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Martha Meade
Public Relations Manager, VA

C: (804) 543-7190

Morgan Dean
Senior Specialist, Public and Government Affairs, VA
C: (804) 921-6198

National Average Nearly 20-Cents Higher than Two Months Ago

Virginia Gas Prices 7th Lowest in the Country, Despite Recent Hikes at the Pump

Richmond, Virginia (Monday, March 4, 2019) - The national gas price average has increased nearly 20-cents since the beginning of the year, which is the largest jump during the January-February time frame since 2015. Despite recent gas prices hikes, Virginia is currently 7th lowest in the country to buy gasoline.

Pump prices rose steadily across the country in February, a month that saw a number of refineries undergoing planned and unplanned maintenance, and an increase in crude oil prices.

Today’s national average is $2.42, which is three-cents more expensive than last week, 17-cents more expensive than a month ago, but 10-cents cheaper than a year ago.  In Virginia, motorists are paying 15- cents more than a month ago, three-cents more than last week and 14-cents less than this same time last year.  

“Pump prices have been pushed higher this week due to reduced gasoline stock levels and increased demand,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA.  “While gas prices are on the rise nationwide, Virginia drivers are filling up their thirsty tanks with the 7th lowest gas prices in the country.   Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to increase as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.”





Weekly Change


Last Month

Last Year



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Up 5 cents





Down 1 cent





Up 5 cents



Norfolk Area


Up 2 cents





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Up 4 cents




Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Florida (+13 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Mississippi (+8 cents), Louisiana (+8 cents), Kansas (+6 cents), South Dakota (+6 cents), Texas (+5 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Colorado (+5 cents) and Michigan (+5 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.17), Arkansas ($2.17), Utah ($2.18), Mississippi ($2.19), South Carolina ($2.19), Texas ($2.19), Virginia ($2.20), Colorado ($2.20), Louisiana ($2.21) and Tennessee ($2.22).


Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw gas prices moderately increase on the week. With gas prices ranging from $2.20 to $2.64, the region is the only one to have states appearing on both the top 10 most and least expensive states in the country. Most expensive: Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, D.C. ($2.58), New York ($2.53) and Connecticut ($2.51). Least expensive: Virginia ($2.20) and Tennessee ($2.22).


After two weeks of draws, gasoline inventories built by a healthy 1 million bbl to 68.6 million bbl, per Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. However, refinery utilization continues to trend down. In fact, utilization has fallen from the first of the year when it was at 87.9 percent to 60 percent today. Much of this can be pinpointed to ongoing planned and unplanned maintenance throughout the region. It’s likely that gasoline imports and lower demand (due to colder weather) has helped to keep gas price fluctuations moderate.


Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped $1.42 to settle at $55.80. Oil prices took a downward turn last week due to concerns that global crude demand may be lower than expected. Moving into this week, crude prices may rise on optimism that the United States and China are closer to a deal that resolves the ongoing trade spat between two of the world’s largest economies. Tightened global supply due to OPEC’s 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement (which will be through June 2019) and decreased crude exports from Venezuela and Iran could also help prices increase.

Earlier last week, crude prices rallied after EIA revealed that domestic crude inventories decreased last week by 8.6 million bbl and now sit at 445.9 million bbl. The week-over-week reduction is the largest so far in 2019 and was driven largely by a robust crude export rate of 3.4 million b/d, which is more than double the export rate at this time last year. Additionally, the U.S. saw a low crude import rate at 5.9 million b/d last week, which is the lowest rate since February 1996. Low imports also contributed to lower crude inventory levels.

In related news, Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. lost 10 oilrigs last week, bringing the total to 843. When compared to last year at this time, there are 43 more rigs this year.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at


AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

AAA is the most comprehensive resource for gas prices.  Unlike the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations, AAA reports reflect actual prices from credit card transactions at more than 100,000 gas stations in the U.S. 

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9210 Arboretum Pkwy, Ste 290
Richmond, VA 23236

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Virginia.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
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