On the Fourth of July this year, gas prices in Indiana and across the country will be the lowest they have been since 2004.
Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, says you can thank the coronavirus for that.
“That’s not too unfamiliar. Memorial Day also saw the lowest Memorial Day prices since 2004, so essentially we’re just continuing a trend here,” says DeHaan. “It does compare to 2008 (the recession). We actually saw prices fall even more substantially back then. Of course, back then it did kind of feel like the world was collapsing.”
GasBuddy says the Fourth of July national gas price average is $2.17 this year. In 2019, it was $2.76. In 2004, it was $1.87. In Indiana, the current average is $2.16. It’s also $2.16 it’s $2.14 in Indianapolis, $2.10 in Evansville, and $2.15 in Fort Wayne.
If you are traveling during the holiday weekend, there are ways to find the cheapest prices possible near you whether you are in Indiana or not.
“When you get low on gas, just look around you and compare prices. Almost every time, you can save at least 15 or 20 cents per gallon between the highest and lowest stations. You can see a lot of volatility just by crossing the state line,” says DeHaan.
DeHaan recommends using a gas price comparison app, like GasBuddy to find the cheapest prices wherever you are.
DeHaan says he’s closely monitoring the coronavirus situation with some states in the south like Texas and Florida. Those states have seen a rise in coronavirus infections over the last couple of weeks.
“We are seeing a drop in demand in some of the states. That could be part of a larger trend that could eventually mean a downturn in gas prices, but it’s very early to get useful information. We have to see demand consistently dropping. We don’t have enough demand data to say that undeniably demand is going down right now. If demand does continue to drop in those places, that could impact prices countrywide. That’s because California, Texas, and Florida, where cases are surging, are the top three gasoline-consuming states,” says DeHaan.
Trilby Lundberg, oil and gas analyst with the Lundberg Survey, agrees with DeHaan.
“This is a crawl back up, but it is not a surge. Only a very strong recovery in gasoline demand on top of strong oil prices could do that,” says Lundberg.