The national average dropped more than 20 cents per gallon to $3.37 – its lowest level since late January of this year, according to WEX’s September fuel prices report. Compared to last year, prices are down by more than 40 cents per gallon, noted WEX.
For fleet managers, the good news is that many analysts are predicting further declines; some are even saying that the national average could decrease to $3 per gallon before the year ends, says WEX.
Already, 2.3% of all gas stations in the country are priced below $3 per gallon while only 1.1% of stations are above $4. But last year, no stations were below $3 per gallon and nearly 17% were above $4, according to WEX. In some states, some stations are priced near $2.80. For example, almost 30% of stations in Missouri are priced under $3 per gallon, says WEX.
With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, the most expensive state is California — with an average of $3.90 per gallon, says WEX. But even in the Golden State, one could find gas stations with prices below $3.50 per gallon.
According to WEX, it is typical for prices to fall after the high volume of drivers in the summertime and the switch back to cheaper winter grade of fuel. In addition, this year is also benefitting from the relatively mild storm season. Though wild weather could still disrupt prices, most experts believe the remainder of the year should continue to see prices decline, says WEX.
Meanwhile, diesel prices are hovering at $3.90 per gallon. Unfortunately, most market-watchers anticipate a slow but steady rise in diesel prices.