The early introduction of “winter blend” gasoline to Southern California gas stations has sent prices tumbling downward a week after they reached new all-time record high levels, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.20, which is 22 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.91, which is four cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.26 per gallon, which is 23 cents lower than last week, 85 cents higher than last month, and $1.81 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.20, which is 23 cents lower than last week, 83 cents higher than last month, and $1.80 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.18, which is 28 cents lower than last week, 74 cents higher than last month, and $1.80 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.14, which is 23 cents lower than last week, 86 cents higher than last month, and $1.78 higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $6.24 average price is 10 cents lower than last Thursday, 85 cents higher than last month, and $1.86 higher than a year ago today.
“Gas prices would have to come down by about $1.20 a gallon from last week’s records in most areas to completely erase the spike that began in September, and there is a possibility they could drop even more if wholesale gasoline prices continue downward,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “When prices are dropping, it’s more important for consumers to shop around and make sure they are not overpaying for gas by using a tool like the free AAA Mobile app. Most drivers should easily be able to find gas stations charging less than $6 a gallon for regular unleaded, and the local stations with the lowest prices today are charging less than $5.60.”
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 Oct. 13, averages are: