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FAQ, Trivia and Information on Life in America: Ask-A-Desi

This section will attempt to address some of the Frequently Asked Questions on Life in the US, Canada and North America that immigrants, visitors and others from different cultures attempt to address. If you have any additional inputs or wish  to see more topics addressed, mail us at

DOE's Gas Price Watch Hotline - The Department of Energy is very concerned about the impact of gasoline prices on American families. While we are working to address longer term supply issues, we're also working to make sure American families are being treated fairly. If you believe there may be price-gouging, or price-fixing, please contact your local authorities and fill out the form below..

Gas Prices: Any Sense in 0.9 Cent?

Why does the price of gas end in nine-tenth (9/10) of a cent? 

(E.g.: Unleaded regular gas at a Shell station here in Westmont, IL in February 2002 was 1 dollar and 14.9 cents.) Is it the same theory like Bata chappals priced at Rs.69.95 back home in India? Not really!

Prices at a Gas Station


The use of fractional prices goes back to at least seventy or eighty years back. In 1914, a Texaco service station's gas price was 14.5 cent per gallon. But 9/10 cent fraction pricing came during the 'great depression' of 1930s. The great depression decimated the demand for gasoline. More than 2.6 million cars and trucks were taken off the road, and the consumption of gasoline was down a billion gallons per year in both 1932 and 1933. Gas stations fought to service. Production at the time was running far above demand and the market quickly went into a serious oversupply situation. It was at that time that premiums such as candy, cigarettes, ashtrays, dolls and countless other giveaway items made their appearance at service stations. In such a competitive climate the gasoline marketers of the day were attracted to the concept of fractional pricing. Incidentally mechanical gasoline pumps with provision to set fractional price made their appearance at service stations around same time.

When prices zoomed at the gas pumps during the oil crisis of the 1970s and federal price and supply controls were imposed, individual stations lost the autonomy to set prices. The government issued mandated formulas for pricing, which resulted in unusual fractional amounts. Most motorists were accustomed to the price ending in 9/10th of cent, but reacted negatively to other arbitrary fractions. So, 9/10-cent price convention continued.

True, One of the smart marketing/selling/advertising techniques is "show pleasing thing in big display and pricking info in small print"!!

[Information courtesy: C.F.Helvie, former Customer Relations Manager - Mobil Oil Corporation]

How Gas Prices Work 

Gasoline is the bloodline that keeps America moving. Our personal vehicles alone guzzle 65 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each year, and that number is projected to increase by 2.6 percent each year.

Tracking gas prices can feel like a roller coaster ride. They're down a little one month, up the next, before shooting up more than 50 percent in a year. Plus, they're different depending on where you look. Other countries, and even other states and cities, can have very different gas prices from your local Gas-N-Go. To the average person, it probably seems as though there's little rhyme or reason to how gas prices are determined. In this article, we will look at the forces that impact the price of gas at the pump, and we'll find out where your gas money actually goes. - Read More

Other Links of interest:

  • - Find Low Gas Prices in the USA and Canada. Gasoline prices change frequently and may vary by as much as 20 percent within only a few blocks it is important to be able locate the service station with the lowest priced fuel. GasBuddy web sites allow motorists to share information about low priced fuel with others as well as target the lowest priced stations to save money when filling up at the pumps! The website can help you find cheap gas prices in your city. It is a network of more than 173+ gas price information web sites that helps you find low gasoline prices. All web sites are operated by GasBuddy and has the most comprehensive listings of gas prices anywhere.
  • Gas Prices: Gasoline price information for all states and selected US Cities. These links will help you find the lowest price gasoline in your town.
  • Gas Prices - View gas prices in your area to find the cheapest fuel from MSN Autos.
  • Gas prices around the world: Think you pay a lot for gas? Perhaps you'd prefer to live in Venezuela. Gasoline prices in the United States, which have recently hit record highs, are actually much lower than in many countries. Drivers in some European cities, like Amsterdam and Oslo, are paying nearly 3 times more than those in the U.S.
  • What does gasoline cost in other countries? - Answer Desk - With gasoline prices rising relentlessly here in the U.S., Joseph in California is wondering whether drivers in other countries are feeling the same pain at the pump that he is. It turns out American drivers aren't seeing the worst of it. But they're also not enjoying the kind of energy bargains available in some parts of the world.
  • Gas Price Watch - Tracks gasoline prices at local stations from reports provided by consumers.




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Trivia and Questions for Indians and Immigrants in America

General Trivia : Introduction //Dollars and Cents // Social Security Number // About Mail and USPS // Story of The Old Glory // Green Card– Why Not Green? // Telephone Area Codes // Convex Mirrors and Caution // Bankruptcy and Chapter 11 // Radio and TV Broadcasting // Consumerism: Trivia on Wal-Mart. // Retail Trivia // Gas Prices– What's 0.9 Cent? // Roads and Interstate Highways // Road Driving Trivia // Finance 101 // Daylight Saving Time // Trivia on Etiquette

FAQ Disclaimer: All information provided in these FAQ’s is deemed to be accurate by the author.  Due care has been exercised to ensure the veracity of this information and guidelines. However, there may be error (s) and omission (s) and all information is subject to change., and its affiliates do not assume any liability for the information provided herein. The reader is strongly recommended to confirm this information from official sources.

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