'In & Out' Trumps Gas Brand, Food for Fillup Decision

YP app survey findings also include summer travel trend forecast

ATLANTA -- When Americans need to fill their gas tanks during road trips, they are likely to choose stations where they can get in and out quickly, and they are less concerned with the brand of gasoline or food and beverage options, according to research by YP, a local search, media and advertising company. The research is based on consumer survey findings and analysis of searches via the YP Local Search & Gas Prices app.

"Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer travel season, and for many of us, smartphones will be one of our most useful travel companions," said Darren Clark , CTO, YP. "According to YP's survey, most people will consult two or more sources for recommendations while they are on the road, and we expect more travelers than ever this summer will be using apps like the YP app to guide them along the way--from finding the cheapest gas nearby to restaurants serving a local favorite."

YP's research also found that Americans view oil companies and the U.S. government as having the most influence on gasoline prices; Boston and Austin lead other U.S. cities in preparing for Memorial Day road trips; and mobile searches for gasoline prices peak in August, suggesting more Americans are taking road trips later in the summer.

When choosing a station during trips, easy entry and exit trump brand of fuel and amenities

Besides price, being able to conveniently get in and out of a station matters most in determining where road trippers purchase gasoline (39%). Factors less often cited in the consumer survey as most important include the food and beverage options available at a station (21%), the brand of gasoline sold (19%) and the appearance of the station itself (13%).

Boston saw the largest increase in gasoline price searches between the week of Memorial Day 2012 and the preceding two weeks than any other city (54%), followed by Seattle (13%), Atlanta (11%) and Chicago (10%), according to data from mobile searches on the YP app. During that same period, many Americans looked to get their cars ready to hit the road, and Austin, Texas, led the cities seeing the highest increases in searches for auto repair businesses (243%), followed by Atlanta (153%), Cincinnati (122%), Sacramento, Calif. (78%) and Colorado Springs, Colo. (70%).

The highest number of YP app searches for nearby gasoline prices during summer 2012 took place in August (22%), and the top five days seeing the highest volume of gasoline price searches all came in August and September, suggesting that more Americans are taking road trips in the second half of the summer closer to back-to-school season. August was followed by July (21%), then June and September (both 20%), and May (17%) in volume of gasoline price searches.

August 28, 2012, marked the single highest daily volume of gasoline price searches during the summer. To date in 2013, more searches for gasoline prices occur on Friday than any other day of the week, and Sunday sees the lowest number of searches. The survey found most Americans (61%) purchase fuel when their gas gauge approaches the quarter of a tank mark, and one out of every five Americans typically do not fill up until the "low fuel" indicator light comes on.

Americans see oil companies and U.S. government as heaviest influencers of gasoline prices

Petroleum companies are viewed by the largest number of Americans (30%) as holding the strings when it comes to gasoline prices, followed closely by the U.S. government (28%). Few Americans (7%) believe consumers have the most influence, and only 2% believe consumer demand in other countries has the most influence.

YP produced the data from the YP Local Search & Gas Prices app and a May 2013 omnibus national survey of 1,000 men and women ages 18 and older.

YP's flagship consumer brands include the YP.com site, a top 40 U.S. Web domain, the highly rated YP app and the YP Real Yellow Pages directory, the largest Yellow Pages directory in the world by revenue.