Southern California gas prices are up for the week in most areas, but some have begun dropping on news of increased supply and lower oil prices, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.91, which is two cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.69, which is four cents higher 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 one cent higher than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and 84 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.93, which is one cent less than last week, four cents higher than last month, and 83 cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.91, which is one cent higher than last week, six cents higher than last month, and 90 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.86, which is two cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month and 86 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.89 average price is one cent more than last week, two cents less than last month, and 89 cents lower than a year ago today.
“Last week’s California Energy Commission report indicated a robust increase in refinery production and state gasoline supply, and oil prices have also dropped in the last week to put downward pressure on pump prices,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Southern California drivers are now paying slightly less than Phoenix-area drivers for gasoline, which is unusual. That's because gasoline is now averaging above $5 a gallon in some Arizona cities because of an ongoing supply issue in that state.”
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 April 20, averages are: