A gas station at the intersection of 41st Street and Rucker Avenue advertises diesel for more than $5 a gallon and unleaded for more than $4.70 a gallon on Friday, May 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A gas station at the intersection of 41st Street and Rucker Avenue advertises diesel for more than $5 a gallon and unleaded for more than $4.70 a gallon on Friday, May 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

As gas prices near $5 in Everett, who has the best deal around?

For some, it’s good to drive an electric vehicle these days. For the rest of us, we’re scouting for the cheapest pumps — and looking at north Snohomish County.

ARLINGTON — Josh Hansen made the switch back in 2018.

After years commuting 70 miles per day in a GMC truck, the Marysville resident was tired of paying at the pump. So he bought a used Chevrolet Volt.

Hansen now doesn’t have to deal with the rising gas prices squeezing Snohomish County drivers.

Since then, his savings in fuel allowed him to cover the cost of the Volt, pay for insurance and electricity.

As for the rest of us?

The county is seeing an average of $4.74 per gallon at local gas stations. That’s a dime more than the statewide average of $4.64, according to AAA.

Still, the state remains almost 30 cents below the average of regular gas from May 2022, a precursor to the all-time high of $5.55 in June 2022. The same month, diesel prices hit a record of $6.46 per gallon.

But 2024 reflects the second-highest gas prices on record for this time of year. Three months ago, average prices in the state were under $4 a gallon. At this time four years ago, the average was under $2.40.

Washington’s prices were far higher than the national average of $3.62 per gallon on Monday. Our rates are the third-highest in the nation, trailing Hawaii ($4.80) and California ($5.28).

Gas prices tend to fluctuate with the seasons. Prices begin to rise in the spring and peak in late summer as consumer demand peaks, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gas sold in the summer must also be less prone to evaporate in warmer weather, contributing to higher prices. For industry experts, higher gas prices aren’t much of a surprise.

A year ago, average gas prices in the state were about 6 cents lower than now, at $4.58.

Washington has the third-highest gas tax in the country, at $0.494 per gallon.

The cheapest gas in the county hardly gets close to the national average.

To get the best deal, Angel of the Winds Fuel Center on the Stillaguamish Reservation consistently has the cheapest gas prices in Snohomish County.

On Monday, motorists reported prices of $3.94 per gallon for regular gas — 80 cents lower than the county’s average — according to the tracking site GasBuddy.

The next-best price comes from River Rock Tobacco & Fuel at $4.05 per gallon, also owned by the Stillaguamish Tribe on Smokey Point Boulevard. River Rock has a second location just 2 miles west of Angel of the Winds with a price of $4.09 per gallon.

But getting to the cheaper gas is a little out of the way for many Snohomish County residents, with their locations in the north end of the county.

Jeff Wheatley, the general manager of Angel of the Winds Casino Resort, said the low prices are a key part of advertising the casino to potential new customers.

The fuel center deliberately prices down their gas to lure people its way.

“We consider that loss in profits basically a marketing expense for us,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to drive folks to our casino resort.”

Not many motorists will go out of their way to fill up at Angel of the Winds, Wheatley said, unless it is cheaper than anywhere else. The fuel center sits about 2 miles off I-5.

And if people are coming out to Angel of the Winds for the casino, “we don’t want fuel to be a deterrent,” Wheatley said.

In Everett, the lowest cost gas drivers can find is at Costco near Silver Lake for $4.46 per gallon and $4.95 for premium gas.

Hansen has since upgraded his ride to a newer Tesla. Last December, he took the car out to Leavenworth, hoping to test it in wintry conditions on the 200-mile round trip.

“Cost us $6 in electricity,” he said in an email, “if we’d taken the truck it would have easily been $80 in gas.”

Jenelle Baumbach: 360-352-8623; jenelle.baumbach@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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