LA County gas prices top $5 average for the first time ever
LOS ANGELES - The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County topped $5 for the first time Thursday, increasing 8.6 cents to $5.014.
The increase is the largest since the 15.1-cent increase on July 14, 2015, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. The record is the 25th in 27 days.
"Before it was $40, now it's like $78, and if I use premium, it's going to be $100," motorist Jacqueline Lorenzana told FOX 11 about the pain she's been experiencing at the pump. Lorenzana, who drives a Mustang, is living with her parents as she tries to cut down expenses while paying her way through school.
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The average price has risen 29 times in 32 days, increasing 34.5 cents, including 3 cents Wednesday. It is 19.2 cents more than one week ago, 29.8 cents higher than one month ago and $1.25 greater than one year ago.
Marie Montgomery, a spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California, said prices could continue to rise.
"Unfortunately we had the biggest one day jump in gas prices so far in 2022 from Wednesday to Thursday, and we could have another big one tomorrow on Friday. It's all due to this Russia, Ukraine situation pushing up oil prices. There's a lot of nervousness on the market about whether that Russian oil will be available to the west and if it's not, what's going to replace it," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said the prices now are unprecedented.
"This is the highest price we've ever paid in Southern California or anywhere in a major metropolitan area. California has the highest gas prices in the country, even higher than Hawaii and Alaska due to a number of factors. We have higher taxes. We have a carbon credit offset system that requires refineries to pay for the pollution they cause so that leads to higher gas," she said.
Montgomery said it's important to shop around for gas.
"Shop around virtually, and use a tool like the AAA mobile app. It's free and you can see the gas prices on your homescreen, and don't pay that five dollars gas price," she said.
Montgomery said it's also crucial to watch your speed, make sure your tire pressure is maintained because under-inflated tires are a contributor to fuel economy loss. Montgomery also said if your car has a "recommended" premium fuel usage rather than a "required" fuel usage, you can use regular gas for your vehicle as long as it does not say "required premium fuel usage" in the owner's manual.
The Orange County average price also recorded its largest increase since July 14, 2015, rising 8.6 cents to $4.99, its 24th record in 29 days. It has increased 19 of the past 21 days, rising 26.8 cents, including 3.4 cents Wednesday.
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The Orange County average price is 18.8 cents more than one week ago, 29.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.244 greater than one year ago.
Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.
CNS contributed to this report.