Southern California gas prices moved slightly downward in the last week due to lower wholesale prices at the same time as Washington state fuel prices surged to displace California as the most expensive state for gasoline, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.86, which is two cents lower than a week ago and nine cents lower than the current $4.95 Washington state average. The average national price is $3.58, which is one cent lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.92 per gallon, which is two cents lower than last week, six cents higher than last month, and $1.48 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.90, which is one cent lower than last week, six cents higher than last month, and $1.41 lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.93, which is one cent lower than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and $1.40 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.81, which is two cents lower than last week, three cents higher than last month and $1.47 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.87 average price is two cents lower than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.48 lower than a year ago today.
“Further supply improvements for Arizona gasoline, which is produced by some Southern California refineries, seem to have reduced pressure on local gas prices as well,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “However, Washington state has experienced some hefty price increases in the past month because of its new cap-and-trade program requiring refineries to purchase carbon credits to offset pollution, and in the past week it has surged past California as the most expensive state in the country for gasoline.”
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 June 22, averages are: