Why This Ky. Gas Station Charges 70 Cents More Per Gallon


ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. — Kentucky residents are feeling the crisis in Ukraine as gasoline prices continue to rise. As of March 11, 2022, the average gas price in Kentucky was $4.05, according to AAA.

What do you want to know

  • Pruitt’s Automotive in St. Matthews, Ky. offers self-service and full service when pumping gas
  • Full service comes with an extra 70 cents per gallon at Pruitt’s for the extra level of customer service
  • Full-service was phased out decades ago in favor of self-serve, except in Oregon and New Jersey
  • Pruitt’s Automotive owner says customers still want full service, but he notices drivers aren’t filling their tanks as much

Despite rising gas prices, one Louisville-area company, Pruitt’s Automotive, which offers full service at the pump, continues to see a steady stream of customers. However, the amount of gas people are buying is down, the owner told Spectrum News 1 Kentucky.

Stopping by Pruitt’s Automotive in St. Matthews can feel like stepping back in time. That’s because Pruitt’s offers full service, where attendants pump out your gas and provide basic service, like checking your tire pressure and looking under the hood. However, this extra service comes at a price.

“We charge a little more for gas, but we have a lot of people taking advantage of that,” owner Rocky Pruitt told Spectrum News 1.

At Pruitt’s, they add 70 cents a gallon to normal self-serve gas prices, to cover the extra level of customer service. On March 10, 2022, when Spectrum News 1 visited Pruitt’s, self-serve was $4.29 per gallon for regular gas up to $4.99 for Supreme. Compared to the average gas prices in Louisville, as listed by AAA on the same date, self-serve still costs about 6 to 18 cents more per gallon.

Despite rising gas prices, on top of gas prices already above Pruitt’s average, Pruitt told Spectrum News 1 his customer base is about the same. However, the amount of gasoline people buy has changed.

“Every time gas prices go up, like they have, people back off and let their tanks go as low as they can before they have to buy, in the hopes that it will go down. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to go down anytime soon,” he said.

Despite the upward trend in gasoline prices around the world, Pruitt said he’s not worried about his business. The reason is that he remembers a worse time in the industry, when he worked as a teenager at the gas station during the second oil crisis of 1979, because of the Iranian revolution.

“We had gas lines two or three blocks away, literally,” Pruitt said.

Currently. Pruitt said he had 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of gas underground and was not worried about his next delivery.

“At the time, they would tell you that you couldn’t buy that many a month, and once it was gone, it was gone, and you couldn’t have it until the next month,” he said. -he declares. “So I don’t think we’re in that much pain, as long as we can get some product.”

However, the price of gas, he added, everyone will have to see how that plays out.

Pruitt’s Automotive also has an auto repair shop, in addition to the gas station, as another source of income. Being so surrounded by cars, Pruitt knows a thing or two about getting the most gas mileage out of the road, which can help save gas money.

Pruitt said efficient gas mileage is tied to basic maintenance:

  • Check and make sure your tire pressure is correct
  • Change your vehicle’s oil when it’s supposed to be changed and use the correct oil viscosity
  • Also monitor your vehicle’s fluid levels

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