our dedicated faces. Our invisibility scheme was a success because when the customers drove away in their gassed-up cars, we were on the scene instantly recording the amount of gas they had just purchased. The lurking continued throughout the day. And in the end, we obtained enough data to accurately estimate our averages.
We found the average gas purchase to be 10.5 gallons. The range was from 2.9 to 28.9. There was some variation from station to station. Arco, where it tends to be cheap and where most people pay cash, had an average of 7.4 gallons. Low priced Exxon had an average of 9.5 gallons. Interesting that people buy more gas where the prices are higher and less where the prices are lower.
38% of all gas purchases were in whole dollar amounts with $10.00 being the most prevalent at 15% of all purchases. Assuming $1.70/gallon for gas and a 20 mpg car, $10.00 gets you 117.6 miles of driving pleasure.
Our subscribers were a little high in their guesses yesterday. The averages contest entry was 12.7 gallons. Flamingo Goddess must be tickled pink or maybe just dancing in the streets when she hears that her guess of 10.5 was right on the money. She will be rewarded with a Peetís coffee card.
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