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Fewer Southern California motorists plan spring travel

March 24, 2011 | 11:22 am

GaspricesLATWith gas prices on the rise, Southern California drivers say they plan to cut out unnecessary driving and travel less this spring, according to a new survey by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Of the 570 Auto Club members in Southern California who were surveyed, 55% said they planned at least one leisure trip this spring, compared to 64% who planned a spring vacation last year.

And of those who plan to travel, 32% said they will stay closer to home while 31% said they will stay with family or friends rather than pay for a hotel.

The rising price of gasoline was the key reason for the planned travel cutbacks: 64% of those surveyed said higher fuel costs have affected their budget. To save on fuel costs, 81% said they are cutting back on unnecessary driving, according to the survey.

When asked at what price per gallon of gas will they make major changes in their driving habits, the greatest percentage of motorists, 33%, said they would make changes at $4 per gallon. Eleven percent of motorists said they will change their habits when gasoline reaches $5 per gallon.

The average price for regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area is now $3.99 a gallon, up from $3.10 a gallon last year, according to the Auto Club.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: A motorist in downtown Los Angeles stops at a gas station. Credit: Los Angeles Times.