Only Two States Have Average Gas Prices Under $3

Congratulations New Jersey and New Hampshire! Your average price per gallon for that life blood we call gasoline is still under $3. New Jersey has the cheapest gas at an average price of just $2.93! How do they do it? More importantly, how did we managed to write this post without cracking a New Jersey joke? Because we’re above that, people. Yes, we are. —MEGHANN MARCO

Down to the Final Two [Daily Fuel Economy Tip]
(Photo: paytonc)

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  1. FutureRoadie says:

    In New Jersey government regulations require gas station’s to dilute their gas with 15% Ethanol. Shouldnt the price be a 15% difference ;-)

  2. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’m at a loss to explain the lower price in New Hampshire. I was just in Ohio last weekend and was surprised to find gasoline at least 20 cents higher (usually it’s been cheaper in the midwest). There are still some stations selling regular in the $2.92 to $2.99 range, but it won’t last.

    Don’t worry, they’re just slow in getting around to twisting the knife. By next weekend, I’m sure we’ll be in the $3.00 club too.

  3. Onouris says:

    @FutureRoadie:
    If the price in the picture is about what ‘normal’ prices are, it’s more than a 15% difference.

  4. yzerman says:

    It’s probably because their smaller states so they do’t have to charge as much in taxes to repair as much road as larger states.

  5. acambras says:

    @yzerman:
    I don’t think that’s it — I live in Connecticut and it seems like everything is more expensive, including gas.

    Isn’t New Jersey one of the states that outlaws pumping your own gas (I saw something about it on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report). I would think that a state with nothing but full service gas stations would have higher prices, not lower ones.

  6. mikecolione says:

    @acambras

    That would be true at first glance, but insurance is cheaper for station owners because of the “professional” pumpers. Not only that, but NJ houses a good number of ports that transported gas use, as well as the refineries located near camden.

  7. Sudonum says:

    Parts of Louisiana just went over the $3 mark. Last week I filled up for $2.88, today $3.09. We haven’t even hit Memorial Day yet!

  8. Falconfire says:

    @acambras: Yes New Jersey requires attendants to pump gas, its illegal to pump it your self.

    But ultimately the reason why NJ gas is so cheap is very simple, my home town of Linden, which houses the Bayway Refinery, the northern most refinery in the nation, and producer of almost 150,000 barrels of gas a day.

  9. Charles Duffy says:

    Austin typically has some of the most expensive gas in Texas, and I filled up this morning at Costco for about $2.95/gal (+/- $.04)

  10. Schmons says:

    I live here in the Bay Area where we have numberous amounts of oil refineries but we still pay upwards of $3.40-$3.50 a gallon so I don’t think that is whats keeping your gas price down.

  11. Triteon says:

    (SE of St. Louis) I paid $3.37 this morning for regular unleaded. NPR was reporting a leap in the national average of $0.07 today over last week, yet I paid $2.89 last Tuesday…bit more than 7 cents.
    The area north of me in Illinois is a big refining center as well, and such a big help that is.

  12. datruesurfer says:

    I just filled up my tank here in PA for $3.05/gal at Cumberland Farms. Seems like I got a good deal, because I havn’t seen cheaper around here.

    I want to see the person who buys up all the gas now and sells it later when we get closer to $4 for a nice profit.

  13. Onouris says:

    I never understood why some states don’t let you get your own petrol. They don’t trust you with that, but they do trust you with guns.

    Makes no sense to me whatsoever.

  14. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @yzerman: New Hampshire has a pretty average gasoline tax (19 cents as of 2005), so that doesn’t explain it..and usually we’re nowhere near the cheapest state for gasoline (given the ridiculous cost of living in the northeast and whatnot).

  15. patchmonkey says:

    The primary reasons for not allowing people to pump their own gas are (a) the lower liability by having “professional” station attendants and (b) the creation of jobs.

    NJ also has fairly low gas taxes (which might change once the property tax crisis is resolved, as the money will have to come from somewhere).

  16. njtrout says:

    NJ has a law prohibiting self-service. Has been on the books since the 1920′s or 30′s. It is a safety law. Numerous times the law has been challenged but it has never been repealed. The NJ Gasoline Dealers Association is a very strong lobby in NJ State politics. The dealer gets about 10-15 cents per gallon for full service. The full service is supposed to (by law) have your gas pumped, oil checked, tire pressure checked, windows washed. Haven’t had all that done in 35 years. But as long as the price per gallon stays low who cares if the full service is only pumping gas.

