The Margin: Only 3 states don’t have a single place to buy gas for less than $2

Gas for less than $2 a gallon is getting easier to find.

AAA says 71% of U.S. gasoline stations are selling fuel under that level, and drivers in all but three states — Hawaii, Alaska and California — can find at least one place where they pay that little.

Moreover, more than 16,000 stations are selling gas for less than $1.75 per gallon, it added. The cheapest 1% are selling gas for an average of $1.56.

Prices could fall another 10 cents per gallon over the next few weeks, based on typical seasonal trends, AAA said. But that won’t last long: The national average could rise 50 cents by late winter because of seasonal maintenance at refineries ahead of the busy summer driving season.

Prices on Thursday average $2 a gallon, making it the lowest price for New Year’s Eve since 2008, AAA said. The average for all of December was $2.01. The cheapest day to have bought gas during the month was Dec. 21, when it averaged $1.998.

For all of 2015, prices averaged $2.40 a gallon, or about 94 cents less than in 2014, it said. That is the second-lowest average price in a decade, behind 2009. It predicted prices will fall further in 2016; the annual average price of gas in 2016 could be between $2.25 and $2.45 per gallon, it said.

The highest average annual gas price in recent years was $3.60 in 2012, it said.

The drop in gas prices reflects a second year of plunging crude-oil prices amid a glut of supply—a 31% skid for the U.S. benchmark CLG6, +1.28% There is little sign that production will be reduced soon to better equal demand.

Read: After a brutal 2015, what’s on tap for commodities?

For consumers, the fall in gas prices has meant an extra $115 billion to save or spend elsewhere compared with 2014, or an average of more than $550 per driver, AAA said.

Among the states, gas prices in 2015 were highest on average in California for the first time ever (usually it’s Hawaii) because of numerous problems at refineries there, AAA said. South Carolina had the cheapest gas for the fourth year in a row.

Drivers in many Southeastern states benefit from relatively low gasoline taxes and access to abundant refinery production along the U.S. Gulf Coast, AAA spokesman Michael Green said.

On Thursday, the state with the lowest average price of gas was Missouri, three cents less than in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arkansas. California’a average gas price was $2.85.

Filed in: Top News Tags: 

You might like:

Mutual Funds Weekly: What you don’t know about sleep can save you money Mutual Funds Weekly: What you don’t know about sleep can save you money
MarketWatch First Take: Nvidia says crypto-mining boom is over for now MarketWatch First Take: Nvidia says crypto-mining boom is over for now
The Wall Street Journal: U.S. hints China could face sanctions over Iranian oil imports The Wall Street Journal: U.S. hints China could face sanctions over Iranian oil imports
The Margin: How Kobe Bryant scored a 3,200% return in under 4½ years in a very liquid asset The Margin: How Kobe Bryant scored a 3,200% return in under 4½ years in a very liquid asset
Earnings Results: Nvidia stock drops as crypto-mining decline overshadows earnings beat Earnings Results: Nvidia stock drops as crypto-mining decline overshadows earnings beat
The Wall Street Journal: DoorDash valuation more than doubles to $4 billion after latest funding round The Wall Street Journal: DoorDash valuation more than doubles to $4 billion after latest funding round
The Wall Street Journal: Michael Cohen changed his mind on Stormy Daniels payment after ‘Access Hollywood’ tape surfaced The Wall Street Journal: Michael Cohen changed his mind on Stormy Daniels payment after ‘Access Hollywood’ tape surfaced
Big boost in internet sales help Nordstrom beat on earnings, raise outlook Big boost in internet sales help Nordstrom beat on earnings, raise outlook
© 2482 Stock Investors News. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.