Posts Tagged ‘Expert’

Most U.S. Drivers Leery of Auto Repair Shops

December 1st, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Mariam Ali Contact TileAAA advises that finding a trusted mechanic is more important than ever

ORLANDO, Fla. (December 1, 2016) – According to a new AAA survey, two out of three U.S. drivers do not trust auto repair shops in general – citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences for their lack of confidence. However, the survey also reveals that the majority (64 percent) of U.S. drivers have singled out an auto repair shop that they do trust, suggesting that consumers have prioritized finding a reliable mechanic in an industry with imperfect reputation. AAA urges all drivers to identify a reputable repair facility well before one is needed.

Additional Resources

“To minimize the stress associated with vehicle repair and maintenance, it is critical that drivers find an honest repair shop that they can trust with their vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “AAA found that one-third of U.S. drivers – 75 million motorists in total – have yet to find a trusted repair facility, leaving them vulnerable when trouble strikes.”

With today’s cars collecting a variety of data about the health of the vehicle, drivers need a trusted repair facility more than ever. “Connected cars” with built-in diagnostic capabilities can alert drivers to vehicle trouble and help repair shops quickly and accurately address issues. Unsurprisingly, given concerns around data security, AAA found that the majority of U.S. drivers want the ability to direct their vehicle’s data to the repair shop of their choice – the trusted facility with whom they have built a relationship.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • The top reasons that U.S. drivers do not trust repair shops are:
    • Recommending unnecessary services (76 percent)
    • Overcharging for services (73 percent)
    • Negative past experiences (63 percent)
    • Concerns that the work will not be done correctly (49 percent)
  • Older drivers are more likely to trust auto repair shops than younger drivers.
    • Baby Boomers are twice as likely than younger generations to fully trust auto repair facilities in general, with one-in-five reporting they “totally trust” the industry.
    • Baby Boomers (76 percent) are also more likely to have a chosen auto repair shop that they trust compared to Millennials (55 percent) and Gen-Xers (56 percent).

“As a service to our members and the general public, the AAA Approved Auto Repair program is designed to help drivers identify trustworthy repair shops,” Nielsen continued. “Facilities meet AAA standards by undergoing a rigorous investigation conducted by Automotive Service Excellence certified inspectors, including quarterly inspections and annual re-certifications that ensures high professional standards for technical training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service. Plus, if something does go wrong, AAA steps in to arbitrate any issues on behalf of its members.”

To find a trustworthy auto repair shop, AAA suggests that drivers:

  • Look for a repair shop before issues occur. Ask family and friends for recommendations and visit AAA.com/autorepair to locate an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility near you.
  • Research potential repair shops and find out how long they have been in business. This can be a good indicator of shop quality. Also, look into how they deal with consumer complaints. The Better Business Bureau, State Department of Consumer Affairs or attorney general’s office can provide those complaints.
  • Visit the auto repair shop for a minor job such as an oil change or tire rotation. While waiting, talk with shop employees and inspect the shop’s appearance, amenities, technician credentials, and parts and labor warranty. If you find the service to be good, stick with them. Build a relationship with the technician so they can get to know you and your vehicle.

AAA’s Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program was created more than 35 years ago and includes nearly 7,000 facilities across North America. Once a shop meets AAA’s high standards, including certifications, technical training, cleanliness, insurance requirements, it becomes part of the AAR program where it’s re-inspected annually and monitored for customer satisfaction. AAA members receive several unique benefits by selecting an AAR facility, including priority service, a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty, discounts on repairs, free inspections, AAA assistance with dispute resolutions and more.

For additional information about the survey, including a fact sheet and infographics, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Tamra Johnson

Drivers this year paid the second lowest gas prices for Thanksgiving since 2008, and the national average has steadily dropped days ahead of Wednesday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. During the meeting, OPEC is expected to carve out the details for a production cut which could potentially result in an increase in global oil prices, though the details of the agreement are still unclear. Today’s average price of $2.13 per gallon is down one cent per gallon for the week, seven cents over the last month and is only nine cents more compared to a year ago.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_11-28-16-01

Quick Stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in twelve states today including: Missouri ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.89), Arkansas ($1.90), Kansas ($1.90), Texas ($1.90), Mississippi ($1.93), South Carolina ($1.94), Alabama ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.94), Louisiana ($1.96), Minnesota ($1.98) and Virginia ($1.98).
  • The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only four states in the nation where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: Hawaii ($2.85), California ($2.67), Washington ($2.60) and Alaska ($2.60).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, with six out of ten of the nation’s most expensive retail markets located in this region: Hawaii ($2.85), California ($2.67), Washington ($2.60), Alaska ($2.60) and Oregon ($2.42). That being said, prices in the region continue to decrease ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Price Template_11-28-16-01

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rocky Mountains have remained relatively stable compared to other markets due primarily to the fact that there have been few regional disruptions to production in recent months and their geographic location. Being in the center of the country helps to insulate the region from coastal price swings. Barring unforeseen production issues, prices should continue to drop heading into the end of the year.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation. This is a product of some refinery issues that have limited production at some facilities. While prices in recent weeks have been a mixed bag of increases and decreases, regional prices over the past week have moved mostly lower: Ohio (-6 cents), Indiana (-5 cents), Michigan (-3 cents), Minnesota (+3 cents) and Wisconsin (+4 cents). The volatility in the region has been pressured by operations at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. (the region’s largest facility), which has been undergoing planned maintenance that is set to wrap up at the end of the month.

Prices for drivers in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country. Five states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Missouri ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.89), Arkansas ($1.90), Kansas ($1.90) and Minnesota ($1.98).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have moved lower over the past week due to high supply and the price of crude oil. Despite the decreases, three states in the region are featured prominently on the list of top-10 most expensive markets in the nation: Washington, D.C. ($2.41), New York ($2.36) and Pennsylvania ($2.35). The latest EIA report shows that East Coast gasoline stocks increased to 59 million bbl which is about 700,000 bbl more than reported this same time last year.

South and Southeast

Drivers across the South and Southeast still make up the bulk of those paying pump prices below $2 per gallon. Despite some recent refinery issues in the region, six states still place in the top-10 cheapest states in the nation: Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. The U.S. Gulf Coast is the largest refining region in the nation, so even with some recently reported problems, the area is less susceptible to price spikes from limited disruptions.

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-11-28-16-01

Oil Market Dynamics

Doubts about the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies’ ability to solidify a deal to cut oil production continued as reports of tension between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and non-OPEC member countries persisted over the weekend. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister left talks Sunday and mentioned the idea that OPEC members may leave the November 30 meeting in Vienna without a deal causing crude oil market prices to drop. Analysts will await confirmation that the cartel can come to an agreement to reduce production and the terms of each country’s participation. WTI opened last week’s formal trading posting gains but closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down $1.90, settling at $46.06 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonAAA projects that 43.5 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving and drivers will pay the second-cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008, when the national average was $1.85. Today’s national average price of $2.14 per gallon represents a savings of three cents per gallon versus one week ago and nine cents per gallon on the month. Significant yearly savings persist and pump prices are only five cents higher than compared to last year.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_11-21-16-01

Retail averages have fallen steadily since November 6 for a total savings of eight cents per gallon, and drivers in 45 states and the District of Columbia are paying less at the pump week-over-week. The national average is expected to near $2.00 a gallon by the end of the year.

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in twelve states today including Oklahoma ($1.85), Missouri ($1.90), Arkansas ($1.90), Kansas ($1.90), Texas ($1.92), Mississippi ($1.95), Alabama ($1.95), Minnesota ($1.95), South Carolina ($1.96), Tennessee ($1.96), Louisiana ($1.97) and Virginia ($1.99).
  • The West Coast remains the most expensive region to buy gasoline in the country, led by Hawaii ($2.86), California ($2.70), Washington ($2.63), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.47) and Oregon ($2.45).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-11-21-16-01

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country, including the top six most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.87), California ($2.70), Washington ($2.63), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.47), Oregon ($2.45). Drivers in California (-6 cents), Washington (-5 cents) and Oregon (-5 cents) saw the biggest weekly discounts. Prices in the region could potentially be impacted later in the month due to a fire at PBF Energy’s 157,000-b/d refinery in Torrance, California, last Tuesday. OPIS reports that PBF Energy was operating major gasoline production equipment at reduced rates on Friday which may have a slight impact on supply in the area.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region have followed the national average trending lower over the past week. The region has generally been the most stable across the nation since it is geographically insulated from pump price movement tied to global crude oil prices. Regional prices are expected to continue dropping into the holiday season along with demand.

Great Lakes and Central States

The regions have the only five states in the nation that have seen prices increase over the past week: Ohio (+10 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), Kentucky (+3 cent) and Missouri (+2 cents). The Great Lakes are often the most volatile area in the country for gas prices, and it is not uncommon for prices to move significantly from day to day. Despite recent increases, drivers in the region should see some relief at the pump soon. OPIS reports that BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery in Indiana is wrapping up its planned maintenance that first started in September. All units are expected to be back in production by the end of the month.

Top 10 Most Dramatic Weekly Price Changes_11-21-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to drop at a steady rate, with prices across the region falling a couple of cents over the past week. Despite the drops, regional neighbors- New York ($2.37), Pennsylvania ($2.37) and Washington, D.C. ($2.36)- round out the list of top-10 most expensive markets in the country.

South and Southeast

Drivers in the southeastern quadrant of the U.S. continue to enjoy some of the lowest prices in the nation, due to the advantageous proximity to major Gulf Coast refineries and some of the lowest state gasoline taxes in the country. Five states in the region rank in the top-ten lowest prices nationwide: Texas ($1.92), Mississippi ($1.95), Alabama ($1.95), South Carolina ($1.96) and Tennessee ($1.96).

Oil Market Dynamics

Markets rallied early Monday morning and oil prices hit their highest point in three weeks as continued reports of an OPEC production agreement circulated. Last week, OPEC and non-OPEC members signaled that they might be getting closer to finalizing the details of their production agreement and proposed a production cap for Iran, which up until this point was not supportive of disrupting the amount of oil they produced. Following these discussions, many traders anticipate that it may be more likely that OPEC can solidify their production agreement at the November 30 meeting in Vienna, Austria. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 27 cents to settle at $45.69 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

 

 

National Average Drops for 10 Consecutive Days

November 14th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Tamra JohnsonPump prices have fallen for 10 consecutive days, reaching today’s national average price of $2.17 per gallon. Drivers are benefitting from the price of retail gasoline with today’s average five cents less per gallon than one week ago and eight cents less than one month ago. The abundance of crude oil in the global market is contributing to lower prices, and as a result, retail averages are the same price as compared to one year ago.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_11-14-16-01

Historically, gasoline demand tends to decline during the month of November, and with the autumn refinery maintenance season nearing completion, pump prices are expected to move lower to close out the year, barring any unanticipated outages or supply disruptions.

Quick Stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in nine states today including Missouri ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.88), Arkansas ($1.94), Kansas ($1.94), Indiana ($1.96), Texas ($1.97), Ohio ($1.98), Minnesota ($1.99) and Mississippi ($1.99).
  • The biggest weekly price decreases are reflected in Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Nebraska (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Minnesota (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents) and Georgia (-6 cents).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-11-14-16-01

West Coast

Gas prices in the West Coast region remain the highest in the country with Hawaii ($2.90), California ($2.76), Washington ($2.68), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.51) and Oregon ($2.49) all topping the list of most expensive markets. Fortunately for drivers, the increase in global oil supplies has caused the price of oil to drop. These decreases are making their way to the pump nationally and resulting in weekly discounts in west coast markets with the most significant decreases found in Washington (-4 cents), Oregon (-4 cents) and California (-4 cents).

Rockies

Retail averages in the Rocky Mountain states are following the national average downward, moving between 1-3 cents on the week in most parts of the region. Montana (-5 cents) is the only state posting a savings of a nickel or more. Gas prices in the region are below the $2.50 per gallon benchmark and are expected to continue to drop as we move into the holiday season.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the regions dropped significantly over the past week and continue to be impacted primarily by supply and demand. Although prices are down in every state in the region on the week, Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Nebraska (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Minnesota (-6 cents) and Wisconsin (-6 cents) are all ranked on the nation’s top 10 list of biggest weekly discounts. OPIS reports that ExxonMobil’s Joliet, IL refinery experienced minor disruptions late last week due to flaring from an upset on process equipment. Despite these reports, this week Ohio ($1.98) and Indiana ($1.96) both landed on the nation’s top-10 list of cheapest markets.

Top 10 Most Dramatic Weekly Price Decreases_11-14-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Despite being home to three of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets—Pennsylvania ($2.40), Washington, D.C. ($2.40) and New York ($2.39)—gas prices in the region are following the national trend downward and remain below the $2.50 per gallon benchmark.

Gas prices are down in every state in the Northeast on the week, with the largest weekly savings experienced by drivers in Washington, D.C. (-5 cents), New Jersey (-3 cents), Rhode Island (-3 cents). OPIS reports Delta Air Lines restarted the fluid catalytic cracking unit at its 190,000-b/d Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery last week and the Northeast is expected to receive a large import of gasoline from Europe during the second half of the month which should help boost supplies following the six-day shutdown of Colonial Pipeline earlier this month. Pump prices in the regions should continue to drop heading into the holiday season.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in much of the South and Southeast remain near or below $2 per gallon. Motorists in Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi are already enjoying an average price below this threshold, and drivers in Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana could join this list in the next several days. OPIS reports that there was a backup of gasoline supplies in the Gulf Coast due to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown earlier this month. The shutdown prevented refiners from moving product to Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and resulted in higher gasoline stores and drops in prices at the pump. The bulk of America’s refining capacity is in the Southeastern United States and abundant supplies should keep prices relatively low heading into the holiday season, barring any unexpected disruptions in pipeline shipment or refinery schedules.

Oil Market Dynamics

Global crude oil supply continues to outpace demand, which for now, is keeping a ceiling on prices. Traders are also watching supply and demand levels as OPEC and non-OPEC countries continue their production cut discussions ahead of their formal meeting on November 30 in Vienna, Austria. Decisions made at the formal meeting may impact available crude levels and in turn be reflected in retail prices. The WTI opened this week’s trading session posting losses, building on last week’s decline due to continued supply worries. At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, the WTI was down $1.25, settling at $43.41 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for gasoline remains relatively flat compared to one week ago, although pump prices have been pressured higher in some regions due to disruptions on the Colonial Pipeline. Today’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.22 per gallon, which is one cent more than one week ago, four cents less compared to one month ago and the same price year over year.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_11-07-16

 

While drivers in a number of states (30) are paying less at the pump week-over-week, some volatility remains in Southeastern portions of the United States where gasoline prices saw upward momentum as a result of the Colonial Pipeline disruption. Line 1 operations were restored on Sunday afternoon after more than a week of downtime following a deadly explosion on Line 1 last week. While delivery of fuel has resumed, it may take a week before affected states see any relief at the pumps.

 

Quick stats

  • Average gas prices are below $2 per gallon in four states today including Missouri ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.94), Arkansas ($1.98) and Kansas ($1.99).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.92), California ($2.80), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.53), Idaho ($2.46), District of Columbia ($2.44), Pennsylvania ($2.41), New York ($2.40).

 

West Coast

 Gas prices on the West Coast continue to be the highest in the country, with every state in the region landing on the top ten list of most expensive markets: Hawaii ($2.92), California ($2.80), Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.53), Nevada ($2.53). Prices have been relatively steady over the past week despite tightened supply in the California market and the wrap up of planned maintenance on the Olympic pipeline early last week in the Northwest. BP shut down operations on its Pacific Northwest pipeline system to conduct planned maintenance October 27 and reopened the line a few days later. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report recently revealed west coast gasoline supplies hitting record lows which can likely be tied to the fall maintenance schedule. Most west coast refineries are set to come back online this month.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices_11-07-16

 

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rocky Mountains are dropping due to weakening crude oil prices and demand in the market. Crude prices were under $30 bbl in parts of Montana and North Dakota last week resulting in discounts for every state in the region, with North Dakota (-4 cent) and South Dakota (-4 cents) landing on the list of largest weekly decreases.

 

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to be the most volatile in the nation with three states landing on the list of largest weekly increases: Michigan (+5 cents), Ohio (+5 cents) and Indiana (+3 cents). A 5.0 magnitude earthquake in Cushing, Oklahoma last night may have future impact on prices in the Midwest. The Associated Press reports that the earthquake struck around 7:45 p.m. CST and resulted in minor injuries and power outages. Cushing is home to 13 pipelines that transport millions of barrels of oil a day as well as refined products to states in the Rockies and Midwest. Refined products are delivered from the Gulf Coast via the Explorer Pipeline to Chicago and Magellan Pipeline to Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri markets as well as other Midwest destinations.

Prices for drivers in the Central United States remain some of the cheapest in the country with three states posting prices under $2: Missouri ($1.93), Oklahoma ($1.94) and Kansas ($1.99).

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-11-07-16

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remained relatively flat except for New Jersey ($2.04), where the national average jumped 25 cents this week because of the new state gas tax hike that took effect November 1. Barring any unexpected impact to production or distribution, prices in the region should drop this month due to dropping oil prices and demand.

 

South and Southeast

Markets in the South and Southeast continue to post some of the lowest prices for retail gasoline in the nation, with seven states landing on the list of cheapest markets: Arkansas ($1.98), Texas ($2.02), Mississippi ($2.03), South Carolina ($2.04), Alabama ($2.04), Louisiana ($2.05) and Tennessee ($2.06). Despite the low prices in some parts of the regions, drivers in Georgia saw prices jump eight cents on the week because of problems on the Colonial Pipeline.  Colonial resumed shipments on Line 1 early Sunday, ahead of their projected afternoon start time. Prior to Sunday’s restart, Line 1 had been shut down for six days due to a gasoline explosion last Monday in Shelby County, Alabama. While delivery of fuel has resumed, it may take close to a week before impacted states see any relief at the pumps.

Recent reports from OPIS show that the actual market impact from the shutdown is expected to be less than originally thought for the month of November. Prior to the gasoline explosion on October 31, Colonial had planned a 20 percent rate cut on Line 1 November 12-21. The rate cuts were needed to remove the 500-foot-long bypass that was installed after September’s gasoline leak, however the scheduled work was completed during last week’s shutdown, which means Colonial will be able to make up about two days’ of gasoline deliveries.

 

Oil Market Dynamics

Last week, following the explosion and shutdown of Colonial Pipeline Line 1 crude oil was trading higher, but the company quickly announced that Line 1 was scheduled to restart on Sunday November 7th. The restart announcement had a chilling effect on the market and crude oil prices dropped below $45 dollars a barrel. Colonial Pipeline could face congressional scrutiny after the deadly pipeline incident.  Several Members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Fox requesting a comprehensive examination of Colonial Pipeline and the company’s management as it relates to the maintenance and integrity operations of the system. Also weighing on the market are the continued negotiations amongst OPEC and non-OPEC members. The Secretary-General of OPEC announced today that the group was still committed to developing an output deal to cut oil production, but no formal agreement has been reached. Traders will keep a close eye on the Colonial Line 1 restart and upcoming OPEC meetings. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 59 cents to settle at $44.07 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

 

Tamra JohnsonToday’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.21 per gallon, which is one cent cheaper than one week ago, the same price compared to one month ago and three cents more than the same date last year. National gas prices have now dropped for six consecutive days, but the usual seasonal decline has stalled as prices have remained roughly the same since early September.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_10-31-16-01

Drivers may continue to see prices wobble up and down as traders speculate on the possibility of OPEC countries developing an output agreement over the next month. Additionally, planned and unplanned refinery maintenance continues across the United States and may result in regional fluctuations in gas prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Missouri ($1.99), Oklahoma ($1.99), Arkansas ($2.01), South Carolina ($2.01), Kansas ($2.02).
  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.91), California ($2.79), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55).

West Coast

The region continues to be the priciest in the nation, with the seven most expensive state averages: Hawaii ($2.91), California ($2.79), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.52) and Idaho ($2.46). Prices in the Northwest will likely move higher due to the shutdown of BP’s Olympic Pipeline last week. BP originally planned to conduct scheduled maintenance earlier in the month but was delayed by Typhoon Songda. Pipeline maintenance is expected to conclude this week and will start again in early December. Despite maintenance in the north, drivers in California should begin seeing some relief as winter-blend gasoline appears at pumps around the state.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices_10-31-16-01

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rocky Mountain region should continue to move downward heading into election week. Prices in the region have been among the most stable in the nation, due to their insulated status in the center of the country and few disruptions to regional production throughout the year.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in much of the Midwest have steadied since last week but are beginning to show signs of volatility which is common for the region. Prices moved slightly up or down across much of the Great Lakes states: Indiana (-4 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents), Illinois (-2 cents), Ohio (+1 cent). Planned maintenance will continue this week at BP’s massive 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery in Indiana. The refiner helps supply much of the Midwest and any drops in supply resulting from the planned maintenance will likely be balanced by a seasonal drop in demand.

Prices in the Central United States continue to be among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including two of the states where prices are below $2.00 per gallon: Missouri ($1.99) and Oklahoma ($1.99).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Refinery issues continue to impact prices in the regions with some sates landing on the top-15 list of most expensive markets in the country: Pennsylvania ($2.40), New York ($2.38), Connecticut ($2.33), Vermont ($2.30) and Maine ($2.28). Drivers should begin to see some relief in the coming weeks as refinery maintenance wraps up. Delta’s Monroe Energy is expected to restart its 53,000-b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery this week and PBF’s Paulsboro refinery in New Jersey is also expected to return to normal operations soon. OPIS reports that Irving Oil is expected to restart some units at its 320,000-b/d Canadian refinery in the coming weeks. The maintenance work which started back in September has resulted in price increases for drivers in much of the Northeast.

Top10 Lowest Average Gas Prices-10-31-16-01

South and Southeast

Prices in much of the South and Southeast are expected to move lower in the coming weeks as refiners recover from fall maintenance and price spikes resulting from problems on the Colonial Pipeline in September and Hurricane Matthew.

Oil Market Dynamics

Late last week, OPEC officials met in Vienna to hash out the details of a potential production freeze agreement, but several hours of discussions bore no resolution. Iraq and Iran have continued to voice concerns over participating in a production cut, and as a result, negotiations have stalled. Traders will continue to closely monitor OPEC negotiations for any indication of an agreement in the days leading up to the next official meeting scheduled for November 30.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down $1.02 to settle at $48.70 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

 

 

National Average Shows Steady Decline on the Week

October 24th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

The average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 16 days, for a total savings of 4 cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.22 per gallon, which is two cents less than one week ago, one cent more than one month ago and 1 cent more year-over-year. The National average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2016 peak price reached in June ($2.39).

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_10-24-16-01

This year’s seasonal refinery maintenance continues across the United States and select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of planned and unplanned maintenance. The West Coast is enduring the fall turnaround season but is still feeling the impacts of shutdowns at the PBF’s Torrance, California refinery. Similar pressure is still being felt on the East Coast with rumors of refinery outages in the Philadelphia area. Although gasoline demand typically retreats during the fall due to lower driving demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, continued unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term.

Quick Stats

  • The biggest weekly price decreases are reflected in Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Georgia (-4 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Tennessee (-4 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents) and Kansas (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($2.89), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.51), Idaho ($2.46), District of Columbia ($2.45), Pennsylvania ($2.40) and Montana ($2.37).

