Study reveals evening as most common time to purchase gasoline

(September 19, 2021) GasBuddy has released findings of a new study revealing the most popular times of day drivers in each state fill up. The study analyzed Pay with GasBuddy fuel purchasing data to determine the most frequent time drivers in all 50 U.S. states bought fuel — late afternoon and early evening



People in 24 states, including California, Florida and Louisiana, most frequently purchase gasoline between 5-6 p.m. Another 23 states, like Alabama, Arizona and Oregon purchased fuel most frequently between 4-5 p.m., according to the data. Across the U.S., Friday is the most popular day to fill up, with 15.9 percent of weekly sales.

While the majority of states fill up in the evening, West Virginians prefer to fill their tanks mid-morning, purchasing the most fuel between 10-11 a.m. 8.3 percent of West Virginian fuel sales happen between 10-11 a.m., more than any other hour of the day. According to Pay with GasBuddy data, 28 percent of West Virginians buy fuel before noon.

Another outlier from the after-work standard — drivers in Virginia purchase the most gas during the 3 p.m. hour, while 32 percent of Virginians purchase gas between noon and 3 p.m., with 8.6 percent of fuel sales occurring between 3-4 p.m. The hours of 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. were close behind, with 8.38 and 8.58 percent of sales, respectively.

Motorists in Montana purchased the most gas during the noon hour in 2021. However, in 2020 the most frequent fill up time in Montana was 3-4 p.m., and it was 5-6 p.m. in 2019. Could lifestyle changes from the pandemic have created a lasting trend? According to Pay with GasBuddy data, 31.7 percent of people in Montana now fill up their tanks between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“In order to save the most money on fuel, drivers should pay attention to the time of day and day of the week they fill up,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “By avoiding peak fill up times, Americans could save millions of dollars — not to mention avoid waiting in dreaded gas station lines.”

Data is representative of trends from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021.