by Photo by Dawn McDonald via Unsplash

The average price of self-serve gasoline in San Diego County increased by 1.5 cents to $6.326. Experts with the American Automotive Association say the prices will continue to increase over the next year. 

The county saw another gut-wrenching record for the 13th consecutive day, extending its streak of increases to 14 straight days. Gasbuddy reported the national average price of gas in the United States surpassed $5 a gallon today for the first time in history. 

The national average price rose 1.5 cents to $4.97, its 13th consecutive record and 17th in 18 days. It has increased 37.7 cents over the past 18 days, including 3.6 cents Wednesday.

“This long-anticipated milestone comes behind months of gas price increases across the country, accelerated by the rise in seasonal demand amidst supply constraints borne out of the pandemic,” said GasBuddy, a service that shows real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 gas stations nationwide, 

San Diego County’s average price has risen 30.8 cents over the past 14 days, including 1.7 cents Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. It is 19 cents higher than one week ago, 49.2 cents more than one month ago and $2.111 greater than one year ago.

According to AAA national public relations manager, Andrew Gross, the average price of gasoline has risen by $1.57 since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which “​​sent shock waves through the oil market that have kept oil costs elevated”. 

“Analysts are projecting significant increases in oil prices over the next year as Russian oil leaves Western markets,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices reached another all-time record this morning, so unfortunately the upward price pressure is continuing.”

Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The rest of the price includes the other components of gasoline, production costs, distribution costs, overhead costs for all involved in the production, distribution, and sales, taxes, and carbon offset fees in California paid by the refineries.

The following tips are provided by the AAA for those looking to save some money on gasoline: 

  • Look into carpooling if you commute a significant distance. Carpooling with one other person cuts commute costs in half, and you can cut your commute costs by two-thirds by carpooling with two other people.
  • 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. The 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.

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