On Aug. 15, North Carolinians started paying more at the pump than the prior year, reaching a peak of 34 cents more on Oct. 10. Since then, gas prices have fallen rapidly, down 10 cents in the past week from $3.48 to $3.38.
“This is great news for drivers,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “As gas prices continue to fall, families can expect to save more money at the pump for the upcoming holiday season.”
From April 30 until Aug. 14, South Carolinians paid less on average statewide for a gallon of gas than on the same calendar date in 2011.
Average gas prices in North Carolina have fallen 47 cents since mid-September to $3.38, one cent lower than the year-ago price of $3.39.
However, there are dramatic price differences between the metro areas: Asheville is paying 11 cents more than a year ago at $3.51 today, and Wilmington is paying 9 cents more at $3.45, while Greensboro is paying 5 cents less at $3.33 today. Charlotte is down 3 cents from a year ago to $3.34, Fayetteville is two cents higher at $3.38 and Raleigh is down a cent to $3.38.
Last year, gas prices dropped two cents during the month of October to $3.41. This year, the price of gas fell 29 cents from $3.74 to $3.45 on Oct. 31.
Hurricane Sandy hasn’t affected gas prices in the Carolinas, which get 90% of their oil from the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane hit an area that is a major consumer of gasoline rather than a major producer.
Factors pressuring the price downward include the drop in crude oil prices, which have declined on global economic concerns, a somewhat stronger U.S. dollar and a decrease in demand due to the end of the summer driving season.
The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.47; a year ago, it was $3.42. South Carolina has the second-cheapest gas in the country at $3.15.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.8 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.