BOSTON – GasBuddy released its first quarterly report examining consumer fuel buying trends, finding that March 2020 fuel demand in gallons purchased dropped 20% compared to March 2019 as millions of Americans followed stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report examines millions of fuel transactions from Pay with GasBuddy, the first-of-its-kind fuel savings program.
Along with the 20% decline in gallons pumped in March year-over-year, additional declines include a 14% drop in fuel transactions and a 28% drop in total payment volume (TPV). These drops come at a time when gasoline has never been more affordable due to a combination of the massive global surplus of crude oil and drop in demand.
“The dramatic shift in fuel buying upends the pattern of rising gas prices and demand ahead of the warmer months. This data reflects the depth of the impact to consumer and commercial activity the world is experiencing,” says Sarah McCrary, chief executive officer at GasBuddy. “We continue to serve the community by providing important information on fuel pricing, availability of household necessities, and opportunities for Americans to save money.
Examining month-over-month transactions, gallons purchased dropped 10% from February through March 2020. This is a reversal of the trend in transactions established in the previous two years. In March 2019, gallons purchased increased 20%, while in March 2018 gallons purchased increased by 25%.
Additionally, a growing number of members have started to take advantage of GasBuddy’s ratings and reviews feature to share vital information on what’s available at convenience stores, and reporting on how various stations are handling the spread of the virus, like the presence of hand sanitizers at the pump.