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No spring spike to regional gas prices

Gallon typically costs 50 cents more from March to May

POSTED: April 20, 2009 11:50 p.m.
SARA GUEVARA /The Times

Estevan Chavez, 22, of Gainesville pumps gas Monday at a Chevron gas station on Atlanta Highway. Chavez, a future Gainesville State College student who will be moving to Dahlonega, hopes that gas prices will remain low.

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Current gas prices are defying normal trends, and most drivers are hoping the pattern continues.

For the past three years, gas prices in Georgia have increased by about 52 cents from March 1 to May 1. So far this year, gas prices have only risen by 10 cents since mid-March.

"My Jeep uses a lot of gas, so I bought a motorcycle four or five months ago to save money on gas. I drive that around town, but take my Jeep for longer trips," said Estevan Chavez, a 22-year-old Gainesville resident. "I’m moving to Dahlonega next month, but will have to drive back here for classes at Gainesville State College, so for the sake of my (wallet), I hope prices stay low."

The average price for a gallon of regular fuel in Georgia is $1.914; a week ago the price was $1.916. Even though the prices have only gone down marginally during the past week, the price is around 10 cents higher than a month ago when the price was only $1.82.

Despite the significant increase from month to month, the current prices are still not as high as they usually are in the spring.

"All along we’ve said that gas prices tend to follow consistent seasonal prices, but this year it doesn’t appear that we’re going to see the spikes in springtime prices that we’ve become accustomed to seeing," said Gregg Laskoski, public relations director for AAA South.

Although AAA officials say they don’t make predictions about future gas prices, they do say they have some ideas about what drivers can expect to pay at the pump during the summer season.

"We don’t make predictions about gas prices, but I think we’re going to see an increase in price somewhat, but nothing like what we’ve seen over the last three years," said Laskoski.

Last summer, regular gasoline prices skyrocketed to more than $4 per gallon.

In general, a gallon of regular gasoline in Gainesville currently costs between $1.83 to $1.92. The national average for the same fuel is around $2.06 per gallon.



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