So we're pleased that Mint has allowed us to use their map of how much their users spend on gasoline--showing which U.S. cities spend the most and the least on gasoline at every fillup.
Their map shows four quadrants, from highest to lowest cost: Guzzlers, Gulpers, Sippers, and Teetotalers.
That last one isn't quite right--a gasoline teetotaler would actually be a battery-electric vehicle that plugs into the grid and uses no gasoline at all--but we'll let it pass.
What's the average amount Mint users spend each month on gasoline? They tell the finance site it's $177, with the average user filling up six times a month.
But it's the details that fascinate. Click on the image below to embiggen it.
Gasoline costs & fill-ups per month reported by Mint.com users, by city, Summer 2011Enlarge Photo
As Mint notes, more suprising is the Number Two most-expensive city: Birmingham, Alabama. It's "not the most Prius-friendly market," and perhaps the Southern growth boom of the last few decades has led to long commutes from inefficient, sprawling suburban development? We don't know.
On the low end, Manhattan residents (not surprisingly) spend the least, just $102 per month, with an average of only two fill-ups a month. Next lowest is Brooklyn, N.Y., followed by residents of Washington, D.C., and then Boston.
All those places have dense urban neighborhoods and comprehensive public transit systems, meaning a car isn't needed to survive.
And that shows up in low gas costs (though we'd love to see total transit costs--the cost of owning a car, filling it up, and transit fares--for a truer comparison of what it costs to move around).