MEXICO: how to buy gas without getting cheated (updated 13June 2011)

Gas is sold by the liter–about 3.8=1 gallon.

Most places, you never get cheated. But in Quintana Roo (CANCUN), Mexico, I’ve experienced a couple of attempts. I’ve written to the Quintana Roo State Tourism office, to no avail–perhaps they did hear me, because I bought gas on May 28 and there were two guys, one checking the amount, the other making sure I saw the $00.00 on the pump!! However, two friends had the same trick pulled on them at the first gas station coming into Tulum from Cancun: they got only about a quarter of a tank for $200 pesos (the tank fills with $200 on that little ATOS car), and then were told that they had NO oil and that it cost $150 peso per liter (really $50). Shame on you Quintana Roo.  [COMMENTS SEND TO SECTUR and Quintana Roo Secretaria de Turismo]

In many places in Mexico, you can now use VISA cards to charge gas.

1. pull in, unlock your gas tank, tell them what you want (you want the low octane, unless you’re driving a luxe car). It never hurts to say, (in English or Spanish): buenos dias/ noches.

2. get out, stand in front of your car, and check the $00.00 on the gas pump. This is where they screw you over. Once they told me, after charging me $200 pesos, that I’d asked for 20 liters.

3. get a receipt. Take a photo. Go to the office, if you have a problem.

4. I’ve only had this problem in Matehuala, SLP (once 30 years ago) and between Cancun and Akumal, QR. (twice in 2010).

5. the rest of the time, the gas pumpers are great. If they wash your windows, tip them $5 pesos. I often tip the pumper $5-10 pesos or so–and ask for a receipt. It never hurts to say, (in English or Spanish): ‘gracias.’

Tweet or write to #Turismo Quintana Roo: Centro de Convenciones Anexo A, Boulevard Bahía esq. Ignacio Comonfort Col. 5 de Abril C.P. 77018


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s