Cheapest gas by State
CHAMPAIGN — Not only are gasoline prices locally more than a dollar less than a year ago, but they're the lowest prices in Illinois.
And they're not far off from the lowest prices in the country.
According to the web site GasBuddy.com, the average price of regular gas in Champaign County on Wednesday was $2.31 a gallon, with prices as low as $2.24.
That was less than all surrounding counties, other downstate cities (Danville's average price was $2.458, Bloomington-Normal's $2.469, Springfield's $2.429, Decatur's $2.409) and far below the statewide average of $2.685.
The national average Wednesday was $2.686, with the best deals reported to be in Gadsden, Ala., where gas was as cheap as $2.09 a gallon.
"What I would say to Champaign residents is get while the getting's good, " said Don Fullerton, a University of Illinois finance professor and former deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury Department. "Go buy your gas now and hope that you can weather through any fluctuations that lead to higher prices.
"This is not going to be long-lasting."
A year ago, a gallon of regular unleaded cost about $3.83 in Champaign-Urbana, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
Champaign County is experiencing an old-fashioned gasoline price war, said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
"Frankly, stations seem to be having a price war. There's little rhyme or reason to it, " DeHaan said. "It could be possible that one station decided to drop their price and the competition is following downside. It doesn't make sense that stations would lose money but that's the case. It may not last a long time but for the moment it certainly is great news for motorists."
Are dealers really losing money with the low prices?
"Oil companies are still making their money, it's the gas stations that are losing it, " DeHaan said. "I suppose it's possible that they're still making money but it's not a whole lot of anything. Generally, there's not a huge margin on gasoline, so if you factor in the credit card fees, it's pretty terrible right now for dealers."
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