AAA: Gas prices could rise another 50 cents per gallon this year

Palm Beach County’s average gas price leads Florida at $2.93 per gallon, and a rise of another 50 cents this year is a real possibility, says motorist group AAA, citing partners at the Oil Price Information Service.

“OPIS believes oil prices could reach as high as $90 per barrel before the end of the year,” AAA said in a statement early Monday. “While that high is not guaranteed, gas prices would be 50 cents higher, if it happened.”

Florida gas prices remain at their highest levels in three years, and a full tank costs an average of $42, an increase of $8 from this time last year, AAA said. The per-gallon price is still below a high of $4.08 in 2008, but prices above $3 are already appearing at some local stations and could become the norm as the year progresses.

Heading into the unofficial start of the summer driving season Memorial Day weekend, the average family is expected to pay a total of $200 more for gasoline this summer than last year, and $250 more than in the summer of 2016, the group said. At the same time, U.S. producers are increasing their output, and that’s taking the edge off for now. State and local average gas prices stayed within a penny of where they were a week ago.

Still, gas inventories are dropping as international tensions increase, fueled in part by President Donald Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, which is expected to result in sanctions that effectively limit the supply of Iranian oil on world markets.

In West Palm Beach, prices on Sunday ranged from $2.70 per gallon at five stations to $3.24 at Texaco on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.

In Jupiter, the cheapest gas was $2.75 at Mobil on Indiantown Road and Alt. A1A and Circle K on W. Indiantown Road and Orange Road. Four stations tied for the highest at $3.09.

In Wellington, the lowest price was $2.79 at Shell on US 441 near Southern Boulevard and the highest was $3.09 at Shell on Southshore Boulevard, according to GasBuddy.

 

 

 

 

Gas prices jump 10 cents after Trump exits Iran deal

Florida gas prices shot up 10 cents in a week for the costliest fill-up since November 2014, with Palm Beach County’s average leading the state at $2.92 per gallon.

Gasoline prices are relatively unchanged over the last week.

The pump prices reflect a rise in the cost of oil after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and markets anticipated sanctions will limit the amount of Iranian oil in the global supply, analysts said.

That makes the average tank cost about $7 more than it did a year ago in Florida, heading into what is expected to be the busiest Memorial Day driving season in 12 years, according to motorist group AAA. More than 41 million drivers are projected to hit the road during the holiday weekend that kicks off the unofficial start of summer, up 5 percent over last year.

A strong economy has many motorists planning to travel, but drivers increasingly may find budgets pinched for “other expenses like shopping and dining out,” said AAA/The Auto Club Group spokesman Mark Jenkins.

Gas costs nearly 50 cents more per gallon in Florida than it did a year ago.

That’s still well below a high of $4.08 in 2008, but represents a considerable increase over the past 12 months.

Prices can vary more than 40 cents per gallon within the same city, so drivers not blessed with unlimited budgets may find it worthwhile to pay attention.

In West Palm Beach, prices Sunday ranged from $2.72 at Cumberland Farms on Cresthaven Boulevard to $3.19 at Texaco on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.

In Delray Beach, the spread ran from $2.77 at Murphy USA on Military Trail to $3.24 at Mobil on S. Federal Highway.

In Palm Beach Gardens, prices ranged from $2.75 at Sunoco on PGA Boulevard to $3.19 at Shell on the same road.

In Royal Palm Beach, costs varied from $2.70 at Marathon on Okeechobee Boulevard to $3.09 at Exxon and Chevron stations in the village, according to GasBuddy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gas price hikes easing? Not if Trump exits Iran deal, analysts say

Update: President Trump tweeted Monday, “I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 p.m.”

Original post: Retail gas prices sit in a restless and jittery lull as analysts say higher costs at the pump likely await if President Donald Trump pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal by May 12.

Already oil prices have reached a 2018 high, and Friday contracts marked the priciest since November 2014. Generally that means higher costs at the gas station are in the pipeline.

Retail  prices have held steady for a week but “all bets are off right now, pending the President’s decision” on the Iranian nuclear deal, said Mark  Jenkins,  spokesman for motorist organization AAA/The Auto Club Group.

Palm Beach County’s average price fell a penny to $2.85 per gallon as it remained the state’s costliest market, according to AAA. Florida’s average fell one cent to $2.73 on Sunday, but that’s up 35 cents compared to this time last year.

Pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal by a May 12 renewal deadline could mean reimposed sanctions against Iran and effectively take 1 million barrels of Iranian oil per day off the world market, resulting in reduced global oil supply and higher fuel prices, AAA said.

In Jupiter, often the priciest town in the priciest market in Florida for gasoline, costs at the pump ranged from $2.67 at a Mobil on Indiantown Rd. and Alt. A1A to $2.99 at Mobil and Shell stations elsewhere on Indiantown Road, according to price-tracker GasBuddy on Sunday.

In West Palm Beach, the low-priced leader was Cumberland Farms, $2.62 on Cresthaven Blvd. near Military Trail, according to GasBuddy.

Gas prices: Today ends most expensive April in four years

Pump prices held steady in Florida and Palm Beach County to close out the priciest April since 2014.

(Getty Images)

The  county’s average remained unchanged since last week at $2.86, but is still the highest in the state according to motorist group AAA.

Statewide the average stayed at $2.74,  but that’s 10 cents more than a month ago, and 32 cents more than last year.

“Crude prices are about 33 percent more expensive than they were this time last year,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Expensive oil means expensive gasoline.”

Sometimes prices vary widely within the same city, so keep an eye peeled.

In Palm Beach Gardens, for example, prices ranged from $2.72 at a Sunoco on PGA Boulevard and Prosperity Farms Road to $3.09 at another Sunoco and two Shell stations elsewhere in the same city, according to GasBuddy.

 

 

Gas prices hit three-year high

Brace your wallets. Prices have popped to three-year highs at the gas pump.

Florida’s statewide average of $2.74 per gallon marked the highest since December 2014, according to motorist organization AAA The Auto  Club Group. It costs $5 more to fill the average Florida tank than it did a year ago.

Palm Beach County holds the dubious honor of leading the state with an average of $2.86, by AAA’s count.

That puts a premium on shopping around. In Jupiter, prices ranged from $2.73 at the Circle K on West Indiantown Road to $3.07 at the Mobil at West Indiantown and Central Boulevard, per price-tacker GasBuddy  on Sunday evening.

Blame high oil prices, said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

“The price of oil is about 25 percent more than last year, as what used to be a global supply glut is now tightening,” Jenkins said.

Gas prices are likely hit their annual peak within the next couple weeks if they are not there already, Jenkins said.

Global tensions or an early storm in the Gulf of Mexico could push prices higher still, but the bottom line is “travelers will likely find the most expensive summer gas prices in four years,” he said.

Florida ranks 20th among the states for the most expensive gas. Of course, it could be worse. It could be 2008, when Florida’s average peaked at $4.08.

In Wellington,  prices ranged from $2.77 at the Shell on 441 near Southern Boulevard and the Marathon on State Road 7 near Pierson Road to $2.99 at the Shell on Southshore Boulevard.

In West Palm Beach, the low-price leader was Murphy USA on Belvedere Road with $2.66 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy.

 

Gas prices jump 4 cents on spring break, Palm Beach prices top state

Spring break got gas prices moving. Florida prices climbed four cents in two days and Palm Beach County pumps dispensed the state’s costliest go juice, averaging $2.65 a gallon.

The statewide average of $2.53 on Sunday is 26 cents more than this time last year, according to AAA The Auto Club Group.

“Demand in the southeast — especially in Florida— is strong, as Americans hit the road for spring break,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins on Monday.

Crude oil prices remained steady but gasoline supplies contracted as refineries switched between seasonal blends, he said. After prices fell early last week, they picked up by Thursday and Friday, officials said.

The market including West Palm Beach and Boca Raton led the way, followed by Naples ($2.59), and Miami ($2.58).

