Gas prices are on the rise again.
AAA Mid-Atlantic reported this week that gas prices in Virginia have risen 35-cents since mid-January. The average gas price in Virginia is $3.59; in the DC metro area, it's $3.75.
A recent Texas Transportation Institute study said the DC area has the worst traffic. It also noted that America as a whole spends $121 billion in gas and time in traffic each year. That's roughly $818 per person, per year.
Here's what The Atlantic reported Wednesday:
Despite the fact that we're in February, when the price at the pump is traditionally low, gasoline has gotten near the $3.80-a-gallon mark on average nationwide, and it is close to $4 per gallon on the West Coast. AAA tells the Washington Post that this "is the most expensive we've seen gasoline in the dead of winter."
The Washington Post further reported that "some analysts also pointed to refinery issues. Several refineries have been shut down for routine maintenance, and in the eastern United States, several refineries simply went out of business in the past year."
Finding Cheap Gas in McLean and Beyond
As of Thursday morning, GasBuddy.com reported $3.83/gallon at the BP station near the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Old Dominion Drive. McLean Patch's own commute page here also lists the least (and most!) expensive gas stations in the area.
Here are a few strategies for finding inexpensive gas locally and when you're traveling:
- AAA’s TripTik Planner is available online or through a mobile app for Android and iPhone. It includes current prices at more than 85,000 gas stations throughout the United States.
- Install and launch the iGasUp app for iPhone or Android, and the 10 cheapest gas stations closest to your current location will appear.
- With GasBuddy.com, you can select your state, county and city to find gas prices from several places in the area. It’s also available for Android and iPhone devices.
- You can also go to Mapquest.com, enter an address, city or ZIP code, and Mapquest will return a map with markers for nearby gas stations, starting with the ones with the lowest gas prices. It also shows you which gas stations have expensive gas, so you know which gas stations to avoid.
- Sign up for a gas rewards program from Giant or Safeway grocery stores and you can earn 10-cents per gallon in savings or more just by going food shopping.
- Pay attention to your own credit card rewards programs—many offer savings of 2 or 3-cents per gallon.
At least you're not in Los Angeles, where the average is $4.26 per gallon, according to AAA.