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Florida Gas Prices Level as Holiday Travel Nears

November 17, 2013 - 6:00pm

No impact is forecast for drivers looking forward to hitting the road for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, auto industry experts said Monday.

Oil prices continued to fall for a sixth consecutive week and remain below $95 per barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. supplies of crude oil increased for the eighth week in a row and refined output rose to a 24-year high point, according to AAA.

Even on the heels of higher stockpiles and production, prices at the pump remained steady, not falling.

But, thats good news to travelers who wont experience the high gas prices seen in recent years.

Floridas average retail price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.23. Thats 10 cents lower than the average Florida price a year ago.

"Gas prices are still looking good for the upcoming holiday weekend," said AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady. "Pump prices have stabilized a bit, but remain below last year's averages. Even if gas prices were to move higher in the next couple of weeks, they're not expected to have a major impact on holiday travel plans."

The average national cost of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.21, falling below the average Florida price for the first time since mid-March.

Prices for regular unleaded gas ranged across Florida with the lowest price in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro region at $3.149 and the highest price in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton metro region at $3.364.

Florida prices hit a record high in summer 2008 at $4.079.

If drivers want to save money by frequenting the pumps less, AAA provides tips to conserve gasoline:

  • Accelerate gradually.
  • Anticipate stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Avoid long warm-ups in the morning. Theyre unnecessary and waste fuel.
  • Use air conditioning. Todays air conditioners create less drag on the engine than driving with the windows open.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
  • Keep the air filter clean. Clogged filters reduce fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.
  • Drive the speed limit.

Anne Smith writes special to Sunshine State News.

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