Competition, location and when you purchase gasoline are all factors in fluctuating prices.
The State Journal visited two Shell stations — one in Frankfort and one in Lawrenceburg — Thursday to compare prices after receiving a question from a reader.
At a Lawrenceburg Shell station, 1002 Crossroad Drive, the cost of regular unleaded gas was $2.58 per gallon. Roughly a dozen miles north on U.S. 127 at a Frankfort Shell station, 101 Limestone St., the cost of regular unleaded gas was $2.69 per gallon — 11 cents per gallon more.
Mina Patel, one of the owners of the Shell station across from the west side McDonald’s, said her station, along with several others nearby, usually prices gasoline at the same amount as Speedway, 1401 U.S. 127 South, to remain competitive.
“We go up or down depending on whether Speedway goes up or down,” she added. “I have customers ask me that all the time.”
The location of the station can also impact the price of gasoline.
According to a recently-released survey by Market Force Information, a retail consulting firm, 73 percent of respondents said gas prices determine whether they stop along the highway or continue to a cheaper location, which is why prices are likely to be higher the closer a station is to a major thoroughfare.
A request for comment sent to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office was not returned by press time Thursday.
According to Gasbuddy.com., the station in Franklin County with the lowest cost per gallon of regular gas is Citgo, 605 Schenkel Lane, at $2.61. Right down the street, the Shell station at 750 Schenkel Lane has the county’s costliest gasoline at $2.89 per gallon.
What you pay at the pump is also determined by what day of the week you are purchasing it.
“Many gas stations raise their prices on Thursday afternoons in anticipation of long weekend road trips,” Marc Diana, CEO of MoneyTips, a financial advice site, said. “(You) can beat the rush and save money by heading out earlier in the week instead.”
Typically, prices tend to trend higher during the peak summer months when there is more tourist traffic. It also doesn’t help that America is a gas-thirsty nation. The U.S. Dept. of Energy reports that Americans consume approximately 178 million gallons of gasoline daily.