How to Start a Gas Station?

Get a general idea of how a gas station operates. This article is for those who plan on putting up their own gas station. It also provides information on the different types of gas stations and gas brands.

A gas station is a solid investment because public demand for fuel is constant.

gas station

But before you set off, it is a must for you to acquire an expert understanding of the trade. Knowledge is a surefire way to counteract problems often associated with any start-up business endeavor.

Products of Gas Station

Gasoline and diesel are the two most common types of fuel sold in any gas station. However, since the advent of environmental awareness, other gas stations deemed it fit to carry alternative fuels such as bio-diesel, hybrid fuel, hydrogen fuel, and ethanol. Other products typically sold are liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas.

Premium vs. Discount

In the US, gas stations are classified into two groups: those that carry premium brands and those that carry discount brands.

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Some of the more recognized premium brands are Exxon, Chevron, Texaco, Valero, BP, Citago, Shell, BP, and Sinclair. Notice that all these brands are international gasoline brands. Some local brands however are also categorized as premium. For example, Petrobras, ESSO, PENEX, and Petro-Canada.

What sets a premium gas station apart is its visibility. They have a branch on almost every corner and they make use of tall signs showcasing their familiar brand logo. They also have brighter lighting. The service they offer is top-notch and they aim to provide convenience for their customers. Often, they are cleaner and more modern.

Discount brands, on the other hand, are quite smaller independent stations. Often they are considered regional chains. Some examples of discount gas stations are Rotten Robbie, Valero, ARCO, and USA Gasoline.

Their gas prices are usually lower compared to the premium brands. This is why many buy wholesale gas from them. In terms of location and visibility, discount gas stations are few and far between. They have typically located a good distance from freeway exits and highways. Their services are not up to par with premium brands as well as their technology.

The A-B-C’s

A - Begin by finding an ideal location for your gas station. The best way to go is to set it up in a high-traffic area. You may seek the assistance of local realtors. They usually know more about sale listings. Once you have viewed the property and it has passed your criteria, commit to it.

B - After you have secured a location, you can now focus your attention on finding a good source for your product. Talk to as many oil company representatives as you can. This will enable you to compare rates. Upon finding the best deal, have a solicitor review the contract for you. Caution must be observed on the legal aspects of the deal.

Get in touch with the local state agencies and file all the mandatory paperwork such as licenses and permits. Also, get in touch with the local fire department and find out what their requirements are, and make sure your gas station meets these requirements.

C - Create a working business plan. Make sure you include a provision for monitoring cash flow. Also, include marketing techniques to promote your gas station.

