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Gas Prices- It Depends Where You Live

It may be just a coincidence, but doesn't it seem suspicious to you that gas prices in Port are higher than many other areas? Is it just market conditions, or something else?

I've always known and recognized that gas prices in New York were considerably higher than in most of the surrounding area. I always remember gas prices in New Jersey being somewhat less expensive than elsewhere in the region, but always explained it away by the fact that the taxes in New Jersey are lower, and recently, the difference in the way New Jersey calculates tax (flat amount per gallon rather than a percentage) has been a significant factor. Of course, all of these factors combined never seemed to add up to the often approximately 40 cents per gallon differential, but since I wasn't going to drive to New Jersey just to buy cheaper gas, I didn't give it much thought.

But, why is the gas sold in Port Washington often much more expensive than much of the surrounding area? Why do the Shell stations on Shore Road charge more than the one on Port Washington Blvd? How does the BP station on Port Blvd charge the same amount for cash and credit sales, yet is consistently amongst the least expensive stations in Port? Why are the stations in Great Neck, with higher rents and overhead, almost always less expensive than ours in Port Washington?

This disparity really struck me a couple of days ago when I came back from Lindenhurst, and paid $3.93 per gallon at a name brand station, when the lowest price in Port Washington, on that same date, was nearly 20 cents higher. As I drove from the South Shore to the North Shore and East to West, along Rt. 25A, I observed gas prices continuously edging upward. Stations in different communities, often only a few blocks away, were charging as much as 20 cents per gallon more than others.

Sure, there are ways to explain away some of this difference. I have heard such explanations as cost of doing business, cost of trucking it in, dealer incentives, competition, etc. Yet, doesn't this sound somewhat "fishy" to you? Why are the stations in Port almost invariably the first to raise prices, and the last to lower them?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George Mulligan May 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I was also thinking that some stations in Port might use the cheaper gas price to attract customers for other services. You mentioned the Shell station on Port Blvd versus the ones on Shore Road. I think that station on Port Blvd closed a few years ago. It was a Getty and reopened under new ownership as a Shell station. If they can build a customer base selling gas that could increase their repair business. So gas to them may be a loss leader. Same with BP who also has a mini mart and a repair facility. They probably make more on coffee than gas.
Derp May 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
It's all about the stop and shop points, baby
Phil Kirk May 05, 2012 at 10:52 AM
I write a blog and newsletter each week ( carried on the Glen Cove Patch ) that updates area prices. If you would like to be included email me at SaleawayNS@gmail.com. Prices do vary all over. As for tolls. See this link. https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1hlwUNKD3w-kiXF4aemY4J1h85zotqEmy1SFxYkwJ_kI One can get a good reduction in tolls if they have three or more in the car. Phil Kirk
Lee Kalinsky May 09, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Just my survey from a few days ago, I filled up in NJ for $3.63, Along the LIE there were stations in queens for $3.95 and Shell on PW Blvd was 4.09 while Shore Rd was $4.19, that's all very drastic differences and just makes no sense. As RS said its all about Stop and Shop points
George Mulligan May 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Gas prices in Port Washington over this weekend were below $4.00 per gallon at some stations. I took a ride up to New Milford Ct. and all along route 7 gas prices were 4.05 or more per gallon. I found that surprising since Ct used to be a bit lower than Port. So I don't think it's shenigans in our town, it's just what the market factors dictate.

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