Southern California gas prices continued upward in the last week, bringing average prices to well over $6 in all areas except Bakersfield, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.03, which is 24 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.84, which is three cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.29 per gallon, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 92 cents higher than last month, and 18 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.21, which is 22 cents higher than last week, 84 cents higher than last month, and 17 cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.15, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 87 cents higher than last month, and 10 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.12, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 86 cents higher than last month and 17 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.87 average price is 15 cents higher than last week, 69 cents higher than last month, and three cents higher than a year ago today.
This fall’s price spike is similar to what California drivers experienced a year ago, when refineries did not produce enough of the ‘summer blend’ of gasoline to sell through the end of October as required by state air quality regulations.
“We are continuing to see price increases due to higher oil prices and refinery maintenance that has reduced gasoline production, along with the continuing overall reduced capacity in California to produce gasoline as refineries switch to green fuel production”, said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Last September, Gov. Newsom and the California Air Quality Resources Board suspended regulations to allow early sale of cheaper ‘winter blend’ gasoline, which brought pump prices down rapidly, but it is unknown whether they will take that action again this year.”
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 Sept. 28, averages are: