US Drivers Are Heading to Mexico For Cheaper Gas

As gas prices skyrocket, drivers are looking south of the border for some alternatives to ease the pain at the pump.

But there's growing concern that bargain-seekers could be putting their lives at risk.

The national average for a gallon of gas is hovering around $3.80 right now -- $4.35 in California, according to AAA, and some analysts think it'll keep climbing as we head into summer. 

So it's no wonder in cities along the border -- people are driving into Mexico to fill up their tanks -- where the price for a gallon of gas is around a $1.50 less.

"I do work with a lot of people who do go across the border for gas and other stuff, but they're risking their lives. There's no way I would do it," said Elizabeth Perdoza, a driver from El Paso.

And that's one worry. The U.S. State Department has issued travel alerts because of drug cartel violence.

"It just goes to show how much Americans believe in low gas prices and how far they're willing to go,” said Patrick Dehaan, senior petroleum analyst for

The reason it's so cheap is because the Mexican government regulates prices.

"The economy relies on cheaper gasoline, because residents can't afford the higher cost,” Dehaan said.

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But while the price may be right for some -- the same can't always be said about how good the product is. 

“There may be an unknown quality of the gasoline that they're purchasing in Mexico, and they certainly likely would void the warranty of their vehicles' engines,” Dehaan said.

That's not going to stop some drivers who say if prices keep rising, Mexico is one way to help get by.

"For $5 down here, and cheaper down there -- like around $2 a gallon -- I would go down there," said truck driver David Flores.

There's no way to really track how many American drivers are going to Mexico for fuel -- but analysts at estimate it's in the thousands.

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