To keep things in perspective, Florida’s average on Sunday was a penny lower than the national average  and well under the highest price on record, $4.08 on July 17, 2008.

 

Premium gasoline? You’re wasting money unless you vehicle requires it, AAA says.

Is premium worth the price? AAA tested vehicles to find out.

Do you buy premium gasoline when you don’t need to? Some motorists think it might help their vehicle’s performance, even if it isn’t required.

AAA released new research Tuesday that shows paying-up for premium –91/93 octane vs. 87 octane for regular — may not be worth the extra money, unless your vehicle absolutely requires it.

“Sometimes consumers think they are giving their vehicle a boost by buying a higher-grade gasoline than what is required,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “AAA already proved that there is no benefit to using premium gasoline in cars designed to run on regular. Now we can confidently say that unless the vehicle manufacturer requires it, or you drive in demanding conditions, motorists who buy premium are wasting money at the pump.”

Some motorists may consider the additional torque and horsepower to be worth the extra money. Individual drivers – particularly if their driving style can be described as “spirited” – may find an improvement in vehicle driving performance for off-the-line acceleration, highway passing, hill-climbing when loaded with luggage, or towing a trailer; and may determine that their personal driving benefits from the use of premium gasoline.

While some vehicles are designed to run on premium octane gasoline, others simply recommend it. So AAA set out to determine the effects of using premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend it, and whether the benefits in fuel economy and horsepower are worth the higher price at the pump.

The Price of Premium

  • On average, this year in Florida, there has been a 20-25 percent  (57 cent) price gap between regular and premium octane fuel ($2.37 vs. $2.94)
  • On Monday, the state average price for a gallon of regular was $2.41 vs. $3.00 for premium. (Click here to view today’s averages)
  • In Palm Beach County on Tuesday, regular averaged $2.53, while premium was $3.15.

Putting Premium Fuel to the Test

  • AAA tested a variety of vehicles that recommend, but do not require the use of premium (91 octane or higher) gasoline.
  • A series of tests were conducted to determine whether the use of premium gasoline resulted in:
    • Improved fuel economy
    • Increased performance (horsepower)
  • Although AAA has already proven that these vehicles are unlikely to see any benefit from using premium gasoline during typical city or highway driving, a combination of laboratory and on-road tests were performed to simulate extreme driving scenarios such as:
    • Towing
    • Hauling cargo
    • Aggressive acceleration
  • Test vehicles included: Ford Mustang GT, Jeep Renegade, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Audi A-3, and the Ford F150 XLT
  • Key Findings
  • Most vehicles showed a modest improvement in fuel economy and performance.
  • Fuel economy for test vehicles averaged a 2.7 percent improvement. Individual vehicle test result averages ranged from a decrease of 1 percent (2016 Audi A3) to an improvement of 7.1 percent (2016 Cadillac Escalade).
  • Horsepower for test vehicles averaged an increase of 1.4 percent. Individual vehicle test result averages ranged from a decrease of 0.3 percent (2016 Jeep Renegade) to an improvement of 3.2 percent (2017 Ford Mustang).
  • Premium gasoline costs 20-25% more than regular.
  • The fuel economy improvements recorded during AAA testing do not offset the potential extra cost to purchase premium gasoline.
  • Click here to read the full report

 

Premium Gas – Recommended vs. Required

  • Last year, nearly 1.5 million new vehicles sold in the United States recommend, but do not require, premium gasoline.
  • The trend toward recommending or requiring higher-octane fuel continues to rise as manufacturers work toward meeting stringent CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards.

“By offering a choice, automakers can market modest gains in fuel economy and performance, and car buyers are less likely to hesitate about buying the vehicle, because their operating costs will be lower,” Jenkins continued. “Unfortunately, by only recommending premium fuel, the engine cannot be calibrated to take full advantage of the higher octane, because it also needs to perform adequately with lower octane (regular) fuel. Therefore, the fuel economy and performance gains are only minor.”

