Gift of cheaper gas is here for the holidays

(Frank Augstein, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The American Automobile Association estimates that 5.4 million Floridians will make road trips for the holidays, and they will be met with at least a measure of relief at the gas pump after a pricey few months.

Florida’s average gas price on Monday morning is $3.23, a 4-cent drop from a week ago and 12 cents lower than what it was on Thanksgiving.

Florida hit its 2021 high when a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit $3.36 on Nov. 20, AAA data shows.

The cause for the decrease is waning demand for crude oil amid concerns about the COVID-19 omicron variant, experts say.

Gas prices remain far higher than at this time in 2020 when fewer people were traveling before COVID vaccines were widely available.

“Holiday travelers are getting the gift of falling prices at the pump, though these prices surely aren’t falling as fast as many would like,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Travelers are poised to pay about a dollar per gallon more than they did last year. Even still, after many decided to stay home and play it safe last year, it appears that higher gas prices will not be a big deterrent. AAA forecasts a strong 28% rebound in road trips compared to last year.”

Jenkins said the price of U.S. crude oil is 10% less than the price before Thanksgiving and 16% below the November high of $84.15 per barrel.

Nationally, drivers are paying $3.30 for a gallon of gas on Monday morning.

In South Florida, average gas prices sit as follows:

  • Miami-Dade: $3.24
  • Broward: $3.29
  • Monroe: $3.58
  • Palm Beach: $3.42

For more information on Florida gas prices, click here.