Martha Landon used to dread pulling her GMC Yukon XL up to the gas pump.
There was a time when it meant she had to make two separate transactions because the limit on her debit card at the pump would be reached – something that was so common that credit card companies had to raise the ceiling in order to allow people like her to fill up in one shot.
Those days are gone.
With oil now at an all-time low, motorists are now paying less for gas than they have in years – a break, Landon said, that couldn’t come at a better time.
“After Christmas I’m tapped so it’s great that I’m not paying the extra $20 it would have cost me a year ago every week when I go to the pump to fill up,” she said. “That all adds up and it buys a lot of groceries.”
And according to AAA, the cost has fallen fast in the last month.
In a press release issued on Tuesday the national motoring group said that the statewide average – $2.58-a-gallon for standard unleaded gasoline – had fallen 38 cents-a-gallon from the last time they did a statewide survey on Dec. 9.
“The dramatic slide in retail gas prices has been driven by a similar plummet in global crude oil prices since the end of the summer in 2014,” said AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris. “This decline in the price of oil has been the product of weak demand combined with abundant supply.”
Currently the most expensive gas in the state can be found in Yreka at $2.87-a-gallon and while the release said that the $2.31-a-gallon prices found in Emeryville were the lowest, three gas stations in Manteca – Costco, Sinclair on E. Yosemite at Raylow and Quiki Kleen on W. Yosemite at Washington – have set their prices at $2.23-a-gallon.
That’s welcome news for Mike Hargrove who said that his 95-mile round-trip commute requires more than a few trips to the gas station every week to keep his pickup truck running.
“It’s one of those things you don’t really think about because you need it and it’s built into your budget,” Hargrove said. “So when the price drops like this all of a sudden you have a little bit of extra money you didn’t have before when you were getting gouged. It’s kind of nice to know that there’s a little bit of a cushion there now.”
The most expensive gas in Manteca, according to GasBuddy.com, can be found at the Chevron station at the intersection of Louise and Cottage Avenues where you’ll be paying $2.59-a-gallon. All five of the city’s Chevron stations are in the top 10 most expensive places to fill up your car.
But Californians are still paying much more than their national counterparts.
While gas prices are at a low not seen since 2009, the national average sits at $2.12-a-gallon – considerably lower than the average price-per-gallon that you’d find at most California stations.