John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
C: (202) 253-2171
jtownsend@aaamidatlantic.com

WASHINGTON, D. C. (Tuesday, March 31, 2020) –– Overnight, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped below $2 for the first time in four years. Today’s national gas price average is $1.99. It is averaging $1.85 a gallon in Virginia, and a tad above the national average in Northern Virginia. AAA expects gas prices to push cheaper, with the national price average hitting $1.75 or less in April. 

 

In contrast, the current average price point across the Washington metro area is $2.08 per gallon, which is nine cents higher than the national average. Across the Potomac River in Virginia, the statewide average pump price first dropped below $2 per gallon on March 20. It has trended below that price point for 11 days now. Across the mid-Atlantic region, pump prices are averaging below $2 per gallon in Virginia ($1.85), Delaware ($1.92), and West Virginia ($1.96). 

 

“As gas prices continue to plunge in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and other factors, area consumers and motorists can still find gasoline for $2 or less per gallon in nearly nine in ten gas stations across Virginia, and at nearly seven in ten filling stations in Maryland,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “By shopping with their steering wheels, motorists can find cheaper gasoline in the nation’s capital, as the coronavirus outbreak and the ongoing crude oil price war continue to weigh on oil demand, and subsequently on the prices consumers pay at the self-serve gas kiosk.”

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

Today

Week Ago

Year Ago

Last Date Below $2/gal

National

$1.99

$2.10

$2.69

$1.99 – 3/22/2016

Washington, D.C.

$2.26

$2.36

$2.82

$1.96 – 3/10/2016

D.C. Metro

$2.08

$2.16

$2.63

$1.99 – 3/22/2016

Virginia

$1.85

$1.94

$2.45

$1.99 – 11/30/2016

(been below $2 since 3/20/2020)

Maryland

$2.02

$2.11

$2.65

$1.99 – 3/21/2016

 

The rapid decline in pump prices across the United States is due to COVID-19’s chilling effect on the global economy and the crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Crude has plummeted to $20/bbl – a closing price not seen since 2002. For the last 52 weeks, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) has averaged $56/bbl with the national pump price average at $2.63.

 

“AAA expects gas prices to keep dropping as cheap crude combines with the realities of people staying home and less demand for gas,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Today, motorists can find gas for $1.99 or less at 68% of gas stations in the country.”

 

In Virginia, for example, the average pump price is $1.85 per gallon, which is 14 cents below the national average. Motorists in Virginia are able to find gas under $2, or much less, at 87 percent of the filling stations across the state. The average pump price in Maryland is $2.02 gallon. Yet Motorists and consumers in Maryland can find regular blend gasoline for less than $2 a gallon at 69 percent of gas stations in the state.

 

In contrast, the average pump price is $2.27 a gallon in the nation’s capital. Nevertheless, motorists can find pump prices below $2 per gallon at only 14 percent of self-serve kiosks in the city. AAA expects gas prices to push cheaper by at least another quarter in April. Consumers can also use tools such as the Fuel Price Finder (http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder) to locate the lowest-priced fuel near them in the District of Columbia.

 

Across the country, twenty-nine states (Virginia, Delaware, and West Virginia included) have regular gas price averages under $2, with Oklahoma ($1.55) having the cheapest in the country. In contrast, statewide average pump prices still stubbornly top the $3 per gallon threshold in two states: Hawaii ($3.36) and California ($3.05). For state, metro and county gas prices, visit Gasprices.AAA.com.

 

While demand is diminishing, COVID-19 is not impacting the U.S. gasoline supply. The U.S. has an unusual amount of winter-blend gasoline still available for this time of year. This caused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the sale of winter-blend past the May 1 deadline to May 20. The agency said they would continue to monitor and may extend the waiver again. “The EPA’s  extension of the winter-blend gasoline waiver will contribute to sustained lower prices, especially as U.S. gasoline demand readings look more like winter-driving season than spring,” added Casselano.

 

AAA forecasts that until crude oil prices and gasoline demand increase, cheaper gas prices are here for the foreseeable future.  For those motorists who are not driving, AAA offers these car care tips for longer-than-expected parked vehicles:

 

  • Battery Boost. If possible, use a Battery Tender or other maintenance-type battery charger to keep the battery at a full state of charge and prevent deterioration. The Battery Tender should remain connected to the stored vehicle.

  • Fuel Stabilizer. If gas is going to sit in the vehicle's tank for more than a few months, particularly gasoline that contains ethanol, AAA recommends using a treatment designed for fuel stabilization such as STA-BIL®.  Anyone can do this, and it is as simple as fueling up a vehicle. Fill the gas tank to help minimize condensation and drive the car for five to ten miles to ensure that the stabilized fuel circulates throughout the fuel system.

  • Tire Pressure. Add 10 psi of pressure to each tire to help prevent flat spots from forming on the tires. This occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid due to sitting in one position for an extended period. You can also move the vehicle periodically.

  • Windshield Wiper Placement. Prop up the wiper arms so the blades are off the windshield and won't get stuck to the glass.

  • No Parking Brake. Don’t use the parking brake when storing the vehicle. The brake could become frozen, and the brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums. With an automatic transmission, simply place the vehicle in park. If the car has a manual transmission, put it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks to help hold the vehicle in place.

 

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Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
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Washington, DC 20005

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 82,000 members in the District of Columbia.  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. For more information, visit  http://aaa.com

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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