A pair of gas stations at Highway 153 and Gadd Road in Hixson were locked in a price war Monday that lowered the price of regular gas at the two stations to the lowest in America, according to the national gasoline price tracking website, GasBuddy.com.
The Exxon station and the Mapco store across the street were each selling gas Monday at $1.89 per gallon, lower than any other gas station in the country and 25 cents per gallon below the average of all stations in Chattanooga.
"It looks like a good old fashioned price war there in Hixson," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Murphy down the road is usually very aggressive in its pricing and now you're seeing these stations go even lower."
The discounted price at the Hixson stations, which analysts sid is likely below the stations' cost of the fuel, comes just two weeks after a similar gas price war in Lookout Valley lowered prices in late October to $1.73 per gallon west of downtown Chattanooga — also the lowest price in the nation at the time.
1. San Antonio, Tex., $2.11.6
2. Gadsden, Ala.,$2.12.7
3. Tuscaloosa, Ala., $2.13.1
4. Anniston, Ala., $2.13.3
5. Killeen, Tex.,$2.13.4
6. Sumter, S.C., $2.139
7. Aiken, S.C. $2.14
8. South Haven, Miss.,$2.14
9. Auburn, Ala., $2.14.2
10. Chattanooga, $2.14.7
DeHaan said such price wars don't usually last long, but motorists are enjoying it while it last.
"I don't want big oil companies to get any more of my money than they have to," said Ed Maharrey, a retired Red Bank resident who filled up his Ford Ranger at the Exxon station for $1.89 a gallon Monday. "Whoever has the cheapest prices is where I'm going to fill my tank and this is definitely a good price."
On average, gasoline prices in Chattanooga rose an average 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, reversing six weeks of steady decline in retail prices at the pump following the run up in gas prices this summer following Hurricane Harvey.
In its survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga, GasBuddy.com said the average price of regular gas at the start of this week rose 3.7 cents per gallon from a week ago to $2.14 per gallon.
But the local increase in gas prices during the past week was only about half as much as the 6.5 cents-per-gallon increase in regular gas prices nationwide and Chattanooga fuel prices, on average, are 39 cents per gallon below the U.S. average of $2.53 per gallon for regular gas.
Even with the latest increase, local gas prices are still 21.4 cents per gallon cheaper than a month ago, according to GasBuddy surveys. However, the unusual increase in gas prices during the autumn months left local prices 17.7 cents per gallon more than they were at the same time a year ago.
Chattanooga had the lowest average price for any major city in Tennessee or Georgia and ranked as the 10th cheapest metro market to refuel your vehicle among more than 370 metro areas across the country, GasBuddy.com said in its report Monday.
DeHaan said the price increases are unusual for this time of year.
"Without a hurricane driving up prices, many motorists have been dumbfounded about what's taking place with the unseasonable upward trend," he said. "Such a strong weekly upward move is rare in the fall, but is explained by a confluence of factors, including oil prices hitting a new 2017 high, a major pipeline leak resulting in disruption, autumn refinery maintenance, but perhaps among the more surprising — robust demand for gasoline so late in the season."
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 423-757-6340.
This story was updated Nov. 6 at 10:55 p.m.