Self-Serve Gas in New Jersey: Would It Work?


New Jersey is the only state in the country that does not offer any kind of self-service at the pump. As far back as we can remember, New Jersey has always had full service when filling your tank.

With discussions again about the introduction of self-service, this raises a simple question. Would that work?

To be clear, there are many in this state who will flatly refuse this. They won’t care about the benefits and make excuses why it should never happen here.

So the best way to approach the question of whether it would work would be to look at the typical New Jersey person. Now, before we dive into why I think most New Zealanders are reluctant to have it, let’s look at some of the benefits of self-serve petrol.

Photo Dennis Malloy

Photo Dennis Malloy

1) Price

With fewer people at the pumps, it makes sense for the price to drop. Not to mention that we are going through a labor shortage right now. So not only would this benefit the station itself, but it would ensure that more pumps would be open for you to refuel.

2) Convenience

For some, this would be a more convenient option. Plus, those out of state would be finished in no time. After all, 49 of our neighbors figured out how to do it themselves.

Man on the street using his smartwatch app. Urban background. Close-up hands


3 times

Just as those out of state would be done faster, so could we. Without waiting for an attendant, you fill your tank with what you need and you’re on your way.

These are just a few of the benefits of self-service. Now, here are some of the common excuses that might come from those who refuse to have it in New Jersey.

Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

1) It takes too long

No, this is not the case. Indeed, waiting for the attendant often takes longer. And if you’re done refueling, you might have to wait until the attendant is done helping others before they answer you.

Kutay Tanir, Getty Images

Kutay Tanir, Getty Images

2) Smell the gas

Well, it’s very likely if you somehow put the nozzle in your pocket and start pumping. If you put the nozzle in your car, you won’t smell gasoline.



3) It’s complicated

Again, this is not the case. You put your credit card in the machine, select what you want and start filling up. Or pay inside. It’s not that hard.

The three different gasoline prices at the gas station


Alright, so we’ve gone over some of the benefits of self-service, along with some of the common excuses for why we shouldn’t have it in New Jersey.

So what are my thoughts on the real reason some New Jersians don’t want to have this? I really believe it has to do with confidence.

We are afraid of change

New Jersey people are creatures of habit and routine. So whenever the thought of our routine being interrupted pops up, we don’t take it too well.

And I really think it’s less to lose the convenience of having someone pump it for us, than I do it with us being afraid to try it. That’s why I think New Jersey should try it at the pump. We have to face our fears and do it.

New law to affect the price of gasoline

Getty Images

Make it a mix of self-service and full-service

Let us be the only state in the nation with a choice. Keep the law requiring full service, but reduce it.

And we can even go further. Why not allow full-service attendants to provide training for those in New Jersey who want to learn how to pump their own gasoline? It would really help us stand out in a positive way at the pumps.

Gas prices continue to rise, over the past two weeks

Hummer (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

So now that we’ve gone through many storylines, as well as my thoughts on it, what do you think? Take the survey below and let us know.

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