Iowa motorists are finding it’s a lot cheaper to fuel up for holiday travels this year compared to last. The AAA Fuel Gauge Report shows regular unleaded gas, on average, is selling for $2.20 a gallon across the state.
AAA Iowa spokesperson Gail Weinholzer says that compares to $3.10 one year ago. “The last time prices were this low over the holiday season was December 2009,” Weinholzer said.
At some gas stations right now, Iowans can fill their tank for under $2 a gallon. While gas prices continue to fall, Weinholzer doubts we’ll reach the point where the statewide average dips below $2 a gallon. She notes the last time Iowa posted statewide average gas prices below $2 a gallon was May 4, 2009.
The low gas prices, combined with a longer holiday travel season, has prompted AAA to forecast a record number of Americans will be hitting the road. Both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Thursdays this year, meaning many people will have some extra time away from work. “We expect just under 100 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more between December 23 and January 4,” Weinholzer said. “Overwhelming, we expect people to travel by automobile — about 91-percent.”
Iowa has the lowest average gas prices of any of the Upper Midwest states, according to Weinholzer. Nationally, the average price of gas stands at $2.37 per gallon, 88 cents less than a year ago.