Dear Crabby, can you please tell me why the gas prices are so high in Rochester/Rochester Hills?

Dear Crabby, can you please tell me why the gas prices are so high in Rochester/Rochester Hills when compared to neighboring communities?  I try to support community businesses but I won’t buy gas here in town because of the prices.

Sincerely, Lou

 

Dear Lou,

It seems there is no rhyme or reason to gas prices. Although, there are a few stations you know are always high-priced, but for the most part it’s a mystery … or is it?

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Well, I chose not to drive around town wasting gas just to do a survey of gas prices. Instead, for your question, I went to the internet, the place we all go to be well-informed. And here’s what I found out.

With prices, your big names in the business (Shell, Mobil, BP, Sunoco, Speedway) were consistently higher … but not always. Sometimes, it was the odd-named, never-heard-of-station that was highest. And the stations attached to a discount name (Kroger, Costco, Meijer, Sam’s Club) were consistently lower … but again, not always. There has to be more to this.

Location, taxes, and in-store traffic all play a factor. So, in the Rochester/Rochester Hills area, any station along Rochester Road (Main Street) was significantly higher, by 30 to 40 cents per gallon! Also, stations near the highway, without completion nearby, or conveniently located, were also higher. Those with competition across the street were more likely to have lower prices. And those across a city- or county-line might have a difference in price due to taxes from their municipality. Finally, how much in-store traffic there was also contributed. If a gas station offers and sells a lot of other products inside, their gas prices were lower … and vice versa.

This is true in other communities. However, Rochester/Rochester Hills has a wider range of prices. Lake Orion and Shelby Township are more mid-range and Auburn Hills is high. It’s tough not to worry about it.

My advice is to keep a mental note of the locations you regularly find lower gas prices and plan to stop there. Avoid weekends and holiday fill-ups if possible. Stay away from any of the stations along Rochester Road. If have a warehouse store membership, that’s your best bet – but there’s always a line, so save some time for that stop. You can also download an app to your smartphone to look for gas prices near you – which would helpful on road trips and vacations to other states.

Lots of reasons that the price of gas moves around so much but – no clear answers – pay attention and you should be able to figure out where to stop (and where not to stop) as you drive around town.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

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