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Northern California Average Gas Prices Jump 16 Cents

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Feb 16 2012
Northern California Average Gas Prices Jump 16 Cents

Northern California Average Gas Prices Jump 16 Cents

Walnut Creek, CA — The pump prices have jumped in every single metro area across Northern California, according to the latest report from AAA Insurance, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers. According to AAA, all of the Northern California metro areas tracked by the organization had double-digit increases over the past month.

The pump prices have jumped in every single metro area across Northern California, according to the latest report from AAA Insurance, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers. According to AAA, all of the Northern California metro areas tracked by the organization had double-digit increases over the past month.

The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.85, up 15 cents since last month’s AAA report on January 10. For perspective, that’s 40 cents higher 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 second.

Northern California gas prices are now averaging $3.83, up 16 cents from last month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $3.90, which is a 16-cent increase. The national average price of $3.51 is up by 14 cents, which is 38 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $3.13.

“Gasoline prices continue to be largely influenced by investors’ activity,” said AAA Insurance spokesperson Matt Skryja. “They are looking for any influences, perceived or real, to both supply and demand. These influences impact their buying behavior. Positive economic news tends to inspire investors’ buying, as they anticipate increased demand. The reverse is true with poor economic news.”

Both positive and negative economic influences are currently in play. Crude prices, and therefore gas prices, were pressured higher as Greek lawmakers approved austerity measures necessary for the country to receive the second round of bailouts needed to avoid defaulting on its debt obligations. Approval of the measures was considered positive economic news. Prices have also been pressured upwards by tensions with Iran, which have added uncertainty to the future crude supply. Some refineries in the United States and Europe have recently cut gasoline production, which has also pressured prices higher. This cutting back was done in reaction to concerns that consumer demand for gasoline has waning.

The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Salinas where regular is $3.73 per gallon. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka has the highest average price at $4.05. This is also the highest price in the lower 48 states. The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in Casper, Wyoming. The average price of gas in that metro area is $2.86. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.41 per gallon.

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.

One way consumers can reduce the amount of money they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA offers text alerts via mobile phone for low gas prices in your area. Start saving today at www.aaa.com/gas.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed every day, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.

The AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange offers automobile, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance to AAA members through partnerships with AAA clubs. It is one of the largest personal lines insurance companies in the United States and is rated A+ by A.M. Best.

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