The national average gas price ticks below $4 a gallon

National drivers saw some relief at the pump Tuesday morning.

GasBuddy, a technology firm and fuel price resource, reported Tuesday that the national average fell below $4 per gallon for the first time since early March. Tuesday’s average was $3.99 per gallon, down more than $1 from the record high of $5.03 a gallon on June 14. WHNT reports.

The drop in crude oil prices in recent months has helped offset this decline, saving Americans nearly $400 million at the pump when compared to spending in June.

Prices began to rise in March amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to GasBuddy, this has caused global oil supply to tighten at the same time as demand rises over the summer. Inventories tightened as a result, sending prices skyrocketing to record levels. Some areas of California jumped as high as $7 per gallon at the peak of high prices, and diesel saw the highest ratio for regular gas.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said the perfect storm was a factor leading to record prices throughout the summer.

“We have never seen anything like 2022 at the pump, highlighted by once-in-a-lifetime events including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many imbalances, exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine,” said De Haan. “As a result, we have seen gas prices behave in a way never witnessed before, jumping from $3 to $5 and now back to $3.99.”

He added that the contributing factors are still somewhat in play.

“While the recent drop in gas prices has been most welcomed, the issue that led to skyrocketing prices has not been completely put to bed, and may still lead to prices eventually rising again, if something unexpected develops,” he said.

GasBuddy recommends shopping around to find the best gas prices, adding that conditions change quickly and stations within a few blocks can sometimes vary in price by more than 30 cents per gallon.

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