Gas Station Etiquette

I was at a crowded gas station today waiting in line. The car in front of me pulled away from the pump, so I moved forward to align my car with the tank. As I was doing this the guy getting gas across from me took off to leave and and because of where my car was he had pulled up to far to go around me. He just sat there and his wife was moving her mouth a million miles a minute. He wanted me to back my car up so he could get around me. He was done getting gas and I was just pulling in to get mine. Very crowded place etc… Was it his responsibility to go around me since he was done etc… or was I supposed to back up and get out of postion to make it easier for him to leave. There was no one behind him making it hard for him to back up so he could manuever his SUV around my car. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

This one’s impossible to comment on without seeing a layout of the station. Generally it’s considered bad manners to block someone else in, but in some instances you have no choice. I can’t tell whether that applied here.

Ok. There was no one behind him blocking him in. He said I was rude. He was the one leaving and was done getting his gas. It just seemed like since he was done and I was parked in front of the tank that he could have backed up a few inches to get around me.

Some stations encourage that behavior (like Costco by me). The caveat is that the cars waiting in line have to leave enough room for the car behind to back up and make that maneuver. In general, I consider it bad practice unless there’s ample room for them to make those moves. You’ll have to decide for yourself.


Edit: Apparently he would rather have just sat and stared daggers, than go around. Sometimes, the trees, they fall thataway.

Since nobody was behind him, it should have been easy for him to leave. His problem.

If somebody were right behind him, then you should have left more room or moved.

I don’t understand what would have been so hard to back your car up…

Thanks. I agree it was his problem, but next time I will just be the nice one and move my car. It was really a frustrating experience.

I just turned my car off and made him move his… but next time I will rise above all the crap

because I had already pulled into postion and he was the one moving. Just etiquette.

Well it seems very childish to me…If I were in that position…I would have backed up. Would have ruined your day if you did??

No, I was on a very limited lunch break. It didn’t ruin my day either way. I just wanted to know etiquette. It isn’t childish to me to want to know etiquette. I guess you have more time on your hands than me. Like I said before I will just take more time, miss lunch and let everyone else be the “childish” ones.

I appreciate everyone’s comments. Thanks again.

Gee you have time for a lunch break…wish I had that much time…I brown-bag it and eat at my desk.

Awesome plan!! I will have to try that and ride my bike to work. Then I wouldn’t have these issues.

A common problem created by the car manufacturer’s indecision of which side to place the fuel filler.
In my opinion, since he could have, he should have reversed to leave.

And that brings up a huge gripe of mine about the lack of maneuvering ability in the vast majority of driving public.
It flat out amazes me how gawd awful many drivers just have no clue how to maneuver a vehicle in reverse !
So badly that they refuse to, can not, and go out of their way to avoid doing so.

Tough to make the call without seeing the play, but generally you are supposed to pull up to the last available pump.

Sounds to me like you did nothing wrong and the other dude or his wife were having a bad day or were afraid to back up. Some SUV drivers likely try to never back up in those dinosaurs. Can’t say I blame them.

There is no special etiquette for gas stations, just plain old fashioned courtesy. Follow grandma’s golden rule and you can’t go wrong. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As many have said, its pretty much impossible to say without really knowing the layout of everything. I ready your description a couple of times and still can’t figure out how you two ended up in each other’s way.

However, I will say the opposite of MikeinNH when he wrote: "I don’t understand what would have been so hard to back your car up… " and instead say, since it was easy enough for him to back up I don’t know why he wouldn’t. Why Mike decided to call you childish I don’t know. I’ll bet it was the other driver who was childish.

Busy gas stations can be a regular “no man’s land” where everyone seems to think they deserve special treatment by everyone else. I don’t see anything rude or discourteous about forcing someone with an abundance of room behind their car to reverse in order to leave the pump area. The only exception to this would be a case in which, for some mechanical reason, reverse did not work in their car and they could not back up and someone refused to help them out by moving their car. I have been looked upon as some kind of criminal by others at a busy gas station for taking my turn in line. On one occasion, I was waiting for someone to finish fueling their car. As they were leaving, I started pulling up to the pump, when someone else darted into the parking lot, tried to cut in front of me but had to slam on their brakes to keep from hitting me, then proceeded with the screaming, hand gestures, and steering wheel banging because I had stolen “their” pump. I then continued to be rude by ignoring their tantrum and going about my business.

Tell “SCARED TO BACK HIS SUV” to have his wife get out and back him if he is too afraid to back or unable to adequately see.

Most people try to use the island on the side of their filler. Though this is often more convenient, it is often unnecessary in most small to mid size cars. The hose is usually long enough and you can avoid the inconsiderate idiots many times.