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Days before Christmas, gas prices in Buellton fall below $4 a gallon

Buellton gas
Posted at 5:06 PM, Dec 21, 2022

People living in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have seen a little relief at local gas stations as the average cost of a regular gallon of gas has now fallen below $5.

While prices at most local gas stations are still hovering north of $4.50 a gallon, multiple gas stations off Highway 246 in Buellton are now offering a gallon of regular for under $4, at $3.79 a gallon.

"Recently here in the Santa Ynez Valley, gas prices have been going in the right direction, slowly going down, down, down," said Gary Robinson of Santa Ynez.

"I drive a lot to Santa Barbara and my youngest son lives in San Diego, so he commutes. He is always talking about gas prices, so I tell him how prices here are dropping so quickly," said Andy Marcos, Buellton resident.

Marcos says he first took notice of the trickling gas prices in his hometown right after the Thanksgiving holiday.

"I'd say over the past couple of weeks. Sometimes 10 cent increments, 5 cents as well. And then when it got to $3 for regular, I took a picture of it and sent it to my youngest son," Marcos said.

Doug Shupe, a spokesperson with AAA, added that the brief travel lull between the fall and winter holidays played a big part in bringing down those prices.

"We were also under a period during the last couple of weeks of slower demand for fuel because we were in between the very busy travel periods of Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays. So, people were not driving as much and didn't need as much gasoline," Shupe told KSBY.

He also notes that the prices for crude oil around the country have trended downward in recent weeks, allowing for fuel costs to gradually come down, too.

Some locals say the decreases may sway them into taking a last-minute Christmas road trip.

"It makes it easier to travel this Christmas season, you know. I can go down and visit relatives and stuff since it is not so expensive,"said Vita Loyal, who lives in Solvang.

Others add that they will be sure to fill up their next tank in Buellton before they hit the road.

"Definitely filling up here," said Andy Marcos. "It is cheaper than Santa Barbara and I have a friend who always visits me from San Luis Obispo, and she always gasses up here."

According to GasBuddy, the cost of a regular gallon of gas has also dropped below $4 a gallon at a select number of stations in Santa Ynez, Lompoc, and Solvang.

Officials with AAA say nearly 113 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home from now through the end of the year; and according to a recent survey from their travel advisors, the Central Coast ranks fifth among holiday destinations for people traveling from Southern California.