Though gas prices are still fairly high, analysts say that most locations in the U.S. are likely to see lower gas prices for the rest of the summer. Prices at the pump for regular gas have declined about 11 cents over last month’s average price, according to AAA.
It’s unusual to see declining gas prices at the beginning of the summer vacation season. “The summer driving season is typically accompanied by higher prices at the pumps, but that might not be the case this year,” reports Left Lane News. “Gas prices have steadily declined during the month of April, and that trend could continue for the foreseeable future.”
Stephen Schork of the Schork Report tells CNNMoney that the decline in gas prices could be partly a result of a slowing global economy and easing nuclear tensions with Iran. "If we don't have any supply issues or refinery outages, we've seen the highs for the summer," said Schork.
That’s great news for consumers, who are currently paying an average of $3.82 per gallon for regular gas, according to AAA. If you’re in the market for a fuel-efficient new car, you’re not alone. But shoppers considering a hybrid should take lower gas prices into account. Hybrids nearly always cost a bit more than their gas-only counterparts, so they’ll take some time to earn back their price premium in fuel savings, and they’ll take even longer to earn that back when gas prices are lower. If you’re considering buying a hybrid that costs more than its gas-only counterpart, you may want to also consider other options.
For instance, rather than opting for the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, you may want to go for the Touareg with the diesel engine instead. Diesel costs a bit more than regular gas right now, but diesel vehicles are more fuel-efficient than comparable models that take regular gas, so the Touareg TDI could be a better option than shelling out an extra $18,000 for the Touareg Hybrid compared with the base model.
Shopping for a hybrid or another new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.