Jittery oil markets caused a one-day gas price spike across the country today that pushed the average Los Angeles gas price up eight cents to over $5 a gallon, and many other local areas are close to that level, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.94, which is a new record for the state and 17 cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.73, which is 21 cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.01 per gallon, which is 19 cents higher than last week, 29 cents higher than last month, and $1.25 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.98, which is 20 cents higher than last week, 32 cents higher than last month, and $1.24 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.94, which is 20 cents higher than last week, 30 cents higher than last month and $1.23 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.91, which is 18 cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month and $1.22 higher than last year. In Bakersfield, the $4.82 average price is 14 cents more than last Thursday, 24 cents higher than last month and $1.23 higher than a year ago today.
“In addition to oil prices spiking due to concerns about Russian oil supply being removed from Western markets, Southern California is experiencing some supply issues that tend to happen during the spring when refineries typically undergo maintenance,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “The California Energy Commission reported that the state’s gasoline stocks are down by about six percent from last week, which also puts upward pressure on gas prices.”
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, and 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. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
- 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 bulky 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 March 3, averages are: