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Experts say gas prices will likely plummet 20-30 cents on the Central Coast

Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 22:13:20-04
Experts say gas prices will likely plummet 20-30 cents on the Central Coast

A number of factors from oil disputes to the coronavirus outbreak has led to a drop at the gas pump.

"Nationally prices have dropped already 10 cents from where we were last week," Allison Mac said, a petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.

As of Thursday morning, California's state average for a regular grade gallon of gas is $3.37 with the average slightly higher on the Central Coast.

"Just to put things into perspective, during this time of year, typically gas prices should be going up. Because we're heading into the summer driving months," Mac said. "And obviously historically in California we have high gas prices and we switch over to a summer blend gas which is also very expensive to produce. So this is very rare for this to be happening."

Mac says more relief for the wallet is on the way.

"Prices are going to continue to drop over the next two to three weeks," she said. "I foresee prices dropping another 20 to 30 cents in the next two to three weeks."

The cost could creep back up in the summer, but that is not for certain.

"It is going to take awhile for a big economy such as China that has been shut down for multiple weeks now. For that country to get back up demanding and using the level of oil pre-coronavirus, that's going to take awhile. So even if prices go back up, it's not going to be at the level they were last summer in California."

With prices being volatile at the moment, Mac suggests keeping the tank half full as the prices continue to fall. Mondays are still your best chance to find the lowest gas prices during the week, but with the drop day after day, Mac says the further you can hold off, possibly the better.

You can download the Gas Buddy app on your phone. It will give you the latest prices at which stations in the area.