If a vacation by car is in your summer plans, you’ll find welcome news at the pump: fuel for your trip will likely be cheaper than it was last year. As of Friday, the national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded closed the week at $3.473, down 17.8 cents from this time last year. It’s also down about 1.6 cents from last week, 14.9 cents from last month and 40.4 cents from the 2012 peak of $3.877/gallon. At this time in 2008, gasoline was $4.002/gallon, 52.9 cents higher.
Mid-grade and premium prices are also 15.5 cents lower while diesel has come down 23.4 cents/gallon.
Worst price? E85, which will cost $4.074 to give you the equivalent to a gallon of regular unleaded.
As of Friday’s Fuel Gauge Report from AAA, prices range from $3.02/gallon in South Carolina to $4.33 in Hawaii. In the Continental U.S., California has the highest gas prices at $3.87/gallon. Best average state price for diesel is Missouri at $3.44; Hawaii’s the worst at $4.82. New York has the highest price, $4.08, in the Lower 48.
Crude on the New York Exchange closed at $79.76 Friday, down $4.27 from last week and $30.01 from its 2012 peak at the end of February.
The last time oil closed lower than this was a one-week dip at the end of September 2011. Before that, one must go all the way back to September 2010 to find a lower close.
On June 27, 2008, the year of record prices many predicted would be exceeded this year, oil was $140.21, 76% higher.
Lower gas prices are expected to have a positive impact on light truck sales this month. LMC Automotive is now looking for sales 20 percent higher than last May.