Quality matters: Americans' perspectives on fueling choices and trusted sources
July 13th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Quality matters: Americans' perspectives on fueling choices and trusted sources

Nearly a quarter of Americans who own cars (23%) indicate that their perception of the quality of the gas on offer can play a role in the gas station they choose to go to, according to data from YouGov Profiles.

In this piece we look to see how often Americans switch gas stations because of quality concerns and which sources they consider most reliable for gas quality information.

Recent data from a YouGov survey shows that nearly two-fifths of all Americans say they have occasionally switched gas stations over quality concerns (38%). Polling data shows that there are barely any differences in behavior between consumers in different regions of the US. Around two in five occasionally switch, with the same proportion never doing so.

Fewer than one in ten consumers in every region say they frequently change gas stations for quality concerns, with West (9%) and Northeast America (8%) registering the highest figure.

What do Americans consider reliable sources for information about good quality gas?

Nearly two-fifths of all Americans say they rely on recommendations from friends or family about gas quality information (39%). Consumers in the South are particularly likely to rely on word-of-mouth information (46%), while consumers based in the Northeast align with the national average (39%). But despite these differences, consumer behavior remains fairly consistent between regions.

Over a quarter of all consumers (27%) trust information given by consumer advocacy organizations.

Americans in most regions are likelier to rely on information on social media forums than manufacturer or oil company websites – Northeast (16% vs 8%), Midwest (15% vs 14%), South (17% vs 14%). Consumers living on the West Coast are the only exceptions with an equal share of around one in eight saying they rely on information on social media forums and company websites (13%).

Among consumers who switch gas stations frequently or occasionally because of quality concerns, nearly two in ten would be willing to pay a premium no matter the cost for gas from a brand/gas station with a reputation for high gas quality (18%). A majority, around three-fifths, would pay a premium only if the price difference is reasonable (60%). However, 16% of consumers who switch wouldn’t consider paying more for better quality gas.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on June 23-26, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,205 adults in the United States (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region and race to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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