Just in time for the start of Thanksgiving holiday getaways, Southern California gas prices began rapidly dropping again after reports of reduced demand and rebuilding of gasoline inventories, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.37, which is nine cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.73, which is seven cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.43 per gallon, which is ten cents lower than last week, 68 cents lower than last month, and 74 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.42, which is eight cents lower than last week, 64 cents lower than last month, and 78 cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.39, which is ten cents lower than last week, 66 cents lower than last month, and 75 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.31, which is seven cents lower than last week, 69 cents lower than last month, and 70 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.59 average price is nine cents lower than last Thursday, 58 cents lower than last month, and 97 cents higher than a year ago today.
“Last week, Southern California gas prices stopped dropping on news of lower inventories, but that situation seems to have been resolved in combination with reports of lower fuel demand,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “The Auto Club is projecting an all-time record number of 4.5 million Southern California Thanksgiving travelers next week, with 3.9 million of them driving to their destinations, so demand will likely increase in the coming days.”
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 Nov. 17, averages are: