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Fewer Canadian gas stations is good news for your wallet

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Have you noticed it’s a bit harder to find a gas station when you’re trying to fill up?

A big drop in the number of gas stations over the last two decades is actually good news for you.

In 1989, there were more than 20,000 gas stations in Canada; today, there are just over 12,000. Michael Ervin with MJ Ervin & Associates says that number will continue to go down.

“When a new gas station gets built… two or three gas stations are closing. The ones being built are very large ones and the ones closing are generally the smaller, less efficient ones that, frankly, just cannot keep up with the competition,” says Ervin.

“That decline has been really pushed by strong competition and pretty low retail markups, in general. So, consumers have benefited over the last 20 years by that competition,” he adds.

A lot of the new gas stations are being built by big box retailers, where you can also get points or rewards for filling up. One example: Costco in Langley recently started selling gas.