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It pays to shop around for best gasoline prices

April 05, 2012|By Ronald D. White | Times Staff Writer
  • This Chevron station in downtown Los Angeles has been selling regular gasoline for more than $5 a gallon, but there are usually much lower prices to be found only a few blocks away.
This Chevron station in downtown Los Angeles has been selling regular gasoline… (Frederic J. Brown / AFP /…)

California gasoline prices are continuing to creep lower as fuel costs around much of the nation are still rising, but the cash that can be saved by using one or two of several available smartphone apps can be significant.

In California, the average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.29, down 3.9 cents since last week. Los Angeles currently has the dubious distinction of having some of the state's highest prices, but the spread between service stations only a few miles apart can be immense.

The Chevron at 811 W. Olympic Blvd. and Figueroa Street may have the state's highest price for a gallon of regular, according to GasBuddy.com, at a whopping $5.99 a gallon. Not terribly far away, at the United Oil Rapid #70 at 1600 W. Olympic, gasprices.mapquest.com says a gallon of regular costs $4.319.

The Mobil at 201 S. Azusa at Garvey Ave. South in West Covina is charging $5.36 for a gallon of regular, but the Arco at 300 N. Azusa at West Workman Avenue in West Covina is charging $4.19 a gallon.

The same is true in Hacienda Heights, where one Mobil station at 1030 S. Hacienda Blvd. is charging $5.29 a gallon while an Arco at 1401 S. Hacienda Blvd. is charging $4.19 a gallon.

But if you're driving on fumes in a place like Needles, Calif., where choices are relatively few, you may be out of luck in shopping for a bargain. Seven out of nine service stations canvassed there were charging $4.99 for a gallon of regular. The cheapest was just 20 cents less expensive, at $4.79 a gallon, at the Arco at 2410 W Broadway St near I-40.

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