The summer travel season starts this weekend, and unlike most years, prices at the pump have been falling leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
Prices at some gas stations have fallen a lot farther than at others.
You can find regular unleaded from 3.45 to $3.75 or more in our area, a 30 cent difference.
When it’s time to fill up, you can now shop around for the best prices. There is a big range right within some communities.
Along Route 11 near Clarks Summit you can find $3.47 a gallon at the Citgo and $3.59 at the Valero right across the street.
“I think it’s pretty crazy. I don’t know what’s going on. Somebody’s gouging somebody,” said Joe Packer of Dalton.
“I think it’s horrible. I think these guys are making a ton of money on the gas. We had a gas station years ago and the most we ever made on a gallon was two cents. They’re making a lot of money,” said Jude Namiotka of Newton Township.
Newswatch 16 took a ride along Routes 6 and 11 through the Clarks Summit area.
We found prices at $3.47, $3.9, $3.59, $3.61 up to $3.63, a 16 cent difference just within a few mile stretch.
Even at the higher priced stations, there were people filling up, but many drivers are drawn to the lower prices.
“You figure right there there’s $1.10 I saved right there so far,” said Frank Raniello of Nicholson, “just coming here. You figure if you save $1.10 every time you come here, that’s quite a bit of money.”
“This is the cheapest place that I’ve noticed. There’s a place in west side in Scranton that’s a little cheaper too and I know there’s a place in Duryea. So I’m all over the place,” said Christine Ceres of Newton Township.
An expert at gasbuddy.com said there is not one specific reason why prices are all over the place. He said it depends on how much the station pays a wholesaler for gas, how much business a station does, what kind of competition there is in the area or just how much money the owner wants to make.
“I give the cheapest price to customers, they keep coming. I get the same customer every day,” said station owner Alex Uppalel. He owns the Citgo offering $3.47 a gallon. There is one catch, the cash price is cheaper than credit card, but he said at the $3.47 cash price he still makes money.
“Still I make some money, not a lot but my life is comfortable.”
The American Automobile Association, or AAA, said the average price per gallon in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is down 30 cents from this time a year ago to $3.57.
Of course we’ve learned you can find prices well above and well below that.