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Pumping Your Own Gas
You'll usually see a sign near the pumps that will tell you what to do first... something like "Pay inside first, them pump" or "prepay before you pump". Some pumps have selection buttons "pay inside", "credit card". If you're still uncertain, just choose a line with someone already ahead of you and watch what they do. ;o)
Funny, how it seems us NJ natives are used to being "spoon fed", now you have to cross the street and use a fork and spoon yourself, pumping your own gas. Not hard really, and most of the time I prefer to pump it myself. If you have a debit or credit card, most pumps take that and print you a receipt when done. One recomendation is to stand to the side, in case some gas sloshes out, you won't have that gas smell on your clothing or shoes.
I'm from Jersey but live in Pennsylvania now. When I first moved here, I was pissed that I had to pump my own gas and still pay the same price I would have paid for someone to pump it for me in Jersey. Now, I prefer to pump my own gas it is much quicker to do it myself.
When I go back to Jersey and need gas, it takes forever because there's only one kid running around from pump to pump. I would rather pump my own gas any day.
New Jersey is good insomuch as they pump the gas for you, but as someone said, you often have to wait forever as the guy is running from pump to pump to pump. I can do it faster myself.
Some were concerned about leaving kids in the car while you run in and pay for your gas. Legitimate concern, but...
Very few people DON'T have credit cards or debit cards in this day and age. Nearly every self-service station everywhere accepts nearly every credit card. In other states, you may find a gas station that has a full-service island, but then again, be prepared to pay 15-20c or more per gallon.
It's easy. Pull up to the pump. Make sure your gas tank is on the correct side. Get out of the car. Slide the card in the pump, choose the grade. Fill up. Hang up the hose. Receipt? Yes. Take slip. Get in car, buckle up, drive off, get back on 95.
There is practically NO WAY you can travel (or SHOULD travel) in this day and age without a credit card.
Generally - if I'm driving to FL on a vacation, I carry no more than a couple hundred dollars' cash at a time. If even that much.
Gas is all credit card, all the way. I would rather stop, pay at the pump, and move on. Even if I am going to get some refreshment or use the rest room, I do the gas on the card and pull over after pumping.
Motel? I'm one of those who believes in advance reservations so you NEED the credit card to guarantee that.
Food/restaurants? I pay cash. Gas and lodging, those costs are largely fixed on a vacation, but I use cash to control my other spending.
1. Look at the pump you are at, its usually indicated by a NUMBER
2. The gas station knows how much you owe but normally they know what pump your coming from, especially if your the only one getting gas.
3. Pumping gas and paying for it is not rocket science but then again, i explain the whole idea to some people in NJ (especially at college) and they think its harder than doing calculus.
Well, I'm back from Florida and I must say that it's so easy to pump my own gas. Can't believe I was so worried. As to the comment about being spoon fed, I wouldn't say New Jerseyians are spoon fed, it's the state that doesn't allow us to pump gas. I didn't see any savings whatsoever in self service gas stations. As a matter of fact, the cheapest gas I got during my entire trip was at a station right here in my home town. I really think "you're saving at self service gas stations" is nothing but a fraud. You're not saving any money. I didn't even see gas stations that offer full and self service to compare the difference. It was all self service right south after that one full service station in Delaware. Anyway, I'm home safe and sound now and planning my next cross country trip. This time to Las Vegas. Cheers.
Another NJ person here. The first time I drove down to Florida, and I had to pump my own gas, I rather liked it! I'm not an impatient person, but sometimes sitting at a gas station waiting for the attendant gets frustrating. Like others have said, I could have pumped and paid before the attendant arrives sometimes. I do look forward to pumping my own gas though.