It does not make sense to drive too far out of your way to fill up your tank, but with gas prices as crazy as they are in California right now, apps and websites that track gas prices are your friend.
Gas prices hit an average of $5/gallon across the state last week for the first time in history last week, and they only continue going up, so waiting to refuel doesn't make sense.
The most popular gas-price app out there is Gas Buddy, which is available in the Apple and Google app stores and it has a desktop website, and today it will tell you that the two cheapest spots for regular gas in the Bay Area right now are in the far East Bay at a Safeway in Pleasanton ($4.65/gallon, 6790 Bernal Ave.) and up in Sonoma County in Kenwood, just southeast of Santa Rosa on Highway 12 ($4.59/gallon, Kenwood Super Gas, 8850 Sonoma Highway). In the case of the latter price, it requires cash or debit purchase, with prices for credit purchases typically higher across the board.
You'll find other "low" prices in the East and South Bay, like $4.69/gallon at Milpitas City Gas in Milpitas, and $4.75/gallon at the ARCO on Park Blvd. in Alameda.
Head to the Costco in South San Francisco for $5.09/gallon gas. And the Valero at 3964 Callan Blvd. in South San Francisco currently has a $5.19/gallon price. See the rest of the local low prices here (it can be glitchy, keep refreshing), or in the Gas Buddy app.
But it's seriously hard finding gas under $5 per gallon anywhere in California right now, with the average price across the state hitting $5.44 today.
As KCBS reported Sunday, the price for a gallon of regular at a gas station on Highway 1 south of Big Sur, in Gorda, hit $7.59/gallon over the weekend.
The situation has some environmentalists excited that maybe this will push more people to carpool and take public transit, after two years in which transit especially took a hit across the country. And for decades now, environmentalists have lamented the fact that Americans enjoy artificially cheap gas prices, which end up coming at high costs to the environment as a whole.
But try telling that to the blue-collar worker who depends on their vehicle to get to their job(s) every day, and it's not hard to see why gas prices like this drive people insane — or to vote Republican.
Photo: Diego Carneiro