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Gas prices are rising across the country right now, but in California, it’s particularly bad. On average, Californians pay $4.63 for a liter of gasoline, a full $1.21 more than the national average.
The overall spike in gas prices is mostly related to the ongoing supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic. But more factors are at play in the Golden State, where the state government is putting pressure on consumers to curb their fuel consumption.
Much of the cost related to the state’s focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions ends up getting paid by consumers at the pump. From taxes to cap-and-trade programs, California has prioritized the environment over affordable fuel.
Why gas prices in California are so high
Everyone in the U.S. pays taxes for gas. SFGate says the federal government adds 18.4 cents per gallon each time you fill up through a gas excise tax. States can add to this, and California increases it more than any other.
Besides the 2.25% state sales tax, the government of California also charges an underground storage tank fee of 2 cents per gallon and adds 51.10 cents per gallon to the gas excise tax. With an average local sales tax of 1%, these fees raise gas prices by almost $0.70 per gallon.
On top of all this, environmental initiatives in the state like its cap-and-trade program and low carbon fuel standard increase fuel prices at about 35 cents per gallon, depending on other economic factors.
How Californians can offset fuel costs
If you live in California, there isn’t much you can do about the price of gasoline. But there are lots of ways to lower your car ownership bills. You just have to get creative.
One way many Americans are lowering their car-related costs is by working from home. Remote jobs are growing in popularity, and since the stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, many businesses are allowing employees to split their workweek between the office and their homes.
Cutting down on commuting costs is a great way to save, whether by carpooling or using public transit. Defensive driving techniques can also reduce the amount of fuel you use when you’re behind the wheel.
The easiest way to lower car ownership costs
All these tips can help you scrimp and save, but one of the easiest and most effective ways to cut down on the cost of owning a vehicle is to compare car insurance quotes online before deciding on a policy.
Shopping with Jerry is the best way to find the right price. Jerry is a personal insurance broker that lives in your pocket. But don’t worry about buying tiny office furniture, Jerry is an app.
Once you download Jerry, just answer a handful of questions that will take you roughly 45 seconds to complete and you’ll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage similar to your current plan. Jerry customers save an average of $879 a year.