Gas prices rose for the second week in a row this month. The higher gas prices come after California’s three-cent gas tax increase took effect recently. More demand for gas during a busy summer driving season and higher crude oil prices are also playing a role in the rising prices at the pumps, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.90, which is six cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.56, which is three cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.99 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, two cents higher than last month, and $1.11 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.95, which is five cents higher than last week, two cents higher than last month, and $1.06 lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.95, which is four cents higher than last week, same as last month, and $1.08 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.85, which is six cents higher than last week, same as last month and $1.11 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.84 average price is one cent higher than last week, four cents lower than last month, and $1.32 lower than a year ago today.
“Many Southern Californians still have summer road trips to take which means demand for fuel will likely remain high for weeks to come,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “However, even with the recent increases, gas prices are still more than a dollar lower than a year ago and could remain fairly steady for the rest of the summer.”
The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:
- If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club's Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
- Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
- Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
- Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
- Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
- Minimize your use of air conditioning.
- Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
- Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
- Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
- Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on July 13, averages are: