The 10 States With the Cheapest Gas

Print Email

10. Tennessee
> Price/gallon: $3.62 (tied for 9th)
> Population: 6.5 million (17th highest)
> Gas taxes per gallon: 39.8 cents (15th lowest)
> Cost to fill F-150: $94.17
> Operating refineries: 1 (tied-23rd highest)

Just as they did across the country, gas prices in Tennessee have climbed sharply in the past month, rising from $3.18 per gallon to $3.62 per gallon. However, relative to other states, its standing actually has improved during that time. Tennessee had the 14th lowest gas prices just a month ago, yet it was tied for ninth lowest among all states as of Wednesday. The relative lower gas prices when compared to other states provide some relief to Tennessee residents who have lower incomes than residents living in most of the country. The state’s median household income in 2011 was $41,693, the sixth lowest in the country and nearly $9,000 lower than the national median. With gas prices clearly a key factor, the state had the third-lowest cost of transportation of all states in the fourth quarter of 2012.

9. Oklahoma
> Price/gallon: $3.62 (tied for 9th)
> Population: 3.8 million (23rd lowest)
> Gas taxes per gallon: 35.4 cents (5th lowest)
> Cost to fill F-150: $94.17
> Operating refineries: 5 (tied for 6th highest)

Oklahoma is one of the nation’s largest oil producers. The state has five operating oil refineries and can produce nearly 509,000 barrels of oil a day — both among the highest figures for any state. At just 35.4 cents a gallon, only four states charge less in taxes on gasoline. Nationwide, Americans spend an average of 48.8 cents a gallon in taxes. In addition to being a key oil producer, Oklahoma is also one of the largest natural gas producers in the United States.

8. Missouri
> Price/gallon: $3.61
> Population: 6.0 million (18th highest)
> Gas taxes per gallon: 35.7 cents (6th lowest)
> Cost to fill F-150: $93.73
> Operating refineries: 0

A week ago, Missouri had the 14th-lowest gasoline price in the country. Now it has the eighth lowest. The state has no operating refineries of its own, but it is adjacent to several large refining states, notably Oklahoma and Illinois. Taxes on gas in the state are the sixth lowest in the country, with drivers paying just 35.7 cents per gallon at the pump. Filling up the tank of an F-150 pickup costs Missouri drivers $19.76 less than it does in Hawaii, which has the nation’s highest gas prices.

7. South Carolina
> Price/gallon: $3.60
> Population: 4.7 million (24th highest)
> Gas taxes per gallon: 35.2 cents (4th lowest)
> Cost to fill F-150: $93.57
> Operating refineries: 0

Although gas prices have shot up in the state in the past month, South Carolina has drastically improved its standing relative to other states in that time. Although a month ago gas prices in the state were just $3.19 a gallon, they were the 17th lowest gas prices in the country. Last year at this time, the average gas price in the state was $3.54 a gallon, the ninth lowest in the country. The federal gas tax in South Carolina is 18.4 cents a gallon, and state gas taxes and fees total just 16.8 cents a gallon, the fourth lowest of all states. Unlike most states where gas prices are low, South Carolina has no operating refineries.

6. Colorado
> Price/gallon: $3.59
> Population: 5.2 million (22nd highest)
> Gas taxes per gallon: 40.4 cents (17th lowest)
> Cost to fill F-150: $93.39
> Operating refineries: 2 (tied for 17th highest)

Although Colorado’s gas prices are still among the lowest in the country, the state used to fare better against its peers. Just a month ago, gas prices in Colorado were a just $2.96 per gallon, the only state except for Wyoming where average gas prices were under $3 a gallon. A year ago, the average price was $3.16 a gallon, the second-lowest of all states. Like in many Western states, Colorado’s refineries can buy Canadian crude oil at cheaper prices than other parts of the country, helping to push down the total cost at the pump.