Earliest Price of Gasoline You Can Remember

My first memory of the price of gas was sometime in the early 60s when it was 33 cents a gallon outside of Washington DC. Up until the gas crisis in the 70s it stayed very low, relative to inflation maybe not changing much. I can’t really remember what I thought of those prices very early on, I started to drive and pay for gas myself in 1972 and before long it jumped to over $1 a gallon and then it began to seem expensive.

What’s the earliest price of gasoline you remember?

29 cents. My big brother drove 20 miles to fill up because it was cheaper, so I went with him. I think we probably ate at Taco Bell, which was affordable and really out there cuisine. Early 70’s

Not a personal memory, but my mother (born 1917) told me of a memorable, ironic gas station sign when she was young:


*A reference to the still-extant decimal on gas prices.

When I got my first car in the late 1980s, the first price I remember NOTICING was paying $1.09 and thinking “wow, gas is really expensive now” so I must have been aware that gas was cheaper in the past.

I seem to remember it in the mid-30 cent range. There was a TV commercial years ago for Tootsie Rolls that showed them in a machine that counted the number of chews, and it was expected that a proper Tootsie Roll would contain 700. The counter on the chew machine looked like the dials on a gas pump. I remember my mom filling up the car and my brother and I wondering if the gas pump would get to 700 ($7.00). It rarely did, and that was for a '69 Ford station wagon.

And, this being the age where all information is at our fingertips, I may have found the commercial in question.

Under 25c a gallon, in the late 1940s. Varied by state, because of tax. Under 20c in some states. Free maps, oil check, windshield wipe. Pop a nickel a bottle in a box with a block of ice in it. Cigarettes were about the same price, 23c in the 1950s. In fact, there were special packs of cigarettes for vending machines, with two pennies inside the cellophane, as change for a quarter deposited in the slot. After school, I worked in a smoke shop, selling cigarettes – they were 23c a pack, all brands. So were nearly all magazines and paperback novels, a quarter. A few popular weekly magazines were 15c or 20c.

Probably 30ish. This would be around 1970.

Probably 25.9 cents/gal. There was a gas war going on. Dad said he couldn’t use the 25.9 cent stuff because the Cougar (325 hp 390 ci) took premium. He stopped and bought a bit of mid-grade, but it pinged, so he stopped again and filled up with ethyl (remember that term?).

I believe like 79 cents/gal back in the early 90s perhaps? It was on a road trip to visit family in Wyoming. We stopped at a Sinclair’s. I never really paid attention to the price as a kid.

Can’t remember the date, but the lowest price I can recall was 29c.

I remember Dad getting mad when gas jumped to almost 30 (29.9) at his favorite station when other places were 24.9, 26.9… Their gas was better,see? Sometime mid/late 60s

25 cents a gallon andfree presidential collector coins along with a clean windshield and someone pumping the gas for you.

I want to say I paid somewhere around 80 cents/gallon when I first started driving in 1989 in Missouri. Jesus, I’ve been driving for almost 27 years? Where did that time go?

I saw a station near my house selling gas for $1.549 today. I haven’t seen it that low in years.

I think $.49/gal in the 60s, but we lived in Alaska, so everything was more expensive.

I don’t remember gas prices from when I was a kid. I remember sometime between 1998 and 2000 when it was 88 cents a gallon. I was commuting to college so the price was amazing

Sometime in the 60s, about 28.9¢ a gallon.

Denver, CO in 1970. There was a gas war going on. A gallon was 25 cents.

19.9 late 50’s OH

Have no idea why I remember that bit.

I remember around 19 cents a gallon. I was far too young to be buying gas or driving, but I remember seeing the signs from the back seat of the family Impala. This would have been the late sixties, I’m guessing.

I remember 33 cents a gallon back in the 1960s.