QCOSTARICA – While one might quickly conclude that well, yeah, like many other products, the brand makes a difference. Gasoline station brands like Uno, Delta, Fill N Go, JSM, Migas and others are easy to find, they are everywhere.
But they all pump the same gas, buying from the only distributor in the country, the State owned Refinadora de Petroleo Costarricense, RECOPE. This means they do not have competition and do not invest in marketing campaigns.
The difference in the brand is the level of service. All gas stations are full service meaning you don’t pump your own gas. At some gasolineras or bombas, the attendant will also wash your windows, and check the air in your tires.
Some gas stations will have add-on services such as bathrooms, a mini-mart for food/snacks, coffee, beer, ice and more.
Choosing where to fill is more about the convenience of location and easy access. We all have our favorite that is either close to home or work, on our daily travels. Gas stations are everywhere and most will pump gas 24 hours.
Back to the quality, you fill your tank with whatever RECOPE has imported and distributed. All gas stations will have the same quality based on the foregoing. The only difference is in the choice of filling up with ‘super’, ‘regular’ or diesel.
Most attendants will reconfirm your choice of fuel to avoid pumping the wrong fuel in your tank, given that the nozzles are all the same, what changes is the color of the handle. A time back many gas stations had their attendants place a sign on your windshield to denote the type of gas being pumped. The cameras would pick this up and settle any disputes later.
While the transaction, filling up and paying for the gas, is pretty standard there are some things to know and to watch out for. For example,
- Make sure you make it clear the type of gas your want and keep an eye on the pump selection.
- Though all gas stations are full service – you can’t pump your own gas, if you ask you get a no, if your try to holster the pump expect a stern look – I always get out of the car, open the gas cap and then replace it after. This is also a good time to walk around the vehicle, paying attention to the tires.
- I seldom hand over my plastic (I rarely pay cash for gas purchases), I walk it over to the island or wait for the attendant to bring over the dataphone. And always check the receipt before driving off.
- Gas prices are the same at ALL gas stations. Currently, a liter of super is ¢958, regular ¢933 and diesel ¢908. But there is big price hike coming our way in the coming days that will most likely set the price for a liter of super to ¢1,062, regular 1,024 and diesel ¢1,012. Click here for all the Q articles on fuel prices.