    To compensate for the low price of gasoline, NJ has the highest automobile insurance rates in the nation as well as the highest property taxes.

    NJTrout

  17. zolielo says:

    $3.49 for 91 in so cal. The price is on a downward trend. … CA gasoline is a micro brew…

    From the data that I have seen for the national average for regular gasoline the price has been moving in near step wise movements. Yesterday and for the three days before the price as been stead at about $3.20.

    It should be a few weeks before production is back up to normal along with other factors to reduce price.

  18. Cary says:

    Why do I get the feeling this has less to do with the crude in Iraq than the methane in Washington?

  19. othium says:

    I like the photo. I believe it is a “Holdup” or “Bike Salute”. Might be a member of the group “Critical Mass”.

    “…It is a symbolic gesture to emphasize our belief that bikes are superior to cars as a form of urban transportation.”

    I ride my bike to work and when the weather is downright nasty I take the bus. My car has been parked for months. I sure hate paying insurance on that thing but it is nice to have in case of an emergency.

  20. 302079 says:

    I’m all in favor of higher gas prices.

  21. mac-phisto says:

    @acambras: if you’re anywhere near massachusetts, drive across the border & save about 20 cents/gallon or more.

    our state gas tax is ~25 cents here (plus 6% tax on all receipts – who says you can’t tax a tax?!?), but if you’ve been following the news, the state assembly is working on legislation to rollback the gas tax between memorial day & labor day (still won’t bring it under $3.25+).

    look at the bright side…at least it’s not $3.80+ like it is down in westport area…ehh…that is unless you live on the gold coast.

    i would just be happy if they didn’t blow $220 million on the i-84 expansion by waterbury that they need to redo. the graft up here is appalling.

  22. cde says:

    The NJ self-serve ban is just one of those “if we don’t like you” laws. Like needing tax stamps for illegal drugs. Not only do you get charged with possession of the drugs, but tax evasion on it as well.

  23. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Gas is at $3.44 for regular here. GRRR I can’t wait till I sell my car.

  24. harumph says:

    ugh, must i now grudgingly give new jersey a teeny sliver of respect? as good as cheap gas is, i still don’t think i can.

  25. zolielo says:

    @othium: If you really do not drive it there are generally ultra low mileage plans (under 500 miles a year) that might be a savings you are missing out on.

  26. jbohanon says:

    If you live anywhere near an Indian reservation, I don’t think they can charge a sales tax, so that’s the place to fill up.

    The robber baron tax collectors in the government irritate me more than the oil companies because at least the oil companies are actively involved in the production.

    Welcome to summer.

  27. 2Legit2Quit says:

    :) Gas in NJ has always been on the cheap. Couple that with Full-Service BY LAW and we make it the greatest state to fill up in. Hands down.

    Plus, right now, I’m at an average around me of about $2.85. I love it!

  28. 2Legit2Quit says:

    @ NJTrout

    First, the property taxes should come down soon. I just wish we could get some education reforms down here, because while I went to one of the best HS in South Jersey, schools right next to me (Willingboro, Pemberton, Camden, etc) all Abbot District need help NOW!

    Plus, they still will do those things if you ask them. The problem is that throughout the 90′s, gas attendants primarily switched from teenage kids to Indian and Pakistan foreigners coming over here.

  29. Zoom says:

    Here in Chicago, I have seen over $4.00 per gallon! Good thing I sold my car when I moved from the suburbs. A story on the news the other day mentioned that we have the highest gas prices in the country, which usually isn’t the case.

  30. rbb says:

    Go diesel! Superior mileage and it’s $2.83 a gal or less in the Northern VA area.

  31. mmcnary says:

    There is an amazing fluctuation even within a state. I filled up in KC on Friday at $3.19/gal, drove to St. Louis, where I filled up at $2.89/gal. When I got back on Sunday, gas in KC was $3.29/gal.

  32. 2Legit2Quit says:

    @Zoom

    Yep, State Average, Hawaii has the highest prices, however, citywise, Chicago is currently topping the list.

    New Jersey is the lowest and Trenton, NJ is kicking ass :)

  33. 2Legit2Quit says:

    @rbb, diesel has a habit of an unreliable price. Sure, right now it may be the cheapest, but a year ago it was surpassing even Supreme.

  34. Pelagius says:

    Because that bike was hand wrought from bamboo and switchgrass using flint tools, then transported to the adobe-walled bike store on the back of a pack mule.

  35. hop says:

    gas around here (salisbury md.) is still a couple of cents under $3…..but probably not for long…..i guess the boyos want to keep the gas at the $3 level now……they seem to jack up the price to a certain level, then drop it back some to make us feel like they are giving us some kinda break…..

  36. oudemia says:

    I thought that NJ frequently had the lowest gas prices in the country because the turnpike authority sets the prices for gas at the turnpike stations every couple of weeks, and, because of this, the prices can’t fluctuate day by day as they do in other places.

  37. The Bigger Unit says:

    $44 to fill up a Honda Accord in Alabama. Someone end the misery.

    At least I don’t drive a tank-like Suburban or something asinine like that…that’d be painful.

  38. vdestro says:

    Two reasons for NJ being the lowest gas price.

    NJ has the among the (if not the) lowest gas tax in the country. Only 14 cents per gallon.

    The Elizabeth sea port in NJ is a major port of delivery for the stuff, so lower transportation costs to get the stuff.

  39. chrismar says:

    I just filled up in Piscataway, NJ- $3.03 9/10, cheaper than the other states, but its moving its way up too.

  40. bsheairs says:

    @oudemia

    It’s true, the Turnpike Authority does set the gas prices for the few stations along that main toll road, but there are thousands of stations across the state, so I doubt that the 15 to 20 (?) stations really make a dent in the average. I think the Turnpike is generally higher than the state average – they do have a “captive audience”, after all – but on occasion it drops below average when there is a drastic spike in price.

  41. MeOhMy says:

    The real winners are people like me – living in PA and enjoying the lower taxes and insurance costs, but travelling home to NJ frequently enough to capitalize on cheaper fuel there.

    Full service sucks though. You save a good bit of time when you can just jump out and do it yourself.

  42. TinaB says:

    @jbohanon:

    Indian reservation you say? Arizona’s full of ‘em! I gotta keep that in mind… Here in Phoenix, gas is right around $3.10 (and I believe that’s for 89.)

  43. Flynn says:

    @othium: Yup, Payton is a CM’er. I was looking at the photo and saying “Hey, that looks like a guy from Critical Mass I argued with about SUV’s. Hey, those look like Chicago gas prices. Hey, that’s a CTA sign.” (Glances at photo credit) “Well, whaddaya know…”

    I agree with the principle of Critical Mass — there are a ton of good people involved — but when it turns into yelling at drivers, I think the militancy of it can work against what it’s fighting for. Either way…ride your bikes more, people.

  44. lrava says:

    I can’t believe how expensive gas is getting here in North Carolina. Everybody’s talking about it, but I know it’s worse in other parts of the country. We thought it would be interesting to see if people are really changing their habits here, or having to make other adjustments in their daily lives. We took a survey, and the results are really interesting. 70% of drivers said they’ve changed their driving habits in the last six months and plan to drive less this summer. 60% said they have postponed purchases. But their responses on economic questions were mixed. We also asked a bunch of questions about health, smoking, current events, and a fun one about which TV show should be canceled. Do you have a guess? You’re welcome to check out our stuff on http://www.brogansurvey.blogspot.com.

  45. Lee2706 says:

    I live in the Los Angeles area and there are several refineries around my neck of the woods. You’d think the gas stations closest to them would be the cheapest but often times they are the most expensive!

    I figure much of it has to do with the station owner – an independent guy who doesn’t work for Big Oil. The owner can charge whatever he damn well pleases as long as it increases his profit margin. Plus, if his station is the only one for several blocks, consumers don’t have a quick way to shop between stations.

  46. filmsnack says:

    That photo was taken down the street from my house, and quite a while ago, too, since the price I saw on my way to work this morning was a good 40-50 cents higher.

  47. zolielo says:

    @Lee2706: I read in the LA Times a while back about a franchise fellow use was forced by the corp oil to charge within a certain range or face being cut off. He wanted out of the business contract, wanted corp to cut the tie, so he raised them much higher. He raised the price well over the norm so that corp lost out on sales revenue.

  48. njtrout says:

    Troy F says “Full service sucks though. You save a good bit of time when you can just jump out and do it yourself.” It IS ILLEGAL in NJ to pump your won gas. If you are at a station that lets you do that they are risking their license. Believe it or not, the State checks gas stations very regularly. I’ve been to some stations where the attendant will start screaming at you if you even try to pump your own.

    Additionally, NJ Law prohibits the number of times you can raise the price of gas in (I think) a 24 hour period. If you see a station doing that report them and the state will be there in a flash since all the records are kept.

