How does Gasbuddy manage to do this? By relying on a network of 750,000 volunteer “price spotters“. These price-savvy commuters keep an eye out for any changes to prices and send them to the site. Prices are posted on a daily basis and removed within 24-96 hours to ensure the price shown are as current as possible. All prices are listed complete with the address of the gas station and the time it was posted.
The site also offers handy tools for its cost-conscious users. A Trip Cost Calculator helps those planning a road trip determine how much they will have to shell out for gas while they travel. It also helps them find the cheapest places to fill up on their trek. A gas price heat map provides a cross-country look at gas prices. Starting with a bird’s eye view of the USA and Canada, states and province are colour-coded depending on how expensive gas is within a specific area. Users can zoom in and the map changes, with smaller areas within the state or province (such as counties) coded depending on the price there. The color scale ranges for a cool green to a flaming red. Users can zoom in further to inspect prices around a town or city.
The site also provides historical information, tracking the rise and fall of prices going back one month to six years. Users can customize the charts, comparing up to three criteria over a period of time. You can even select a option to show the price of crude oil, comparing gas prices to the price of crude at any given time. Prices can be toggled between US dollars per gallon or Canadian cents per litre.
Those who join gasbuddy.com can earn points they in turn use to enter weekly contests held on the web site. Usually the prizes are pre-paid gas cards, but the site has also given out other prizes, including electric scooters and bikes.