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  • ADRENA said on July 6, 2008
  • Howard Batchelor said on September 15, 2008
    I am looking to start a gas station shortly and would like information on how to start one up.
  • Dismas Chombo said on September 30, 2008
    Thanks a lot for the insight. I intend to open one but don't know where to get the relevant information. You know, some of these things are not taught in schools. Big up.
  • Zaldy Calica said on January 29, 2009
    I am trying to set up my gas station, and I chose an area near the school and along the highway. The vicinity area is rice land, and most people jobs are farmers and government employees. Motorcycles are the most popular transportation, and along the highway, buses and trucks pass by. Is this a possible area? I would like to know some good information.
  • Esther Aboagye said on February 23, 2009
    Am looking forward to start a gas station and I need to put a business plan together to obtain a loan from the bank. please send me information to enable me put this together.
  • Romeo Despojo said on May 10, 2009
    I want to put up a business in gasoline station please give me more info.. thanks
  • oteng said on May 14, 2009
    i want to start a petrol station but i don't know where to start. how do i write a petrol station business plan?
  • Austin Floyd said on May 15, 2009
    I want to put up pumps at my grocery store but I have no Idea who to talk to about getting it done. what is needed and the price of the project. can you help me?
  • Jarvis Thompson said on May 16, 2009
    I am looking to start a gas station and need some information on getting started with prices for the project.
  • Lizzy van Rooyen said on June 7, 2009
    I am a botswana citizen, and would like some information on how to start a gas station in botswana, if I have a investor from rsa, as a partner
  • Jean Calitz said on June 29, 2009
    I would like to start a gas station, I am in need of prices for the project and a business plan for a gas station.
  • Rudzani Muladi said on July 13, 2009
    I am looking forward to start gas station in my area, could you please help me with information on how to start and how much it can cost me.
  • George Owako said on July 22, 2009
    I am a kenyan and would like information on how to start a small gas station.
  • Ahmed said on July 22, 2009
    Thanks a lot, I am looking to start a gas station, really I want your information about how much will it cost, and how can I contact with the oil companies?
  • Amin Sh. Elmi said on July 23, 2009
    Hi everyone, I am looking to start a gas station in the near future in Somalia and would like to get more information on how to start one up and how much it costs. My email is: and contact number is: +252-1-5922225
  • zack said on August 3, 2009
    I am looking to open a Gas station, and I need information to help me do my own business. Could you send me all the the requirements. Thank you
  • Althario Rolle said on August 4, 2009
    i intend to open a gas station in the near future and i need information on the equipment needed and any certifications needed. Thanks a million
  • Orlando said on August 5, 2009
    hi, i gonna start a small business, its a gas station but the pumps don't work:( and to replace them it would cost $150,000. i believe i wanted to know if big companies would put their pumps at my location er..?? how that would work...or if i'm just gonna have to settle for the grocery store..
  • Marilyn Lucas said on August 7, 2009
    My husband and I want to start a small rural convenience store/ gas station. This is all new to us and we need to know how at least approx. how much money we will need to start and run the gas station part of the business. Our bank wants us to get this info, but haven't been able to get too much info from some of the suppliers in our area. Can you give us any info. All our gas and diesel will be above ground and non-branded is what we are looking for. Does anyone supply everything except the gas? Do you know about what we are looking at in price? Thank you.
  • Mongezi Sgudla said on August 15, 2009
    I am a 18 year old wits university student, i am intending to open a petrol station, like Sasol garage in the near future. What is the minimum capital needed in order to start one?
  • Bertha said on August 20, 2009
    Hey, my names Bertha and i'm using by bosses computer to type this. i want start up my own petrol station so can you give me start up costs please? i'm getting a loan from the bank! thanking you kindly, lots of love. Bertha
  • Tyler said on August 25, 2009
    I own a construction company and i've always wanted to build and own gas station car wash i would like to see if you can point me into the right direction? Thank you
  • TIISETSO JULIAN MOTHEKHE said on August 25, 2009
    Hi, my name is Tiisetso. i want to own petrol/gas station in Cape Town Mandalay and i think i have found a location to set up shop, but now i want an in depth understanding on the financial structure to start up this project.
  • marcus said on August 28, 2009
    I am looking forward to start a gas station business and I need to put a business plan together to get a loan from the bank. please give me as much info as you can.
  • Nazlie said on August 31, 2009
    i am wanting to start a gas station, i would like to know how to start and i would need to get started and how much money i will need for it.
  • James expert adviser said on August 31, 2009
    @Emeka Akpatulu, It is better that you prepare a business plan for your business. It is not wise to produce a sample business plan to your banker for loan. Most likely you will not get the loan. There are tons of existing gas stations are selling already. If you are interested to buy then go to

