RICHMOND, Va. -- For the first time in weeks, some Central Virginia localities are seeing average gas prices under $4 a gallon.
In the Richmond area, the cheapest gas prices can be found in Chesterfield County, where the average cost is $3.92 per gallon, followed by Petersburg at $3.96 per gallon.
Virginia's state average is still above $4 a gallon, at $4.11, but experts predict that number will continue to decline. The price of gas has now fallen every day since hitting a record $5.01 on June 14.
Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic said a decline in crude oil prices and a drop in demand are responsible for these lower prices.
In fact, new data from the Energy Information Administration shows gas demand is lower than last year and actually in line with what we saw during the middle of July 2020 when COVID restrictions were still in place.
"Maybe they're not doing that second or third road trip towards the end of the summer," Dean explained. "Or maybe they're staying closer to home and instead of driving that five or six hours down to Myrtle Beach, maybe they said let's go down to Yorktown, let's go down to Virginia Beach."
Other drivers could be carpooling to work to save money, according to AAA.
"The conversation has definitely turned to the positive side now that prices really have started to come down," said Dean. "So I think for drivers it is a very welcomed relief every time they pull up to the pump and look up at that sign and it's much closer to $4 than it is to $5."
Dean suggests drivers continue to make travel plans with higher gas prices in mind, so if they are more expensive than expected, you won’t be overwhelmed.