Why do gas prices vary throughout Charlotte?
Within blocks, prices at the pump were $3.67, $3.70 and right across the street from that, $3.59.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gas prices started going down from their peak around mid-July, but you may also notice pretty big differences in price at gas stations around town.
Even just within west Charlotte, prices are different at each station. On Thursday the 7-11 at Freedom Drive and Thrift Road was charging $4.14, but just a mile away at the Valero on Tuckaseegee Road. the price was $3.69.
Within blocks of that, prices were $3.67, $3.70 and right across the street from that, $3.59.
“Best believe I’m going with the lowest price,” Jamari Jackson said as he was filling up his tank.
Drivers are noticing the variation, but don’t know the reason behind it.
“I’m stumped too as far as that goes,” Scherene Mackey said. “I don’t know!”
We took the question to UNC Charlotte economics professor Dr. John Connaughton.
He says it’s because gas stations purchase gas at different times.
“You could have stations that literally have gas in their tanks that they paid 30, 40, 50 cents more than what the going price today is for gasoline,” Dr. Connaughton said.
He also says gas station owners could be setting prices higher, hoping customers don’t notice.
“I’m not a big fan of the term price gouging,” he said. “Station owners asking a price, your choice is if you think it’s too high don’t buy from that station now or a few weeks from now when they lower their prices.”
Many drivers tell us they’re just happy prices aren’t as high as they were a few months ago.
“I’m excited!” Mackey said. “I’m getting ready to go on vacation. We’re driving down so it’s a big help for us.”
Dr. Connaughton also says people used to drive across the state border for cheaper gas in South Carolina, but in recent years that margin has decreased.
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