Although gas prices continue to fall in some parts of the Golden State, other areas have started to see a rise at the pump. According to the latest report from AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange, which tracks gas prices, every metro area in Northern California saw a double-digit drop in its average price over the past month.
California’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.70, down 40 cents since last month’s AAA report on June 12. For perspective, that’s eight cents less than California’s average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, California has the third highest state average price for regular, unleaded gasoline. Hawaii is first and Alaska is the second.
Northern California gas prices are now averaging $3.71, down 41 cents from last month. AAA recorded a 40 cent drop in gas prices in the Modesto area from June 12 to July 10. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $3.86, which is a 38-cent decrease. The national average price of $3.38 is down by 16 cents, which is 25 cents less than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.63.
“The recent drop at the pump was largely driven by lower crude oil prices around the globe. The decline is linked to a slew of concerns about global economic weakness, including worries about sovereign debt in Europe, signs of a slowing economy in China, and bearish economic data in the United States,” said AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Investors typically pull back on their buying when there’s a weaker global economy because demand for crude oil is expected to drop. This puts downward pressure on prices.”
The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville where regular is $3.54 per gallon. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka has the highest average price at $3.98. This is also the highest price in the lower 48 states.
The cheapest gas in Turlock, according to GasBuddy.com, can be found for $3.43 a gallon at both the ARCO on Lander Avenue and Costco on N. Tegner Road. The next cheapest gas station is Safeway on Monte Vista Avenue ($3.44 a gallon), followed by the ARCOs on N. Golden State Boulevard and W. Main Street and the Quik Stop on Geer Road with $3.45 a gallon.
The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina metro area. The average price of gas in that metro area is $2.98. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.41 per gallon.