The price of gas is set to smile on you as you fill up in the coming weeks.
Just as prices spiked in mid-winter, we’re now seeing a sharp reversal. A barrel of oil is selling for $88 and the price of a gallon at wholesale is down to $2.72/gallon.
In some places, the price at the pump is already down into the 2s. In Louisiana, the cheapest state, some stations are down to $2.74/gallon. A variety of Sam’s Club locations in the Pelican State are down to between $2.81 and $2.84. Texas and South Carolina are both down below $3 too.
Be careful of a big spread in gas prices right now. Stations known as “pumpers” in the lingo of the trade may get three deliveries a day. By comparison, slower stations that don’t sell as much gas may only take delivery once every few weeks.
So during times of falling wholesale prices like we have now, the high-volume stations cycle through deliveries every day and reflect market prices quicker and more accurately.
Yet during times of rising gas prices, the whole cycle is reversed and the low-volume stations have the best prices because they’re still selling gas from a week or two ago before the run-up in price at wholesale.
Pay attention to what prices you see as you’re driving around when you’re at half a tank and fill up when you see a deal. But be wary of driving out of your way to fill up because it costs roughly 62 cents per mile to operate a car and that could quickly negate any savings.
Finally, sales of Priuses are down because gas prices have been going down. So now is the time to buy this ultra-fuel efficient ride, which gets about 50 miles per gallon on the flagship model. I’ve been looking and seeing traditional Priuses for about $21,000 brand new. That’s a huge drop in price from just a few months ago.