    Max Payne says”Plus, they still will do those things if you ask them. The problem is that throughout the 90′s, gas attendants primarily switched from teenage kids to Indian and Pakistan foreigners coming over here.” I’m not sure which demographic group is worse to be cleaning my windshield, checking oil etc. Rare to find a station with fresh windshield cleaner, clean squegees. I won’t let anyone touch my windshield.

    NJTrout

  49. Lee2706 says:

    @zolielo: Yeah, I am wondering how much “in bed” the station owners are with their respective oil co’s. I understand there are corporate-owned Shells, 76s, Chevrons, etc but how many of those are independent contractors? And what about the truly indy guys that run no-name gas stations? I read somewhere (LA Times?) that they buy their gas directly from one of the oil co’s and then rename it “Tiget Gas” or whatever mascot they have.

  50. mikyrok says:

    Now Jersey is the only one with gas below $3!

    Ha Ha suck it the rest of the country that makes fun of Jersey.

  51. Onouris says:

    By the way, $3.49 per gallon is nothing. That comes out as 47p per litre.

    It’s 95.9 here.

  52. Chicago7 says:

    There was a refinery breakdown/blowup in Whiting, Indiana recently. That’s partially the reason gas prices are higher in the Midwest.

  53. alicetheowl says:

    Speaking of bikes, a former co-worker of mine is biking around the globe, partly to bring awareness to biking as an alternate form of transportation. Most of what I know about bike commuting comes from this guy.

  54. AcidReign says:

    …..I filled up yesterday in Birmingham at a Shell, and Regular was $3.19. I never thought I’d see the day it takes $25 to fill up a dinky four-cylinder car!

  55. Pipes says:

    I always have to remember that, compared to the UK, US prices are wonderful. Last time I was over there they were the equivalent of approximately $7/gal.

    However…and this is to all the folks who are glad that gas prices are going up…try living where I am, in the suburbs where there is NO public transportation and NO way to get to work on a bike. It would probably take me over an hour to bike to work, which wouldn’t be so bad except it’s all on a major highway with no berm. I’d die. And did I mention no public transit?

  56. acambras says:

    @Pipes:
    Even if you were comfortable with the risk, bicycles are prohibited on interstates and a lot of other highways.

    I would love to ride my bike to work, but I’ve never been able to bicycle to any job I’ve had because I could never find a safe route between home and work. What I saved on gas would end up going toward the hospital bill (or funeral expenses).

  57. Jesus Christ says:

    Yeah, so what if us New Jersians have cheap gas, but my road pays the highest taxes in the country…..so yeah, we don’t have it as good as it sounds.

  58. galatae says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the state, but we’re sitting on a whopping $2.89 in Upstate South Carolina.

    neener neener neener

  59. Onouris says:

    Someone really needs to sort out public transport in smaller towns in America, it really is very, very poor, and would save a lot of people a crap load of money.

  60. ChiefBrody says:

    While not huge in the grand scheme of oil prices. What did people expect? They could continue to suck up fuel in their idiotic Hummers, F350′s, Excursions and every other flavor of monolithic land yachts.
    This day was inevitable.

    The only way to truly turn things around is for gas to get up to about $6 or $7 dollars a gallon. Then maybe, just maybe, the gluttonous hogs out there would consider the rest of us and drive something a little less supportive of the Middle East.

  61. newrican says:

    The average price of gas on the island of Puerto Rico is 75 cents per liter, so 4 liters is equivalent to 1.05 gallons. That makes the price of gas on the island at about $2.98 per gallon. Thats the lowest in the nation and territories.

  62. maniacmartin says:

    I think higher prices on gasoline can only be a good thing. The government should be discouraging the use of private vehicles that cause major environmental, congestion and noise problems and using the extra tax revenue to subsidise more public transport schemes.

    Here in UK, we pay ~US$7/gallon and I think that’s perfectly justified. Americans seem to have a love of gas-guzzling cars that pump out emissions and use up our natural resources. Remember, future generations have to live in the world we shape today.

  63. kd1s says:

    Gas is nuts here in RI. In one week it’s gone up 15 cents a gallon. We’re now at $3.09 or so, and I bet today we’re at $3.25.

    I do find that Hess is a good ten or more cents cheaper per gallon than all the other stations. I just have slight uneasiness buying gas there since it’s Venezuelan oil that goes into it, and Chavez is a dictator.