How to use GasBuddy to Find the Best Gas Prices

Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 3:56pm
Red truck on an open road

One of the biggest expenses of any road trip is gas. Unless you’re driving a hybrid or an electric vehicle, it’s one of those evil necessities that’ll drain your wallet faster than a visit to Wrigley Field. When I was planning the I used and one of its features is an estimated fuel cost calculator. Each time I’d add a destination I’d watch that number rise and I’d cringe, but that was the cost of doing business. I was on a mission and certainly wasn’t going to plan a trip of this magnitude based on how much gas was going to cost. That’s just silly talk.

Another huge frustration is pulling off to fill your tank and then passing a station at the next exit or town that’s twenty cents cheaper. When you’re driving hundreds, and in our case, thousands of miles, those cents add up to big dollars.

To the rescue: GasBuddy.

shows gas prices near you that have been input and verified by users. It began as a website in 2000 and iPhone and Android apps were added in 2009. Over the years it’s become an increasingly useful and accurate way to find the best gas prices. You can use the website to calculate your trip fuel costs, see how prices compare across the country, and see historical data. My husband and I swear by the app to help us find the cheapest gas stations and it’s saved us gallons of money, both on the road and at home.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the GasBuddy app and how you can use it to find the best gas prices near you, whether you're at home or on your next road trip.

All screen captures are from the Android app

Overview: What is GasBuddy?

GasBuddy is a website and an app for both iPhone and Android that lets you find gas prices in nearly real time. The prices are updated by users and each listing will tell you how long ago it was updated. In urban areas it's often within a few hours. Rural areas aren't going to be updated as frequently. While you can create an account and update prices yourself, you don't have to if all you want to do is use the app. With GasBuddy you can:

  • Find the cheapest gas price
  • Search by type of fuel
  • Find the closest gas station
  • Search for specific brands
  • Find stations that sell beer and wine
  • See which ones have air
  • Include stations that require membership (Costco, Sam's Club)
  • Find propane
  • Find restrooms
  • Find restaurants
  • Locate stations with convenience stores

How to use GasBuddy

In recent years GasBuddy has become increasingly easier to use. Previously you could only visit the website. Then you could use an app, but it just gave you a list of nearby gas stations with distances. Now you can view them all on a map, filter by a number of criteria, and get directions. You can even earn points when you contribute by leaving reviews or updating prices. It's really a well-rounded tool that can make this road trip necessity easier.

Note: This should really go without saying, but ALWAYS have your navigator use GasBuddy while you're driving. If you don't have a navigator, pull over if you need to use the app.

Pinpoint your location

When you first open GasBuddy you can tap "Find Gas Near You" and it will bring up a list that's closest to your current location. If you'd like to plan ahead, you can enter a location in the search field at the top of the screen.

Switch to Map View

On the top right corner of the screen is a map icon. When you tap on that, you'll swtich to a map view. Your location will be a blue dot and you'l lbe able to see prices at stations near you. This is really handy when you're in an unfamiliar area.

Choose your fuel type

Do you need a specific type of fuel? You can filter for Regular, Midgrade, Premium Diesel, and E85.

Choose your brand

This filter comes in handy if you want to fuel up at a specific brand of station. We've got rewards cards at a few different brands, and sometimes we prefer one over the other depending on how many points or cents-off we've accrued.

Choose any amenities

Need to use the bathroom? Want to pick up some beer or wine for the room? Hungry? Use the amenities filter to find stations with the amenities you need.

Check station details

If you want more information about a particular station, you can tap through to its detail page. This is also where you can leave a review if you'd like.

 

 

As you can see GasBuddy is a pretty intuitive app that makes it very easy to find the cheapest gas prices. You don't have to wait to go on a road trip to use this app; it comes in handy no matter where you are.

Do you have any favorite road trip apps? Please share!

Comments

Wow! I don't believe I have never heard about Gasbuddy before. I wonder if it is available in India too. I really need to check. It would be a great assistant on those long drives especially when the fuel tank hits its lows.

I'm not sure if it's international, but I hope so! It really does come in handy when you're unfamiliar with a place. In Nevada it was a lifesaver :-)

Gas buddy is better than it used to be! I used to work in TV news, and we used the old website in our systems to show viewers the cheapest gas in town. But now, with the newer apps and more intuitive nature - as you pointed out - it looks easier than ever to use. Definitely a money-saver! I know you said you and your husband have saved gallons of money... I wonder how much? Maybe thousands with all the driving you do? Great post - thanks!

I started using it when it was just a list, but it wasn't helpful because I had no idea if someplace was behind me or in front of me! That's a good question. Next time we go on a road trip I'll have to track just how much we save. Glad you enjoyed!

I love Gasbuddy! I used it a lot when I was in college. Great post :)

I have never heard of this and it sounds awesome!!! We love to rent a car during our travels so will deffo download this app :)

I LOVE Gasbuddy and use it when trip planning!

How cool! Ive never even heard of this so this is awesome to discover. Thanks for sharing! :)

Thanks for sharing. This is definitely something that would have come in handy on our road trip from CT to Montreal Canada. Downloading and sharing with everyone I know.

I am going to use Gasbuddy. Your post is detailed and informative. Thanks!

This sounds really useful. It would be great if it's usable globally!

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About Theresa
Theresa Goodrich's picture

Hello Fellow Traveler! I'm the Emmy-winning founder and publisher of The Local Tourist. I've got insatiable curiosity, wanderlust, and an incurable need to use my words. Thanks for joining me as I explore "drive by towns." I hope you'll pull over and stay awhile!

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