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Kim said on September 16, 2009
    I would like to build a gas station and C-store on my commercial land. I don't know how to start. Please give me information for it.
  • De Andre Richie said on September 17, 2009
    Hello i'm looking to opening a gas station and would like more information on how to get one started. I have located a site and need information on obtaining the site and getting the money needed to have station built. Thank you for your help.
  • Gwen Maphike said on September 25, 2009
    My Name is Gwen Maphike and I am from the Northern Cape in Kimbeley. I have located a site back at home for me to build my new gas station. I Need advice on how to get started, from business plans, finance and the essential companies to contact to make my business a success. Thank you and hope you find all to be in order.
  • Rajkumar Sablani said on September 25, 2009
    I am a Jamaican national and wish to start a gas station in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, please send me information about how to start a new gas station and how to choose a good location and find a good company to supply. Kind regards, Rajkumar Sablani
  • Cardigan Jim said on October 5, 2009
    Information is too basic. OK: location, business plan, investors and/or funding, environmental & sate codes, oil reps et al. What about buying contracts on commodity exchange and delivery options? Would a CPO apply? (Commodity Pool Operator)
  • ANDILE VINCENT said on October 11, 2009
  • FIONA KHAN said on October 15, 2009
    I am quiet keen on opening a petrol station in Durban, KZN, South Africa. I require information on how to start up, business plan and the relevant requirements that needs to be met. I would really appreciate it if you could furnish me with contact details of the following garages: BP, Caltex, Engen, Sasol
  • Chantal said on October 27, 2009
    We are located about halfway between Mthatha and Port st Johns. The distance between the two is 92km, and there is no filling station between the two. We are close to the tar road, and would like to either sell the land to a fuel station company or open a fuel station ourselves. Please give contact details and also contact persons for Engen, Sasol etc.
  • Lawrens said on October 29, 2009
    I'm a young, ambitious lad who is keen to start up his own gas station. I live in a small town that is approximately 110 km away from Rustenburg and we do not have a gas station. I'd really appreciate it if i get advised on how to start up and who to go to for financial and legal advice. Thank you a lot.
  • andile said on October 30, 2009
    i'm young business man looking to venture into petroleum business i want to know the exact requirements in opening up a petrol stations and finance arrangements
  • Arnold M. Balanay jr. said on November 6, 2009
    we would like to know how much will it cost and other requirements for the putting up of gasoline station
  • BRIGHT WHITE said on November 15, 2009
    thanks very much for the information, ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS THE EXACT AMOUNT TO SET UP A FILLING STATION
  • Kumar said on November 17, 2009
    I want to know if a foreign national can buy a gas station in America. if yes how to go about it. I am residing in India. Regards.
  • Asada said on November 24, 2009
    please assist with information to enable me start a gas station. Business plan and costs necessary to meet the initial set including pumps etc
  • Debra Landman said on November 26, 2009
    Hello, Petrol Allied is a licensed wholesaler (Department of Minerals and Energy - South Africa) and exporter of fuel (petrol / diesel) in South Africa. We do extensive trade in Botswana and Zimbabwe. If you are looking to source product from a legitimate operation whose prices are extremely competitive and whose supply is secure, please contact me on
  • Mariah Ford said on December 3, 2009
    Hello, I have list of investors and lenders available that are willing to lend fund to potential business owners. If you have credit issues they will work with you. Please email or contact me for further information at Thanks, Mariah Ford
  • kenneth bland said on December 4, 2009
    sounds great. However the location seems promising, but i rather not be affiliated with a franchise. Is this possible?
  • dilip trivedi said on December 5, 2009
    I want to start a gas station in danville, pa, 17821. I would i proceed?
  • Buhle Ngobese said on December 15, 2009
