Southern California gas prices continued their rapid downward plunge in the past week, and more gas stations are posting prices under $5 a gallon for regular unleaded, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.52, which is 18 cents lower than a week ago. The average national price is $3.57, which is eight cents lower than a week ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.67 per gallon, which is 21 cents lower than last week, 36 cents lower than last month, and 32 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.67, which is 19 cents lower than last week, 27 cents lower than last month, and 26 cents lower than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.64, which is 17 cents lower than last week, 25 cents lower than last month, and 31 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.53, which is 19 cents lower than last week, 32 cents lower than last month and 33 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.57 average price is 12 cents lower than last week, seven cents lower than last month, and 52 cents lower than a year ago today.
“Local gas prices still have plenty of room to move downward because of the early introduction of ‘winter blend’ gasoline, which was approved late last month by the state to help alleviate a supply crisis,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Today’s average prices are about 30 cents higher than during the Labor Day holiday weekend and more than $1.50 a gallon higher than at the beginning of this year.”
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 Oct. 19, averages are: