What’s the Most You’ve Ever Paid for a Tank of Gas?

On our way home from vacation this past weekend, I paid over $50 to fill up on gas for the first time ever. I knew this day was coming sooner or later, as I’ve flirted with this number at times in the past, and I also regularly see $70-$80 (or more) purchases when I pull up to a pump after a big SUV pulls away. But still… It was a bit unsettling to stand there and watch the numbers scroll by until they settled just shy of $58.

I still remember filling my old Honda Accord to the brim for under $10 in the mid- to late-90s. In fact, I once paid as little as $0.699/gallon. But on this particular fill-up, I was paying $3.399/gallon. On top of that, we now drive a Honda Odyssey and I had let the tank run down pretty far, such that I needed 17 gallons of the good stuff.

The only silver lining here is that I received $0.17/gallon in rebates from my Amex Blue Cash Rewards card. But even with the 5% discount, I ended up paying well over $50 to fill my tank.

Which brings me to my question…

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a tank of gas?

Please limit your response to personal vehicles — any dump truck drivers out there might skew the results — and record your response in the following poll. As always, I also encourage you to leave any comments that might come to mind.

{democracy:31}

Note: If the poll doesn’t work properly in the RSS feed, you’ll have to click through.

29 Responses to “What’s the Most You’ve Ever Paid for a Tank of Gas?”

  1. Anonymous

    So how many of you are seriously considering a hybrid for your next vehicle?

    I am, but that is a few years out, so I am hoping for some advancement in MPG ratings and other specifications by then.

  2. “From a demand side I can see this situation only getting worse.”

    It’s going to get worse on the supply side, too, as oil becomes harder and harder to extract. Ultimately, we *will* run out of oil. Leading up to that point, the costs of oil extraction will continually increase as what’s left gets harder and harder to find and/or pump out of the ground.

  3. “Oil is a commodity, sold in a commodity market, the price is not under the control of any person or company.”

    This is true to a point. However, there are two sides to the supply/demand equation, and you’ve only addressed one of them. There *are* entities out there that can greatly influence the price of oil by deciding to reduce supply. OPEC is probably the biggest culprit here, though even individual oil companies can do this to a certain extent.

    It’s also important to remember that there are two layers when it comes to gasoline supply. First is the supply of oil, second is refinery capacity. While the current runup seems to be mirroring a runup in oil prices, there have been times in the past when oil prices have been steady or even dropping, and yet gas was on the increase due to supply problems tracing back to limited refinery capacity in the US.

  4. Anonymous

    Wow kentuckyliz – that’s a great way to understand it. There is more global competition for these limited resources now. Perhaps it’s the fact the the big price increases have coincided with the Iraq war has made many of us think that it’s not just competition that’s raising the price. From a demand side I can this this situation only getting worse.

  5. Anonymous

    The oil company profits are not out of line compared to any other business, and considering their assets invested and expenses in producing and delivering product.

    I’m surprised it took until comment #24 for someone to bash the oil companies for making a profit.

    If you want to go start a charitable foundation, non-profit 501(c)3 oil company, go right ahead. Good luck with that.

    Oil is a commodity, sold in a commodity market, the price is not under the control of any person or company. Supply and demand! Basic economics! The rising middle class in China and India –> more car purchases and driving –> more worldwide demand for gas –> increased demand leads to higher prices on the commodity market.

    We have successfully exported the American driving lifestyle, and now we’re surprised that we’re competing for fuel with other drivers? Duh!

  6. Anonymous

    Today I saw the first Smart car since I’ve been back in the U.S. (Much more common in the U.K. and didn’t look so minute there) Now that car gets good mpg. But here in Utah with all the trucks and SUVs I wouldn’t want to be in an accident in one.
    Every day the price of gas goes up but unless it gets to the $8 a gallon of the U.K. I won’t complain too much. Of course over there much of the cost is govt. added taxes.
    Then again the oil companies are still raking in the profits, aren’t they?

  7. Anonymous

    Gas prices make me adore my Mazda Miata and her itty bitty gas tank even more. 😀 I have yet to spend over $30 filling her up and get a reasonable 28 – 31 MPG, considering she’s a sports car. My other car, though, isn’t that great… My Honda S2000 is passing $40 for a fill up, but that’s also because it’s a requirement to use premium gas. About the same gas mileage as the Miata, though.

  8. Anonymous

    I normally drive a Toyota Corolla which has been creeping toward $35/tank. Due to a recent accident I’m in a rented minivan. It cost us about $56! So right off the bat I know a minivan would cost me about $20 more per fill-up.

  9. Anonymous

    I wish it was that cheap to fill up! Here in the UK gas (petrol) is around £1.06 per liter, which works out about (maybe more than) $8 a gallon! I drive a ford fiesta, a small car by uk standards, a toy car by american standards, and it still costs me nearly $80 to fill the tank!

  10. Anonymous

    ChiacgoITSGal – My 01 TL is supposed to get 21 mpg in the city – it gets 17 in reality and I’m not really a “gunner” – I drive rather consistently in the city. But on the hwy I’ve gotten 32 mpg going to St Louis and North Carolina at 90mph. So there is a wide range of mpg on that vehicle. I’m not displeased with the mileage I get.

  11. Anonymous

    I think the highest has been $55. I have a 16 gallon tank and if it’s running on fumes that is the highest cost yet it took to refill it. I have a 2.0 L Turbo Saab though, and I do get 24ish mpg so I usually only have to fill up twice a month.

    MPG one of the things I am seriously looking at with buying a new (used) car soon. The car I like best (04 Acura TL) uses premium gas and gets 21 Mpg avg. The car I am ok with but not inspired by (06 Honda Accord) gets 25 Mpg and uses cheap gas. Over a year I calculate the difference to be about $400.00.

    Oh, why can’t they make sexy cars efficient?

  12. Anonymous

    I put over $80 in my van last week. I put over $50 in my car this morning.

    But — they are both diesels, and I average 1 fillup each per month. So I don’t typically spend much more than $125/month for fuel.

    The only time that I spend more is when I use my cars extensively for work, and then I get compensated for that.

    The two regular stations that I frequent both have $75 caps per fillup. This irritates me since this number has not gone up since fuel prices have increased so much. It saves me time and fuel to just swipe my (rewards) card again and continue to fill up.

  13. Anonymous

    I paid over $50 for the first time just a few days ago… I bet it will be $75 the next time we fill up my wife’s car (which is bigger)!

  14. Anonymous

    Gas for my own car has not gone over $50, however for my husband’s truck it does.

    He has also found that some gas pumps actually shut off at $50 and you have to do a separate transaction to get a full tank!!!

    Talk about adding insult to injury!

  15. Anonymous

    I bought a bike and since then it has paid for itself.

    And comparing gas to bottled water is foolish, well so it buying bottled water.

  16. Anonymous

    I paid over $60 at my last fill up (Tahoe), but I remind myself that this is much less per gallon than the price I pay for Coca Cola, bottled water, etc. And if I poured those in the gas tank, I certainly wouldn’t go very far!

  17. Anonymous

    We spend about $7000 last year on gas. Doohhhh, it is painful to type that, and we have already spent about $1000 this year on fuel. And my wife and I commute together 90% of the time, and we get 24 mpg in our van. I try to avoid driving my truck as much as possible because we put on about 60 to 70 miles a day in commuting. I complain, but we budget for it every month, we love our quite home in the country.

  18. Anonymous

    since I have two smaller cars, I still don’t pay much over $30, but I was just thinking back to a time when I filled up my gas tank for under $10. It was actually less than 10 years ago…

  19. Anonymous

    KC – You do not have to run premium. Premium is for higher compression engines.

    I bet the owners manual also calls for an oil change every 6,000 miles but I would change it every 3,000.

  20. Anonymous

    I have an Acura TL and it takes premium. Since the owner’s manual calls for premium that’s what I put in – putting in a lesser grade requires it to burn fuel inefficiently and thus more expensively. I put in about $20 everytime I need gas. I dont’ want to put in any more – why fill it up for $50-$60 when it will take me 3 weeks to use it all? The only time I fill up is if I’m headed somewhere that will require a full tank or if I’m leaving the city and gas stations are less frequent.

  21. Anonymous

    It usually takes $30-$37 to fill up our Sentra. We’ve never paid over $37 yet. ugh. That might be coming as gas prices have really jumped here in the past two weeks from around $2.78 to $3.17.

  22. Anonymous

    I once paid over $70 to fill up on gas… but I was also on vacation on St. Thomas at the time… and gas there is more expensive than it is in the continental U.S.

    Half A Soul

  23. Anonymous

    50 Euro. This was in Sicily in 2006. I was there travelling with my cousin and we rented a car. A tiny-tiny car too and with manual transmission, don’t remember the model, but really tiny and very economical; my Honda Civic is huge in comparison. We split the costs, but this was my turn to pay. I was utterly surprised.

    Renting cars in Europe really helps put US gas prices into perspective.

  24. Anonymous

    Well, as gas prices keep on rising, more and more people would be paying higher amounts to fill their tank.
    I once drove for an hour looking for the cheapest gas prices in my city. should I include the 1-2 gallons that I used to find cheap gas in the calculation?

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