Southern California drivers are paying less at the pump this week, but local refinery production has dropped in the last couple of weeks and may limit further drops, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is three cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.64, which is five cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.92 per gallon, which is three cents lower than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and 85 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.90, which is three cents less than last week, four cents higher than last month, and 83 cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.89, which is two cents lower than last week, six cents higher than last month, and 90 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.83, which is three cents lower than last week, five cents higher than last month and 88 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.89 average price is the same as last week, also the same as last month, and 86 cents lower than a year ago today.
“Local refinery production is reportedly down for the last couple of weeks, but oil prices have retreated from the brief spike that happened after OPEC countries announced production cuts ,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Given their current high levels near $5 a gallon in Southern California, it’s unlikely that gas prices will move drastically in either direction in the near future.”
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 April 27, averages are: