Many more drivers in Southern California can now find regular unleaded gas for less than $4 a gallon near them after price averages have dropped by double digits for seven of the past nine weeks, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.45, which is 17 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.19, which is 13 cents lower than a week ago and nine cents lower than the previous lowest average of 2022 reached on Jan. 4.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.54 per gallon, which is 17 cents lower than last week, 95 cents lower than last month, and 14 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.51, which is 16 cents lower than last week, 96 cents lower than last month, and 12 cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.62, which is 12 cents lower than last week, 81 cents lower than last month, and one cent lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.39, which is 18 cents lower than last week, 96 cents lower than last month and 23 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.77 average price is 23 cents lower than last week, 88 cents lower than last month, and 14 cents higher than a year ago today.
“Oil Price Information Service reports that according to the California Energy Commission, the state’s refinery production of gasoline has dropped for the fourth straight week and fuel stockpiles are now lower, but so is demand,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Even with lower production, Los Angeles and San Francisco wholesale gasoline prices are now lower than New York, so there should be further pump price drops ahead as long as that trend holds.”
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 Dec. 15, averages are: