Chattanooga gas prices drop last week for the first time this year

Local fuel prices still up from a month ago but remain 25 cents a gallon lower than U.S. average

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / A motorist pumps gas at the Sam's Club Fuel Center on Lee Highway on Monday, March 7, 2022 in Chattanooga.

Gas prices dropped last week in Chattanooga for the first time this year and may decline even more through February ahead of the spring travel upturn, according to the online gasoline price website

The average price of regular gas in Chattanooga fell 13.2 cents a gallon in the past week to $3.14 a gallon, according to GasBuddy’s survey of 170 stations in Chattanooga.

Gas prices in Chattanooga are still averaging nearly 23 cents a gallon more than a month ago and are up 7.5 cents a gallon from a year ago.

But fuel prices in Chattanooga average about 25 cents a gallon less than the U.S. average and may decline more this month as oil prices have eased in recent days, said in a report Monday. Local gas prices are also down by nearly $1.50 a gallon from the peak levels reached last June, according to Gasbuddy surveys.

“For the first time in 2023, the national average price of gasoline has seen a weekly decline, primarily thanks to a sharp and sudden drop in the price of oil,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement Monday. “While the decline in both gasoline and diesel prices is terrific, it’s not unusual to see prices falling in February, which tends to be the month with some of the lowest gasoline prices of the year thanks to seasonally weak demand.”

On Monday, GasBuddy reported that the cheapest gas in Tennessee was available in Dunlap, Tennessee, where the Murphy USA station on Rankin Avenue was selling regular gas for $2.71 a gallon and a nearby B Quick Market, Spirit and Hi-Tech stations in Dunlap were all selling gas below $2.80 a gallon on Monday.

In Chattanooga, a handful of stations were selling gas at $2.92 a gallon for regular fuel, which was the lowest price in Hamilton County.

Truckers are also benefiting from cheaper oil prices with the national average price of diesel down 5.2 cents in the past week to $4.60 per gallon.

“For diesel, we’re likely to see more declines, and potentially much more significant in the weeks ahead as imports of distillate have accelerated, leading to a sell-off,” De Haan said.

Gas prices are likely to head higher as more motorists hit the road with warmer weather and gas distillers adjust their summer fuel to meet stricter seasonal air quality standards, De Haan said.

Oil prices rose in trading Monday, which Reuters news service said reflected supply concerns. But oil prices remained near three-week lows over reports that slower global economic growth will curb demand.

Brent crude futures rose 46 cents, or 0.6%, to $80.40 a barrel Monday morning, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $73.59.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner