Getting Gas In Mexico
The title ‘Getting Gas In Mexico’ may sound like the opening line to a really bad joke about mexican food but it is actually part of a hidden secret for those who live near the US/Mexico border.
In San Diego for example the average cost of a gallon of gas is running around $ 4.61, which is sadly typical for those of us living in the Golden State. But if you drive across the border to Mexico then the cost drops to about $ 2.54 per gallon and it’s even less if you convert over to pesos first.
There are several reasons for cheaper gas in Mexico. They are of course a major oil supplier, so they do have the advantage of resources. In addition, the state owns everything from the oil fields to the refinery, and while state ownership has many flaws it does allow the state to set the price. A 20 billion dollar subsidy is helping to keep the costs down.
Of course like everything that seems to good to be true, there are some catches to this special deal. For one thing, the local gas station is down the street while Mexican gas stations are a 30 minute drive away. Heading home can be an even longer drive due to traffic, often taking 1-2 hours.
As a result, the car may end up burning away all of the savings. According to the linked article, a car can burn a gallon of gas for every hour it idles. So the drive and the idling could burn 2-3 gallons of gas, though even then it is likely you would save some money over the whole tank.
On the other side of the spectrum, it seems some Native American reservations may be profiting from the mess. Since they are exempt from many taxes, it was long possible for reservation gas stations could charge less, but these days those deals appear to have vanished.