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AAA gives reasons why gas prices may vary across the Valley

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — Gas prices can vary from town to town, or even between gas stations that may be down the street from each other. AAA said there could be a lot of factors as to why.

The time of their last gas delivery, or who their gas distributor is, could be factors in the price difference. A gas station could also lower its gas price in hopes more people will come to them and make up for the loss by spending money on snacks and drinks inside.

AAA noted that where a gas station is located can also factor into the gas price.

“Comparing Harrisonburg to Waynesboro, they sit in different areas, it’s different kinds of traffic that come through. There are a lot of different factors out there that can affect gas prices,” Morgan Dean, Senior Specialist, Public and Government Affairs VA, said.

Harrisonburg’s current average is $2.17, while Staunton and Waynesboro’s current average is $2.12. Both are higher than the state average of $2.09.

Dean noted the difference in price between Harrisonburg and Waynesboro would not be a result of the I-81 gas tax that went into effect on July 1.

“After the July 1 change in gas taxes, localities all across the state are now all paying the same amount in taxes. Previously, drivers in communities along I-81, in Northern Virginia and in Tidewater were paying extra taxes in regional transportation districts. Now, all drivers in Virginia pay those same taxes," Dean said.

However, prices are cheaper this year compared to last year.

While demand for gas has gone up in the last week, prices have remained low because so many people were not driving during the peak of the pandemic, and there was enough supply to not raise the price.

Now, Dean said AAA is watching travel as we head into the fall season.

“There are a lot of people that have rented places, maybe down along the coast, maybe in the mountains where they have WIFI and the family can go together. The kids can do some virtual learning during the day and then have fun with whatever is going on there,” Dean said.

You can download the AAA app on your phone to find out the lowest gas prices nearby.

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