Why Vernon has the cheapest gas in the province right now — but probably not for much longer - InfoNews

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Why Vernon has the cheapest gas in the province right now — but probably not for much longer

North Okanagan resident Kent MacFarlane fills up his car, and a jerry can, at 110.9 cents/litre at the SuperSave Gas Station in Vernon April 4, 2018.
April 04, 2018 - 3:00 PM

VERNON - Drivers are taking advantage of an apparent gas war in Vernon that’s driving prices down lower than anywhere else in the province.

According to the online consume reporting tool GasBuddy.com, the ten lowest gas prices in B.C. right now can be found in Vernon at around 110.9 to 112.9 cents per litre. That’s about 20 cents cheaper than Kelowna (or roughly a $10 saving on your average-sized gas tank), and 40 cents cheaper than in Vancouver.

Prices began to plummet earlier this week, and senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy Dan McTeague says it all comes down to a local gas war.

“How it started, I don’t know, but it appears to be a couple players that seem to have been at each other’s throats for some time,” McTeague says. “The best way to settle the dispute is to drive the price below costs. Only in this kind of scenario can the strong survive.”

Gas stations buy fuel for about 122 cents per litre — 120 if they’re lucky — so 110.9 is definitely below cost, McTeague says.

Considering overhead costs for labour and electricity to keep the pumps running, McTeague says gas stations can’t survive long selling gas this low. That means drivers will want to fill up sooner than later or risk missing the boat.

Gas at 110.9 cents/litre in Vernon April 4, 2018.
Gas at 110.9 cents/litre in Vernon April 4, 2018.

“Consider it quite a bargain and a boon for motorists, take advantage of it while you can,” McTeague says.

Fintry resident Kent MacFarlane was one of many stopped at SuperSave Gas in Vernon this afternoon, April 4.

“I thought while I’m here, I gotta fill up my vehicle and my jerry can,” MacFarlane says. “This is quite weird.”

Now, here’s a little blast from the past out of our iNFOnews.ca archives.

It’s not scientific, but our headlines over the past few years show how gas prices have changed in the Interior — and why we maybe shouldn't be quite so giddy about 110.9 cents/litre. Back in 2014, we ran a story called “Low gas prices a present at the pump” — at that time, you could fill up in Kamloops for 96.9 cents a litre and in Vernon for about 106.9 cents a litre. 

In January of 2015, we reported that gas dipped below a dollar in parts of the North Okanagan, including 99.9 cents a litre in Enderby. 

By summer though, the story was “Gas prices going up in the Okanagan”, with drivers paying about 136.9 at the pumps in Vernon. 

In August of 2017, it was still common to find gas at around 109.9 cents a litre in Vernon.

In January 2018, we warned you to fill up ahead of a looming spike in prices due to a rise in the cost of wholesale gas prices bringing the cost per litre to around 126 cents. 

The moral of the story? 110.9 cents a litre might be something to call home about, but it's sure not what it used to be.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
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