For many Americans, gas is a major expense. So knowing how prices will fluctuate — and whether it’s better to fill up today or tomorrow — could make a big difference when every penny matters.
Esurance is now offering that information for anyone with an internet connection. The service is called Fuelcaster — punch in your zip code, and it tells you whether prices will rise or drop in the next 24 hours.
The Fuelcaster’s info comes from “gas stations across the country along with a mix of pricing signals to estimate whether the price of gas will rise or fall tomorrow.”
On Friday, I put in my Brooklyn zip code, and was told it was a good time to gas up: “We predict gas prices will rise tomorrow.” Good to know.
The site also pulled up gas prices at stations in the area, sortable by price or location. It turned out I could find gas for just $US3.18 a gallon — but I’d have to drive 4.9 miles to New Jersey to get it. No one in their right mind would drive from Brooklyn, through Manhattan, into New Jersey to save on gas, so the “cheapest” option would be more helpful if you could constrain the search area to a mile or so, or see all the suggested stations on a map.
Esurance isn’t the first to offer this service (see the Gas Predictor!), and it’s easy to see the Fuelcaster is a promotional tool. But if drivers get good information from it, I don’t think any will care. Maybe some will be so impressed they’ll switch their car insurance over.
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