Men walk past a gas station display with prices well above $6 per gallon
Gas prices are over $6 a gallon at some Los Angeles stations; the average price per gallon in Santa Cruz County stood at $5.26 as of Monday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Coast Life

Gas prices are soaring in California. Here’s how to find the cheapest gas near you

From online services to paying with cash, here are some ways to save at the pump with the average gallon of gas in Santa Cruz County going for $5.26.

Gas prices have skyrocketed.

Prices had already been climbing because of supply chain issues, but Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine has caused them to spike even higher.

In California, the average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline on Monday was $5.34 — though Santa Cruz County was slightly lower at $5.26 per gallon, according to the AAA‘s price tracker. Neighboring counties were all higher: San Mateo’s average per-gallon price was $5.47, Santa Clara’s was $5.38, Monterey’s was $5.32 and San Benito was $5.30. The national average is now $4.06, a staggering $1.30 more than a year ago and the highest it has been since July 2008, according to AAA.

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Here’s how you can find the cheapest gas near you.

Use the GasBuddy app

The app GasBuddy can help you find gas stations closest to you with the lowest prices.

When you first download the app, it will ask you to sign up for an account. You can use the app with or without doing so, though.

After picking a fuel type, the app will display a list of nearby gas stations and their fuel prices. You can sort by lowest to highest or by distance. You also can choose to display only credit and debit card prices, or cash prices as well.

Gas prices are reported by other users or the owner of the gas station. As a user, you can also report prices.

Search on Geico

Geico’s website includes a search page where you can type in your address and find the cheapest gas prices and stations in your area.

You don’t need to have Geico as your car insurance to use this service.

Search on Google Maps

When you search for gas on Google Maps — either online or in the app — the price of regular gas is often listed in the search results, along with the hours, address and other information of the stations listed.

Pay with cash

Many gas stations such as Arco, 76 and Mobil offer a cheaper price for gas if you pay in cash.

The price difference is usually a few cents per gallon. To get the cheaper price, you need to prepay with a cashier before filling up your tank.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.