Make us your home page

Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

Today, AAA - The Auto Club Group reported average gas prices had dropped to $2.09 in Tampa Bay area, down 11 cents from last week. Some lucky drivers here are paying less than $2 a gallon at the pump. On Sunday, the average unleaded price statewide was $2.21, the lowest since December 2016.

"It's amazing we're staring at some of the cheapest prices of the year as the holiday comes into view," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, a website that helps consumers find, purchase and save money on gas.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa gas prices surge 13 cents in one week, making for highest hike in Florida

Cheaper gas prices will encourage more Americans to take "extended, or more frequent road trips this summer," Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA, said in a press release. "And when travelers spend less at the pump, they are left with cash to spend on lodging, shopping and dining out."

Tampa Bay drivers are paying less for gas than any other Florida metro, with Orlando second at $2.13 and the Bradenton-Sarasota metro area at $2.17. The highest ticked in from West Palm Beach at $2.31, Miami at $2.28 and Fort Lauderdale at $2.27.

Some drivers assume with more people traveling for the holiday, gas stations will mark up their prices, said Jenkins. However, historically, the prices can rise or fall as the holiday approach.

"There is no definite trend," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the price of crude oil is often the key indicator. Currently, those crude prices are around a 10-month low.

"There is a glut in global oil supplies," he said. "Domestic crude production has ramped up, countering efforts from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to reduce global supply levels and raise prices."

When gas stations can purchase the gas at a lower price mark, then it can pass the savings to the consumers.

Gas prices have fallen for 23 consecutive days this month for a total decline of 28 cents.

"I would expect to continue to see a downward trend of one- or two-cents a day, on the metro average," Jenkins said, predicting "lower prices pushing into Labor Day."

Between June 1 to June 25, the state average was $2.31, two cents cheaper than the national average.

AAA collects data from credit card swipes and direct feeds from 120,000 gas stations nationwide, in partnership with OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) and Wright Express.

Contact Tierra Smith at tsmith@ or (414) 702-5006. Follow @bytierrasmith.

Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches 06/26/17 [Last modified: Monday, June 26, 2017 3:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]