    I would like to start a gas station in KZN and would appreciated if you can send list of lenders that can help with the funding and contacts to help with Business plan and all relevant information on the type of business.
  • Engr Valentine said on December 26, 2009
    Hello, I want to start a petrol station in Edo state, Nigeria. Please can you let me know the exact requirements in opening up a petrol station and finance arrangements. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, Engr Valentine
  • chris said on December 28, 2009
    i am looking to open a gas station in canton, mi. the place i want to put the station the land is for sale i want to know how to get started thanks
  • Lady Lihle said on December 29, 2009
    hello, thank you very much for this site. i want to start a petrol/diesel station at in South Africa KZN, area called Impendle between Pietermaritzburg and Underburg. please help me, how do I start it, can you help me with requirements and finance arrangements. thanking you in advance.
  • Sanjay said on December 31, 2009
    I am planning to open a specialty gas plant in India near Delhi. Can you pls. advice how much budget required to start the plant and what are the equipments required? Thanks & Regards, Sanjay
  • Jane Lynn said on January 2, 2010
    Thanks for the information, it's very useful. Could you tell me the average cost of becoming a branded station like Citgo in comparison to being an independent or non branded station. Jane, Richmond, Virginia
  • Matt H said on January 3, 2010
    Looking to put a gas station/convenience store/ maybe a subway in one. Got a perfect location on busy highway between 2 towns. Dont have a clue on how to accomplish this goal. Please provide info on everything.
  • ryan said on January 3, 2010
    i want to start a gas station in Buffalo New york, USA. Can someone send me the details please?
  • Ravi Mandala said on January 7, 2010
    I would like to start in Alpharetta, GA, USA also suggest me which place is the best place to start my own gas station.
  • Fatima said on January 8, 2010
    Hello, I wanted to know how much money one need to start a gas station business in Bowie Maryland.
  • Vic Garcia said on January 13, 2010
    I want to start up a small gas station in Nashville, NORTH CAROLINA. I also wanted to know how much one must invest in order to start it up. I already have the location and a small convenient store set up and have plenty of traffic come by. Any kind of information will help. Thank you.
  • Nicholas Augustine said on January 14, 2010
    Hi ambitious mentors, i'm looking forward to setting up a standard gas station in ideator north L.G.A of imo state, and i need some one proficient in the business to kindly tel me what it's gonna cost in establishing it from scratch to finish. And also any rendered info on how to get a loan to back up the plan will b highly appreciated. A petroleum engineering student of p.T.I effurun. Thnx 4 ur +VE anticipation.
  • Steven said on January 15, 2010
    I would like to buy a gas station that is currently open and running in Boaz Al on hwy 179 and i need help with the business plan and anything else that i need to do thanks
  • ntsikelelo malmani said on January 19, 2010
    dear sir/madam, i am living in eastern cape between queenstown and cofimvaba. i want to open a petrol and diesel filing station can you please help me, thank you
  • Victor Cortez said on January 23, 2010
    Dear Sir or Madam: I am a mexican national interested to invest in a gas station in the city of El Paso, Texas. I need all information on this issue. Thanks
  • Sam Penwright said on January 25, 2010
    Hi I'm looking into possibly stating a Natural Gas fuel station in Oklahoma, Can you point me in the right direction or if you have any info, I would appreciate. Thanks For your Time, Sam
  • Quintin said on January 28, 2010
    I want to Know how much finance i will need if i wanted to start a filling station. And if you could help me with a petroleum business plan.
  • garret nicholas said on January 30, 2010
    how to start a gas station in guelph, ontario, canada
  • daniel simelane said on February 3, 2010
    i am at Diepsloot south africa i have land and i want to open a petrol station in it how can i go about
  • P Argyros said on February 8, 2010
    I have a small Convenience Store, Pizza Shop and Bar in a rural area of Altha Fl. There is no gas for approx 10 miles and this area is the fastest growing in Calhoun county due to its proximity to Panama City. The store is located in the front parcel of the mobile home park I own. The only aspect need in this area is a few gas pumps. I was not thinking in tons of large station just a pump or two to aid the community. Is this a possibility and do I start with the state or local branch of gov for information.
