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. Trigaux: For Class of 2016, college debt loads favor Florida graduates


    Florida college graduates saddled with student debt: Take heart. The average debt Class of 2016 Florida grads must bear is less than students in most states.

    University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for last fall's commencement ceremony. A new survey finds their average student debt upon graduating was $22,276. Statewide, 2016 Florida grads ranked a relatively unencumbered 45th among states, averaging $24,461 in student debt. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?


    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. When elders are in peril, who do you call — 911 or Rick Scott's cell?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Twelve hours after Irma blasted through South Florida, conditions at Larkin Community Hospital in Hollywood were miserable.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, on Sept. 13 in Hollywood. So far, nine deaths have been blamed on the incedent. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  4. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.