The new year began with lower gas prices than what Florida drivers saw at the start of 2020, a new report from AAA finds.
This week kicked off with the average gallon of gas in Florida costing $2.19, down a penny from the start of last week and well below the start of 2020 when it was almost $2.50. The national average stood at $2.26 a gallon on Sunday.
“Florida drivers saw big swings at the pump last year, primarily because the pandemic caused lower fuel demand both nationwide and around the globe,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, on Sunday.
Florida’s highest daily average price in 2020 was $2.56 per gallon. That was 24 cents per gallon less than the highest price in 2019.
Florida’s lowest daily average price in 2020 was $2.176 per gallon. That was 36 cents per gallon less than the lowest price in 2019.
Gas prices for the entire year of 2020 averaged $2.11 per gallon. That’s the lowest annual average price in 16 years. The annual average price in recent years was $2.49 in 2019, $2.65 in 2018, and $2.37 in 2017.
In the meantime, for the past three weeks, Florida gas prices have been around $2.20 a gallon as crude oil prices hold steady.
“Although the fuel market remains optimistic about the long term recovery of fuel demand, thanks to the coronavirus vaccine; the shot term future of prices at the pump will likely continue to be hampered by reports of rising cases of COVID-19,” Jenkins said.
The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area had the most expensive gas in Florida with an average of $2.32 a gallon followed by Fort Lauderdale and Port St. Lucie which both saw an average of $2.22 a gallon.
Punta Gorda had the least expensive gas in Florida with an average of $2.13 a gallon followed by Jacksonville with $2.15 a gallon and the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice market at $2.16 a gallon.