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Buying Gas in Mexico

Tips for Driving in Mexico


Pemex Station

A Pemex Station

If you'll be driving on your trip to Mexico, at some point you will need to buy gas. Not to worry, it is very straightforward. Since petrol is nationalized in Mexico, there is only one company that is authorized to sell gas, Pemex. This is a state-owned company, and all Pemex stations across Mexico sell gas at the same price.

Also see: Mexico Driving Distances Calculator

Buying Gas at Pemex

Pemex stations are all full service, so you will not pump your own gas. Pemex stations sell three different types of gas: Magna (regular unleaded), Premium (high octane unleaded), and diesel. Let the attendant know how much you want and which type. Usually gas station attendants are tipped only if they perform some extra service like washing the windshield or checking your tires.

Gasoline is measured in litres, not in gallons in Mexico, so when figuring out how much you're paying for gas, remember that one gallon is equal to 3.785 liters.

Payment at gas stations is usually in cash, but some stations do accept credit cards and debit cards. You may have to get out of your car to go to the machine and type in your PIN number. The attendant will let you know if that is the case.

Useful Phrases at the Gas Station

  • "Lleno de Premium, por favor" (yeh-no deh preh-mee-oom por fah-vor) Fill 'er up with Premium, please.
  • "Cien pesos de Magna, por favor." (see-ehn peh-sohs deh mag-na por fah-vor) One hundred pesos of Magna, please.
  • "¿Puede lavar el parabrisas, por favor?" (poo-eday lah-var el para-bree-sas, por fah-vor) Would you please wash the windshield?

Avoid Being Cheated

When the gas station attendant begins to pump your gas, check to make sure the counter on the pump starts at 0.00. It happens rarely, but some attendants may (purposefully or not) neglect to reset the counter before pumping, making you pay for more gas than you actually receive.

Also read: What is a tope?

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