Purchasing Gas in Mexico is Easy
Pemex gas stations are the only official outlets where you can purchase fuel in Mexico. The unleaded gasoline is called 'Magna Sin', which is supposed to have an octane rating of around 90. At some locations you may be able to find 'Magna Premium' which is supposed to have an even higher octane level, but 'Magna Premium' is not available at all Pemex locations. Diesel fuel is also available at most Pemex stations, and it is labeled 'Diesel Sin'. Makes sure to read the label of the fuel before filling up because the color coding system on the pumps is different from the US (in Mexico, a green pump usually means it is 'Magna Sin', while in the US a green pump usually means Diesel). If you find a pump labeled 'Nova', be aware that this is LEADED gas, and should not be used unless your vehicle can run on leaded fuel.
Be prepared to pay for your fuel with cash. Although some Pemex stations close to the US border may accept US dollars, you should expect to pay for your fuel with Mexican currency.
Although the gasoline quality has improved dramatically over the years, it is probably a good idea to bring along a spare fuel filter for your vehicle just in case there is any debris in the fuel that could clog your existing filter. (A fuel filter is usually less than $15 at an auto parts store in the US).
During busy travel times there may be fuel shortages at some of the more remote Pemex stations, so it is always a good idea to top off your gas tank whenever you can.
Gasoline is measured in liters in Mexico, so make sure to remember your gallons to liters conversion:
1 gallon = 3.785 liters
Be aware that some gas stations in Mexico have been known to attempt certain 'rip-off' ploys. To avoid being ripped-off, make sure the fuel pump is set to $0.00 when you begin fueling. Also, pay attention to how much change you should receive in return when paying for your fuel. Gas station attendants have been known to intentionally give tourists the incorrect amount of change.
For more information about driving in Mexico, make sure to visit our page for Mexico Driving Safety Tips