I came into the shop last week and saw my long-time client Sheila waiting for her car in our customer service area. It looked like they were changing one of the tires. I wished her good morning and then she went to town. “Have you seen how much gas is now, Jack. I went to the pump a week ago it was $5.00/gallon. While I slept it jumped another 50 cents. And I passed a gas station today and I lost my breath, $6.15 a gallon. I’m telling you Jack it’s crazy. I was speaking to my sister in Georgia, and you know things are always cheaper down there anyway, but when I told her the price I had just paid for gas, she asked, ‘gas is how much?!’ Our most expensive gas prices are about $3.75 and I thought that was expensive. What’s going on in California? I told her that’s exactly what I’d like to know.”
Not only was she frustrated about the tire because she had to get to work, but she wasn’t going to let go of her anger over the gas prices. I could tell she was on a roll.
I have a rule about not speaking to my customers about politics or anything related to it. Everything is so volatile these days. But since Sheila brought it up, I put in my two cents.
“I agree it’s a mess. Between the State of California overtaxing us on gasoline, OPEC limiting the amount of crude oil available, the crisis in Ukraine, we’re in a pickle.”
“Speaking of what’s going on with Russia, why are prices jumping so much? I read the other day we only import 7% of our oil from them. That doesn’t seem like a lot.
“You’re right. It’s not. We get most of our oil, over 50%, from Canada. However, we’ll probably feel a pinch from the newly-imposed Russian oil embargo, not really due to the amount we import but to how the world markets see the situation. What’s really killing us are all the taxes levied on gasoline at the pump by the State of California.
While we were talking, one of our ASE certified technician came by to let Sheila know that her car was ready and they replaced the tired and re-balanced it However, they did suggest she top of the car’s fluids, which were low and suggested she schedule maintenance soon.
Sheila gave him the thumbs up to level off for the guys to top off her car’s fluids and promised she would make an appointment for checkup in the near future.
“I realize that Jack, but don’t we also pay the highest taxes at the pump?’
“I believe, we do. Californians pay $51.1 cents per gallon in excise taxes at the pump. We’ve had incremental increases in gas taxes and vehicle registration since the passage of Senate Bill 1 in April 2017. And once you add in the federal excise gasoline tax you’re paying about 79.6 cents per gallon. This will only worsen when we reach 2045, the date California has set for a ban on drilling.
On the other hand, the money collected goes to maintenance of our roads. It’s a tradeoff. It will hurt us for awhile but just think about what the rest of the world is going through at this moment.
“True. Thanks, Jack. Visiting your shop is like going to see an old friend. A hot cup of coffee, some cookies and an interesting discussion. Take care.
“I enjoyed it. And don’t forget one of the easiest ways to get the most out of your gas mileage is by keeping the pressure constant in your tires.”
To get some useful tips on getting the most out of your gas tank, contact AutoAid. We invite you to visit our 5,000 square-foot facility in Van Nuys either in person or at www.autoaidrescue.com. If you go to our website, you can also make an appointment on our Appointments page, Appointments for AutoAid - Van Nuys, CA | AutoAid (autoaidrescue.com), or call us at 818-305-6632. AutoAid has been a AAA Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award Winner for over 30 years. We services many Domestic, Asian and European vehicles as well as fleet automobiles for small and large companies. Our highly trained staff is here to answer any questions you may have about your vehicle.