Editorial – Santa’s gift to motorists: cheaper gas

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2022

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Those hitting the road this Christmas will get a gift they’ve been waiting on a long time: significantly lower gas prices.

One station on Holland Road was selling regular unleaded for $2.51 a gallon on Tuesday, making it feel like 2020 all over again. Holiday prices this year will be $1.83 per gallon lower than they were just six months ago, according to GasBuddy, a website that tracks fuel prices nationwide. The national average price of gas is forecast to be $2.98 on Christmas Day, likely to drop below the critical $3 per gallon mark on or before Christmas Eve for the first time in nearly 600 days.

Since peaking at more than $5 per gallon in June, the national average price of gas has slowly come down from record-breaking levels, falling below its year-ago level on Dec. 9, GasBuddy reports. Since October, every one of the nation’s 50 states has seen gas prices plummet precipitously, with diesel starting to follow suit.

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“Finally, things are starting to feel a bit more normal with gas prices far more affordable. Americans are saving around $25 per fill-up compared to prices this summer,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While we’re closing out the year on a positive note, challenges remain that could drive prices up again next spring, so motorists might want to keep their expectations in check and enjoy the sub-$3 gasoline while they can.”

Our friends at AAA estimate that more than 2.8 million Virginians will be driving to their destinations this holiday season. Before leaving home, drivers can lessen the stress on themselves by having their vehicle checked, AAA advises.

“Catching any minor issues can save drivers stress when they are out and about this holiday season,” said Kyle Loftus, AAA Car Care Center general manager, who recommends having a mechanic check your vehicle’s brakes, oil level, battery charge, steering, tire tread and tire pressure. You’ll be safer and make that less expensive gas last even longer.