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Auto Club: Gas Prices Bottom Out, Head Upward Again

Photo by Casey Fiesler cfiesler/ licenses/by/4.0/

Continued lower inventories and refinery production levels statewide finally put a stop to hefty gas price decreases that started in October, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.38, which is four cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.16, which is six cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.46 per gallon, which is three cents higher than last week, 61 cents lower than last month, and 21 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.48, which is six cents higher than last week, 56 cents lower than last month, and 15 cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.50, which is the same as last week, 53 cents lower than last month, and 12 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.31, which is three cents higher than last week, 63 cents lower than last month and 29 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.55 average price is four cents lower than last week, 77 cents lower than last month, and six cents lower than a year ago today.

“Besides Southern California’s local supply drawdown, oil prices have also risen to nearly $80 a barrel after dropping to their lowest level of 2022 a few weeks ago, and that has impacted gas prices nationwide,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Because of all the 2022 price spikes, this year is obviously the most expensive on record for gasoline. The 2022 average annual price is likely to close out at $5.55 a gallon for Los Angeles and at $5.50 a gallon for San Diego. Last year’s average annual price, which was also a record, was $4.18 a gallon for Los Angeles and $4.15 a gallon for San Diego.”

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. 29, averages are:

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Media Contacts

Marie Montgomery
(714) 420-0477 (cell)
CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.