West Coast

Gas prices on the West Coast remain the highest in the country with states in the region topping the list of most expensive U.S. markets: Hawaii ($2.89), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.73), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.55), Nevada ($2.51). Prices in the region have crept higher due to seasonal maintenance this month as refiners switch to winter-blend gasoline. Ongoing planned maintenance is taking place at Phillips 66’s 147,000-b/d Los Angeles refinery, Tesoro’s 107,000- b/d Wilmington refinery and Chevron’s 275,200-b/d Richmond refinery. The region is also still recovering from a power outage at PBF’s 157,800-b/d Torrance refinery that stopped operations for several days. The switch to winter-blend gasoline should have some price benefits for drivers after seasonal maintenance wraps up next month.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices_10-24-16-01

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region have remained relatively stable over the past week with averages moving up by only two cents per gallon or less. Fall maintenance at Western Refining’s St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota is expected to wrap up this week which should provide additional relief to drivers at the pump.

Great Lakes and Central States

Drivers in the Great Lakes region are enjoying significant discounts at the pump as prices are dropping on abundant supplies and limited disruptions to refinery production. The region includes the four states registering the largest declines in the nation over the past week: Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), and Wisconsin (-5 cents). Ohio ($2.04) is also on the list of cheapest markets in the country. The significant price declines can be attributed to elevated inventories and a lack of major refinery outages in the region.

Drivers in the Central region continue to pay among the cheapest pump prices in the country, including three states where prices are moving closer to the $2.00 per gallon mark: Oklahoma ($2.01), Missouri ($2.03), Tennessee ($2.07).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Pump prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have seen slight increases over the past week. There has been a lot of refinery maintenance in the region. OPIS reports that there is ongoing maintenance in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, as well as at Delta’s Trainer, Pa. refinery. The refinery plans to keep its fluid catalytic cracking unit down at least another month for maintenance. Another factor impacting supply in the region is two critical Canadian refineries that send gasoline to the Eastern Seaboard have not been contributing much gasoline to the area due to maintenance. Pennsylvania ($2.40) and Washington D.C. ($2.45) are both on the top-10 list of the country’s most expensive markets.

Top 10 Most Dramatic Weekly Price Decreases_10-24-16-01

South and Southeast

Drivers across much of the South and Southeast continue to enjoy relatively cheap pump prices, and a reported five percent increase in regional gasoline stocks has caused wholesale prices to drop in some areas. Gulf Coast refiners are slowly recovering from planned and unplanned maintenance, but the region is also tasked with sending large supplies of gasoline to Mexico, where refiners are running at half capacity. Reports from OPIS show that Gulf Coast refiners historically overproduce in November and December which could result in cheaper prices for drivers, but for now, the market is balanced. Drivers in Arkansas ($2.03), Texas ($2.05), South Carolina ($2.05) and Mississippi ($2.06) are enjoying pump prices among the top ten lowest in the nation.

Parts of the Southeast are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew which significantly dropped demand in the region. The Hurricane, mixed with exports and refinery issues in the Gulf Coast have moved prices significantly over the past month in some southern states with three making the list of top-five largest monthly increases: Texas (+10 cents), Florida (+10 cents) and Louisiana (+9 cents).

Oil Market Dynamics

The market reacted early Monday morning to claims from Iraq that they would not participate in a potential OPEC production cut agreement. The Iraqi State Oil Monitor suggested that Iraq could not afford to lose any further market share than it already has and would not benefit from taking part in a production freeze. This development follows last week’s news that Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is planning several meetings with OPEC countries to discuss proposals to freeze oil output amid weak prices in the market. OPEC countries are scheduled to formally meet again on November 30. Traders will continue to monitor the announcement of manufacturing agreement details, but there remains continued uncertainty as to whether OPEC can meet the production targets and rebalance the market. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 22 cents to settle at $50.58 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

 

Pump Prices Drop Nine Consecutive Days

October 17th, 2016 by Jessica Souto

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nine consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.24 per gallon. Today’s average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but remains five cents more than last month. However, drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_10-17-16-01

Prices continue to wobble as areas of the country impacted by Hurricane Matthew work to replenish supply and several refineries across the country address planned and unplanned facility maintenance.

Quick Stats

  • Volatility in the Midwest has placed four states in the region at the top of the list for biggest weekly declines: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Illinois (-8 cents).
  • The West Coast remains the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying more than $2.50 on average: Hawaii ($2.87), California ($2.78), Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52), and Nevada ($2.51).

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices_10-17-16-01

West Coast

Despite storms hitting the northwest this week, retail averages on the West Coast have remained relatively steady over the past week. Hawaii ($2.87) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. Regional neighbors in California ($2.78), Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.51) also ranked in the nation’s top six most expensive markets and the West Coast is the only region in the country with prices above $2.50. Supply issues in the Northwest resulting from the storm may have a slight impact on retail prices over the next week. Remnants of Typhoon Songda which caused significant damage in the Western Pacific days before hitting Oregon and Washington with strong winds and heavy rains Friday and Saturday. This has interfered with petroleum barge imports and has driven Northwest gasoline spot market prices to the highest in the nation.

