For the first time since July, most Southern California gas price averages are now below $5 a gallon after continued price drops during the week after Thanksgiving, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.85, which is seven cents lower than a week ago. The average national price is $3.25, which is two cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.95 per gallon, which is eight cents lower than last week, 45 cents lower than last month, and seven cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.98, which is seven cents lower than last week, 48 cents lower than last month, and the same price as this time last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.98, which is eight cents lower than last week, 46 cents lower than last month, and the same as last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.77, which is eight cents lower than last week, 48 cents lower than last month and 12 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.04 average price is seven cents lower than last week, 38 cents lower than last month, and 26 cents lower than a year ago today.
“Gas price reductions are slowing down, but it appears there is some room for prices to drop further as long as wholesale prices do not significantly rise,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “The main reasons for the downward pressure on retail prices include an ample supply in the market and a continual recovery from the September price spike. Also, as we get closer to winter, gas demand historically drops and retail prices follow.”
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 Nov. 30, averages are: