Gas prices experienced very little movement in most areas of Southern California in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.43, which is one cent higher than last week. The average national price is $3.38, 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 $4.51 per gallon, which is one cent higher than last week, four cents higher than last month, and 16 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.54, which is the same as last week, eight cents higher than last month, and nine cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.47, which is one cent lower than last week, seven cents lower than last month, and 14 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.38, which is two cents higher than last week, six cents higher than last month and 22 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.48 average price is one cent lower than last week, 21 cents lower than last month, and 11 cents lower than a year ago today.
“We are unfortunately heading toward the time of year when California drivers start to see rapid price increases due to refinery maintenance season and the ramp-up to producing the more expensive ‘summer blend’ of gasoline, which is required to be sold starting April 1, but usually arrives in gas stations well before that,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Hopefully there will be at least a few weeks of price stability before that happens.”
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 Jan. 19, averages are: