The City of Santa Barbara ranks fifth in the list of cities where people will most likely overpay for gas, according to an annual report released from GasBuddy on Tuesday. Santa Barbara gas stations vary considerably from street corner to street corner, increasing consumers’ susceptibility to overpay. In Santa Barbara, prices currently range from $3.29-$4.79, according to GasBuddy.
Since the price of gas plummeted nationwide in January, the average price in California has increased by a dollar in the last 40 days. Nationwide, the average price has increased by 40 cents, according to GasBuddy. The top four cities on the annual report included Bakersfield, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Congested cities typically have greater differences between prices, and people tend to fill up at the pump in places most convenient.
Also, gas prices typically to rise in the springtime. Known as a “first quarter climb,” prices tend to inch up nationwide for a couple of reasons, according to Gasbuddy spokesperson Alison Mac. One reason is that because temperatures are warmer, the industry switches to a summer blend gas that is more expensive to make. “It’s like low fat, low calorie food,” Mac said. Another reason is because about a quarter of refineries shut down during January and February for maintenance, decreasing supply and increasing prices.