Los Angeles gas prices spiked again overnight, rising five cents to bring the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline to above the $4 mark on Friday.
The average of $4.02 is 24 cents higher than one week ago, and 66 cents more than a month ago in L.A. County, according to AAA.
But the L.A. area is hardly alone in experiencing higher fuel costs in the Golden State. At an average of $3.95 for self-serve regular gasoline, California continues to have the most expensive gasoline in the U.S. — roughly $1.14 more than the national average.
A recent combination of continued refinery issues and a lack of gasoline imports are responsible for pushing costs at least three cents higher a day, AAA reported.
“Out of the 10 major refineries in California, six are dealing with planned maintenance, unplanned breakdowns or both, and four of those refineries are in Southern California,” Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring explained in a news release.
On top of that, he said, gas inventories in L.A. have dropped by about 2 million barrels, he said, citing a Thursday report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“And a source reported to Oil Price Information Service that Southern California received no imported gasoline in the last week,” Spring added.
Amid soaring gas prices, AAA has some tips to reduce a vehicle’s gasoline consumption, something that can help motorists save money.
Among the recommendations: maintain steady speeds while driving; minimize last-minute braking; don’t use the air conditioner unless absolutely necessary; and try to avoid hauling extra weight, such as items in the passenger compartment or trunk.
“Motorists can significantly reduce fuel consumption and save money by simply adjusting their driving style,” Megan McKernan, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center Manager, said in a statement. “Driving style impacts motorists’ wallets because warming up an engine, speeding and ‘jack rabbit’ starts can needlessly use precious fuel.”
What day gasoline is purchased can also help save money, according to an analysis of price data GasBuddy.com.
The best days to buy are generally Monday and Tuesday.
And the worst: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Motorists can also save money by comparing gasoline prices in their areas, something that can easily be done online.
AAA and GasBuddy.com both offer free apps.