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Trying to find cheap gas in the Bay Area? Here’s where and how to look

San Francisco Chronicle 3/8/2022 By Annie Vainshtein
The price board at a gas station is shown next to a California Street sign in San Francisco, Monday, March 7, 2022. © Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The price board at a gas station is shown next to a California Street sign in San Francisco, Monday, March 7, 2022.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has catapulted already high gas prices in California to record heights, with no end in sight.

President Biden announced Tuesday that Americans will see prices rise even further as the U.S. bans all Russian oil imports in retaliation for its ongoing offensive.

The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in California was $5.34 on Monday, according to AAA’s price tracker. The state’s prices have been the highest in the nation, and more than a dollar above the national average, The Chronicle reported.

Facing such stratospheric prices, many drivers in the Bay Area may be looking for the locations that will put the smallest dent in their wallets. Here are some places to look.

Check GasBuddy

In the last two weeks, GasBuddy has emerged as one of the more helpful tools for people hoping to find gas stations with low prices in their area. Users can download the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play, sign up for an account, and after picking a fuel type see an array of nearby gas stations and what prices they currently offer.

But during this gas crisis, the app has also struggled to keep up with demand. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, said traffic to the app is higher than ever before seen. It has also led to some crashes — on Monday afternoon, multiple errors occurred during attempts to access nearby gas stations.

“Our team is feverishly working to address the situation and keep our service available,” said De Haan.

Google Maps

If you search for gas near you on Google Maps, stations with their prices are usually displayed, along with their hours and location. This can be helpful if you’re in the vicinity of a few gas stations but don’t know which one would be cheapest.

Geico


Video: Ukraine Invasion Sends Gas Prices Soaring In Bay Area, Across U.S. (CBS SF Bay Area)

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Insurance company Geico also offers a helpful tool on its website for comparing gas prices near you. A search of gas prices in San Francisco on Monday found the cheapest options.

ARCO: 1175 Fell St.

$4.97 for regular grade

ARCO: 1798 Mission St.

$4.99 for regular grade

Shell: 400 Guerrero St.

$5.19 for regular grade

Costco

Big-box retailer Costco has self-service gas stations adjacent to many of its warehouses where you can stock up on Kirkland Signature gas for relatively lower prices. Note that you must have a Costco membership, and lines for the gas pumps may likely be long.

There are many Costco gas stations in the Bay Area, including in South San Francisco, Richmond, Hayward, Antioch, Danville, San Leandro, Vallejo, Redwood City, Fremont, Sunnyvale, San Jose and Santa Clara. You can search Costco’s website for warehouses with gas stations and their current prices.

On Monday, gas prices were $5.09 for regular unleaded and $5.35 for premium unleaded, according to an employee at the Costco on El Camino Real in South San Francisco. The employee added that demand at the gas pumps has been huge and nonstop over the past few days, with lines extending all the way down the street.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club is another membership-based retailer that offers fuel at a number of gas stations. You can use the Sam’s Club app or the Sam’s Club Locator to look at pricing for club gas stations near you.

In the Bay Area, the closest Sam’s Club fuel stations are in Concord and Vacaville ($5.08 for unleaded gas). There is also one in Sacramento.

Annie Vainshtein (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: avainshtein@sfchronicle.com

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