After a 32-day streak of lower gas prices, the GasBuddy unleaded regular national average has climbed for two straight days, thanks to some double digit increases in a few Rust Belt cities, not a nationwide trend. Toledo, Ohio, for example saw an overnight gain of a whopping 22.2cts/gal, pushing gas prices there to $3.437/gal. Despite weaker U.S. spot markets for gasoline, the Toledo metropolitan area has seen another 2cts/gal of increases Thursday morning, perhaps proving that all gasoline prices, like politics, are local.
According to GasBuddy, other metropolitan areas that now reflect double digit increases from Wednesday include:
  • Decatur, IL
  • Lima, OH
  • Jackson, MI
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Steubenville, MI
  • Mansfield, OH
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Muskegon, MI
  • Battle Creek, MI
  • Bay City, MI
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Bloomington-Normal, IL
  • Columbus, OH
GasBuddy alerted motorists to the rise in prices by sending alerts to users smartphones in some of the areas with the steepest hikes.
San Francisco, CA remains the most expensive market in the lower 48 states with an average of $4.118/gal; sixteen of the Top 25 most expensive markets were from the Golden State. But smart shoppers could find stations priced as low as $3.60/gal despite California‚Äôs state average of $3.963/gal. Excluding Alaska and Hawaii markets, Bend, OR was the most expensive market with an average of $3.974/gal that does not reside in California. Other states with metropolitan areas in the Top 25 include Washington and Connecticut.
In contrast, some metropolitan areas in the Southeast are seeing prices closing in on the $3.00/gal mark. Rock Hill, SC saw the cheapest average price at $3.135/gal followed by:
  • Anniston, AL
  • Lubbock, TX
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Gadsden, AL
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Auburn, AL
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Springfield, MO
  • Fort Smith, AR
GasBuddy analysts predict prices should generally drift lower in August, although tropical weather in the Gulf of Mexico or Northern Atlantic is capable of providing dramatic updrafts. The good news for drivers is that nearly 12% of all stations in the country are under $3.25/gal while only 3.4% are above the dreaded $4.00/gal threshold. Last year at this time, less than 2% saw prices below $3.25 and almost 6% were above $4.00/gal.