For anyone heading out on the roads this holiday season, there is some good news coming to your pocketbook: Gas prices in Lodi are decreasing slightly, and are actually lower than the state average.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Lodi, according to www.stocktongasprices.com, is about $3.42, down from nearly $4 in September.
According to Motor Trend, an automotive magazine, Lodi’s average is about $3.50 for regular unleaded.
Gas prices in the area dropped significantly over the last few months. In mid-September, regular unleaded was about $3.96 per gallon, according to www.stocktongasprices.com. By Nov. 19, prices were as low as about $3.40.
Many stations in Lodi are offering even lower prices, though — such as the Costco station at 2680 Reynolds Ranch Parkway. Regular unleaded there dropped as low as $3.28 per gallon Thursday, while premium gasoline was $3.49 per gallon.
The Arco station at Flag City was similarly low, at $3.29 per gallon for regular gasoline, while the nearby Flying J was at $3.39 per gallon.
Premium gasoline at two other Lodi stations was at $3.53 and $3.65 per gallon, respectively.
Sacramento resident Skip Cole was pumping gas at the Chevron on Lockeford Street and Ham Lane. While prices for regular gasoline there were at $3.57 per gallon, Cole said he has seen lower prices all over the region.
“They’ve really been dropping lately,” he said. “Which is good, because I do a lot of traveling.”
Cole sometimes drives as far as Monterey, where gas prices are always high. So he said he’s grateful stations in the Stockton, Lodi and Sacramento region have remained steadily lower.
He said that as early as Monday, the lowest he had seen in the area was $3.23 per gallon.
“It’s been saving me anywhere between $200 and $300 a month,” he said.
The state average is $3.60, the lowest it has been since this time last year.
The state average has been low for the last two Decembers, www.stocktongasprices.com notes. Over the last decade, the state average was as low as $1.76 in late 2008.
Over the last month, the state average has slightly risen from $3.56 per gallon, to the current $3.60.
The national average for regular unleaded is $3.27, the website reported.
While gas prices for the average commuter and traveler may be decreasing, Stephen Kludt, owner of E.F. Kludt & Sons, Inc. at 1128 E. Pine St. said prices for some commercial vehicles are going in the opposite direction.
“(Prices) were lowering,” he said. “For us, the prices have been fluctuating. But for the most part, diesel prices are increasing.”
The local average for diesel fuel is $4.12, according to Motor Trend.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, regular unleaded gasoline is projected to average $3.43 per gallon nationwide in 2014, while diesel fuel is expected to be $3.77 per gallon nationwide.
This week’s low average is not as low as prices for the area last year, according to www.stocktongasprices.com. According to the website, prices at this time last year were about $3.31 per gallon for regular unleaded. In the past year, the lowest price for diesel fuel was $4 in June.
That’s a huge difference from the all-time high, which the website said was $4.56 for regular gasoline in Oct. 2012, and $5.26 for diesel in June 2008.