Motorists can be thankful for falling gas prices

Published 2:37 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

LEXINGTON — Kentuckians saw gas prices plummet 32 cents in the past month, just in time for Thanksgiving travel. This year’s motorists will pay about a nickel per gallon less on average in the Commonwealth than they did this time last year, as Kentucky now boasts one of the nation’s least expensive average gas prices.

Nationally, gas prices remain about 8 cents higher than they were a year ago, although the gas price average continues to fall—now at $2.62—as crude oil inventories continue to build for the eighth consecutive week. The national gas price average is seven-cents less than a week ago and the largest one-week decline in pump price this year.

Kentucky’s average gas price is now at $2.38, down another 9 cents from last week, and enough to edge it in among the top 10 least-expensive average gas prices in the nation. The Commonwealth also had one of the nation’s largest month-over-month declines at the pump.

Motorists filling up in Lexington are now paying just $2.24, dropping 13 cents in the past week alone and plummeting 39 cents lower than a month ago. Lexington average gas price is now a full dime per gallon less than a year ago.

“The nearly 49 million Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices similar to last year’s prices across much of the nation, although more locally, we are experiencing lower prices this Thanksgiving than last, so fill up before hitting the highway,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, AAA Blue Grass manager of public and government affairs. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists may find that gas stations along highly traveled routes may have prices more expensive than in-town. Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, AAA recommends motorists download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices along their route to that Thanksgiving feast.”

Gas prices continued to drop across Kentucky last week. Lexington motorists are now paying $2.24, compared with $2.27 last week and $2.63 a month ago. With the latest decline, gas prices in Lexington are now a dime per gallon cheaper on average than a year ago.

Bowling Green, Elizabethtown/Fort Knox, Henderson and Louisville also saw price per gallon drops of 10 cents or greater on the week. Henderson and Elizabethtown/Fort Knox have some of the lowest gas prices in Kentucky, at $2.10 and $2.22, respectively.

Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are paying as much as 41 cents/gallon less than they paid last month to fill up. As demand remains low, Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), and South Dakota (-30 cents) are among the top 10 states in the country with the largest monthly declines in gas prices.

On the week, state gas prices averages are as much as 14-cents cheaper in the region with prices ranging from $2.63 in North Dakota to $2.27 in Missouri. Ohio (+2 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see a jump at the pump week over week.

The EIA reports that gasoline stocks increased by a small 218,000 barrels on the week, but remain under the 47 million barrel mark. As utilization increases in the region, which saw a one percent jump to 75 percent last week, stocks are expected to build through year-end as demand remains low, keeping gas prices cheaper.

QUICK STATS ON THE NATION

• The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Oklahoma (-36 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), Delaware (-31 cents) and South Dakota (-30 cents).

• The nation’s top least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.27), Delaware ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.28), Texas ($2.32), South Carolina ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.33), Alabama ($2.36), Kansas ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37), and (tied) Kentucky ($2.38) and Arkansas ($2.38).

AAA offers these tips to motorists to save at the pump:

• If your vehicle’s engine does not require premium or mid-grade fuel, don’t buy it. Using anything other than regular grade is simply a waste of money.

• Don’t top off your gas tank. Stop filling after the automatic nozzle shuts off the second time.

• If you have to replace a gas cap, make sure it is the right one for your car. An ill-fitting cap will increase emissions and trigger the “check engine” light.

• Keep track of gas mileage. If you notice a sudden decrease in fuel economy, have your vehicle checked by a technician to ensure it is operating properly.

• Check for proper tire pressure, which can fluctuate greatly with changing temperatures.

• Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than 600,000 members in Kentucky. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.