Southern California gas prices broke new records this week, but appear to be reversing course after a California Air Resources board decision to allow gas stations to sell “winter blend” one month early, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.42, which is 24 cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.87, which is nine cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.49 per gallon, which is 23 cents higher than last week, $1.20 higher than last month, $2.06 higher than last year, and three cents higher than the previous record price set in June 2022. In San Diego, the average price is $6.43, which is 23 cents higher than last week, $1.17 higher than last month, $2.05 higher than last year, and six cents higher than the previous June 2022 record.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.36, which is 16 cents higher than last week, 98 cents higher than last month, $1.98 higher than last year and the same as the previous June 2022 record. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.37, which is 26 cents higher than last week, $1.20 higher than last month, $2.03 higher than a year ago and four cents higher than the June 2022 record. In Bakersfield, the $6.34 average price is 37 cents higher than last Thursday, $1.01 higher than last month, $1.96 higher than a year ago today and still four cents below the June 2022 record.
“Air quality regulations normally require ‘summer blend’ gasoline to be sold to drivers through the end of October, but the state’s decision to allow ‘winter blend’ sales early, in addition to imports arriving soon and local refineries coming back online following maintenance, should help alleviate the state’s gas supply crisis,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “While all Southern California average prices are well above $6 a gallon today, we expect them to move lower in the coming days and weeks. It’s important for drivers to know that there already are dozens of stations selling gas for less than $6 and they can find them using the free AAA Mobile app.”
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 Oct. 6, averages are: