Average gas price in county highest in nearly 3 years

SAN DIEGO -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose Friday to its highest amount since Aug. 28, 2015, increasing a half-cent to $3.522.

The average price has increased 11 of the past 12 days, rising 8.8 cents, including a half-cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 4.3 cents more than one week ago, 12.6 cents higher than one month ago and 51.1 cents greater than one year ago. It has risen 40 cents since the start of the year.

The rising prices are the result of declining West Coast gasoline inventories and production, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager.

"However, those refineries are expected to be up and running at full capacity soon, which should increase supply," Spring said.

FOX 5 spoke with a frustrated driver just after he finished pumping gas Friday afternoon.

“Today it cost me $53 -- $53 dollars to fill my gas tank," he said. “Maybe I can afford it, but there are people spending that money and cannot buy a pizza or shoes for their kids. This is money off the people’s pockets!”

Another driver, Sandra Coe, also weighed in on the rising prices.

"It’s hard because everything else is going up too, like food. It’s getting more and more difficult to pay the bills. So it’s hard. When gas goes up it makes you want to take less trips and that’s kind of sad,” Coe said.

To help ease the pain at the pump, AAA said you can save gas money by lightening the load in your car, combining errands and shopping around for the cheapest gas prices.

To find the lowest gas prices near you, click here.