• Nov 30, 2010
Ding! There goes the charming little reminder that your car is getting low on fuel, as most new cars come straight from the factory with an audible reminder that it's time to fill up. No big deal, right? Just takes a quick second to remember which side the filler is on, then you get out, unscrew the cap and insert the nozzle. Fill 'er up... couldn't be easier.

Unless you live in New Jersey or Oregon, notes The Wall Street Journal, where it's still illegal to pump your own gas. According to Bikram Gill, a businessman who bought up 26 gas stations in New Jersey, "Any idiot can do it." We know for a fact that there are idiots in all 50 states, and in 48 of them, those idiots are free to handle the somewhat volatile fuel themselves. In 1951, though, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided it was too dangerous to allow just anyone to pump gas, suggesting that the process of refueling is best left to the professionals.

Predictably, there have been attempts to change the law. In 1988, a judge issued a ruling that it was unconstitutional to disallow Americans the right to pump their own gas, but it was later overturned by a court of appeals. And again in 2006, governor John Corzine attempted to put self-service stations along the Turnpike, but the voting public said 'No Thanks.'

And so it remains illegal to pump your own gas in Jersey. Of course, the next time it's raining or snowing or sleeting and you need to fill up, something tells us you'll understand...

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: /\ \/\/ /\ C.C. 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 119 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      To everyone saying "If you smell like gas you're doing it wrong":

      Have you ever thought that maybe the person before did it wrong? Or since these are Gas stations, they don't Clorox wipe the pumps?

      Anyway, I've live in NJ all my life and I've never wasted time at the pump. It's never these horror stories as you guys would like to believe. I almost never wait more than 20-30 seconds at the pump until I hand the guy my card. He swipes it and gives it back to me, and I go inside to grab a drink or snack. Come back and the car is fueled or almost done. No scratches or anything.

      QuickChek for the win.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed 1000%, I wasted more time watching the Cards & 49ers in last Monday night's football game than I wasted in 30 of full-serve delays at the gas station.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You do not have to tip the gas attendant.
      This law is just stupid, stupid, stupid. I live in NY and work in NJ, and though gas is cheaper in NJ, the amount of time wasted at the pump in NJ is astonishing!
      I can fill my tank in NY in under 5 minutes. I'm lucky if the attendent in NJ will even get to the car in 5 minutes to ask what I want. Then, the pump will fill the tank, and I'll wait, and wait, and wait until the attendant comes and closes the deal. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
      This treatment and waste of time is probably at about 95% of NJ gas stations. The WSJ article depicts some sort of Mayberrry scenario about "people want to talk". No they don't. They want gas and then they want to go.
      Sometimes I'll pay the NY gas premium just so I can get in and out faster.
      This is New Jersey - it's corrupt. Someone is lining their pockets because of this. It's no different that the bottle deposit tax in NY. - People just blindly deal with it - never wanting to rock the boat.
      New Jersey needs to repeal this old stupid archaic law and allow self-service NOW!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If idiots weren't allowed to do dangerous things, 1/2 of the population shouldn't be allowed to drive. Or have children.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So annoying. I usually jump out of my car and yell, "DON'T TOUCH MY CAR!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's so totally Communist era. Huge lines on the turnpike gas station. Finally figure out why. The guy pumping gas has 6 pumps he is responsible for. But does he hustle? No silly. Why would he hustle. He justs sits there doing 1 pump at a time with something like a dozen cars waiting.

      Who's the chump? Yeah all of us sitting and waiting in our cars because the "professionals" are pumping the gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I run away from full serve stations .... why would I want to wait while the guy comes out, then goes in to run my credit card, then comes out for me to sign it ... or give me change if I paid cash!

      Full-Serve and pay at the pump ftw!
        • 4 Years Ago
        All of the stations I visit in Essex , Morris or Union county are pay at the pump, I just have the PRIVILEGE of having an attendant. 99% of all residents are freakin' happy with it as is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        oops,

        Self Serve and pay at the pump ftw!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't mind at all. I don't have to get out of my car, I don't have to worry about my hands smelling like gas, and best of all, it's always cheaper to fill up in NJ. I don't see what all the fuss is.

      For the last 8 years, I have only driven vehicles that require 93 octane, and only once has a gas station attendant in NJ screwed up and tried to put in 87 octane. It's about 20-30 cents a gallon cheaper for me to fill up in NJ than it is for me to fill up in either NY or PA. Guess what, just about every fill up I have had in the last 8 years has been done in NJ, the other times in PA, and maybe 5 times max (in the last 8 years) have I ever purchased fuel in NY.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do I tip the guy that fills the tank? That's always bothered me when I pass through New Jersey. I feel like I'm expected to, yet I know I was forced to let him pump the gas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Women would never allow the laws in Oregon and New Jersey to fall. Most of the women I know HATE pumping gas..and if they are in relationships..they make the men do it. This isn't the only oddity regarding New Jersey. You can't make a left turn there either!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sean

        "Women would never allow the laws in Oregon and New Jersey to fall. Most of the women I know HATE pumping gas..and if they are in relationships..they make the men do it. This isn't the only oddity regarding New Jersey. You can't make a left turn there either!!"

        Having grown up in Oregon, I really did appreciate the laid back one on one conversations we had with the Mini-serve employees. They made us feel like royalty, no kidding! And it was good for business too.

        As for the no left turn policy in Jersey, well, maybe that's why NASCAR detests the state so much. ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup, I only tip when they wash the windshields. Otherwise, no tip for doing their job.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You only tip if he washes your windshield, which they sometimes do. Otherwise, yeah don't tip. They'll look at you funny. (happened to me, haha)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @NeutralDrop

        Fortunately, I don't do the fancy coffee thing. I see what you're saying, though. It's nervy of them to suggest their "work" deserves a tip.
        • 4 Years Ago
        no one tips. maybe if they clean your windshield, but even then, they do not expect a tip.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No tip for sure, but I've actually had attendants ask me for a tip when close to Pennsylvania "Because it's cold out". Meanwhile I was standing out in the cold with him because I had to show him how to get gas in my tank without it clicking off a million times. Professional = 0 Moron = 2
        • 4 Years Ago
        Could you imagine how much money theyd make if they got tips? At just $1 a tank theyd be making hundreds a day just in tips, not counting the % tippers, a gas pumper at the corner of a busy intersection would be one of the most lucrative jobs in the city. Tipping for a required service should never be acceptable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What happens when you need gas at 2am....?
        CheckTheseOut
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's like asking if you should tip the "Coffee Professional" at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks after you slap down big bucks for a stupid cup of coffee!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Jamie re: NASCAR
        Other left ;-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Been to Or at a busy station mid-afternoon, it takes forever to get your tank filled. Costco must be tons of fun unless of course they have 15 guys pumping gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thanks, but leave us in NJ alone. Many of us DO not want to pump our own gas. Why do we need to get out of the car in bad weather to pump gas and smell like gas while we we will end up paying the same amount per fill up?

      There is no way we will see a saving as the station owners will just pocket the saving on the jobs they can eliminate! Speaking of jobs, why would we want to eliminate these jobs in this economic conditions?

      Perfectly happy the way it is thank you! I might mention is NJ has lower gas prices that many other states including NY, PA and Conn. In a state that has some of the highest taxes in the nation this is one of the ONLY high points!
      • 4 Years Ago
      And yet it's still 30-40¢/gal cheaper to buy gas in Jersey than in NY. D'oh!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here along the *actual* Jersey shore, we don't trust bennies/tourists to pump their own gas. They clearly can't be bothered to give us any sort of decent reputation...
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