GasBuddy: Coronavirus concern causing drop at the gas pump

("Gas Pump" by Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0)

Concern over the coronavirus is causing gas prices to go down in Indiana and many other states.

“Well, believe it or not, there’s been a lot of fear worldwide about this virus. It has stopped transportation in China. With China being the world’s second-largest oil consumer, there’s a hit there to petroleum,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

He says the transportation shutdown means less oil demand.

“You tend to see things like this and it keeps people home, which is why you have that hit to demand. When you have a tendency to see these fear-inducing events, people stay home and they consume less petroleum. That’s the hit on oil and, thus, gas prices,” DeHaan said.

A person is being isolated in Porter County over coronavirus concerns. Doctors say they are using an abundance of caution, and that the patient is only potentially infected. The CDC will have a final diagnosis after running lab tests. There are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. so far.

GasBuddy also released a report Wednesday morning saying that 37% of Americans are overpaying for gasoline.

In the Warsaw area, gas prices are as low a $2.27 a gallon for unleaded gas if you pay with cash, $2.33 a gallon if you pay with a card. Many communities throughout Kosciusko County are ranging in that same price, while others communities, such as Silver Lake, are still around $2.49 a gallon.

In South Bend and Fort Wayne, prices have been seen as low as $2.15 to as high as $2.39.

“Indianapolis is ranked 31st with about 36%. So a little over a third of Hoosiers in Indianapolis are overpaying. I’m just hitting my head because too many Americans are still paying more than they have to on gas because there’s a station down the street they don’t see,” DeHaan said.

DeHaan says the average price for gas in Indianapolis is $2.36 per gallon, but there are stations in Indianapolis selling it for less than $2.30. DeHaan also says gas stations in many states have gone below $2 per gallon.

“In Seymour, for example, prices are down to $2.11, but because of that price cycle last week in Indianapolis, prices are still kind of working their way down. I would expect prices would continue to trickle down. In fact, Indiana is the only state of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio that isn’t under $2. I would expect a few stations in the state to drop below $2 in the days ahead,” DeHaan said.

He also says you can save money by not driving aggressively, but that can be hard to do since most people are in a hurry.