What’s the deal with not being able to pump your own gas in New Jersey!?!
Every time I go up to New Jersey, I always forget the statewide ban on self-service at a gas station. Most people may not even know what I’m talking about when I say “self-service” because it’s just so intuitive to get out of your car and pump your own gas. Intuitive unless you live in Oregon or New Jersey, which are the only two states that require an attendant to pump your own gas.
So, for me and many out-of-state travelers, it seems counter intuitive to have someone pump your gas for you… It wastes your time when you have to wait for an attendant to come by. You have to have unnecessary contact with another human (and we know how inconvenient that can be… haha) And, you can’t keep on pushing the lever on the pump yourself when you want to fill your tank up after the pump clicks off. You want to get to the nearest whole dollar amount!!!
Well, after talking with an attendant in New Jersey about it and reading briefly on the law that was passed in the 1940s, there are a few reasons why the state isn’t budging on their law.
1) Pumping gas is dangerous, and you should leave it to trained attendants to do it.
2) Allowing self-service would mean cutting thousands of jobs across the state, and that’s no bueno.
3) New Jersey people genuinely like having someone fill up their tank for them, and they don’t want that to go.
4) Apparently, the tax on gas in New Jersey is pretty low, and having attendants is a reason why.
For me, I still argue that if the residents of the other 48 states can pump their own gas with pretty few explosions, shouldn’t the people of Oregon and New Jersey be able to do the same? But it’s tradition, and some people don’t like to see something they’ve grown up with for decades go. Understandable.
Now… another question I had… Do you tip the attendant? After reading a few forums and getting people’s thoughts, the answer can vary. If they’re only pumping your gas for you, then they’re not doing much, so probably no tip… If they offer to clean your windshield or have your tire pressure checked, a couple of bucks would be nice. I don’t know how much they get paid, but you giving a dollar or two probably wouldn’t kill you too much. We got gas pumped twice in New Jersey. One guy was kind of nice, so we tipped a buck. The other attendant didn’t say a word, so no tip it was.
So there you have it. A brief little passage and hopefully some incite on why you can’t pump your own gas in the Garden State.
By the way, this picture is from New York. I couldn’t find a relevant picture from my roadtrip folder since I neglected to take a picture of a gas pump…