Costly Driving

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

According to AAA, the average cost for a gallon of unleaded gas in Reno is $2.33. That's 20 cents more than the national average. And, experts say the price will only go up as we get closer and closer to summer, the peak driving time.

Not good news for people driving their OWN cars as part of their jobs.

In any given day, Tami Delapena can drive 50 miles throughout Reno in her own car, delivering pizzas for Mountain Mike's.

But her employer does not reimburse her for that mileage, putting the burden on her.

"I pay for it out of tips I make, or out of my paycheck. It's getting more and more expensive. The tips are pretty much all going toward gas."

Customers who want their pies brought to their door are charged a one dollar delivery fee. That extra buck goes straight into the pockets of the delivery people to help deflect the costs of gas.

Delapena says the dollar helps but is not always enough...and that Mountain Mike's may have to increase that fee.

"It'll probably change soon once gas gets a little higher. Because there's no way the delivery fee we charge is going to be enough."

Delapena is also responsible for her own car maintenance like oil changes.

"That's all me. The business doesn't cover that."

People who drive their personal cars for work--like Delapena--can't limit their driving time.

But there are ways to save money on gas:

- Pass on the premium. Use the cheapest gas possible that's still ok for your car.
- Don't top off. Extra gas is more likely to evaporate or spill over.
- Tightening your gas cap also prevents gas evaporation.


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