Southern California gas prices rose by double digits this week and most local areas now have average prices over $5 a gallon, but the price spike may be ending soon, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.04, which is ten cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.82, which is 11 cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.13 per gallon, which is ten cents higher than last week, 21 cents higher than last month, and 47 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.11, which is 11 cents higher than last week, 22 cents higher than last month, and 43 cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.07, which is ten cents higher than last week, 17 cents higher than last month, and 61 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.01, which is 12 cents higher than last week, 23 cents higher than last month and 47 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.94 average price is five cents higher than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and 85 cents lower than a year ago today.
“According to Oil Price Information Service, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that West Coast refineries have increased inventory at the same time that an increased amount of imported gasoline has arrived to bolster supply,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “As a result, Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices have dipped significantly and that should reduce upward pressure on local pump prices fairly quickly if the wholesale trend holds.”
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 Aug. 3, averages are: