Lower gas prices welcome as holiday driving increases

With many people getting ready to travel Michigan’s roads leading up to the holidays, we’re happy that Marquette-area gas prices seem to be holding close to the statewide average of about $3.14 a gallon.

Those of us looking to jump in our vehicles and travel either across the U.P., the state or the country to be with loved ones, lower gas prices mean we have that little bit of extra money in our pocket books that could make a big difference.

While the lowest gas prices are in downstate Flint at about $3.02 a gallon, Marquette is holding steady at right around $3.19 a gallon. Seeing the pumps rise to $3.29 near the end of last week made us cringe for a few days, but looking at the signs in town and seeing the numbers under $3.20 is a relief.

For a lot of last-minute holiday shoppers, getting any financial relief – even saving a few bucks at the gas pump – can make buying those holiday gifts a little easier. It can be difficult to spend a few hundred dollars on relatives and have enough money left to put gas in the tank to get the chance to actually deliver those gifts.

Gas prices prices today are about 12 cents less per gallon heading into the last stretch before Christmas than they were in 2012.

Those few cents a gallon can add up quickly if you think that the average vehicle holds 16 gallons of fuel and travels about 300 miles. If a person has to drive 500 miles, it’s going to cost just over $100 round trip.

The cheaper the gas the better, and we’re happy fuel isn’t skyrocketing before the holidays.