High crude oil prices, concerns about global oil supply and high demand for gasoline will continue to put upward pressure on pump prices as we head into the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.07, which is one cent higher than last week. The average national price is $4.60, which is one cent higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.09 per gallon, which is one cent lower than last week, 31 cents higher than last month, and $1.90 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.02, which is one cent lower than last week, 39 cents higher than last month, and $1.90 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.03, which has not changed since last week but increased 23 cents from than last month and is $1.88 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.98, which is the same as last week, but it is 26 cents higher than last month and $1.87 higher than last year. In Bakersfield, the $6.02 average price is four cents more than last Thursday, 27 cents higher than last month and $1.96 higher than a year ago today.
“Even though drivers will be paying the highest gas prices ever, we expect this to be the fourth busiest Memorial Day travel volume on record for Southern California,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. "Between Thursday, May 26th and Monday May 30th, we project 2.6 million SoCal residents will take road trips. Even with the higher gas prices traveling by automobile is still the most economical transportation.”
The Auto Club recommends the following tips to save money on gas:
- Look into carpooling if you commute a significant distance. Carpooling with one other person cuts commute costs in half, and you can cut your commute costs by two-thirds by carpooling with two other people.
- 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 May 26, averages are: