Discover the Top 14 U.S. Cities with Absolute Highest Gas Prices
Where can you find some of the U.S. cities with the highest gas prices? While you may not want to refuel in these locations, it can be fascinating to learn where in the U.S. is pricey, especially when it comes to fuel costs! Which state maintains the highest average gasoline prices and what months always cost the most when it comes time to fill up your tank?
Whether you live in the United States or not, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most expensive cities when it comes to gas prices alone. Given that these figures are constantly fluctuating and changing based on a variety of factors, we’ll be going over fuel statistics specifically for October 2023.
Not only will we discuss what goes into the high prices found in these U.S. cities, but we will also discuss why you might choose to visit these locations in the first place. But first, let’s talk about gasoline and just how much a gallon is on average in the United States!
An Overview of Gasoline Prices in the U.S.
It’s no secret that gas prices have been difficult to navigate in 2022-2023. Whether it be political or related to something else, fuel costs have risen greatly in the United States and around the world. While this hasn’t stopped Americans and tourists from getting behind the wheel, prices have increased so drastically that considerations must be made.
For example, the average fuel cost nationwide in the United States in 2022 was nearly $4 per gallon, with some locations reaching nearly $10 per gallon. This is a huge increase from 2021, as average costs hovered around $3. While 2023 has been a bit kinder, gasoline and oil costs remain high for the United States and most major metropolitan areas worldwide.
Is it possible to build a reliable fuel budget for any and all U.S. travel via car? Perhaps, if you are first made aware of some of the most expensive cities in the country to refuel!
What Time of Year is Gas Expensive in the U.S.?
Generally speaking, June-August is the most expensive time of year to purchase gasoline in the United States. This is primarily due to demand. The warmer, milder months of summertime mean more people are hitting the road and traveling. School breaks also contribute to an influx of travelers, especially by car or truck.
Speaking of an influx of travelers, the December holiday season can also cause fuel costs to rise. The Thanksgiving holiday may also contribute, as it is a notorious holiday when it comes to driving! Compared to planes, trains, and buses, driving is the most popular method of travel when it comes to Thanksgiving in the U.S.
Which U.S. State Has the Highest Gas Prices?
Overall, California maintains the highest average gas prices in the entire United States. While Hawaii and Washington occasionally top the charts when it comes to how expensive a single gallon of gasoline is, California maintains its status as the priciest place to refuel in the country.
Why might this be? To begin, the entire west coast of the United States tends to pay more in fuel costs because of its location. Not only are cars the primary mode of transportation for this side of the U.S. – but the location of these states makes it difficult for fuel to be transported to them.
Most of the gasoline and fuel used in the United States come from areas near the Gulf Coast. That’s why southern states in the U.S. have lower fuel costs overall. However, when demand meets tax laws meets distance for deliveries, California tends to suffer most when paying at the pump!
Washington and Hawaii face similar issues as California. State and local taxes as well as proximity to resources make it difficult to price fuel fairly. However, there are far more drivers in the state of California, especially compared to Washington and Hawaii. Demand always puts pressure on price, and California is certain proof of this concept!
U.S. Cities with the Highest Gas Prices
High fuel costs shouldn’t stop travel plans or road trips when the time arises. However, knowing where gasoline is the most expensive may help with navigating the fickle fuel pumps found throughout the United States! No matter your plans or curiosities, here are 14 of the U.S. cities with the highest gas prices.
1. Bridgeport, CA
If you’ve heard of Bridgeport, CA, it may be because of its fuel prices. This California city is located in Mono County, just northeast of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite may be one reason why fuel is particularly expensive here. It is a popular national park to drive through, bringing visitors to it from around the world.
Local gas stations in Bridgeport are currently reporting costs of $7.25 per gallon of regular fuel. Nearby Mammoth Lakes is also pricey, with some towns offering slightly lower prices should you choose to venture elsewhere. Some local residents of Bridgeport mention commuting into nearby Nevada to refuel, as it saves them more money in the long run!
2. Pismo Beach, CA
North of Santa Barbara along California’s beautiful central coast lies Pismo Beach. This location is a great spot for a variety of activities, including discovering parts of California’s history, surfing, and wildlife viewing. However, you may want to refuel elsewhere. As of October 2023, Pismo Beach boasts gas prices of $6.79 per gallon!
3. Yermo, CA
Roughly two hours northeast of Los Angeles lies the tiny city of Yermo. Technically where the very first Del Taco opened, Yermo is a perfect stop on the way to the City of Angels from the east, especially if you’re coming from Las Vegas. However, gasoline averages $6.69 per gallon this fall. This may make Yermo perfect for refueling on tacos for you rather than fuel for your car!
4. Malibu, CA
Speaking of Los Angeles, Malibu is a city southwest of Los Angeles proper. Because of its proximity, Malibu is full of celebrity homes, upscale amenities, and gorgeous beaches. Visiting Malibu may be on your list, but be prepared to spend a luxury price on gasoline in fall 2023. Just like its lesser-known counterpart, Yermo, fuel is $6.69 per gallon on average in Malibu.
5. Linden, CA
East of Stockton in San Joaquin County, Linden currently has fuel prices set at $6.65 for a gallon of regular gas. While it may not be a stop on your road trip checklist, Linden has many commuters residing in it. This may contribute to the gas prices in this California city. It also boasts a popular and tasty cherry festival every spring, an event that just may be worth stopping for!
6. Cambria, CA
Cambria is located on the California coast, north of San Luis Obispo. Just south of the popular Hearst Castle, Cambria has fuel costs averaging just shy of $6.50 per gallon of regular gasoline. However, it’s an incredibly convenient stop should you choose to travel this beautiful stretch of coastline. Speaking of California’s natural beauty, Cambria plays host to the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, a protected natural area full of walking trails, hikes, and scenery!
7. Camino, CA
Located in El Dorado County, Camino is east of California’s state capital, Sacramento. As of October 2023, Camino has an average price per gallon of $6.29. Its proximity to Sacramento as well as many popular recreational activities along the California-Nevada border make Camino a popular place to refuel. In fact, you may find yourself there this fall. The ever-popular Apple Hill festival draws visitors from around the world!
8. Incline Village, NV
As we leave the state of California, we enter the nearby state of Nevada for another city with high gas prices. Incline Village is located along the shores of Lake Tahoe, a gorgeous and popular location for these two states. Given its proximity to the lake and countless ski resorts, Incline Village maintains fuel prices of roughly $6.19 per gallon during this time of year.
9. Wikieup, AZ
It isn’t fair to say that Wikieup is a city, exactly. However, it boasts a current cost of $6.09 per gallon at the only gas station in town! Wikieup is east of Lake Havasu City in Arizona, found along Highway 93. It may be a convenient stop on your exploration of north-central Arizona, despite its population of less than 200. In fact, there’s a ghost town just south of Wikieup known as Nothing, AZ!
10. SeaTac, WA
There is indeed a suburb of Seattle, WA that’s named for their airport. SeaTac has some pricey places to refuel, likely given its proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and various rental car facilities. As of October 2023, SeaTac and many gas station locations around it have prices averaging close to $5.79 per gallon of regular. However, you may not be able to avoid refueling here given its proximity to Seattle, the airport, and countless other locations!
11. Bridgeport, WA
You may believe you’re seeing double because of the Bridgeport location we’ve already talked about. Apparently, Bridgeport, WA is also costly when it comes to refueling, averaging $5.69 per gallon at the pumps. Located in between Spokane and Seattle, Bridgeport rests along the banks of the Columbia River. It’s a great city to consider stopping in if you wish to explore the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
12. Bellevue, WA
Just east of Seattle lies the popular city of Bellevue, WA. With fuel prices hovering near $5.64 per gallon, Bellevue is comparable to SeaTac in terms of cost. Bellevue is popular given its proximity to Seattle, but it also boasts plenty of activities on its own. Some of those include the Bellevue Botanical Garden and the Bellevue Arts Museum, two locations that may just be worth a visit!
13. Koloa, HI
Located on the southern shores of Kauai, Koloa averages $5.45 for gasoline currently. The beauty of Koloa and Kauai in general make it worth a visit, whether or not you end up driving around the island. There are plenty of places to explore, including the natural beauty that Hawaii is beloved for. Check out the Waimea Canyon State Park and the Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park for some spectacular opportunities!
14. Port Townsend, WA
Across the Puget Sound from Seattle and to the north lies the small city of Port Townsend. Eclectic and artistic, Port Townsend has an average fuel price of $5.37 as of fall 2023. This location is popular given its proximity to many natural wonders, including Olympic National Park. Port Townsend also has a ferry service to and from Seattle, which may make it ideal for those of you who don’t want to fuel up in this pricey location!
Summary of U.S. Cities with the Highest Gas Prices
|Bridgeport, CA||$7.25 per gallon|
|Pismo Beach, CA||$6.79 per gallon|
|Yermo, CA||$6.69 per gallon|
|Malibu, CA||$6.69 per gallon|
|Linden, CA||$6.65 per gallon|
|Cambria, CA||$6.49 per gallon|
|Camino, CA||$6.29 per gallon|
|Incline Village, NV||$6.19 per gallon|
|Wikieup, AZ||$6.09 per gallon|
|SeaTac, WA||$5.79 per gallon|
|Bridgeport, WA||$5.69 per gallon|
|Bellevue, WA||$5.64 per gallon|
|Koloa, HI||$5.45 per gallon|
|Port Townsend, WA||$5.37 per gallon|