Why are gas prices higher in Jefferson City than in Columbia?

Updated: June 16 at 3:20 p.m.

We followed up on Wednesday's Facebook story to find out why there is a difference in gas prices from Jefferson City to Columbia.

We talked to the executive director of MPCA to find out why.

He told us it's because Jefferson City's market area is different from Columbia's market area.

He said that each gas station owner sets their own gas prices.

But before they do that a lot things play a role in what the price will be set at, like where your station is located, what market it's in, what's near it, and what the competitor's price is.

"Consumers should not expect the pump price to be the exact same from market area to market area. They should expect it to be comparable within a couple of percentage points, MPCA Executive Directo Ron Leone said. But don't expect it to be the exact same because if you do you're always going to be disappointed. There are always those times in which prices will be different from one market area to another market area."

Leone said you can compare gas prices to almost anything and there will always be difference from market area to market area.

Original Story

Gas prices have come down some since May.

But we still are receiving e-mails and phone calls about why there is such a difference in gas prices between Jefferson City and Columbia.

So Wednesday KRCG's Facebook Crew tried to find out why there is such a difference.

"I was just in Columbia Wednesday morning and the price there was ten cents a gallon cheaper there than it is here, Cole County Resident Tom Ward said.

The average price of unleaded fuel in Columbia is $3.45 and just a half hour a way in Jefferson City it is $3.54.

Cole County residents don't understand why this is.

"I don't know why it's a little more expensive here, but I grew up here so I TMm kind of used to it. It really just seems they keep their prices elevated in Jefferson City, Cole County Resident Susan McCurren said.

"I TMm just not sure. It does you make you wonder and a little aggravated when you can drive 30 miles in about any direction and pay five to ten cents a gallon less for gasoline, Ward said.

I asked multiple gas station owners and oil companies why gas prices in Jefferson City are 9 to 10 cents higher than Columbia TMs.

But no one would comment.

Some people I talked to think Columbia has lower prices because it's on Interstate 70.

So to test that theory, I went to Kingdom City and found that prices there were also lower than Jefferson City's.

It cost $3.49 for a gallon of unleaded fuel.

So some capital city residents offered up other ideas on why gas is cheaper in Columbia.

"I TMve been told in the past that the prices in Jefferson City are higher because the cost of operating a business is higher, Ward said.

Susan McCurren told me she is getting tired of battling the gas price problem so she tries to take her business elsewhere.

"If I know I'm going to Columbia or some other place that's cheaper I'll wait to fill up there when I get there. I TMm not going to pay what I pay here, when I can get it cheaper some place else, McCurren said.

So before you head out on the road and fill up your vehicle you can always check for cheap gas prices at

So how high are gas prices where you live?