Is it worth it to go to the U.S. for gas?
Published Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:43PM PDT
When it comes to gasoline, is it worth it to drive your dollars south of the border?
When CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele visited the Fred Meyer gas station in Bellingham, there were 10 B.C. license plates in 10 minutes.
"Eighty or ninety per cent are Canadians that come through here. They come all the time," said Bellingham gas attendant, Jennifer Clemens.
Gas was selling for $3.83 U.S. a gallon. In Canada, it was $1.37 cents a litre. Factor in the exchange rate and the Bellingham gas was selling for the equivalent of 98 cents a litre.
"You feel like you're getting gouged? Over there, yeah, I haven't bought gas back home for four months or so," said B.C. motorist Derek Bay.
If you're not that good at gas math, there's a made-in-Vancouver app for that called Gas Runner. All you have to do is enter the U.S. price per gallon and give it a shake. The app does everything else.
"It looks on the internet to find out what the current exchange rate is, and then calculates exactly what that is in cents per litre," said Jamie Fraser, Gas Runner app designer.
On that day the savings were nearly 30 per cent. It's a good deal if you live near the border in Surrey. But what if you live in West Vancouver, a 65 kilometre drive to the border?
We crunched the numbers and motorists with an average-sized, modern car can still save around $16.00 a tank. The question is, do you want to take the time?
Motorists CTV talked to would rather the B.C. government do something to make gas more affordable at home.
"It should be investigated. We really shouldn't be paying such high prices," said B.C. motorist Maureen Thiele.
You can blame high gas prices in B.C. on the tax man. Forty-six cents of every litre is made up of federal and provincial excise and carbon taxes. B.C. residents are paying the highest gas taxes in Canada at 34 per cent.
On Canada Day, the carbon tax went up another one per cent. And if the municipal leaders have their way, gas taxes will go up another two cents a litre by next spring.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele