Southern California gas prices are up for the fifth week in a row and are now higher in most areas than a year ago just before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.75, which is seven cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.39, which is three cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.83 per gallon, which is nine cents higher than last week, 31 cents higher than last month, and three cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.83, which is nine cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and seven cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.76, which is nine cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and four cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.74, which is 11 cents higher than last week, 34 cents higher than last month and one cent higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.74 average price is eight cents higher than last week, 21 cents higher than last month, and seven cents higher than a year ago today.
“Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices moved up significantly last week in response to refinery problems and have backed down somewhat, but they are still at almost the same level as this time last year on the eve of the Russian Ukraine invasion,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. "This is despite the fact that oil prices are nearly 20 dollars lower per barrel than this time last year, indicating that other factors are playing a role in the increased prices, such as continued inflation and California's steady reduction in refinery output and capacity. “
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 Feb. 23, averages are: