It wasn’t that long ago that Americans in some parts of the country were paying upward of $4 a gallon for unleaded fuel. Going into the Christmas holiday period, fuel prices are marking a milestone of another sort, a five-year low of $1.99 for the average nationwide price of a gallon of regular unleaded, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge report. Sales of pickups and SUVs have been setting records over the last several months, no doubt fueled (no pun intended) by cheap gas prices. Assuming prices continue to drop or hold steady going into 2016, you can expect that trend to continue.
The recent repeal on the crude oil export ban could potentially raise oil prices, however the price difference between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude and Brent Crude (the European oil price index) is so small right now, that there’s little overseas demand for WTI. With the glut of domestic crude production, many companies invested heavily in refining capacity, finding eager overseas buyers for gasoline, diesel and other refined products.
Gas is cheapest in Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kansas, averaging less than $1.80. How long will the cheap gas party last? Nobody knows, but drivers, and dealers that sell a lot of pickups and SUVs will certainly enjoy the ride as long as they can. What are prices in your area?