It’s getting increasingly common to find U.S. gas stations charging less than $3 per gallon for gas. In more than half the states, consumers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $3, comprising 4 percent of all U.S. gas stations. Analysts at AAA expect that percentage to increase significantly in the next few months.
The average price of gas in September was $3.39 per gallon. That’s 13 cents less than last year and 44 cents less than in 2012. “Gas prices could fall another 20 cents per gallon by the time families load up the car for Thanksgiving,” AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a statement. “If everything goes smoothly, buying gas for less than $3 per gallon should be refreshingly common in many parts of the country this winter.”
In general, gas prices have been less expensive in recent years, thanks to the boom in North American petroleum production. That has increased supply at home and protected U.S. consumers from the overseas instability, which has historically led to gas price volatility. A quieter-than-usual Atlantic hurricane season (so far) has also helped keep prices down.
Gas prices are lowest in the Southeast and Central United States, where gas taxes tend to be lower. Oklahoma has the most gas stations with prices below $3, with 30 percent of stations there offering gas for less than $3.
Top Reads from The Fiscal Times: