As the West Coast received more gasoline imports and Arizona fuel supply issues continue to affect local refineries, Southern California gas prices stopped dropping in most areas last week after two previous weeks of decreases, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.83, which is the same as last week. The average national price is $3.49, which is five 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 two cents higher than last week, three cents higher than last month, and $1.19 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.87, which is the same as last week, two cents higher than last month, and $1.14 lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.85, which unchanged from last week, eight cents higher than last month, and $1.13 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.78, which is one cent lower than last week, four cents higher than last month and $1.18 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.88 average price is the same as last week, 11 cents higher than last month, and $1 lower than a year ago today.
“A new report from the US Energy Information Administration shows that gasoline imports are at a 20-month high on the West Coast, according to Oil Price Information Service,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. "That factor is helping to kepp Southern California fuel supply plentiful at a time when some local refinery production is being redirected to Arizona to help resolve a supply crisis there."
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 March 30, averages are: