Site shows cheapest gas in your route

March 25, 2009 10:43:13 AM PDT
Over the long haul, does it really save money to drive a few miles out of your way for cheaper gas? SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

A Redwood City company is trying to help drivers find the answer through a free new service on their Web site. It's designed to help people save money at the pump even if that means driving a little farther.

"Usually I know the spots where prices are the cheapest," said a driver.

What about those of us who don't?

"It would be nice, especially, to have something like on your GPS or some news where's it's actually showing where the prices are cheaper at a location rather than this," said a driver.

You mean someone to gather the info and send it to you?

"If there's a gas station five minutes out of your way, is it really worth driving to? Sometimes it is," said Peter Pham, Billshrink.

Peter Pham is CEO of -- a Web site some of you may already know for its online comparisons of cell phone service and credit card rates, to help consumers find the lowest rates possible. Now they are turning their attention to helping consumers find the lowest price for gas -- along the routes you drive the most.

"You would tell us your destination, and where you're coming from, the type of car you drive and how you fill up your gas tank," said Pham.

Billshrink plugs that information into its software, and it spits out a Google map of gas stations along your route. Then it tells you which one is the best value -- and that's not necessarily the same thing as having the cheapest price.

'To really understand the true cost to the consumer, you need to figure out what does it cost to get to that gas station," said Pham.

Sometimes driving a couple of miles out of your way is worth it. Sometimes, gas usage and wear and tear on your car make it a bad deal. Once you've signed up, Billshrink can send you weekly e-mail alerts about gas prices and where the best deals are for you. It's a free service, and may end up saving you some money.

"If you have a 45 mile commute on a daily basis and you are driving an hour every day, you're looking at probably saving close to $200 a year," said Pham.

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