Wanna Save on Gas?

June 16, 2008
Pemex Station

Pemex Station

If you go into sticker shock every time you fill up, you're probably looking for ways to save on gasoline. Drivers down on the country's southern border, especially in Texas and California, have found just such an option: head to the U.S./Mexican border crossing, the AP reports, and you'll find plenty of motorists taking a jaunt into Mexico to take advantage of that country's cheap fuel.

Currently, a gallon of no-lead is going for around $4.60 in San Diego, the wire service notes, while it's just $2.54, in U.S. funds, over in Tijuana, and even less if you have pesos. Driving a big Ford Expedition? The difference can add up to more than $50 a tank.

"I used to buy exclusively in the U.S. before gas started really going up," the AP quoted Patrick Garcia, a drama teacher at an elementary school in San Diego who lives in Tijuana. "Since then, I've been buying all my gas in Tijuana."

The deals get even better if you're driving a diesel. While Americans are paying substantially more for the high-mileage fuel - $5.00 and up around San Diego - it's discounted South of the Border, to just $2.20. So, on some large, diesel-powered pickups and SUVs, the savings could approach $100.

There is a price to be paid for getting some of Mexico's government-subsidized fuel, however. Getting across the border into Mexico is usually an easy process, but coming back can leave you waiting in line at Customs for up to two hours. And considering the fuel a car burns, as much as a gallon an hour while idling, the savings can go away in a hurry.

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