SPRING HOPE — The American Automobile Association says the average price of gas in the Triangle dropped three cents over the weekend, is down from a month ago, and is way down from a year ago.
Before you get too excited over that good news, though, consider this: gas is nearly 30 cents a gallon cheaper if you head down east.
Within a few blocks of one another in Spring Hope, drivers see these gas prices: $1.99, $1.95, $1.93. They're all for regular unleaded.
One driver said it had been $1.89 on Friday. But even though the price is up for Spring Hope motorists, it's still way down from what you pay in the Triangle.
The AAA says the average price in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is $2.21 a gallon—28 cents more than they're charging at Skips in downtown Spring Hope.
"You don't find $1.93 everywhere you go, just here in Spring Hope!" driver Chrystal Richardson said.
The barrel price of oil has declined rapidly over the past several weeks, and the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association says prices at the pumps everywhere should begin to dip
They call what's happening in Spring Hope a localized price war.
"I think it's the large oil companies who keep the prices up because they feel like they can charge what they like and the smaller guys are charging less," driver Wanda Royster said. "But I think the smaller guys are making more because of the customers they're having."
Most gas station owners don't like to talk about how they set their prices, but the owner of the Spring Hope Fresh Fair says he uses the pump price to pump up other business.—
"That's the only place you make your money is to get people inside your store," owner Stacy Perryman said.
"Why $1.95? That's what gas costs me That's my cost.," Perryman said.
The North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association says not to expect the price wars to happen in many places, and not to expect them to last if they do break out.