Pumping gas in New Jersey

Why is it illegal to pump my own gas in New Jersey? Is this only on the turnpike, or is it through the entire state?

(My kids were very confused yesterday. “Abba, why is that man putting gas in the van? Abba, why don’t you pump the gas? Abba, why does the man want to look at our oil? Abba, why is he washing our window?” And the most important question - “Abba, why don’t you wash the windows when you get gas?” :slight_smile:

New Jersey is one of only two states (Oregon’s the other one, IIRC) that do not have self-serve stations at all.

This means that when you pull up to a pump in NJ, make sure your tank is on the same side as the pump, roll down your window, and wait. An attendant will come by, ask you whatcha need, and then set the pump. :slight_smile:

Then when he comes back, you pay him. And then go.


Oh, forgot to mention that this is true throughout the state, not just the turnpike and other toll roads. Every gas station in the state.

The legislature in New Jersey and Oregon have deemed it to dangerous for you to pump your own gas. What? You haven’t read about all the gas station explosions in the other 48 states?


Is that what they say? I always thought it was some kind of “it’s cheaper for the consumer” malarkey.

Are we sure it isn’t some kind of mob-controlled union thing in Joisey?

Ok, so I wondered the same thing as Knighted Vorpal. I was driving up to NYC and had to stop for gas in NJ. I drove around the gas station for like 45 seconds trying to find the self-serve pump. Because where I come from, full service means higher gas prices and you’re supposed to tip.

The gas prices seemed reasonable, but what about tipping? Does anyone do it? Does everyone do it? I paid with a credit card and there was no space for a tip, but do people give cash tips? Do the attendants think you’re a jerk if you don’t tip? Do they think you’re a moron if you do?

grrrrrrrr. This is my only pet peeve about going to visit my mom in Hoboken. I always feel as though I have to tip the attendent. So, of course, I tip the attendant.

Yes, that extra two-fifty chaps my hide, dammit!

Yes, Oregon’s the other one. Same deal. Doesn’t stop some stations from having “mini serve” islands where they just pump the gas, so they can charge extra for “full service”, where they do the other stuff.

We’ve been over this a couple times - the popular view is that it was enacted to protect jobs, though the text of the law might concern itself with safety issue. Note that the link to the text of the Oregon law doesn’t seem to work here:


Huh? TIP the gas station jockey? I guess people don’t remember when full service gas stations were more common (they seem to be an extinct species in CA). I don’t recall tipping gas station attendents as a normal thing. Full service USED to be the norm. The Oregon (and presumably NJ) law dates from the time when self service pumps started cropping up.

I lived in NJ for 30 years. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever did I tip anyone for pumping my gas. Not once, never thought of it, never dreamed of it, never fantasized of it.

I’ve tipped a gas attendant maybe 4 or 5 times since I started driving (at 17) and that was only when I got gas in the middle of severe snow because I felt bad, having him get out of the warm booth and waiting for the gas to pump.

What dantheman said. Except for the 30 years part. The township where I grew up also didn’t allow self-serve. Nobody tipped there, either.

I can’t think of any way that having everything full-serve would drive down prices for the consumer rather than raise prices, but the general reason gas is cheap in NJ is because there are 2 or 3 refining plants in the state, so they don’t have the delivery fees everyone else does.

There are a few self service pumps in New Jersey, especially for Diesel.

I’ve stopped many a time in NJ for gas, and I’ve never tipped the gas jockey. I never tipped the guy here in Baltimore when I used to get full-service.


Ditto, except it’s been 40 years for me.

Note: I am on record in several other SD threads as being against tipping in general, so I should point out that it’s not just me. I never even heard of the idea of tipping at a gas station until I came to this thread.

Yabob, San Francisco CA has mandated all-full-serve gas stations. The reason is that it supposedly provides jobs. But it makes their gas prices outrageous. Most of the places in NJ, OTOH, are pretty cheap (compared to NY or MD).

Depends on where exactly you are in NJ. Proximity to oil refineries is a must for the cheapest gas; the most expensive will be (as anywhere) those stations that are all by themselves, in the middle of nowhere with no one to compete against.

The cheapest station is usually those newish Wawa convenience store/gas station combos, tho. :slight_smile: