Gasoline prices in Florida dropped another 4 cents per gallon last week continuing a 16-day downward trend, but Florida drivers still are paying more than usual during Christmas week.
That’s according to AAA — The Auto Club Group, whose weekly tracking of gas prices finds the statewide average gallon costing $2.42 Monday. That’s down from last week but up from last month. It is way up from this date last year, when gas was costing just $2.24 per gallon.
The prices routinely drop heading into Christmas, AAA noted. Last year, on Christmas day, Floridians were paying an average of $2.21 per gallon. The year before, $2.35; and on Christmas 2016, $2.32.
“Elevated oil prices and issues at a massive Gulf Coast refinery are preventing prices at the pump from falling as fast as they did this time last year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group. “As a result, year-end holiday gas prices are poised to be the most expensive in five years. But that’s unlikely to slow travelers down, because current prices are around the same level as a month ago – when most travel plans were finalized.”
The cheapest gas in Florida, on average, can be found Monday in the Tampa Bay market, costing an average of $2.32 per gallon. Jacksonville, gas prices average $2.34. In Orlando, prices average $2.35, and in Punta Gorda, $2.37.
Meanwhile, drivers in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market are paying the most, an average of $2.55 per gallon. In Sebastian-Vero Beach and in Gainesville the price averages $2.50 a gallon.
In Miami-Dade County the average price is $2.48. In Fort Lauderdale, the average price is $2.47, and in Tallahassee and in Naples, $2.46. Pensacola drivers are paying an average of $2.38.