Gas Prices: What Time Is the Best Time to Buy Gas?

Maybe this is a couple days late for anyone taking a road trip for Labor Day, but anyone who drives a car knows that gas prices are at brutal all-time highs. Do you feel sad every time you go to the pump? It’s so bad now I try my best to not look at my total as it’s ringing up. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I try to turn away from the crime that’s being committed upon me by OPEC and the 76 Gas Station.

Summer Gas Prices On the Rise

The average gas price of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline has risen from $3.38 on July 1 to $3.73 on August 27. And in my neighborhood of San Diego it’s around $4.25!


But what most people don’t know, like how you should buy shorts in the fall and coats in the spring, is that there is a best time to buy gas.

Best Day and Time for Gas Prices

The people of the world who own gas stations may not want everyone to know this, but there is a best time of day and best day of week to buy gas. Now I know that there is some variance here, but morning time is when gas prices are the best. And it may not be for the reasons you’re thinking.Gas Price

I’ve heard before that fuel is denser when cold. Therefore pumping gas in the morning would gain you denser “gallons” of gas—saving you money. While that theory is slightly true, it’s only going to slightly save you money on gas prices.

The real reason is because most gas station owners are doing their gas price homework in the mornings. Usually between 8AM-10AM. This is when they are checking out their competition’s prices. Then they raise their prices after 10AM. Sure, it is possible that gas prices could be lowered, but on average gas prices are lower in the early morning.

Similarly, Wednesday is the best day to pump fuel when gas prices are on the rise. This may not be true every single week, but gas prices typically climb as you get closer to the weekend as owners are trying to catch extra revenue from travelers and vacationers.

So when are gas prices going to be at their best? On the average, it’s the safest bet on a Wednesday morning.

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About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.


  1. Whenever you feel ripped off by the gas prices down there, think about how much we pay here in BC. Lately it’s been jumping around between $1.30 and $1.40 per liter and there are 4 liters in a gallon. So by our standards you guys are still getting a pretty good deal. The gas stations do definitely try to raise prices before weekends, especially long weekends.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      Yes I’ve spent a couple weeks in Toronto, and couldn’t understand why gas is so much more expensive there just barely north of the border!

  2. Todd,

    Thanks for sharing those tips.

    From now on I’m filling up Wednesday mornings before 10:00 am.

    I never know that tidbit about gas station owners checking out the competition between 8:00 and 10:00 am.

  3. Interesting, I never really thought about when to fill up on gas. Since I work from home I don’t fill up very often but now when I do it will be on a Wednesday morning.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      I always knew prices were usually the best further from the weekends, but I decided to do some extra reading on it. And that was the consensus!

  4. I fill up for gas every 4 days. I track every penny that I spend on my car, mostly because I commute so much. I’ve got it down to the fact that it costs me, on average, about .14 cents per mile to operate my vehicle. One thing that has changed my gas mileage for the better is by putting the pump on the lowest “automatic” setting, allowing for more fuel in my tank. My gas mileage increased from 25 mpg on average to just over 26. That, in and of itself, earns me an extra 50 miles on each tank.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      Thanks for the tip. I’m unfamiliar with how to control the automatic setting on a pump. What do I need to do?

  5. This is great information and I will use this tip from now on. I usually keep a log of prices and how much gas I put in so I’ll be able to see if this pans out. It sure does sound promising, thanks for the heads up Todd!

  6. The increases in summer gas prices have a huge impact on the professional driving and transportation industry. We see many truck owners struggle to pay the bills and stay on the road during this season.

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