  • judelyn santiago said on February 9, 2010
    we want to conduct a feasibilty study regarding gasoline station located at calao west santiago city, isabela
  • ketsise oliphant said on February 13, 2010
    i would like to start a Gas Station on the N6 between Smithfield and Rouxville in the free state. South Africa. the route is busy at all time as it leads to two harbors gas station will be the ideal business for the road user please assist with the information on what to look at and how to start. As to land I have already acquired on both sides of the n6. thank you.
  • Harish said on February 15, 2010
    Hi, I want to take a franchise of any gasoline. I don't know exactly how much it will cost me, and also can you plz advise with bank loan as well, how to approach with . Thank you
  • Yolene Basson said on February 16, 2010
    I would like to start an Engen gas station in Uitenhage, Rosedale Area in Eastern Cape South Africa. I don't have any experience in this business, but I am more than willing to learn.
  • david keenaghan said on February 17, 2010
    petrol station and truck stop in leeds west yorkshire this is a lot of land for this. it is near 24 hour industrial estate it also provides access to motorway ideal for hgv this idea will go soon please let me no what to do thanks for your time.
  • Ernest said on February 19, 2010
    I am planning to start a filling station business in Accra, Ghana. Can you please advise me.
  • parli said on February 19, 2010
    Hello I parli, interested to open gas station business. Please if you have any business plan to guide me I will be very thank full to you.
  • samuel anim said on February 22, 2010
    we planning on building a filling station in Ghana, i want an advice on the best filling station to franchise with, so please advice me
  • Neliswa said on February 24, 2010
    I'm planning to open a gas station East London, Eastern Cape in SOUTH AFRICA, and would like to know the best gas station i can franchise with and expertise on franchising business.
  • danyellow said on February 24, 2010
    i would like to know how much it would cost to start up a gas station; such as a sheetz, exon, or a shell?
  • Thabiso said on March 9, 2010
    I want to open new gas station. there is a old garage used to operate years back but now its just an old gas station building not working. Help me how to get it back on its feed and operate, where do i start
  • Felix kwashie kuebutornye said on March 9, 2010
    Please i want to open franchise petroleum and gas filling station in Sege, Ga Adagbe district, Ghana. Can you show me the exactly requirements that i need.
  • rosina said on March 10, 2010
    i'm rosina in south africa limpopo i want to open a filling station because we are struggling of petrol so maybe i can help my community by opening a filling station. i want to know how to start
  • selina said on March 11, 2010
    I am planning to start a filling station business in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. Can you please advise me. How to get started with this business and what are the procedures to this business.
  • Sangs said on March 14, 2010
    Hi, One of my closet friend has opened a Filling station for biodiesel near panvel, navi mumbai, india a year ago. It has not been successful, and unfortunately, the location is in a remote place, and which ever tanker comes, they already come filled up, so no one halts at his filling station. also, the people who do come once a while say that biodiesel is too expensive and go away. can u pls suggest, what can he do? what marketing strategy should he use? I will appreciate your reply. Thanks.
  • James expert adviser said on March 14, 2010
    @Sangs, it is a tough job. He should have done the survey before opening this filling stations. btw, here are my suggestions.
    1. invest more money and have some regular diesel so that people who come into the station might convert to other type by error, by choice, by surprise to see what is this new one.
    2. Open some other services next to the filling station, like restaurants, auto repair, tyre repair, small grocery shop, etc. People stopping by might convert as well. Try some indirect ways to make the vehicle stop by and then convert few from there.
    3. Sell it and try something else.
    Good Luck...

