Fuel prices coming down for holidays | VailDaily.com

Fuel prices coming down for holidays

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Holiday driving will be a little easier this season, thanks to gas prices that have dropped, on average, between 25 and 40 cents per gallon from their summer peaks.

After dropping below $100 per barrel in late summer, oil prices have started creeping back up, even while the price of gasoline has dropped from its summer highs.

Wavelyn Dreher of Colorado AAA said gas prices reflect a combination of how much Americans are driving – less than they did over the summer – and climbing oil inventories. Those and other factors have gas prices this week at a nine-month low.

How long that’s going to last is anyone’s guess, Dreher said, since crude oil and gasoline prices usually run on fairly parallel lines.

That disconnect between gasoline and crude oil prices may have contributed to an unusually broad spread of prices through the valley.

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The gap in the price of regular gas runs between 20 and 30 cents per gallon between Gypsum and Vail. But Gypsum’s Costco store was selling gas Monday for $3.24 per gallon, about 25 cents less than retail stations in Eagle and Gypsum. That price spread is usually about a dime.

And, Dreher said, consumers are more willing these days to chase prices in the name of saving a few cents per gallon.

“People seem willing to drive a little farther, or make left turns, for lower prices,” Dreher said. That savings-chasing extends to more use of grocery-store rewards cards.

“I know I get upset with my husband when he gets to use our points before I do,” Dreher said.

While seeking out lower prices seems to have become a habit, Dreher said consumers seem to have pretty short memories when it comes to car-buying habits.

“People in the summer were saying ‘I’ve got to get rid of this thing,'” she said. “Now, people are holding on to their cars. But they’re tending to hold on to them longer before trading.”

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