Pre-Pay for Gassing Up


New Member
Is this a nationwide trend? I have to say that I hate, hate, hate it. It has just started to crop up in our area.

Usually, I just swipe my bank card, gas up and go. But, if I am unfortunate enough to have to use cash (gasp - not cash!!) I have to park, go inside, wait in line to pay and then go back out and pump.

With everything that has been going on with difficult child, I hadn't had a chance to make a deposit this week, so we had little in our account, but have cash. On Wednesday night on my way to see difficult child in psychiatric hospital, I realized I needed gas. I pulled up to the first open pump and went inside. Gave her my $ and she said "pump 3"? I said, yeah, I guess - I didn't know they were numbered. I went back outside only to realize that I was not at pump 3 at all. I wanted $10 - guy at pump 3 wanted $20.

I totally messed up their system. Geesh. I apologized to the others waiting in the line of doom. She had to get her manager from out back to sort it out. It ended up taking me 15 minutes - and several trips back and forth into the store - to finally get my $10.00 worth of gas and be on my way. At one point, the pump decided I had already received my gas, but I hadn't touched the darn thing. Hardly worth the effort.

I know that this policy is in place because at $3.00+ a gallon of gas, folks are gassing up and driving off, but I hate that we all have to pay for that.

Guess I am just venting about a pet peeve here, but wondered if the "Pay Before you Pump" thing is everywhere?


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Fixedsys'> <span style="color: #000099"> no clue if it's still this way but when we lived in jersey you couldn't self~pump. florida has sone it this way for years. you pay first then pump. the number should be clearly visible on the pump or you can point out shich car is yours to the person behind the counter.

it takes a little getting ussed to but you'll get the hang of it.

</span> </span> </span>


New Member
most stations have been this way for at least 3 years here.

One way to "get around" it is to buy a gas card from the station when you do have cash. That works like a credit card at the pump. You can get them in increments of $10, so it's something to keep in your car or wallet in "emergency" situations, too.


Well-Known Member
All the stations here have been this way for a long time. It seems like the higher the price of gas goes, the more people drive off without paying for it!

I don't blame the stations for doing it, but it can be very frustrating. I drive about 70 miles a day just going back and forth to work. Now, if need gas for the next day, I SHOULD put it in on my way home so I don't have to waste time doing it in the morning, but I don't. And I SHOULD fill it up instead of just $10-$15 at a time, but I don't do that either - that total takes my breath away! Dumb, huh! It's not like I'm going to use any more gas that way ... So there I am in the mornings trying to gauge which store will be quicker ... none of them are! I will always end up in line behind several people who obviously have all day to piddle around and no concept of what it means to have to get to work on time! There's little kids who can't decide what kind of candy bar they want and guys who want their sausage and biscuit "custom made", and old guys who just come in to socialize! :mad:

But the absolute worst was the lady with the lottery tickets! :eek: There was a whole line of people behind her, all trying to pay for their purchases and get to work or to school on time... She had a whole handful that she had won very small amounts on and she was cashing all those in ... and using the proceeds to (you guessed it!) buy more lottery tickets! But she didn't understand any of the games and was asking the clerk, "How does this game work?" It was all I could do to keep from grabbing her and forcibly moving her out of the way!


Well-Known Member
I worked at a convenience store/gas station when I was a teenager. It was on the edge of town on a long stretch of desert road. When gas had that big spike about 1980, people began to drive off. That is when the station switched to "pay first". I noticed that started happening everywhere.

I use a credit card, but ALWAYS (Yes, it takes discipline!)pay it off every month. Plus, I get a percentage of cash back on each purchase and it's more if I use it for gas. I have almost hit the limit of $300.00 cash back for this year.

I always fill up. I don't drive a gas guzzler, and yes, it's a shock now at the pump. But, I HATE taking the time to make extra trips. I'm just so grateful that I work less than a mile from home.


Not happening so much here. Some station will require you to prepay after dark, but that's it.


Active Member
Marg's Man here putting my two cents' worth...

Marg said it's coming fast here but that's only in certain areas where the family incomes are lower and drive offs are more likely to happen. It's also required in areas where it's not that safe after dark (some overlap but not totally so with the above).

I don't like it any more than than the rest of you but you can see why with petrol at about A$1.25 per litre in Sydney (that's about A$4.75/US$3.95 per US gallon) - it gets expensive elsewhere.

INHO the price never justifies driving off - if you do we all pay; as we do.

Sad really


Active Member
Yes, we still have gas attendants pump our gas here. Now that we have a Suburban, we have been told, when the gas was over $3.00 a gallon, that if we were paying by credit card, there was a $75.00 limit.

I've driven through many states and have had to pre-pay most of the time.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Prepaying is fast becoming a reality here. I always pay with my debit card so it's not an issue for me.

I do know that as the gas prices have risen there have been many drive offs around here.

It's frustrating & becoming an unfortunate reality.


Well-Known Member
Living in NJ, I've never pumped gas. The stations should hire someone to pump it- it would be cheaper than having the drive-offs. Anyway, what would happen if the driver was handicapped and couldn't get out of the car? How do they get gas? husband and I went to Maine and neither one of us knew HOW to pump gas. We were reading the directions, and finally someone came out to help us. (Meanwhile the people behind us were looking at us like we were crazy). That is one good thing about living in NJ!-Alyssa


New Member
I guess I should have known if it was here now that it began years ago in parts of the country (& world in general). Things take a bit longer to seep into our reality here in extreme northern NY.

Yeah, I 'get' why the gas stations are doing it, but ARGH! Needless to say, I will make every effort to make sure my deposits are made in a timely fashion so that I can swipe my bank card and go, go, go.

The expense of the gas is another topic entirely. husband and I were talking last night - the psychiatric hospital is 45 minutes away and even in my teeny, gas consumption friendly Ford Focus, it burns 1/4 tank each round trip. However, when you figure you are only getting a little more than 3 gallons of gas for $10.00 - which will move my meter up 1/4 tank, I guess it makes sense. Jeesh.

Think I'll get one of those cars that runs on used french fry grease. Then, I'll probably have to wait in line and pre-pay for that, too!


Well-Known Member
One thing to be careful of when swiping that debit card folks...gas stations can put a hold on your bank account for approximately $75 bucks because they dont know in advance how much gas you are going to get. It can take 3 days to clear your account completely so if your balance tends to be on the low side (like mine) that can cause problems.

Now the station I use doesnt do this but I have heard that Hess and some others do so I wont use them. I also just heard about this on the morning show. It must be becoming much more prevalent.

Just another thing to worry about.


Well-Known Member
We have ONE station where the owner/operator will pump gas for
you....and he closes at 6 PM and doesn't work weekends. Our
population is the oldest in the State of Florida (so you can imagine HOW and I can't believe how often I see citizens hobbling out of the car to the pump. It's crazy!

Also....the self pay machines often print receipts even when you
hit the No button. I don't know if those numbers can be accessed
for evil gain or not.

I miss service stations! Whine! DDD