Gasoline is More Important Than Healthcare for Americans, Choose Free Gas Over Free Cash, New Study Finds

Gasoline is More Important Than Healthcare for Americans, Choose Free Gas Over Free Cash, New Study Finds


BOSTON — Americans collectively spent $388 billion on gasoline in 2018, averaging to 34 million fill-ups a day. GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, today issued the 2019 Consumer Sentiment on Gasoline Study that finds that the necessity, perception, and price of gasoline adversely impacts Americans across all age groups and income brackets, with a staggering 86 percent of Americans depending on gasoline for their everyday lives.

The study found that respondents categorized gasoline as a household expenditure that is more important than other major expenses such as healthcare and savings/emergency funds, only behind groceries, housing/rent, and utilities. When given the choice, respondents would rather receive a free fill-up than find $20 cash on the street or getting their dinner bill paid for.

“Gas prices are extremely volatile and hard to predict, making it difficult to budget for. Yet, it is a major necessity for millions of Americans,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “In 2018 we collectively spent $49 billion more on gasoline than 2017. People, no matter their age, gender or socioeconomic background, are not only frustrated by how much they pay but the options they have in how to pay.”

Additional key findings:

  1. More than half of respondents (57%) believe gas is frustrating to budget for
  2. Nearly two-thirds (65%) say gas prices impact their ability to spend money on other items and services. This impact is especially felt by young people age 18-24 (70%)
  3. Nearly 40 percent of people say that gas prices affect their mood
  4. Half of the respondents say that gas prices help them assess the health of the economy
  5. 63 percent of respondents believe gas prices are too high, even though gas prices are some of the lowest since July 2017

Payment options are limited

According to the study, 25 percent of respondents purchase gasoline four times per month, with an additional 20 percent purchasing gasoline more than five times a month. The leading payment method is with a debit card (44%). Even with the rise of cash-back credit cards, only 38 percent of consumers pay for gasoline with credit, while 14 percent of Americans pay with cash.

“Not everyone qualifies for the types of credit cards that provide rewards on gas,” said DeHaan. “The fact that a majority (58%) of people are still paying with debit cards and cash is a sign there is a need for a payment option that addresses savings and convenience for the greater public.”

GasBuddy’s Pay with GasBuddy card gives drivers a discount on virtually every gallon of gas they will ever pump. The program works at thousands of stations nationwide, and no credit card application is required. GasBuddy’s recently announced ‘Savings’ feature provides drivers opportunities to earn free gas, known as GasBack™, when they shop at GasBuddy retail partners, which can be redeemed with the Pay with GasBuddy card. To learn more about GasBack™, visit

Gasoline is More Important Than Healthcare for Americans


GasBuddy compiled results from a gasoline survey taken by 1016 respondents on January 8, 2019.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $4.5 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017. The company’s business solutions suite, GasBuddy Business Pages, provides Fuel Marketers and Retailers their best opportunity to maintain their station information, manage their brand, and promote to their target consumer audience. For more information, visit

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