Depending on what you rent (ie does it need PREMIUM) you'll likely see $7, or closer to $8, on the drive up. If you come up on the PCH via Malibu I saw a $9 and change the other day.
The FUEL DEPOT places here always cheapest BTW.
Feel free to hit me up if you need anything. We're still living on the Montecito side.
I think what's lost in these "oh it's not so bad about gas prices" opinions is that many people out here ARE in fact squeezed between high housing prices, a job a long way away from where they can afford to live-- and rapid escalation in prices on everything from utility bills to grocery items. The gas price is front-and-center. And that hit is directly taken out of "whatever used to be left" from their paychecks. It's one thing to say "oh, I'm not canceling my trip over an extra $350 in gas costs' but quite another to acknowledge that you used to have $400 left to save at the end of the month-- now you have $50.
The OP mentioned "facts" and the fact is that the US Savings Rate has plummeted since this hit.
Have a good trip, and as always, hit me up if you need anything. Happy you found a rental car. Those are hard to find these days too.