Join the Pump-House Gang

If you don't have a Costco near you, there are two popular--and populist--sites to help you find cheap gas. Here's our tale of the tank:

Number of stations

GasBuddy.com About 110,000

GasPriceWatch.com 130,509

Types of gas

GasBuddy.com Regular, medium, premium, and diesel

GasPriceWatch.com Regular, medium, premium, diesel, as well as biodiesel and E85, for the two people who can use it

Info sources

GasBuddy.com 1.8 million registered users; averages 400,000 to 500,000 unique listings per week

GasPriceWatch.com About 156,000 users submitting 200,000 to 400,000 listings per week; listings from gas-station companies

Mapping features

GasBuddy.com View prices at a quick glance over a wide area; displays station amenities; removes listings older than 72 hours.

GasPriceWatch.com Google Maps mashup color-codes listings by freshness; easier to search stations by type of gas and age of data; must zoom in close to see stations.

Mobile features

GasBuddy.com Get info via text messaging or mobile Web site gasbuddytogo.com.

GasPriceWatch.com: Data available in mobile apps such as Mobio (free, getmobio.com) and TeleNav ($10 a month, telenav.com); planning to launch its own in August.

Member benefits

GasBuddy.com Registered users earn points based on how many listings they provide; can win prizes such as $250 in free gas, natch.

GasPriceWatch.com Users earn points … for bragging rights.

Verdict

GasBuddy.com Ugly but efficient. Perfect if gas prices are your favorite icebreaker.

GasPriceWatch.com More aesthetically pleasing for users, but there's less incentive to participate.

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