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • nelly said on March 16, 2010
    As a business minded woman with no funds to start a filling station, how can I get help. Not working at the moment but one thing I am sure about its, that business I want its gona run. I need help, I have a land and a plan ready. Nelly from Polokwane (Limpopo) SA
  • Archna said on March 17, 2010
    how much investment is needed. How a person residing outside USA can start the gas station in USA & stay in usa as Investor.
  • Gelan yadessa said on March 18, 2010
    I too have such a dream to start a gas station. I need your help in developing a project proposal to get loan service from a bank. Thank you for your help in advance.
  • nadeem raza said on March 22, 2010
    hi i am running a take away in manchester now i want to open a petrol station can u please tell me how much money i need thanks
  • Alric Coles said on March 23, 2010
    Hi needed step by step information how I go about establishing a petrol station, in possession of land 2 start up. It in Loteni, Underberg, South Africa. Cheers Thanks.
  • habe said on April 5, 2010
    Hi Brethen and Sister, I am Seeking for help to prepare a business plan to open a Gas/Petrol Station in my area. If anyone can provide me with a basic guidelines it will be highly appreciated. I can be contacted on, Country: Papua New Guinea
  • albert owusu said on April 5, 2010
    hi, i am seeking for help to prepare a business plan to build a gas station in GHANA/AFRICA. i would be glad if u can help me with a plan and how much it would cost as well as which company to franchise with. thanks.
  • Isela said on April 7, 2010
    Hi everyone, I want to know how to start my own gas station. I already own a commercial lot. Lindale Texas
  • Hangwelani Maseda said on April 12, 2010
    i would like to start small chicken farm South Africa Pretoria please advise on how/where to buy baby chicks for laying eggs and feeds
  • sal amleh said on April 12, 2010
    I have been previously in the c store gas station business. I sold it about 2 years ago. I would like to go into that business again but this time i want to build it from ground up. If the location is identified, where do I start? should I talk to a gas company and see what they offer and then take my business plan to the bank. Another question is that I heard that some gas companies will install the gas equipment for you at their expense and sign u up for a bonus every year if you sign a contract with them to sell so many gallons a year. How true is that? Thank you
  • Andrea Grandjambe said on April 14, 2010
    I would like to open a gas/bar in my community, Fort McKay, Alberta Canada. Note: this a First Nation Reserve!! There is a store slash gas bar here. however it is bankrupt!! they have no gas no supplies the business is owned by my aunt... Now my question is should I try and take over her store or should I just go on my own????What steps do I take???
  • Sarifa Mustafu said on April 15, 2010
    I want to open up a gas station with just 2 filling stations for the beginning in my community, rural area which is developing very fast.
  • Antony Paul Gitonga said on April 16, 2010
    Hi, Planning to start a gas station at a major high way called the kenya - ethiopia high way...Its near the lewa conservancy national park and various trucks including tourists ply this road. Its also near an oil well that the chinese are digging up and prospecting crude oil. The land prices are still low but sure to rise once people see this gas station for miles n miles....seems pretty good if u ask me My main concerns are hidden costs and any other aspects I may be over looking. Kindly assist with any knowledge whatsoever. Highly appreciated Thanks
  • sameer said on April 18, 2010
    hi, i'd like to set up a petrol pump with the minimum possible investment in karnataka state, india..i would hereby request anyone to please inform me on how to go about it & from where exactly do i start.. would be really grateful if i could get some information. thanks!!
  • Terrence said on April 20, 2010
    Hi! I want to start a gas station In capital park, but i don't have capital to start the business. Is there any franchise of any gas filling station that would help me without the initial payment or to manage the franchise first and there after may the installment through my profit. Regards, Terrence
  • k.prabhu said on April 26, 2010
    Hi, i want to start a medium scale Biodiesel plant in Andhra Pradesh, India. please kindly let me know what does it take to set up one?
  • MZEKE said on April 26, 2010
  • julia said on April 26, 2010
    Boyertown, PA USA. Hi! I am trying to sell/lease gas station. Do you have any ideas how to advertise it to Indian population in USA? Thank you
  • ADENIYI OLUSHOLA said on April 29, 2010
    Dear Sir, I am a Nigerian interested in operating LPG plant/ filling stations. kindly inform me of the cost of different capacity of the items listed below.
    1.LPG filing station.
    2.LPG road tanker/truck.
    3.LPG domestic tank.
    4.LPG storage tank.
    5.LPG dispenser.
    6.LPG bottling plant.
    I am considering the establishment of LPG plant and filling stations in Nigeria. Also, how can one put up a proposal to a gas Company for gas supply? Thanks.
  • Dennis York said on May 1, 2010
    I have built hundreds of Gas Stations in California and have contacts for equipment, construction, permits, design, food marts, canopies, petroleum equipment, CNG systems, tanks, piping, etc. I can build from conception to completion anywhere in the world. Contact me with your needs. Contact me at


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