“Prices will go down a little bit, because demand typically drops (in the first quarter of the year),” said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club South. This drop in demand is caused by a lack of major holidays during the first couple of months of the year and people’s general reluctance to travel in winter months, Brady said.
Yet while prices are expected to go down in early 2011, the decrease won’t be drastic.
“We could see a national average of $2.85,” she said.
The current national average, as of Monday, was $2.98 per gallon for regular grade, up 39 cents from a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Georgia gas prices are typically lower than the national average and on Wednesday stood at $2.92 per gallon for regular gas, according to georgiagasprices.com. That is 34 cents more than three months ago.
However, having to spend more money to fill up their gas tanks does not appear to be affecting Georgians’ travel plans over the holiday season, which began Thursday and will end on Jan. 2. During that time frame, AAA Auto Club South projects 2.7 million Georgia residents will travel 50 miles or more, and 2.5 million of them will travel in their automobile. That would mark an increase of 3.2 percent over last year’s holiday travel.
“It’s still much more affordable for many families to drive than to fly,” Brady said.