ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. — Kentuckians are feeling the crisis in Ukraine as gas prices continue to surge. As of March 11, 2022, the average gas price in Kentucky is $4.05, according to AAA

What You Need To Know

  • Pruitt’s Automotive in St. Matthews, Ky. offers self-service and full-service when pumping gas

  • Full-service comes with a surcharge of an extra 70 cents per gallon at Pruitt’s for the extra level of customer service

  • Full-service was phased out decades ago in favor of self-service, except in Oregon and New Jersey

  • Owner of Pruitt’s Automotive said customers are still wanting full-service, but he notices drivers aren’t filling up their tanks as much

Despite higher gas prices, one Louisville-area business, Pruitt’s Automotive, which offers full service at the pump, is still seeing a steady flow of customers. However, the amount of gas people are buying is down, the owner told Spectrum News 1 Kentucky. 

Pulling up to Pruitt’s Automotive in St. Matthews can feel like a step back in time. That’s because Pruitt’s offers full-service, where attendants pump your gas and offer basic service, such as checking your tire pressure and looking under the hood. However, this extra service comes with a price.

“We charge a little more for the gasoline, but we have a lot of people take advantage of that,” Owner Rocky Pruitt told Spectrum News 1. 

At Pruitt’s, they add 70 cents a gallon on to normal self-serve gas prices, to cover the extra level of customer service. On March 10, 2022, when Spectrum News 1 visited Pruitt’s, self-service cost $4.29 per gallon for regular gasoline up to $4.99 for supreme. Compared to the average gas prices in Louisville, listed by AAA on the same date, self-service still costs about 6 to 18 cents more per gallon.

Despite rising gas prices, on top of Pruitt’s already higher than average gas prices, Pruitt told Spectrum News 1 that his customer base is about the same. However, the amount of gas people are buying has changed.

“Any time gas prices spike, like they have, people kind of back off and let their tanks get as low as they can before they have to buy, in hopes that it’ll go down. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going down anytime soon,” he said.

Despite the trend in rising gas prices worldwide, Pruitt said he isn’t worried about his business. The reason being that he remembers a worse time in the industry, when he worked as a teenager at the gas station during the 1979 Second Oil Crisis, because of the Iranian Revolution.

“We had gas lines two to three blocks down the road, literally,” Pruitt said.

Currently. Pruitt said he has 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of gas underground, and he has no worries about his next delivery.

“Back then, they were telling you, you could only buy so much a month, and once it was gone, it was gone, and you couldn’t get any till the next month,” He said. “So, I don’t think we’ve got it as bad, as long as we can get product.”

However, the price of gas, he added, everyone will have to see how that pans out.

Pruitt’s Automotive also has an auto repair shop, in addition to the gas station, as another source of income. Being around cars so much, Pruitt knows a thing or two about getting the most gas mileage while on the road, which can help save money on gas.

Pruitt said it efficient gas mileage goes ties back in with basic maintenance:

  • Check on and make sure your tire pressure is good
  • Change your vehicle’s oil when it’s supposed to be changed and use the right oil viscosity
  • Also, monitor your vehicle’s fluid levels