AAA Recommends

  • Drivers of vehicles that require premium gasoline should always use it.
  • For those vehicles that do not recommend or require premium gasoline, AAA suggests drivers opt for the lower priced, regular fuel.
  • Any vehicle that makes a “pinging” or “knocking” sound while using regular gasoline should be evaluated by a AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility and likely switched to a higher-octane fuel.
  • AAA urges drivers who use premium gasoline to shop around for the best price, as it could vary dramatically between gas stations in any given city.
  • The AAA Mobile app, is a free tool to help drivers identify the least expensive premium gasoline near them.

Higher Octane Does Not Mean “Higher Quality”

  • AAA found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.
  • In a study released last year, AAA found that consumers wasted nearly $2.1 billion dollars fueling vehicles with higher-octane gasoline.
  • Drivers seeking a higher quality fuel for their vehicle should consider using one that meets Top Tier standards. Previous AAA research found it to keep engines up to 19 times cleaner.
  • The study noted the difference in fuel quality was dependent on the various detergent packages in gasoline, which vary by retail brand.

Gasoline prices could be increasing soon, AAA says

Gasoline prices are low, but could be headed back up soon.

Provided.

The estimated 37.5 million Americans who hit the road on Independence Day found the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, according to AAA, whose data is collected from credit card swipes and direct feeds from 120,000 gas stations nationwide, in cooperation with OPIS and Wright Express.

But prices could inch up in the next week or two.

READ MORE ABOUT WHY GAS PRICES ARE SO LOW

 

“Unfortunately the pump price plunge may soon come to an end,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “We are entering a six-week period where demand is normally the strongest of the year. Plus, oil and wholesale prices made solid gains last week, reaching a level that should cause gas prices to level off. Motorists in some markets may see pump prices climb 5-10 cents in the next week or two as a result.”

YOUR IDENTITY COULD BE STOLEN AT THE GAS PUMP

Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.26 Wednesday, down just fractions of a cent from Tuesday, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

The cheapest gasoline is at $1.95 a gallon for regular at Rocket Fuel, 100 N. Federal Highway, North Palm Beach. The next lowest price is $1.97 at 7-Eleven, 1220 Federal Highway, Lake Park, as reported on GasBuddy.com

About 10 Palm Beach County stations are selling gasoline at $1.99 Wednesday. To search in your area, go to GasBuddy.com

Although the national average of $2.23 was the lowest for the holiday in 12 years, gas prices in the southeastern U.S. were the lowest in 13 years. On July 4 gas prices averaged $2.15 in Florida – 9 cents less than a year ago a year ago, and the lowest price for the holiday since 2004.

Florida’s daily gas price averages are the lowest since November 2016. The state average declined for the 31st consecutive day on Tuesday, for a total of 23 cents since June 3.

The oil market has steadily climbed during the past week after EIA data showed domestic oil production lowered by about 100,000 barrels per day, for the week ending on June 23. Moreover, last week Baker Hughes Inc. reported that for the first time in 24 weeks, the U.S. oil rig count declined by two – bringing the total rig count to 756. Neither of these declines are considered dramatic, but the sudden shift in fundamentals was enough to send oil prices higher. Market watchers will look to today’s EIA data report to see if this trend continues, in hopes it will steer prices higher.

The price of crude rose for the 10th consecutive day Monday, settling at $47.07 per barrel. Crude prices are up $4.54 since reaching this year’s lowest daily settlement of $42.53 on June 21.

 

Is $2 a gallon gasoline here yet? It could be on the way.

Consumers might find $2 a gallon gasoline at a handful of stations any day now. (Post file photo)

Motorists should be on the look out for $2 a gallon gasoline, because even as the Fourth of July holidays approach, it’s almost here.

RELATED: FOURTH OF JULY TRAVELERS, HERE’S HOW TO AVOID GAS PUMP SKIMMERS

No gas station in Palm Beach County has reached the $2 per gallon price point consumers love yet, as of Monday morning, based on prices reported to GasBuddy.com. However,  it could happen any day now at a handful of stations  as gasoline prices continue to plummet.

