Fewer drivers at pump despite lower gas prices  

Gas Pumps
Gas Pumps

Gas prices dropped for the seventh straight week as people continue to change driving habits and the cost of oil trickles downward, according to the latest AAA weekly report.

The average price per gallon in the Gainesville area fell to $3.84 on Monday, down from $4.02 last week marking the first time the cost has been under $4 since the first week of March.

Statewide, the price dropped 15 cents from $3.92 to $3.77. Florida has the 17th least expensive price per gallon of gas in the nation.

“Oil is the primary ingredient in gasoline, so less expensive oil is helpful in taming pump prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson in the press release. “Couple that with fewer drivers fueling up, and you have a recipe for gas prices to keep easing. It’s possible that the national average will fall below $4 this week.”

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According to the report, Americans are changing their driving habits to cope with higher fuel prices while the cost of oil has lowered due to fears of economic slowdowns around the globe.

According to GasBuddy.com, the following locations have the best prices in Alachua County:

  • $3.57 at Sam’s Club, 4400 SW 33rd Pl., Gainesville
  • $3.59 at Raceway, 16171 Martin Luther King Dr., Alachua
  • $3.61 at Circle K, 19531 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs
  • $3.64 at Murphy Express, 6323 NW 13th St., Gainesville
  • $3.65 at The Short Stop, 2610 NE 39th Ave., Gainesville
  • $3.66 at Pure, 405 NE 1st St., High Springs
  • $3.69 at Exxon, 3960 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville
  • $3.99 at BP, 3845 NE 15th St., Gainesville

The national average of $4.21 is 63 cents less than a month ago but still $1.04 more than last year.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows the demand dropped from 9.25 million barrels per day (b/d) to 8.54 million b/d last week. The rate is 1.24 million b/d lower than last year and is in line with the need at the end of July 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions were in place and fewer people were driving.

Domestically, the gasoline supply rose by 200,000 million barrels of oil (bbl) to 225.3 million bbl. EIA reports that if the demand remains low and the supply continues to increase alongside falling oil prices, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices drop.

According to the AAA report, drivers made significant changes to deal with high pump prices. In a new survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March. Drivers’ top two changes to offset high gas prices are driving less and combining errands.

The national all-time high of $5.01 per gallon average came on June 14. Florida’s highest average peaked at $4.89 on June 13, while Gainesville hit $4.91 on June 15. 

Quick Stats 

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Washington, D.C. (−28 cents), Colorado (−23 cents), Arizona (−21 cents), Illinois (−21 cents), Indiana (−21 cents), Iowa (−20 cents), Ohio (−20 cents), Michigan (−19 cents), Missouri (−18 cents) and Minnesota (−18 cents)

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($3.55), South Carolina ($3.59), Oklahoma ($3.60), Arkansas ($3.60), Georgia ($3.61), Tennessee ($3.62), Mississippi ($3.62), Alabama ($3.64), Kansas ($3.66) and Iowa ($3.66).

National Gas Price Comparison 2019-22 chart 8-8-22
Courtesy AAA

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