Short Answer: While many individual gas station locations offer free air, you stand the best chance of consistently refilling your tires for free at regional chains such as Wawa, Casey’s, Kum & Go, and Royal Farms. See below for details on the gas stations and other locations that offer free air.
Which Gas Stations Offer Free Air?
While virtually all major gas station chains offer free air at select stations, availability is not consistent among all locations. Smaller, regional gas station chains are much more likely to consistently offer free air pumps.
Below, we list the gas stations that commonly offer free air. We verified this information by speaking with customer service representatives at gas station locations and checking listings for all 50 states at FreeAirPump.com, a crowd-sourced database of locations showing gas stations and other locations that provide free air pumps.
There are two states where you can count on getting free air at a gas station: Connecticut and California. Connecticut law states that fuel stations must provide free air at their locations. California has a similar statute, but it only requires that free air be provided to paying customers.
Gas-station locations that are highly likely to offer free air include:
- Holiday Stationstores
- Kum & Go
- Royal Farms
Some of the following gas stations will offer free air, but not necessarily at all of their locations:
- BJ’s Gas
- Flying J
- Gulf Oil
- Hess Express
- Holiday Oil
- Kroger Fuel Center
- Kwik Trip
- On the Run
- Phillips 66
Note that types of air pumps vary considerably from location to location, as does the inclusion of on-pump pressure gauges. Some air pumps have built-in metal meters, others contain digital sensors, and still others have automatic shutoffs that stop pumping when your tire has reached a particular pressure.
Many have no pressure gauges at all. However, many convenience stores will carry gauges, and you can purchase one starting around $5 on Amazon.
Other Places With Free Air
Gas stations aren’t the only places where you can get free air. Many automotive centers, tire retailers, car washes, and bus stations provide free air for automobiles, although some will restrict refills to current or past customers. There are also some automotive businesses which will check and fill your tires for free.
If you’re looking to refill your bike tires, you have many more options for free air. Some of the places that offer free air and bike repair stations are:
- Large universities (e.g., University of Central Arkansas, University of Hawaii, Loyola University, DePaul University, University of Nebraska)
- County-maintained walking trails and parks
- Some condominiums
- Bike shops (Note: While many bike shops provide free air, others may restrict the service to current or past customers.)
- Some bars and restaurants in major cities (e.g., Revolution Brewing Tap Room and The Boiler Room in Chicago)
For more information on gas station amenities, see our research on gas stations with vacuums nearby.