Are You Being Ripped off at the Gas Station?
Food for thought: have you ever wondered if the price per gallon/liter at the gas station is truly correlated to the amount of gas that makes it into your tank?
Actually, that's harsh. I would like to believe that most gas station owner operators are not trying to rip off customers. Even regular calibrations are not failsafe.
That being said, how can you take matters into your own hands? Here is a simple test to help you ensure you are getting your money’s worth at the pump, with a built-in mechanism to ensure you do even if the pump is out of whack.
- Look at the price per gallon/liter before you pump.
- Pump exactly 10 gallons/liters into your tank.
- Take a look at the price. Is it exactly 10 times the price per gallon/liter?
- If not, stop pumping, and point out the discrepancy to the attendant. They should only charge you for the proper amount. If you prepaid, you will receive a refund for the amount you overpaid.
It’s that simple. It takes almost no time to stop pumping at 10 gallons/liters and check the price, but could save you from overpaying on an entire tank. I have saved a few bucks doing this myself.
Of course, this is not a fool proof test; if the pumps are improperly calibrated, the amount of fuel that comes out of the nozzle may not be what registers at the pump. And more often than not, the meters are linked; for them to be out of whack could be indicative of even bigger problems. So if you want to test the amount of petrol actually coming out, you need to use your own container to measure the gas, which as this article points out - is not entirely accurate either, but is better than nothing.
If you have reason to believe that you are being ripped off or have a complaint that the attendant was unable to resolve, most gas stations have a toll free complaints hotline posted on the pump that you can call.