Sign of the Times: Drivers Flock to Mexico for Cheaper Gas

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David McNew / Getty Images

Cars wait to cross into the US from Mexico at the San Ysidro, Calif. border crossing

Braving extensive wait times and potential violence, Americans are casting aside all fear for the black gold on the other side.

At a time when filling up your gas tank in the States feels like highway robbery, Americans located near the southern border are risking the real thing to head to Mexico for a cheaper fill-up.

Gas prices are averaging $3.82 a gallon, according to Sunday’s AAA Fuel Gauge Report. But Reuters reports that a regular tank of gas in Mexico is 34.4 pesos per gallon, a price equivalent to $2.94. But is the roughly 90-cent difference worth the hassle?

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Residents of Eagle Pass, Tex., just across the border from the northeastern Mexican town of Piedras Negras, are finding the deep discount worth the lengthy wait times at the crossing. The California border crossing at San Ysidro, a major thoroughfare between San Diego and Tijuana, is also seeing sharp increases in wait times due to the cheaper gas on the other side.

Mexico can offer gas at slashed prices because their state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos subsidizes the cost.  And bringing gas back into the U.S. isn’t illegal and isn’t subject to duty taxes because drivers don’t have to declare the contents of their gas tanks.

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Though given the long wait time at the U.S. border, aren’t drivers just burning up the gas anyway? And if time is indeed money, NewsFeed thinks we’ll opt for a more convenient option.