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$5 a gallon for gas? Check prices down the street!

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Posted at 5:00 AM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 09:48:54-04

Paying more than $4 for a gallon of gas has become the norm in Arizona.

Statewide prices are down slightly from record highs.

"We've seen relief of refinery issues in Southern California which fed into a lot of the increase we saw," says Patrick DeHaan with

But, on a recent day we checked, shows Arizonans still pay an average of $4.55 per gallon. That's 34 cents more per gallon than the national average.

And we found where you buy your gas could save you a lot of money.

Costco and Sam's Club aside, we found stations charging up to a dollar more than others for the same gallon of gas just minutes away.

Some of the best Phoenix prices were at the intersection of 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.

On the day we checked, both the 76 and Mobil stations charged $4.25 cash price or $4.35 for credit.

But at a different intersection, on the day we were there, two stations had very different prices.

Arco charged $4.26 a gallon (credit price). Just across the street, the Shell station charged 33 cents more.

Why so close and such differences?

DeHaan doesn't know in this case, but says generally "some stations may see themselves a premium brand."

Neighborhoods, income, business costs, and competition are also all pricing factors.

Convenience also is important.

Take the Shell station on South 40th Street in Phoenix.

It's close to the highway and why we found people pumping gas even though it's a whopping $5.09 a gallon!

But just a mile and a half down the same road, a Circle K station on Southern Avenue charged $4.49 a gallon on this day.

Out of all we saw, it's the price at another Shell station on East Buckeye Road in Phoenix that was shocking to some customers.

At $5.49 a gallon, it's the highest price we found in the Valley on the day we checked.

But just a four-minute drive down the same road, Circle K sold gas for $4.49, a full dollar cheaper.

That would be a $15 savings on a 15-gallon fill-up.

I walked in and asked why the prices were so high, but I didn't get any answers.

Shell did respond saying in part independent business people own their stations in Arizona and set their own prices.

I asked DeHaan about stations that consider themselves "premium" brands.

He said the gas you get anywhere "is going to be very similar."

Despite brands promoting special additives, DeHaan says every batch of gas produced must be tested at a refinery before it goes out.

"At the end of the day, I'm not going to a station because of its additives. I'm going to the station because it's attractive and low-priced," he said.

What gas prices are you seeing? Email me:

Click here to check gas prices at local stations before you go out.

Here's the full statement from Shell:

"Thank you for your question. Similar to many major brands, the Shell retail fuels business in the U.S. primarily supplies quality motor fuels to wholesalers who operate under the Shell brand and who sell Shell-branded fuels to independent retailers or directly to the motoring public. Shell-branded operators are independent business people who make their own operating decisions and set gasoline prices as they believe appropriate. Shell does not set fuel prices at this station or any other station in Arizona."