Conditions at the PBF Torrance, CA refinery are reportedly improving after an unexpected power blip last Tuesday morning. PBF reported to OPIS on Friday morning that all process units taken offline were expected to be up by the end of the day.

Rockies

Prices for motorists in the Rocky Mountain region remain among the most stable although market averages are following the national trend downward. The drop in price is most likely due to seasonal drops in demand. Over the past month the region has experienced little change with prices generally moving only a few cents per gallon.

Top10 Most Dramatic Weekly Changes_10-17-16-01

Great Lakes and Central States

States in the Great Lakes region have seen the biggest decreases over the past week: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), and Illinois (-8 cents). The Great Lakes is often the most volatile area in the country and it is not uncommon for prices to move significantly from week to week. At the moment, prices are heading downwards which can likely be attributed to BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery completing unplanned maintenance on its largest crude distillation unit which has helped to ease supply constraints in the region. Planned work at the refinery has also wrapped up for the season. ExxonMobil is also completing scheduled maintenance at its Joliet refinery in Illinois. Refineries should finish all seasonal planned maintenance by the end of October.

Drivers in the Central region continue to enjoy some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Oklahoma ($2.06) and Missouri ($2.06) both landing on the top 10 list of least expensive markets.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices across much of the region remain relatively steady with most states seeing slight weekly increases or decreases of two cents or less. This week New Jersey ($2.02) tops the list of least expensive markets in the country with Virginia also landing in the top 15. Washington, D.C. ($2.45), Pennsylvania ($2.40) and New York ($2.36) are posting some of the most expensive averages in the region this week.

South and Southeast

Many parts in the Southeast are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew. As massive power outages and flooding continue to be resolved, they seem to be having minimal impact on pump prices. Drivers in the South are also enjoying relatively low pump prices with many states in the region making the list of cheapest markets in the country: Texas ($2.03), Arkansas ($2.05), Oklahoma ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.09), South Carolina ($2.09) and Alabama ($2.11).

Prices in the Gulf Coast are still recovering from a week long shutdown at Pasadena Refining System’s 115,700-b/d Pasadena, Texas refinery. The fluid catalytic cracking unit was restarted at the refinery last Monday after it was taken out of service for unplanned repair on a leaking valve. The Gulf Coast is home to the bulk of U.S. refining capacity, which should keep prices relatively low for drivers, barring a hurricane or another unexpected event.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil contracts continued to react to last month’s announcement that OPEC was working on a plan to cut production. While the market increased briefly by the end of last week, crude oil prices had dipped back to less than $51 per barrel as a result of continued skepticism about both the plausibility of a plan being agreed to and the implementation of a production freeze. Traders will continue to watch discussions surrounding the upcoming November meeting. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 9 cents to settle at $50.35 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

Julie HallSprint pays AAA Classic renewal fees for customers;
AAA members get Unlimited Freedom for just $35 per month per line for a family of four

ORLANDO, Fla., and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Oct. 13, 2016 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and AAA have deepened their 15-year relationship to bring additional benefits to AAA’s more than 50 million U.S. members. Beginning immediately, AAA members can receive significant benefits from Sprint, including payment of AAA Classic membership renewal fees and discounts on Sprint’s unlimited calling plans.

Under the new agreement, Sprint will renew the AAA Classic membership for primary and associate members as long as they remain eligible Sprint customers and register at www.Sprint.com/AAA. Sprint will also offer the Unlimited Freedom rate plan to AAA members for just $35 per line a month for four lines – a $5 monthly discount per line. As the most inexpensive unlimited data plan, Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom gives customers unlimited talk, text and data with no access charges or hidden fees. It includes unlimited mobile optimized streaming videos, gaming and music and unlimited 4G LTE data for most everything else.1

Additional benefits of the relationship:

  • AAA members receive a 10 percent discount on all other applicable Sprint rate plans.
  • Sprint customers who are also AAA members will receive a 25 percent discount on eligible accessories.
  • Sprint customers who are also AAA members will receive free access to the Sprint Family Locator2 app, providing the ability to locate a family member’s registered phone. With the app, users can see a loved one’s last available location on a map and receive notifications as soon as they get home.3
  • Sprint will also provide customers easy access on new Android devices to the AAA Mobile app featuring lowest gas prices, member discounts, access to roadside assistance, and AAA’s exclusive travel information, including diamond ratings for hotels and restaurants.

“We are proud of our long relationship with Sprint, and this newly enhanced program will provide our members discounted access to the latest in digital technology,” said Marshall Doney, president and CEO of AAA. “These new mobile technologies, together with free AAA membership renewals, will help members to stay connected with their friends and families and to important roadside assistance help when they need it.”

“Sprint and AAA share the mutual goal of keeping our customers safe, secure and connected when it matters most,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to ensure our customers have easy access to the important benefits of AAA membership, including roadside assistance and travel discounts. For me, this is much more than just another discount program – it gives Sprint the ability to provide peace of mind for families that count on us.”

