What is the cheapest day of the week to refuel?

The day of the week affects how much you pay at the pump. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Gas prices across the country remain high (and are by getting higher, looks like). Saving money at the pump does not just mean knowing where to fill – it also helps to know when to fill up.

In general, gas prices tend to be lowest at the beginning of the week, Monday and Tuesday, said GasBuddy’s leading oil analyst Patrick De Haan. As the week goes on, gas prices tend to rise until they reach their most expensive point on the weekends – especially Friday and Saturday.

What drives this trend?

“If I were to venture a guess, the energy markets are closed on weekends, but they are open Monday through Friday,” De Haan said. “By the time the weekend rolls around, (gas stations) might pass all the hikes that happened earlier in the week.”

There is also a central government report that comes out every Wednesday, De Haan said, which could affect the wholesale price of oil.

Basically, if gas stations see the price of oil rise during the week, they pass on the cost to the customers so that they do not lose money.

“They’re also less likely to lower prices at the beginning of the weekend because a lot of people fill up on the weekends, so there’s less of an incentive,” De Haan said.

Gas is not always the cheapest on Mondays, De Haan emphasized. There are variations from place to place and it depends on what is happening in the oil markets at any given time. The broad trend was identified in a recent GasBuddy study.

The average gas station will change prices a few times a week, De Haan said, but there are volatile times when a station can change prices several times a day. If they see their competitors’ prices rising, gas stations are more likely to do the same.

“One tip is to always shop around. Prices can vary significantly from block to block, ”said De Haan. “You can save $ 100 or even $ 200 to $ 300 during the year if you pay attention.”

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