Gas Price Insanity

August 3rd, 2006 by Potato

I heard on the news that gas prices were going up significantly in advance of the long weekend, to the $1.15/L range. I already filled up earlier in the week at $1.05 expecting some such foolishness, but was quite surprised this evening when I drove by a gas station at $1.12, then the next one at $0.977 (with a fairly busy lot), then further down the road, 2 stations across the street from each other at $0.944 — the cars waiting in line backed out onto the road and nearly stopping traffic at that intersection. I just don’t understand some of this gas price behaviour — if the price really is going up, then how can the stations afford to drop it like that? If they have that kind of leeway in their margins, then are they screwing us the rest of the time? It reminds me of some of the other patterns in gas pricing. When I first moved to London, there was a very reliable pattern where the gas prices would go up on the weekend, and for most of the week would be higher in Toronto than in London. However, Monday nights they would reliably drop in London, dipping a bit below what Toronto was charging on the weekend. About two years ago the situation got a fair bit more complex, and I haven’t seen as much of a “weekend effect” in London, though there does still seem to be one in Toronto. Then there are particular stations: the one at Don Mills and Finch tends to lower its prices by 3-5 cents/L on Friday and Saturday nights after midnight (and it’s strange to see the streets virtually empty, but cars waiting 4 deep out onto the road for cheap gas). This latest nonsense with prices about 10 cents/L lower than par, I just don’t get… sometimes I think the station owners just get a kick out of motorists going crazy in line.

Also, this afternoon I was talking about the dipping sauces pretty much every pizza place sells nowadays, and pointed out that it can’t be too long before they start selling them in the grocery stores. In fact, many places (such as Easttown and Pizza Hut) just use prepackaged Hellman’s sauces, so I was surprised that they weren’t already available for individuals. And sure enough, tonight at Sobeys I saw featured in their deli section a 3-pack of Pizza Pizza dipping sauce; very serendipitous. What I found odd was that they were actually charging more for them than Pizza Pizza was ($3.85 for 3; I know the prices have gone up recently, but I do believe they’re still less than a dollar at Pizza Pizza).

3 Responses to “Gas Price Insanity”

  1. Ben Says:

    While it’s still fairly unpredictable here in Toronto I have noticed a pattern where the price seems to dip between about 9pm-12am weeknights. But after 12am it generally returns to a price even higher than it was before it went down at 9pm.

    Last night on my way home I noticed it was $1.12, I hadn’t even considered the upcoming long weekend, but it all makes sense now, those greedy pigf*cking bastards!!!

  2. Rez Says:

    Ride a motorcycle. My bike uses 4 to 6L/100km, depending on the mix of city or highway riding I do. With efficiency like that a few cents’ increase in gas prices won’t affect you much (though I’m sure we’ll all still complain). :)

  3. Potato Says:

    I’m at turns angry like everyone else, and at turns happy with the increases in gas prices. We really do need to cut down our usage and get more economical cars out there, as well as come to terms with the fact that it does/will cost more than we’re paying for it now… My car isn’t too much more fuel hungry than your bike (usually about 10 L/100 km in the city, and the trek to London and back usually runs at around 9 L/100 km).

    But I’m completely baffled by the weird pricing behaviour at the pumps…