A swift rise in gas prices continued over the past week and doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon as the average cost in the Bay Area approaches $7 a gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gas recently pushed past $5 for the first time ever, but that would be a sigh of relief for Californians, who as of Monday morning were paying on average $6.43, according to AAA data. That's up 56 cents from a month ago and up a whopping $1.21 from a year ago.
The average gas price in the Bay Area as of Monday ranged from $6.47 in Solano County to $6.68 in Marin County, AAA data showed. Among the region's three major metro areas, San Francisco had the highest average price at $6.64, while San Jose and Oakland both were at $6.55.
One expert says the soaring prices have not hampered demand, so the upward trend likely will continue.
"Americans are getting out there even in light of the high prices, and that will keep pushing prices up in the weeks to come," Gas Buddy analyst Patrick DeHaan said. "A bigger concern arrives in July and August; that is when we see the peak of hurricane season, and we could see gas prices rising even more significantly."
Here are a few tips to help save money at the pump:
- Use a gas-finding app that locates stations with the lowest prices.
- Pay with a gas credit card.
- Plan trips in advance for the most efficient route; Google Maps and other travel apps can assist.
- Drive the speed limit and minimize idling time.
AAA says reports of drivers running out of gas have increased significantly, with more than 50,000 calls for roadside assistance in April alone.