GAS PRICES REMAIN STEADY

Now wanting to jinx anything, but it appears gas prices have hit a lull, at least for now. Anyone was expecting the usual increase around the long holiday weekend got a pleasant surprise. Throughout the state, drivers paid about the same as they did last week and definitely less than the same time last year.

According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, gas prices increased 1 cent or less over the past week. Considering that Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times for short- and long-term car trips, as well as closing out the unofficial summer season, that is nothing less than a miracle.

To break it down by region, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.734 per gallon, which is one cent higher than last week and 73 cents lower than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $2.673, 1.2 cents more than last week and 71 cents less than last year. Orange County drivers paid $2.714 per gallon, which is 0.8 cent higher than last week and 70 cents lower than last year. The retail state average is $2.687 a gallon.

The record for gas prices for these regions was:  $4.705 (10/9/12) for Los Angeles-Long Beach, $4.688 (10/8/12) for the Inland Empire, and   $4.690 (10/8/12) for Orange County. While we are all happy about today’s “low prices,” we are still paying some of the highest in the country. Consider this: According to AAA, Hawaii ($2.747 per gallon) is the highest statewide average price in the country, but all major cities in Southern California have higher average prices than Hawaii’s largest city, Honolulu, with a $2.606 average price today.

There are plenty of ways you can stretch your gas mileage. Making sure your vehicle is properly tuned up and the tires are inflated properly are just a few. Drive the speed limit and easing up on the quick starts are some more. Just some common sense advice that can save you dollars and cents later.

Here’s hoping gas prices will stay steady as fall approaches and more weekend getaway time comes up.