For the first time in months, national gas prices have dropped below $4. Although the Arizona average has not yet dipped below that mark, prices for gas in the state are at their lowest since early March.
The average in Arizona fell just below $4.20 as of Thursday, but some gas stations across the state are already offering prices as low as $3.36 per gallon, according to gasbuddy.com, a website that compares gas station prices.
Along with Colorado, Arizona is the state that has seen the most dramatic drop in gas prices in the nation this week, with the regular gas average decreasing 21 cents per gallon since last Thursday, according to AAA.
John Treanor, an AAA spokesperson, said Arizona prices peaked in June at $5.02. Since then, prices have dropped over 80 cents per gallon.
Yet Treanor said it's hard to predict if prices will keep dropping, and he advised Arizonans to enjoy the recent fall while it lasts.
"Enjoy prices while we have them," he said. "We're all getting a little break to pump down, we're all filling up our tanks and maybe not holding our breath while we're doing it. But we just don't know what's gonna happen in the future."
Why are prices dropping
The average national gas price has continued to drop ever since its peak on June 14. The average price has gone down at least 1 cent daily for 38 straight days, ultimately dropping to $3.99 per gallon for regular gasoline on Monday, according to AAA.
The biggest factor for the cost of gas is oil prices, Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, told USA TODAY.
Gross said U.S. crude oil hit $93.18 a barrel, while the international standard Brent crude cost $103.81 as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, both of which have dropped at least 20 cents a barrel since the July Fourth weekend.
But oil is not the only factor. According to Treanor, much of the recent price drop can be attributed to drivers changing their habits and lifestyle.
"Since the beginning of the year, we saw this tremendous demand for fuel because COVID restrictions had lifted. People were getting back to work, back to a normal life, people started traveling more, so demand was up," Treanor said. "But at the same time, we had a war in Ukraine, and Russian oil was taken off the market, so we saw a drop in supply."
Consequently, prices reached an all-time high, causing demand to drop again.
"Because prices got so high, AAA found that nearly two-thirds of drivers in America said they were going to change their driving habits," Treanor said. "Because demand is down across the country, and in Arizona, obviously prices drop as well."
Treanor said Arizona prices might be higher than the national average due to the cost of getting fuel into the state.
As opposed to states like Texas and southeastern states that count on oil refineries, transporting oil into Arizona can play an important role in its cost.
According to Treanor, if national demand for fuel goes up again, Arizonans may not see prices falling below $4.
"While AAA can't predict what's gonna happen in the future, what we're watching is that demand has lowered costs and rose costs before," Treanor said. "If prices across the country get low enough, will Americans start driving more? Will demand go back up? That's the question everyone has."
Where to get low gas prices in Arizona
According to gasbuddy.com, the Phoenix area offers the cheapest gas prices, followed by Tucson and Flagstaff.
These gas stations currently offer the cheapest prices:
ARCO: Prices start at $3.36 per gallon for stations in central Phoenix.
76:Pprices start at $3.43 per gallon for stations in central Phoenix.
QuikTrip: Prices start at $3.47 per gallon for stations in Casa Grande.
KJ's Convenient Stop: Prices start at $3.49 per gallon for stations in Tucson.
Chevron: Prices start at $3.49 per gallon for stations in Tucson.
Circle K: Prices start at $3.50 per gallon for stations in Central Phoenix.
Fry's: Prices start at $3.52 per gallon for stations in Casa Grande.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Where to get gas under $4 in Arizona as prices keep dropping