Gas Buddy

I’ve used the website www.atlantagasprices.com to find out where the cheapest gas is (it is part of a nationwide system called gasbuddy.com). When there were shortages, it was very helpful just to find out where any gas was. It is one of those great internet collaborations where a few people making small contributions of information can create a treasure trove. From time to time I might enter a gas price into their database, but nothing much. However I have a couple of gas stations near me that are never listed in their database and sometimes they have cheaper gas than anywhere I know about. But the only way to add a station to their database is earn a certain number of points. My thinking from reading the complex rules is that would happen if you had 10,000 points. The way you earn points is by entering gas prices, but you only earn 150 points at a time that way. I figured I would never get there. The people that enter prices regularly seem to be the same over and over again and you can tell roughly how many points they have by how their car icon. The red icons mean they have the most points, millions of points. I did find out that you get 150 points for every price you enter (and you could enter 4 prices for one stations: regular, midgrade, premium, and diesel), so if you enter a lot of prices you can earn points a lot faster. It’s still not that easy for me because I only pass one gas station on my way to MARTA (actually two, but the other isn’t in the database!). I also found out that if you answer their weekly poll you get 100 points. So I started doing it.

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After a couple of weeks of entering prices fairly regularly, I’m getting the hang of it. One key is to set up favorite stations because these show up on your home page and are ready to be filled in right away. So I have about six favorites. I also need to write down prices in the car because I quickly forget them (try remembering prices from three different stations, then try doing different grades of gas too). So I’m up to 5,000 points so far, halfway to getting a bronze car icon. The max you can earn is 750 points a day for gas prices, but I’ve only done that twice.

9 thoughts on “Gas Buddy

  1. I got my car icon yesterday! I was able to add a couple of stations I go by frequently that weren’t usually listed. The icon is brown now for reaching 10,000 points. At 35,000 I will get a green car icon. If I can get 750 points 4 times a week, I could get there in 2 months.

  2. Since you posted this, I’ve been wanting to post prices at stations I pass. Any harm in me (us) using your login? I don’t care about getting credit… just want to improve the information.

  3. I got my green car icon today! That was pretty quick. The next milestone is the dark blue car at 100,000 points. It will probably take me six months or more to get to that point, if I don’t lose interest.

  4. Today I got my dark blue car icon for getting to 100,000 points. Getting about 4,000 points per week, I should get the purple car (200,000 points) in about six months. My current rank is 20,164, so there are a lot of people with more points than me (this is for the whole country, not just Atlanta). One guy who posts regularly in the Decatur area has 1.6 million points. He has a red pickup truck icon and has been entering prices for almost 5 years (his rank is 725). So, no, I’m not the biggest geek in the world by any means.

  5. My car icon got streaks! If you report prices or do other things that generate points (post in the forums or read news articles) for 90 consecutive days, you get these streaks added to make your car look like it is moving. I had not even noticed the streaks on people’s cars at first. So I had never worried about missing a day. But I was at about 30 days when I found out. It wasn’t easy checking in every day and part of the time I was in Texas (got points from my Palm one day by sniffing out a wi-fi hotspot at Sears) and on vacation (where we had internet).

  6. Today I got my purple car icon for earning 200,000 points. The next level is the light blue car at 350,000 points. By my calculations I can get there by May 26, 2010 at the current rate. My current rank is 14,129.

  7. Today I got my light blue car for 350,000 points. I’ve got the streaks back now, but I lost them since the last update (I forgot to enter any prices that day until just before midnight and then missed entering a price by seconds) and got up to 80 days before I missed a day again (you need 90 days straight). Now I’m up to over 143 days straight so the streaks are back.

    It took a little longer to get to this point than I predicted because the gas station I pass every day changed from Citgo to Chevron and the new sign only shows regular and diesel prices whereas the old sign showed four prices (which could each be entered for 150 points). I used to ignore the Shell station next to it since it is always the same price, but before I was entering 4 prices a day and now I’m only able to do 3 if I do both stations.

    I should get the next car at 500,000 points. My overall rank is 10,902. I’m thinking I can get to 500,000 points by April 1 next year.

  8. Today I got up to 500,000 point, earning my gray car icon. It took a little longer than I predicted last June. From here on out each icon change takes 250,000 points so I probably won’t get another change until June 2012. I lost my streaks for 90 consecutive days of entries, but I’m up to 60 days again, so maybe I’ll get it back soon. My overall rank is 9,445. Now that gas prices are high again, a lot more people are entering prices.

  9. I got the orange car today. I realized it takes me right at 3 months to get 50,000 points. So I should be able to get to 1 million in 15 months, or October 7, 2013. My current rank is 8,087. I lost my racing stripes a few weeks ago, but should get them back eventually.

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