Gas prices are continuing to rise rapidly in Southern California past the Labor Day holiday, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.36, which is six cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.80, which is three cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.44 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and 13 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.43, which is six cents higher than last week, 29 cents higher than last month, and 15 cents higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.39, which is nine cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and one cent lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.33, which is six cents higher than last week, 29 cents higher than last month and 14 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.24 average price is six cents higher than last week, 23 cents higher than last month, and eight cents lower than a year ago today.
“Oil Price Information Service reports that there have been a couple of unplanned refinery flaring incidents this week in Southern California, indicating mechanical problems that may be affecting gasoline production,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Oil prices have also spiked in the past week to their highest levels since November of last year, primarily because of continued OPEC production cuts affecting the market.”
During these times of higher prices, the Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas during fall road trips:
- 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 Sept. 7, averages are: