Escondido and Oceanside lead race for cheaper gas

Costco and military bases slower on the uptake

London KY Shell station
  • London KY Shell station
  • gasbuddy.com

San Diegans willing to venture out from home quarantine are noticing some positives. Freeways are wide open, and the price of gas is dropping like a rock.

In the traditional time of year when SoCal refiners switch to a more costly “summer blend,” gas prices in San Diego County have fallen an average of 37 cents a gallon since the February 24 seasonal high of $3.55 (regular, cash price.)

The eight of the top ten low price leaders are independent stations in the business districts of Escondido and Oceanside; communities abandoned long ago by branded gas retailers in exchange for higher-priced freeway interchange locations. All ten locations were under $2.55 a gallon, including two rural, Native American-owned stations at casinos – Harrah’s in Valley Center and the La Jolla Reservation Trading Post on Highway 76 towards Lake Henshaw.

Mohsen Gas’ two locations in Oceanside, one on Coast Highway, the other on Mission Avenue, were posted by gasbuddy.com as the county’s lowest at $2.45 – an eight-cent drop over a 48-hour period. Even in low-priced Oceanside, on March 22, there was a price spread of $1.14-a-gallon difference between the lowest and highest stations.

In a rapidly lowering gas market, independents respond quicker than the big box retailers in lowering gas prices, as none of the top ten were Costco locations. Military and veterans buying gas at base exchanges usually have higher gas prices than found in town in a lowering gas market. The federal government purchases long-term contracts for gas supplies, thus unable to lower prices on pre-purchased gas.

Seven county stations have remained consistently priced above $4.00 a gallon over the fall and winter months. The highest is a Shell near the airport at $4.39, long known to be priced to take advantage of last-minute rental car returns, and an ARCO at $4.39 on Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista. Both ARCO and Shell brands in Southern California offer the same gas, owned and refined by Tereso in Torrance, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil.

In spite of the state’s 66 cents a gallon in taxes, a Sinclair Gas in Lemoore, CA is selling for $2.25, the lowest in the state. According to a Kentucky newspaper, the Scioto Post, a station in London, KY hit 99 cents on March 19.

At the lowest price for a barrel of crude oil since 2003, a March 19 Bloomberg report states oil traders are struggling with one of the biggest oil crashes in history. Analysts from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup expected prices to drop to $20 a barrel in the coming weeks. On March 20, with the suggested shelter-in-place advisement over the coronavirus causing Americans to not be driving unnecessarily, a barrel of crude hit the $20 mark.

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Yea! Cheap gas and no where to go! Who knew? (maybe our crystal ball politicians dumped their oil stocks too). Anyone remember the Escondido gas wars of the 60's?

What's the lowest you remember seeing it Alex? Mine 28.9 at Texaco station in between Perris and Edgemont (now Moreno Valley) on Hwy. 395. 1961?

I worked at an Richfield (before it became Atlantic Richfield and then ARCO) gas station @ 58th & E Cajon Blvd (1964). We sold gas for 22 cents a gallon but my buddies and I drove to Escondido to buy it at 17 cents a gallon. My pay was $1 an hour.

Yesterday I paid $2.379 a gallon (after a 40 cent Von's Club discount/gallon) at the Vons' Gas in Escondido for 87 octane. That was a credit card price and my Chase Visa is paying a 5% rebate on fuel purchases through month end. Sounds absolutely cheap, doesn't it?

Back in the day I lived a few years in Seattle. That area had a glut of refined product and a string a cheapie stations--the largest operated under the Gull brand name--that usually sold regular for $.229 or $.239. Went to one of them that allowed you, after accumulating ten fill-up chits, to use their hydraulic lift and grease gun to do an oil change/lube free. (It was necessary to bring your own oil.) A huge gas fill-up cost under $4. But back then I was earning $1.50 an hour for hard work. You will never see anything like that now or in the future.

$.26 at the hudson station at main and 2nd in el cajon ( back when mpg did not mean so much)

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I can remember how amazed I was when gas went over $1.

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In reply to A.C. --- maybe it be a note to those who moved here from other areas, that California is not the permanent, premium resorted state afterall. As the extreme many expect; to those that do any thinking ahead -- the most they think is of possible earthquakes. Maybe with the overload of those moving here, California will really become an island --- as "island" was spoken in the earlier times. Doesn't A.C. remember of this, too?

Cheaper Gas, add a Personal COVID19 Atmosphere inside the car that has the cheaper gas; --- than the more Earlier, More Expensive Times w/o the COVID19 timeline. How much better can the Car-Driver have it!!!!! Happy now? Or gonna start complaining again?? You know that you're never gonna see such a low traffic level on our streets -- like this again.

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I'm getting my gas for free.! Times are tough and they're very understanding. Thanks for playing...

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