COLUMBIA — Drivers take note: Columbia gas prices have decreased by 8 cents over the past five days — the largest decrease in the shortest period of time this summer.
Gas prices have decreased from $3.51 per gallon on Aug. 5 to $3.43 per gallon Tuesday morning, said Mike Right, spokesman for AAA in Missouri. A month ago prices were $3.56 per gallon but were only 2 cents lower last week, according to Columbia’s AAA daily report.
"What we're experiencing now is the largest drop in such a short period of time," Right said.
However, this is not the cheapest gas has been in Columbia this summer — prices dipped as low as $3.27 in July, Right said.
“There’s been a significant reduction in crude oil cost,” Right said. “Today, crude oil is selling for $81.31 a barrel. That same barrel on the first of August was almost $95.”
The Kansas City Star reported that the dropping prices can be attributed to last week's plunge in the stock market as well as the end of the summer when people travel less frequently.
This summer's fluctuating gas prices left some people questioning whether to cancel their vacation plans, but for Columbia residents Danny Bell and Samantha Gibson, their summer plans weren't affected.
"I wouldn't say it changes anything," Bell said.
Seeing the lower prices from the road, however, did make Bell and Gibson pull into a Break Time on Providence Road.
The state as a whole is experiencing this price drop, Right said. The national average is $3.65 per gallon, down from $3.70 last week, according to the national AAA report.
Just a little less than 130 miles east, St. Louis drivers have seen a 24-cent decrease since Aug. 5, a much more significant drop.
Traci O’Connor drove from St. Louis to Columbia this morning, and filled up in St. Louis because of the drastic decrease in gas prices, noting that she was only filling her car in Columbia because her tank was close to empty.