While gas prices throughout the U.S. continued skyrocketing at levels not seen since the start of the Ukraine war due to continued uncertainties about world gasoline supply, Southern California pump prices rose more moderately in response to one major supplier being offline for maintenance, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.85, which is nine cents higher than last week. The average national price is $4.42, which is 17 cents higher than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.90 per gallon, which is six cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.74 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.86, which is five cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.72 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.86, which is two cents higher than last week, one cent higher than last month and $1.73 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.81, which is four cents higher than last week, four cents higher than last month and $1.74 higher than last year. In Bakersfield, the $5.84 average price is five cents more than last Thursday, two cents higher than last month and $1.84 higher than a year ago today.
“The Phillips 66 Wilmington refinery has been undergoing planned maintenance for nearly a month, keeping upward pressure on local prices, according to Oil Price Information Service,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “Another phenomenon that has occurred during this latest price runup is that premium gasoline has become even more expensive compared to regular grade gasoline. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center has found that if your vehicle’s manual just recommends premium fuel and does not require it, the vehicle will operate safely and efficiently with the much less expensive regular gas.”
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 12, averages are: