GasBuddy study finds rebound in third quarter gas station visits

(October 15, 2020) BOSTON — Travel and navigation app GasBuddy has released its latest report on consumer ratings and foot traffic at gas stations in the United States analyzing more than 9 million consumer visits and 1 million ratings and reviews in the GasBuddy consumer app between July and September and found that gas station visits increased in the third quarter.

The third quarter brought warm weather, recommended outdoor gatherings, and a strong preference for car travel over air travel that prompted summer road travel despite COVID concerns. In Q3, station visits surpassed pre-COVID levels, averaging 17% higher than GasBuddy’s footfall index.

“Our data is showing signs of rebound when it comes to gas station visits,” said Bart Kloosterboer, vice president of strategy for GasBuddy, “People are starting to get more familiar and comfortable with their new norm, and are using their cars as ‘personal protective equipment.’ We saw a spike over the summer months, and as of Sept. 19, station visits are back in line with the first quarter before the coronavirus lockdowns.”

The report also reveals that station cleanliness drives visits. During Q3 2020, stations with above-average cleanliness ratings drove 21% more visits than their below-average competitors, up 5 percentage points compared to Q2.

Buc-ee’s (30 - 49 locations) received the top score for cleanliness. Brands that performed well in their respective segments include Iowa-based Fry’s (50 - 249 locations), Costco (250 - 999 locations), Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores (1,000 - 3,999 locations) and California-based Chevron (4,000+ locations).