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California Drivers Discover Easy Hack For Cheaper Gas: Head For The Border

Mexican gas prices are as much as $2 cheaper than California prices.

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Image: Guillermo Arias (Getty Images)

Yesterday was my last full day with the Aston Martin Vantage. Filling up, I threw in 13 gallons of gas for the hearty sum of $79.54 — that’s with premium at $5.99 a gallon. It stung just a bit. Yet, not all California drivers are willing to take the hit to their wallets. Some are literally leaving the country for cheaper gas, as the L.A. Times reports some California drivers are heading to Tijuana to fill up on Mexico’s much-cheaper gas.

Regular gas is selling for an average of $3.96 a gallon in Tijuana, something one San Diego area driver couldn’t pass up. “I swear, I’ve been coming once a week,” she told the Times.


So, how are gas prices so much lower in Mexico? In a market that relied too heavily on Russian oil imports, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration has provided subsidies to oil companies to keep prices under control.

The state should not neglect its social responsibility, and the state is here to protect people. It’s not about leaving everything up to the market.


While California drivers who live near the border can get in on the low prices, all of this is really benefitting Mexican citizens and garnering support for the President, who has a recall election coming in April.

But not everyone is on board with the subsidies. One Mexican congressman, Luis Cházaro, thinks there are better ways to use taxpayer money. He thinks that people will come to depend too much on the subsides if and when the Russian invasion of Ukraine ends.

There are better places to spend or invest” the money that the government is losing by trying to keep prices down. When this ends, people are still going to be expecting the subsidy. I don’t think it’s viable to maintain.

An expert at a Washington think tank thinks the subsides benefit the middle class more than they do lower-income, poorer people who don’t have vehicles.

However this all ends, everyone from local Uber drivers to commuters, to Mexican citizens can consider themselves lucky they have such easy access to low gas prices.