MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the first time in four years, gas prices in Florida are now averaging less than two dollars per gallon. Demand for gasoline and other oil-based products has plummeted in recent weeks, as the coronavirus keeps people at home.
On Sunday, 75% percent of Florida gas stations had prices below $2 a gallon. Just one week ago, that total was 45%.
Gas prices are plunging primarily because Floridians are not driving as much as they normally do this time of year. According to the Florida Petroleum and Marketers Association, gasoline demand in major metro areas is down by as much as 50%. Additionally, concession sales inside the stores are reportedly down 10-15%.
“The cost for gasoline has dramatically declined in the past month, and there are even more discounts to come,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If the state average eventually drifts below $1.73, pump prices would be the lowest since 2009. That may not be a difficult benchmark to reach. If wholesale prices hold at current levels, the state average could eventually sink below $1.60 per gallon. Although these savings are a tremendous benefit for drivers, unfortunately they come at a time when residents are unable to go out and enjoy them.”
Florida drivers are now paying an average price of $1.98 per gallon. The state average has declined more than 40 cents in the past month.
Normally this time of year, drivers are watching pump prices rise; as demand increases, and refineries conduct seasonal maintenance and switch to summer gasoline. This time last year, the state average was 78 cents per gallon more than today’s price. On April 12, the state average reached it’s 2019-high of $2.80 per gallon.
According to AAA, the cities with the most expensive gas prices right now are Miami ($2.06), West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.12) and Gainesville ($2.17).
The least expensive are The Villages ($1.86), Jacksonville ($1.86), Panama City ($1.89).
The record high in Florida was $4.08 in July of 2008.