Gearing up for the holidays? No matter what you celebrate, you can revel in the fact that gas prices will likely be very low during the festive season. It'll be much easier on your wallet to get through the next few weeks, whether you're planning to travel to your loved ones hundreds of miles away or run around your own city to finish holiday shopping on time.
Prices fall below $2 in the South
People in the South can rejoice. Both Oklahoma and Texas saw prices drop under the $2 mark at some gas stations. According to reports, that's the lowest in the entire nation
, which is enough to attract drivers from miles around. Of course, that type of rush also spurred surrounding gas stations to lower their costs for competition's sake, resulting in many opportunities to capitalize on the affordable gas.
"The world is swimming in crude oil right now. And this of course is what is driving our pump prices in this country, that and good old-fashioned street corner competition," said AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai. "It may not be a gas war, but it certainly is one-upmanship, or maybe in this case, one downmanship."
Could gas taxes go up?
Although falling prices may seem like great news, there could be some backlash coming. Time magazine reported gas taxes may jump in the near future
. With the average cost dropping, a slight hike would be easier to swallow for most drivers. The Washington Post noted that the gas tax has remained at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993
- when the average cost hovered around $1 for a gallon. While individual states have tacked on their own taxes over time, the federal rate hasn't changed with inflation or fuel efficiency standards.
Even a tiny raise could make a big difference in the Highway Trust Fund, which relies on the taxes for revenue. That could lead to more work on infrastructure. While no one likes to encounter construction road blocks, few can argue with the benefits of the smooth, safe highways that follow.
Make the most of low prices while they last
Even if gas prices aren't that low in your area, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. To start, make sure your car is getting the care it needs with a regular auto tune up
. These appointments may seem routine, but they're necessary if you want your vehicle to function at a high level. Even something as simple as an oil change
can improve your fuel efficiency.
Secondly, take a look at your tires
. The wheels play a major role in a car's gas mileage, so you'll want to have a set that are both safe and cost-effective. Monitoring the air pressure and tread is a good foundation, but smart drivers will also invest in the proper rotation and tire alignment