I spent 68 hours at gas stations throughout the month of July. This experience gave me plenty of time to make observations about what I have deemed the “Gas Station Etiquette” of a majority of the people I observed. Some of these observations were frustrating, some amusing. I decided that I needed to blog about these things because it is apparent that some people were never taught how to behave properly while visiting a gas station.
These are all things that I observed multiple times. And yes, this is intended to be humorous. 🙂
1. When arriving at a gas station and pulling up to a pump, slow down. Be aware that there are other cars and people around you.
2. When you pull up to a pump, park 1-3 feet from the pump, not 5-6. You block traffic and the hose isn’t always long enough to reach your vehicle when you’re too far away.
3. Turn off your engine. It’s the law. And it’s a law for a reason. I don’t care if it’s hot outside. You’ll survive when you get back into your car.
4. Never leave your vehicle while gas is being dispensed. Just because you really need Starbucks doesn’t mean you should walk across the street while pumping. This is inconsiderate and dangerous in so many ways.
5. Do NOT smoke near the pumps, or anywhere near the fueling area really.
True story: At one station in particular, I was standing 5 feet away from two men who were standing right next to the pump smoking while they pumped gas. Even worse, they LIT their cigarettes while pumping. Shall we go back to basic science? Gasoline and its vapors are flammable. I backed away quickly to reduce any damage that might occur should an explosion have taken place.
6. You must always pay before pumping. Don’t be surprised or feel inconvenienced. It’s been this way for a LONG time.
7. If a receipt prints, either take it and keep it or throw it away. Do not leave the receipt hanging from the pump and don’t stuff it into the plastic brochure holders attached to the pumps. Those are not trash cans.
8. The fueling area is NOT a parking lot. If you need to go into the store, drive to one of the conveniently located and clearly marked parking spots near the entrance.
9. Just because it is convenient for you to park right in front of the store entrance or in the middle of the parking lot (where there are no parking spots) doesn’t mean that it’s convenient for everyone else. There are painted lines for a reason.
10. When you go into the store, turn off your car. There is no need to leave it running, unlocked, unless you really want to get rid of your car. Do not leave it idling for ten minutes or more (I saw this SO many times). It wastes expensive gasoline.
I’m sure there are more things that I could share, so I’ll update as I remember more. All in all, I observed a complete lack of consideration for others during my time. What happened to putting others before yourself?
What is your biggest “gas station etiquette” pet peeve?
2 thoughts on “Gas Station Etiquette 101”
If you don’t pay at the pump, position your car so attendant can see your license plate. They cannot authorize pump if they cant see plate.
If there are only one or two pumps that also offer diesel, and your car uses gasoline, try not to use those ones unless all the gasoline-only ones are in use.