With Christmas Day just a week away, U.S. motorists can expect Santa to stuff their stockings with a little extra cash this year. Retail gas prices, already at 18-month lows, are expected to settle at a national average of $2.35 for a gallon of regular gasoline on the holiday itself.
The price of a gallon of gas is down 53 cents since crude oil prices began falling in early October, one of the largest ever seasonal declines, according to analysts at GasBuddy.
Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, commented:
The plunge at the pump has brought over $205 million of daily savings on gasoline versus two months ago to motorists nationwide. The timing couldn’t be better for those who’ve been busy out shopping for holiday gifts, with motorists saving $10-$20 per fill up versus just two months ago. Oil prices have buckled under pressure, at least somewhat related to economic concerns, with the national average now under year-ago levels. Over the course of Christmas week, the savings multiplied will mean motorists won’t be leaving nearly $1.5 billion behind at the pump. What’s more is that no state has been left behind- everyone is seeing substantial savings.
Drivers in Missouri are currently paying an average of $1.94 a gallon at the pump. No other state has an average price below $2.00 a gallon, but Oklahoma and Arkansas ($2.02) are close.
Nearly 65 U.S. metropolitan areas are already selling gas for less than $2.00 a gallon and, if you’re traveling for the holiday, GasBuddy has a few tips on how to maximize savings:
- Watch for state lines. Variation in state gasoline tax rates can change the amount you pay for gas, and that can end up costing as much as $25 in just one fill-up if you’re on the wrong side of the state line.
- Shop around. Prices at every station near you are not always the same. Poke around for the best price and you could end up saving a few bucks on every tankful.
- Take it easy. Aggressive driving, speeding and hard braking can seriously reduce the mileage you get from a gallon of gas. Keep calm — and save money.