The price of gasoline has gradually dipped during the past month in Santa Barbara.

On Friday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas was $3.981 in Santa Barbara, compared with the $3.675 national average and California’s $3.896 statewide average, according to The Santa Barbara average was $4.241 last month, when the national average was $3.892.

Prices typically decline this time of year, and they usually increase in February and March, then peak in May and the beginning of June, according to Jeffrey Spring of the Auto Club of Southern California.

A barrel of crude oil dropped to $93.64 from $100.28 last week.

South Coast residents can find the least expensive gas at Educated Car Wash, 3735 State St., at $3.74 a gallon. The next least expensive stations are the 76 at 4401 N. Via Real at $3.83; Conserv Fuel at 150 S. La Cumbre Road at $3.85 and ARCO at 1395 State St. at $3.85. The Conserv Fuel station has the lowest price on diesel fuel, at $4.29 a gallon.

The most expensive station is the Mobil at 49 Glen Annie Road, with gas priced at $4.29 a gallon for unleaded.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.