Judy Schlafer’s gas station, Schlafer’s Autobody and Repair, is an artifact from a bygone era. If one of the countless road-trippers exploring the North Coast were to get off Highway 1 at the town of Mendocino and pulled into Schlafer’s, there’d be no food or drink in sight. They provide an oil change, new windshield wipers, basic auto repairs— the offerings of an old-fashioned gas station.
At the gas pump though, that road-tripper might be in for a surprise. Yesterday, the price of a regular gallon of gasoline–$8.62–would jettison any hint of nostalgia Schlafer’s might have conjured.
For the second day in a row, Schlafer’s Autobody and Repair has the unique designation as the most expensive gas station in the United State of America. GasBuddy’s Petroleum Analysis Head Patrick De Haan confirmed yesterday after reviewing GasBuddy’s real-time gas price data from around the nation that the Mendocino Coast gas station is the most expensive.
Just to paint a more vivid picture, let’s consider some of the more common vehicles on the road and the cost to fuel them if at Schlafer’s. A 1997 Toyota Corolla would cost $113.78 to fill up from empty. A 2016 Toyota RAV4 SUV would cost $137.05 cents to fill its tank. A 2018 Toyota Tacoma would cost $181.88 to fill.
Schlafer has lived and breathed her gas station since 1968 when she married the shop’s namesake. In 2004, she took on the task of running the station alone and told us she has had nine days off since then.
When we asked her what it was like to have the most expensive gas in America, Schlafer matter of factly said, “I have no choice. I have to do what I’m doing.”
Schlafer went on to explain that her gas station is independently operated rather than a franchise. Her station does not sell food or drinks, often the profit centers of franchised gas stations, Schlafer told us, which requires her to make up the income in her gas prices.
Schlafer criticized the media for framing her attempts to make a profit as anything but good business practices. Referring to her prices, she said “It is what it is, I’ve got to pay for my next load of gas.”
Empathizing with her customers, Schlafer said her pocketbook is also hurting. “Gas prices are blowing my mind. I am buying the fuel, too.”
When asked what she thinks is happening that would cause gasoline prices to skyrocket, she said, “What I think is going on is they are keeping people busy with this. They want to take us over. They want this one world bull****. It’s all a big game.” She also added that she had no idea why “anyone would vote for that Newsom fella.”
Speaking of California State Governor Gavin Newsom, he told Californians in his State of the State speech on Tuesday evening that he would be “submitting a proposal to put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices.” The specifics of the proposal have yet to be announced.
GasBuddy.com‘s De Haan told the SFGATE on Monday that price forecasting indicates Californians should see a slowdown in the gas prices rising this week. As to when a drop in these prices could occur, De Haan says he does not know. He predicted that California’s average gas price, currently $5.67, could be near $6.00 with more and more stations charging $8.00 for a gallon of regular gas.