On Pump Prices: Where can you gas up for less?

finance business dataviz information economics

What providers let your stretch you gas money for more miles? Where is it more economical to gas up? Data from the Department of Energy’s price watch can provide some data-driven answers to these questions.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca
BLACK GOLD - In a time of risi'ng oil prices, it might pay off to be a little more data-savvy about where you gas up. (Photo: <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/trishhhh/4311644023/in/photolist-7z1iy4-7z561U-7z56hE-7z56GE-7z567G-7z5cJE-7z5cy9-7z1rZB-7z54i3-7z57Ey-7z5fmo-7z57eA-7z1orD-7z1qr2-7z1sM8-7z55EN-7z585b-7z1tfF-7z5cDh-7z5aCQ-7z5ct9-7z1sag-7z1qmx-7z58JW-7z58aw-7z1kp4-7z1oiz-7z1reD-7z1nL6-7z1nER-7z1nuK-7z5cWy-7z1ieV-7z1hag-7z59aY-7z1sEg-7z57zJ-7z56My-7z1sRK-7z58E9-7z59pY-7z1j3c-7z1hBR-7z57ns-7z591b-7z5c4A-7z5adG-7z5bSb-7z58fJ-7z1oYt' target='_blank'>Patricia Feaster/Flickr</a>, <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>CC BY 2.0</a>)

Figure 1: BLACK GOLD - In a time of risi’ng oil prices, it might pay off to be a little more data-savvy about where you gas up. (Photo: Patricia Feaster/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Everyone has something to say about gas prices - it’s cheaper to gas up with this provider than another, or it’s more economical to fill the tank in this area than another. With data from the Department of Energy’s price watch, we can provide data-driven answers to these questions, so that you can stretch out your gas money for just a few more kilometers.

Please note that these prices are the latest as of the original post date - August 31, 2014.

Which providers offer the least expensive fuel?

Let’s first take a look at retail pump prices across petroleum providers. This chart is interactive - you can refine your analysis by fuel type (regular/premium gasoline/diesel), and also by location (urban centers in the country).

Here are some quick observations from an initial perusal of the data:

There are many more trends, patterns, and observations that you could draw from this data, so please feel free to explore and refine your analysis, and to share your insights in the comments section below.

Where is it cheaper to gas up?

Let’s now compare across cities to see in which areas fuel is least expensive. This chart is also interactive - you can refine the analysis by fuel type, and by petroleum provider.

A few observations about this set of data:

So, where can you gas up for less? Among major providers, Petron is the way to go for regular gasoline, Shell is cheapest for premium gasoline, and Caltex is best for diesel.

Thanks for reading! If you found this post interesting or useful, I’d appreciate it if you liked, shared, tweeted, or +1’ed it on your preferred social network, or shared your thoughts and findings from the interactive chart in the comments section below. Data and computation requests can be made through the contact form.


Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Palanca (2014, Aug. 31). TJ Palanca: On Pump Prices: Where can you gas up for less?. Retrieved from https://www.tjpalanca.com/posts/2014-08-31-retail-pump-prices/

BibTeX citation

  author = {Palanca, TJ},
  title = {TJ Palanca: On Pump Prices: Where can you gas up for less?},
  url = {https://www.tjpalanca.com/posts/2014-08-31-retail-pump-prices/},
  year = {2014}