Drivers pay less, but still more

Published 10:45 pm Friday, January 19, 2018

Drivers in Hampton Roads and throughout Virginia are spending less at the gas pump compared to drivers in other states but have still seen the price of gas go up in recent weeks.

Virginia ranked 10th in least expensive gas across the nation, according to a AAA news release. The average price of gas in the state was $2.34 per gallon as of Tuesday, which was just one-cent more than the ninth-cheapest state – Louisiana – and six cents more than Texas, the cheapest in the country.

These prices vary based on gasoline inventories, taxes and consumer demand throughout each state, according to Katharine Beachboard with AAA Tidewater Virginia.

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“Virginia tends to be lower than mid-U.S. states or the West Coast (because) the winter blend used is less expensive due to a larger amount being produced,” Beachboard stated in an emailed response to questions.

Drivers in Hampton Roads were, on average, paying even less at $2.31 per gallon. Beachboard explained that price fluctuations stem from gasoline demands, which are vulnerable to drivers surging to gas stations who anticipate adverse weather like snow.

“Overall, it isn’t uncommon for prices in Hampton Roads to average slightly less than the state average,” she said.

But some motorists are still dampened by a noticeable price increase in recent weeks.

As of Friday, AAA recorded that the average price for a gallon rose to about $2.36 in Virginia, and Suffolk’s average was recorded to be about $2.32. recorded prices as low as $2.27 per gallon to as high as $2.39 across the city.

Drivers that stopped for gas at the Wawa on Godwin Boulevard this week have seen gas prices rise since Jan. 1.

“This was like $2.17 at the beginning of the year and $2.25 a week ago,” said Katie Strickland as she filled her car at $2.35 per gallon on Friday.

She said she drives a larger, gas-hungrier vehicle to carry her family.

“I would love to get a gas-efficient car, but they aren’t big enough to haul around my five children,” she said.

Adam Burton, like other drivers at the pumps, naturally hopes it costs progressively less to fill up his car as time goes on.

“I’m hoping they’ll start going back down again, maybe as the weather gets warmer,” Burton said.