Buying Liquid Gold in Mexico
Some Americans are now crossing the Mexican border with empty containers in their trunk. When they return, the jugs are filled with what's becoming a popular purchase from Mexico. No, it's not cerveza or tequila. It's gasoline.
"I go to Wal-Mart and buy 5-gallon jugs," one shopper said. "I also bought some 12 1/2 gallon containers and I try to arrive with an empty tank.”
What would motivate a driver to make a three-hour round trip to put diesel in his Ford F-250? He says he saves hundreds of dollars in the process.
He's only one of hundreds taking advantage of the lower cost of gasoline in Mexico. As of this writing, diesel cost $5.25 per gallon in southern California and $2.14 per gallon in Mexico. That means it costs $183.75 per tank in San Diego and $74.90 in Mexico. “Three tanks per month pays the truck payment.”
Gas is cheaper in Mexico because Pemex, Mexico's government-owned monopoly supplies all gasoline in the country. A $20 billion subsidy, tacked on as an emergency measure last month, helps keep the prices in check.
Should you take advantage of Mexico's lower prices for gasoline? It depends. If you're driving into a smaller city like Palomas, the wait to fill up is minimal. Access across the border and back is also quite easy. If, however, you're crossing from San Diego into Tijuana, you could wait a half hour to get gasoline, and face a return trip of two hours or more, depending in traffic. Idling in traffic can burn up all that “cheap” gasoline.
Buying gasoline in Mexico is a different experience than pulling up to the pumps in the US. Keep in mind that fuel there is sold in liters (3.8 liters equals one gallon). Even though the stations take dollars, the exchange rate is worse than a currency exchange.
Green pumps carry Magna at 87 octane. Red pumps carry Premium at 91 octane.
Also, you don't pump your own gas in Mexico. Someone will do it for you.
As for quality of gasoline in Mexico, it has improved since a scandal a few years ago when Mexico gas station owners adulterating fuel or selling it outside government standards. Look for a holographic seals on pumps at a gas station in Mexico. It's there to assure consumers that they are getting the correct quality and quantity of fuel. But just to be sure about quantity, check that the pump is starting at zero when the attendant begins pumping your gas.
Tags: Some Americans Are Now Cr , The Jugs Are Filled With , It's Not Cerveza Or Tequi , Mexico
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