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Sunday December 17 2017
Head South to Fill up your Tank
Baja Insider - 2008

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While driving through Mexico, there are many people asking about the price of gasoline (gasolina) and or diesel.

The key fact of gasoline in Mexico us that all fuel PEMEX stations are operated and subsidized by the Mexican government. The price of gas is supposed to be the same throughout all of Mexico, but the government has chosen to allow for higher prices in the northern border areas of Mexico because Americans are coming over the border to purchase gasoline and diesel at large discounts relative to the U.S. prices. Even though this is true, there are still saving to be made from crossing the border to fill up your gas tanks.

For those of you who are going to go south of the border to take advantage of the gas savings shown above, here is some advice to consider. The Magna, which is the regular gas, is green (“verde) and the Premium is red (rojo”), and many people just say the color and fill it up (“llenarlo”) please (“por favor”). Currently the U.S. dollar is very close to 10 to 1 so in most cases, the price for a gallon of gas is between $2.85 and $2.59 per gallon and diesel is $2.21 per gallon. Obviously, this is a lot less than in the $ 4.53 average in states bordering with Mexico in the U.S.

The reason for this discount is due to the fact that Mexico has its own oil, and subsidizes it to make it affordable for its nationals to drive. Even though it is not known how long the government will continue this policy, driving in Baja and Mexico is not expensive today.

Finally, if you feel that any gas station (PEMEX) is not giving correct amounts, you may call PROFECO at 01 800 468-8722 toll free to report the station.

PROFECO, the Mexican equivalent of the U.S.’s Department of Consumer Protection, is in charge of weights and measures as well as consumer protection all people whether they are nationals or tourists. The Mexican government encourages people to report problems to PROFECO so that they may be resolves as soon as possible.

Gas saving examples

First, we have to assume that the comparison is just across the border, San Diego to Tijuana. At the time of this article, the average gas price in San Diego was $4.53 per gallon. The current price of regular unleaded in the border areas is, with the exchange rate, about $2.76 per gallon, a savings of $1.77 per gallon.

The standard model car carries about 15 gallons so filling up in Mexico would save you $26.55. Even though this may not seem like much, if you are driving a truck or SUV such as one of those Yukon behemoths, it carries around 26 gallons. Here the savings would be approximately $46, which makes it worth the drive across the border.

If you drive a diesel truck, then it becomes a must to cross the border to purchase diesel. Whereas diesel in San Diego is right about $5 per gallon, in Baja California border areas is a stunning $2.14, or a savings of $2.86 per gallon by buying fuel in Mexico. The standard motor home carries about 75 gallons, and if you own one of these, Mexico is the only place for you to vacation this year. A fill up will save you $132 per tank of gas and about $214 per diesel fill. For the few of you driving a Kenworth T660, a state of the art semi tractor which carries 260 gallons of diesel, the savings on a fill up is $743.

If you live close to the border you should take a day trip to Mexico, discover its treasures, and at the same time, take advantage of the existing gas savings opportunity. There is really a free lunch after all.


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