The national average price of gas slightly decreased to $3.80 per gallon for the week ending September 7, a two-cent drop from the previous week, according to the latest data by AAA.
The drop in gas prices comes amid uncertainty in the oil markets as Saudi Arabia aims to stay the course on its voluntary 1 million barrels-a-day production cut of oil through the end of the year. In fact, The West Texas Intermediate – an oil market benchmark – increased by 85 cents to settle at $87.54 at the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session. Additionally, total domestic commercial crude inventories plunged from 422.9 to 416.6 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
“Pump prices appear to be defying the odds at the moment, despite a boost in the cost of oil,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement. “This uneasy balancing act may last until we get beyond hurricane season.”
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Although national gas prices dropped on average in the face of higher oil prices, some places saw sharper dips at the pump.
Here are the country’s least expensive markets based on AAA’s analysis.
And these are the areas with the most significant swings in average oil prices this week.
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Regardless of the direction that gas prices follow, many Americans are still struggling with the costs of maintaining their vehicles. In fact, vehicle repair costs have increased by nearly a third since March 2020, according to a survey by Jerry.
Additionally, nine out of 10 motorists said they’ve been overcharged or may have been overcharged by auto repair shops, and more than half said they’ve probably paid for a service they didn’t need. Only 11% of drivers said they don’t think they’ve ever been overcharged for auto maintenance and repair services.
“When it comes to information about what maintenance their vehicle requires, Americans rely most on dealership service departments and independent auto repair shops, despite their frustrations over a lack of transparency, followed by friends and family,” Jerry said in its report.
Additionally, only 28% of survey respondents said they conduct research online, and only about 24% refer to an owner’s manual.
High car repair costs could be taking a toll on more than just drivers’ wallets. More than 80% of respondents reported worrying at least sometimes that a sudden bill will bring serious financial hardship on them and their families.
“This can only be adding to their anxiety and frustration over the lack of pricing transparency on repair and maintenance work and the suspicion most feel toward repair shops, further souring the car ownership experience for many,” Jerry said.
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