For more information or to sign up for this offer, please visit: www.sprint.com/AAA.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 59.4 million connections as of June 30, 2016, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

1All while on the Sprint network. Mobile optimized: video streams at up to 480p+ resolution, music at up to 500kbps, streaming cloud gaming at up to 2mbps. Data deprioritization applies during times of congestion. Requires ebill. Prices shown are with AutoPay. Other monthly charges apply.

2 Must register for offer at sprint.com/AAA within 30 days of activation and before downloading Sprint Family Locator App. Free service will discontinue if Sprint service or AAA membership is cancelled.

3 Sprint does not guarantee service or location accuracy. Location info could be delayed, inaccurate, interrupted based on a variety of conditions.

Tamra JohnsonThe national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased for 12 of the past 14 days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon. Today’s average price is 3 cents more than one week ago, 8 cents more than one month ago and 6 cents less than one year ago.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices_10-10-16-01

Over the weekend, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina saw the arrival of Hurricane Matthew and residents in those areas expressed significant concerns about the availability of gasoline leading up to and following the storm. Ports and fuel terminals in all three states were closed ahead of the storm. Fortunately, there were no refineries threatened by the path of the storm and by Friday afternoon many ports in southern Florida were already cleared by the Coast Guard and open to receive vessels.

Many coastal ports are expected to reopen on Monday, allowing waterborne deliveries of gasoline to continue. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and quickly resupply stations across the impacted areas.

Quick Stats

  • The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying $2.50 or more on average: Hawaii ($2.84), California ($2.79) Washington ($2.72), Alaska ($2.64), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.50).
  • The states with the largest increases this week are Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), West Virginia (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Florida (+6 cents).

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices_10-10-16-01

West Coast

The West Coast features the highest prices in the nation as has consistently been the case over the past decade. However, drivers in these same states are also among the only motorists who have seen prices remain steady over the past week. Alaska ($2.63), Washington ($2.71), California ($2.79), Nevada ($2.50) and Oregon ($2.52) all land on the list of smallest weekly changes. The West Coast transition to winter specification gasoline will take place in about two weeks. Supply in the region is already being impacted as many refiners begin maintenance for the switch, including some very large-scale turnaround work at Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., refinery.

Rockies

Prices in the Rocky Mountains remain relatively stable compared to other markets. This is primarily due to limited disruptions to regional production in the past months and their geographic location in the center of the country, which helps to insulate the region from coastal price swings. Barring any unforeseen production issues, drivers should see prices continue to move lower as we move into the winter driving season.

Great Lakes and Central States

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region saw significant increases over the past week. Regional prices remain impacted by two factors – seasonal refinery work at key plants like BP’s 430,000-b/d Whiting refinery and replenishment of inventory lost last month, when product had to be moved from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to assist states in the Southeast impacted by problems on the Colonial Pipeline. While prices in recent weeks have been a mixed bag of increases and decreases, regional prices over the past week have moved universally higher, with five Midwestern states making the list of top increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents).

The Central United States has some of the cheapest prices in the country, although prices have followed the national average higher over the past week. Four states in the region feature in the top-15 lowest: Arkansas ($2.05), Missouri ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.07) and Tennessee ($2.14).

Top10 Largest Increases 10-10-16-01

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

While still largely cheaper than one month ago, prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have moved higher over the past week which can likely be attributed to Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the Southeast region. Increases have been most evident in the Mid-Atlantic, where two states and D.C. made the list of top-15 largest weekly increases: District of Columbia (+5 cents), New Jersey (+4 cents), and Pennsylvania (+4 cents).

South and Southeast

Hurricane Matthew caused prices to jump in some parts of the region, with Florida (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+4 cents) both landing on the list of top-15 weekly increases. The Hurricane caused supply issues at many gas stations last week as evacuation notices resulted in closed ports and terminals. Without access to local terminals, many gas stations could not handle the high demand of drivers preparing for the hurricane. Despite the issues, gasoline supplies in the Southeast region remain plentiful. Hurricane Matthew was expected to have much more impact on demand and less on supply. On Friday afternoon, ports in Miami, Key West and Port Canaveral were already reopened to vessel traffic. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and resupply stations across the impacted areas.

Refiners in the Gulf Coast are preparing to meet fall demand but reports from OPIS indicate that refineries in Big Spring and Pasadena, Texas had maintenance issues last week which impacted supplies and caused increases in some states.

Oil Market Dynamics

Attention is now focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will alter production in order to influence prices higher. OPEC members are scheduled to have a number of meetings before the end of November in order to identify the details of an output agreement, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil over the past week. Traders will keep a close eye on OPEC negotiations moving forward and will be on the lookout for an oil production framework. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 63 cents to settle at $49.81 per barrel.

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.com/mobile.

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