Gas is cheaper than it’s been in a long time in South Florida and experts say the prices will continue to fall as we head into the holiday season.
The COVID-19 pandemic figures heavily into the welcome tumble. Drivers in South Florida are not commuting to school or work as much as they used to. They are also putting off long road trips.
Although prices were the lowest in May, dipping under $2 per gallon on average across the state, experts say current prices are already trending downward and could be under $2 yet again thanks to a resurgence in cases.
As of Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Florida was $2.08, according to the American Automobile Association, which is still 33 cents cheaper than it was at the same time last year.
In parts of South Florida, gas could be found for even cheaper prices, according to the price comparison website GasBuddy.com.
The cheapest price on Monday could be found at a Mobil station at 16961 Miramar Parkway: $1.79 per gallon. However, you can only get that price if you also pay for a car wash at the station.
Just over in Davie, you’ll find a $1.85 per gallon sticker price at the Chevron located at 5411 Stirling Road.
In Hollywood, one of the cheapest prices is $1.87 per gallon, at a Mobil at 5950 Sheridan St.
In Palm Beach County, the lowest price can be found for $1.85 a gallon at a Costco at 3250 Northlake Blvd in Palm Beach Gardens. For non-Costco members, the next best price is $1.89 at 3066 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach.
Despite these bargains, South Florida remains the most expensive region for gas in the state.
As of Monday, Miami-Dade averaged $2.10 per gallon and Broward averaged $2.11, according to AAA.
Palm Beach County, as usual, leads the region with a $2.22 per gallon average, which makes it the second priciest county for gas in the state. The most expensive gas, on average, can be found in Monroe County.
Even so, the ticker at your local gas station is still about 30 cents cheaper today than it was last year:
In Fort Lauderdale, for example, an average gallon of gas is $2.11 today, which is 30 cents less than a year ago.
The Miami metro area is averaging $2.11 a gallon, which is 35 cents down from a year ago.
The West Palm Beach metro area is averaging $2.22, which is 30 cents down from a year ago.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA, said the drastic drop in price is largely due to a lower demand for gas due to the COVID-19.
“Overall, the pandemic has had the biggest impact on prices at the pump,” he said. “The lower demand for gasoline has helped prop up gasoline supplies.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas demand is down 15% from this same time last year.
Gas prices themselves actually hit record lows earlier this year, during the first large wave of COVID-19 infections.
According to the EIA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Florida shot down from about $2.46 per gallon in January to a low of $1.77 per gallon in May.
Prices have slowly crept back up since then, but Jenkins anticipates there could be yet another dip because of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases nationwide, as well as in Florida.
“Pump prices are drifting lower as COVID concerns creep back into the fuel market," he said. “It’s possible the state average could dip below $2 a gallon in the coming weeks.”
Although gas prices normally take a dip during the holiday season, according to EIA trends, Jenkins said drivers can expect these especially low prices to linger through the new year.
A spokesman for the EIA said they are projecting prices to go back up to about $2.38 per gallon nationwide by June 2021, which means Florida’s low prices are likely here to stay for a while.
Andrew Boryga can be reached at 954-356-4533 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @borywrites.
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