Last chance for cheap gas? Experts say price drop may stop.

Demand in gasoline will rise as stay-at-home orders are lifted, AAA predicts

We've gotten used to low gas prices during the coronavirus pandemic, but they might start to go back up as stay-at-home orders are loosened. (IStock)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If you want to take advantage of the cheapest gas prices, it’s about time to fill ’er up.

Florida gas prices are likely nearing their floor as most of the state prepares to begin reopening today, the American Automobile Association says.

The belief is that the loosening of stay-at-home restrictions will boost demand in gas — though, of course, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties aren’t allowed to open non-essential businesses quite yet.

“The phased reopening of businesses and restaurants will signal a return to the road for many Florida drivers,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Gas prices have plummeted 65 cents in the past 10 weeks. While the increased demand may not cause a pump price surge, it may signal the eventual end of the plunge at the pump.”

The average price for a regular gallon of unleaded gasoline in the state is $1.76 this morning. That’s two cents cheaper than the national average and it’s more than a full buck cheaper than at this time last year ($2.79), according to AAA.

Prices are a bit higher in South Florida, where the average in the Fort Lauderdale metro area is $1.88, and in the Miami metro area it’s $1.87.

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton has some of the most expensive gas in the state at $1.93. That’s still a whole lot cheaper than their price of $2.85 a year ago.

Yet based on the number of cars lined up to get into marinas this weekend, it’s clear that South Floridians are out on the roads and this gas-pump relief won’t last forever.

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