September 2011: Here’s all you need to know: If a gas station in Central Florida does not have a sign in front that lists its gas prices, don’t stop. The rest of this story is just details.
As reported earlier, a few stations near Orlando International Airport grossly overcharge tourists for gas – a local embarrassment – and the city cracked down by creating a rule that forces all gas stations to post gas prices near the street. The gouging business owners can still overcharge for gas – America is a free country, after all – but they can’t trick tourists who assume all stations charge roughly the same amount.
The problem: The toxic gas station owners continue to fight the rule in court, so it’s not in effect yet. The bigger problem: The rule doesn’t apply to all Central Florida gas stations.
In Florida, some land lies within a city’s borders (incorporated) while other land lies outside a city (unincorporated), and no one can tell the difference. According to an investigation by The Orlando Sentinel, however, some gas stations near the theme parks in unincorporated Orange County also overcharge tourists up to $1 more per gallon of gas. That means the new law – the one that doesn’t work yet – won’t impact them anyway.
On the plus side, Orange County is considering a gas-price sign law similar to Orlando’s. On the downside, it hasn’t yet.
That leads back to the original advice that’s worth repeating: If a gas station has no sign out front advertising its prices, drive on.
Note to those staying on Disney property: Disney World has an exclusive contract with Hess, and the price-per-gallon on resort property is fair. If you rented a car, fill up before heading to the Orlando airport.