Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina is identified with gas prices that are just a shade beneath the U.S. Department of Energy statistics. Currently, the Energy Information Administration is calculating average U.S. retail gasoline prices at $2.691, along with a Lower Atlantic figure of $2.636.
Cheaper gas prices prevail in the South due to the region’s proximity to Big Oil Gulf Coast infrastructure, minimal population densities, and accommodative tax policy in regards to energy consumption.
North Carolina’s variable gasoline taxes are adjusted two times per year, according to the prevailing rates of wholesale fuel. On June 8, 2009, state lawmakers at Raleigh voted to set a gas tax floor at 29.9 cents per gallon into 2011.
Although Tar Heels remain outraged, these measures remain quite favorable compared to the State of California, which slaps motorists with State sales taxes of 7.25% and an additional 18-cent per gallon State excise tax.
Per Raleigh – Durham standards, Chapel Hill, with its beautiful University of North Carolina campus, wealthy subdivisions, and suburban sprawl features some of the highest gasoline prices within the Triangle. At the local level, higher costs at the pump are typically a function of congestion, convenience, and prime real estate.
This basic guide will simplify the process of buying cheap gas for Raleigh-Durham, specifically Chapel Hill motorists. We will begin by identifying the one general area where one should avoid buying gas at Chapel Hill.
Where NOT to Buy Gas in Chapel Hill: U.S. 15 – 501
U.S. 15-501 is the main link between Durham and Chapel Hill. Although the manicured route is marked as a bypass, circumnavigating UNC campus and downtown Chapel Hill, 15-501 has emerged as a congested choke point of Southern style sprawl. The divided, 4-lane highway is a madhouse from NC-54 into South Durham.
Motorists are attracted to the connection per access to I-40, Wal-Mart, Bojangles, Best Buy, and University Mall. Of course, drivers will pay up for said convenience.
Tar Heels must not buy gas at the confluence of Estes Drive, 15-501, and E. Franklin, unless they are running on fumes. This maddening bottleneck is a death trap for the most expensive gas in South Durham – Chapel Hill. For example, the Exxon service station at 1710 E. Franklin is ringing up regular gas for $2.74, while the 1500 E. Franklin BP is moving gasoline at $2.75.
Kangaroo Express and the Highway 54 Exxon are the best alternatives for buying gas at the 15-501 corridor. The Kangaroo Express at E. Franklin and Estes is selling cheap gas at $2.65 and the Highway 54 Exxon, just east of 15-501 at 1010 Raleigh Road currently posts $2.69.
Kangaroo filling stations peddle the cheapest gas in Raleigh-Durham and 15-501 at the 54 Bypass / South Road exits is more so residential and a less congested stretch of highway. Patronize the Glenwood Exxon or Kangaroo Express at Estes to avoid being gouged at the pump.
Where to Buy Cheap Gas in Chapel Hill: South Durham
The best places to buy cheap gas in Chapel Hill are dotted amidst the back roads between South Durham and Orange County. Garrett Road, Old Chapel Hill Road, Highway 54 east of I-40, and NC 751 – Hope Valley Road are all forested enclaves, away from the heavily trafficked 15-501 and 40.
The Exxon at the intersection of Old Chapel Hill and Garrett Road is underselling the competition at $2.63; and the 106 E. Hwy 54 Exxon at Fayetteville Road also matches this $2.63 rate. Two NC 751 BPs at Hope Valley and Southpoint Mall both offer relatively cheap gasoline at $2.64.
Chapel Hill drivers will access these areas by traveling east at Mt. Moriah or Garrett Road off 15-501, or taking Highway 54 past the first I-40 exits outside of Chapel Hill. Although these back routes are one-lane roads, Old Chapel Hill Road and NC-54 are often free of traffic congestion and represent speedier options than the mid-day crawl at 40 and U.S. 15-501, respectively.
Smart Chapel Hill drivers will buy cheap gas in South Durham.
Where to Buy Cheap Gas in Chapel Hill, NC, Sources:
The Town of Chapel Hill, http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/
Durham and Chapel Hill Gas Prices, http://www.durhamgasprices.com/Chapel_Hill/index.aspx
Visit Raleigh, http://www.visitraleigh.com/