Following weeks of rising gas prices throughout California, pump prices have now turned the corner and started to fall in the Golden State, according to AAA Insurance, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers.
The organization's survey of gas prices revealed that every metro area in Northern California saw a drop in its average price over the past month.
The lowest reported price this week for regular octane gas in the San Rafael area is the Circle K station at 981 East Francisco Blvd. at $3.89 and teh 76 station at 100 Marinwood Ave. at $3.90, according to San Rafael Patch's gas price tracker through Mapquest.
California’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $4.10, down 11 cents since last month’s AAA report on May 8. For perspective, that’s 16 cents higher than California’s average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, California has the fourth highest state average price for regular, unleaded gasoline. The state of Washington jumped ahead as the third highest state price. Hawaii is first and Alaska is the second.
Northern California gas prices are now averaging $4.12, down eight cents from last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $4.24, which is a five-cent decrease. The national average price of $3.54 is down by 22 cents, which is 17 cents less than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.71.
“Over the last month, a number of states west of the Rocky Mountains saw their average pump prices rise as refining concerns and tightening supply applied upward pressure to the cost of gasoline,” AAA Insurance spokesperson Matt Skryja said in a statement. “The past week has seen much of this upward pressure removed, with many of the states experiencing declines in their retail prices.”
While Western states are just coming out of a period of increasing prices, the national retail price of gasoline has fallen for 55 of the past 56 days. The multi-month slide in gas prices has been largely the result of bearish global economic news and declining crude oil prices, which have fallen more than $20 per barrel since the beginning of May.
To get the best mileage possible, AAA recommends keeping tires at the proper pressure suggested by the vehicle manufacturer, performing routine maintenance and making sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are in good repair. The way you drive can also impact fuel economy. Smooth driving to avoid sudden stops and starts, planning errands and lightening your load also help conserve gasoline.