Study says paying at the pump cheapest during weekend
With school almost over, most people are starting to plan some sort of a summer vacation. But before you jump in the car, a new study might change your mind about when you stop at the gas station.
A study came out a few years ago that said the best day of the week to buy was on Wednesday, no matter what state people lived in. The folks at GasBuddy.com say they disagreed, and that it prompted them to do their own study to help clear things up.
For four years, researchers compared weekly gas price averages in every state, with the daily price of gas to determine what day of the week was the cheapest to buy gas.
In 65 percent of states, including Michigan, they found that the Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, were the cheapest to fill up the tank.
"I went into it kind of expecting that perhaps we would find the same as the study did that said Wednesday was the best day," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com.
Here's what the study found in Michigan each year for the cheapest day to buy gas:
2010 - Saturday
2011 - Sunday
2012 - Friday
2013 - Friday
DeHaan says the results might come as a surprise to motorists who feel that individual stations hold the pricing power, but that stations actually rely on pricing their gas according to the whole sale market price.
"Gas prices at retail level are simply following what they trade at from commodity exchanges," said DeHaan. "And that's a lot of the reason we see fluctuation. Sometimes they're higher because of refining issues but gas and oil prices react more to significant issues and they don't really relate to holidays or tourism seasons, ect."
Coincidentally, gas prices jumped on Thursday afternoon. Many gas stations in the Traverse City area were selling gas for as much as $3.95 per gallon. DeHaan says they aren't sure why this is.
"Yesterday the wholesale price of gas did rise about 5.5 cents per gallon usually that would prices would jump back up to what they previously were at which was $3.89, so I'm not really sure why they jumped a little bit higher," said DeHaan.