Florida gas prices continue to tank as coronavirus forces more to stay at home
(Photo via Community News.)

gas station
Pump prices have rarely been lower.

Long trips or even the regular daily commute are memories for most. But if someone did need to drive, gas has rarely been cheaper.

That’s according to AAA – The Auto Club Group, which has been tracking gas prices for decades.

With Florida gas prices having declined, on average, 50 cents in 40 days, AAA notes that prices are the lowest they have been in four years: $1.91 a gallon statewide.

Bargains can be found even from that rock-bottom number. One in every 10 gas pumps in the state has 87 octane available below $1.68 a gallon.

Demand is half what it was just recently, and with the state under a stay-at-home order, it would be news if demand increased.

Even with crude oil prices beginning to rally after a price war between the Saudis and the Russians,  all bets are on retail prices continuing to soften.

“The recent crude oil rally is not yet enough to force gas prices higher, but it does affect how much lower they can go,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group.

“Historically, gas prices rise like a rocket and fall like a feather. In this case, retail prices are still slowly falling to catch up with the massive discounts in oil and gasoline values that we saw in the past six weeks. While it’s unclear which way oil prices will go this week, the plunge at the pump should continue this week,” Jenkins added.

Crude oil prices went up as last week ended, cresting over the $28-a-barrel mark, but back below that in trading as of this writing early Monday morning.

The cheapest local market average in the state: $1.80, giving residents of Jacksonville, the Villages, and Punta Gorda a bit more buying power at the pump than their fellow Sunshine State residents.

Some markets, meanwhile, still average more than $2 a gallon for regular gas.

Gainesville, at $2.10, is the most expensive metro market in the state.

West Palm Beach and Miami also are over $2.

But on balance, this is one of the best times for filling up the gas tank in recent memory.

The real challenge: finding somewhere to go.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


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