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Gas in Mexico #2—In the Car

Gas in Mexico #2—In the Car

We really fill up our car

We really fill up our car

Choices, choices.  It’s between Pemex and staying home.

July 27, 2007

Mexico is one of the world’s largest producers of gas, with huge reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, and elsewhere.

So why is driving your car so expensive?

I was traveling with a friend recently and she said “I notice that there are no prices listed at the gas station.  Why’s that?”

Well, for the simple fact that you pay whatever price they ask.  There is no competition among Mexican gas stations.  No shopping around.  As a matter of fact, if you need gas you can choose between Pemex Verde (regular) or Pemex Rojo (hi-test), but it is going to be Pemex, no matter what.

Omar was amazed that in the states there may be four gas stations at a four corners, each advertising gas at a different price.  Here in Mexico we have Shell and Mobil and the others, but they only sell oil and filters.  Gas is a monopoly, and Pemex holds it.

Truth be told, I don’t know what gas costs per liter (there are about 4 liters in a gallon).  [See note below!]  I’m sure it is equal to or a little more than in the states.  Omar uses about ¾ tank of gas a week in our little Chevy—he drives a lot—and to fill it back up costs us about $22.

Gas stations are full service—folks pump, wash your windshield, and will check air and oil if you want them to.  We always tip them as generously as we can—we know some gas station attendants and they only make about $4.50 in a 10 hour day.

No one complains much about gas—it’s one of those “ni modo” things.  You can’t do anything about it, so why get worked up?  It would be nice to get some competition going, though.  The phone company (TelMex, inevitably) also used to be a monopoly, with insanely high prices ($4 a minute to call the states) and terrible service.  Getting a phone hooked up could cost $700 and take three years.  Now that competition is allowed, our phone in the new house was hooked up in 3 days, for $35.  We still were paying $1 a minute to call Ma in NY, so when the cable company came through we switched to them.  Now we pay $8.50 a month basic service (first 100 calls free), and 20 cents a minute to the states.

Competition sure has made life more comfortable.

Dan and Omar

Note:  We just filled up, and I asked the gal for the price per liter of regular gas (“verde”).  It is $6.90 pesos/liter, or about 63 cents.   There are 3.8 liters in a US gallon, so a gallon of gas costs $2.39.  I guess we should stop complaining.

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.