Santa Barbara Gas Prices Higher than Ever, but Surge Is Slowing

GasBuddy Releases Results of Survey Showing Local Gas Prices $1.41 Higher than National Average

The Mobil gas station on Mission/Castillo is charging $6.29 per gallon as of March 14. | Credit: Ryan P. Cruz

Gas prices skyrocketed nationwide as of late, and here in Santa Barbara, prices are averaging $5.73 per gallon, more than $1 higher than last month and nearly $2 more than just a year ago.

The numbers came out as part of a GasBuddy survey of 56 gas stations within city limits, and according to the results, gas ranged from as low as $5.35 per gallon to as high as $6.38 on Sunday in Santa Barbara. Statewide, the cheapest gas was $4.89 per gallon, with some stations charging as much as $8.09.

Santa Barbara is currently well above the nationwide average of $4.32 and sits between Bakersfield at $5.59 per gallon and Los Angeles at $5.82.

Prices have not changed much in the past week, but the average is 107.8 cents more expensive than a month ago, and $1.89 more than on March 14, 2021, when the average price in Santa Barbara was $3.84 per gallon. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysts at GasBuddy, said that the situation is still fluid, but the slowing down is a good sign for now.

“After a furious increase in the national average over the last two weeks, the top appears to be in with average gas prices slowly starting to decline over the last few days,” De Haan said. “While the decrease could be short-lived, it is nonetheless a well-needed break from the large surge in gas prices we’ve experienced over the last few weeks.”

De Haan said that the nationwide average is still below the threshold of $4.50, but “escalations remain very possible” and the average could rise above that threshold “as long as there is conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”

GasBuddy also released historical averages, including the prices for March 14 over the past decade. The 10-year trends show that Santa Barbara averaged $4.44 per gallon in 2012, which dropped steadily until 2016, when the city averaged a low of $2.67 per gallon. Since that year, the city average has slowly crept up every year, with 2022 being the most expensive year to date.

The website also shows a daily list of the cheapest stations in the city and compiles the data from more than 11 million daily reports from 150,000 gas stations nationwide.


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