At least a dozen stations were offering regular gasoline for $2.02 a gallon Monday, with Rocket Fuel, 100 N. Federal Highway, North Palm Beach,  standing alone at $2.01 a gallon,  to GasBuddy.

There could also be a lingering “Wawa effect” in some areas.

RELATED: WAWA EFFECT HAS RETURNED AS PALM BEACH COUNTY GAS PRICES DROP LOWER

Gasoline prices continue to fall across the country, as well in Florida’s highest-priced fuel market, Palm Beach County. The county’s  average fell  to $2.30 Monday from $2.36 a week ago, AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows.

Florida’s average is $2.20 a gallon, down from $2.26 a week ago, and elsewhere in the state, motorists are finding $2 a gallon gasoline, AAA said.

Even with the Fourth of July travel period beginning this weekend, Florida’s average has been falling for 23 consecutive days.

RELATED: RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS EXPECTED TO TRAVEL OVER 4TH OF JULY

“It’s amazing we’re staring at some of the cheapest prices of the year as the holiday comes into view,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, said.

“As motorists pack their cars in preparation for the July 4 holiday, gasoline prices continue their widespread drop, falling in all but five states over the last week, as retail prices play catch up to the falling price of crude oil,” DeHaan said.

“Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois saw prices rise slightly due only to the fact that gas prices had fallen so significantly that stations in those areas were selling under their cost, prompting an adjustment. For the rest of the country, the downward momentum has continued and may do so again this week, so long as there’s no sudden reversal in the price of crude oil,”  DeHaan said.

As the summer travel season began earlier this month, gas prices are averaging the lowest in 12 years, AAA said.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said, “Oil prices moved even lower last week, dragging gas prices down with them.  Oil prices are having a hard time stabilizing amid fears that oversupply will continue dominating market. The slump at the pump is not over yet. Prices are falling at a steady rate, and motorists should see another round of discounts this week.”

It may be a distant memory, but in November 2016, as the Thanksgiving holidays approached, a few stations in Palm Beach County were offering gasoline for $1.99, cash price. The county’s average stood at $2.27 then.

Here are the lowest prices for a gallon of regular gasoline in Palm Beach County as reported to GasBuddy.com:

$2.01: North Palm Beach, Rocket Fuel, 100 N. Federal Highway

$2.02:  West Palm Beach area including Raceway, 288. N. Haverhill Road; Mobil, 2050 Belvedere Road; Wawa, 1530 Belvedere Road; 7-Eleven, 1001 N. Military Trail; Murphy USA, 1050 N. Military Trail; Speedway, 2450 Okeechobee Blvd.; Cumberland Farms, 2692 N. Military Trail; Speedway, 6840 Okeechobee Blvd.

$2.02: Royal Palm Beach including Costco, 1001 Southern Blvd.

2 million Floridians to hit the road this Memorial Day

Better wrap up your plans and plan to head out early: More than 2 million Floridians — roughly 10 percent of the state’s population — are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend.

AAA said Wednesday that projection is the highest in 12 years for Florida. And coupled with a record tourism pace in the Sunshine State, 31 million visitors in just the first quarter, it would represent a massive movement of population in a short period of time.

So, expect crowded highways, airports and beaches. But it’s also good news for Florida’s tourism economy, which is on a torrid pace to exceed 120 million visitors in 2017.

Across the country, lots of other people will also be on the move for what is the traditional start to the summer vacation season.

Low gas prices plus a long-weekend equals an estimated 39.3 million Americans traveling this Memorial Day weekend, AAA also estimated.

The automotive and travel group’s projection would mean equate to to 1 million more Americans traveling than during Memorial Day 2016.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “So far in 2017, travel bookings with AAA in Florida are up 17 percent, compared to the same period last year. Higher confidence, rising wages, and recent gas price declines have bolstered consumer spending, leaving many Americans with more money to spend on travel this Memorial Day.”