Southern California travelers filling up for Memorial Day trips in record numbers this weekend will be paying the second highest gas prices ever for this holiday, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.81, which is two cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.57, which is three cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.87 per gallon, which is four cents higher than last week, six cents lower than last month, and $1.22 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.85, which is three cents more than last week, six cents lower than last month, and $1.17 lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.86, which is three cents higher than last week, four cents lower than last month, and $1.17 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.78, which is two cents higher than last week, six cents lower than last month and $1.20 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.83 average price is two cents higher than last week, five cents lower than last month, and $1.18 lower than a year ago today.
“Gas prices are more than a dollar a gallon lower than this time last year, but are still the second highest on record for this holiday,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Local residents taking out-of-state road trips through Nevada will pay about 60 cents less per gallon on average when filling up there, but those going through Arizona will see very similar prices to Southern California in many areas because of an ongoing supply issue. We recommend that travelers use a tool like the free AAA Mobile app to find the least expensive gas along their routes.”
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 May 25, averages are: