Several gas stations in Southern California are now charging less than $4 a gallon as prices continue plunging toward what should become the lowest levels of the year, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.62, which is 28 cents lower than last week and a penny below the previous lowest price of 2022 reached on Jan. 27. The average national price is $3.33, which is 14 cents lower than a week ago and four cents higher than the year’s lowest average reached on Jan. 4.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.71 per gallon, which is 26 cents lower than last week, 81 cents lower than last month, and two cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.67, which is 27 cents lower than last week, 84 cents lower than last month, and three cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.74, which is 21 cents lower than last week, 75 cents lower than last month, and 11 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.57, which after dropping 28 cents in the last week is now two cents lower than the previous lowest level of 2022. The Riverside average is also 81 cents lower than last month and four cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5 average price is 28 cents lower than last week, 69 cents lower than last month, and 36 cents higher than a year ago today.
“In coming days as long as current trends hold, we would expect every area of Southern California to drop below its cheapest prices of 2022, which were all reached in January and were generally between $4.60 and $4.70 a gallon ,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “There has been an uptick in Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices in the last couple of days due to some reported refinery maintenance, but the wholesale price today is still 30 cents lower than its previous lowest point of 2022 in late January.”
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 Dec. 8, averages are: