Gas prices plummet amid COVID-19 concerns; parts of DC region see below $2

Concerns surrounding COVID-19 are now driving down the price of gasoline in the DMV.

Some areas including Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County on Tuesday saw regular unleaded for $1.77.

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According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, at $2.37 per gallon, the national gas price average is cheaper on the week (-5 cents), month (-6 cents) and year (-11 cents) – giving the vast majority of motorists savings at the pump. The national gas price average has not been this cheap since last February.

Prices in the District are down five cents from last week. Meanwhile, prices in the metro area as a whole are down four cents from last week. 

FOX Business contributor Phil Flynn said that some contributing factors driving those prices down are lower demand and people holding off on traveling or just not leaving their homes. 

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

“People are not going to airports, they are not going to school,” said Flynn. “So they are not using as much gasoline but the real driving force is in part of the OPEC Saudi Arabian price war, this really caused havoc in the market and it drove down prices.”

Some drivers told FOX 5 that just last week, they were paying more than $2 per gallon and this week they couldn’t believe the sudden drop in prices. 

“I was shocked to see a $1.77 price,” said Sharaf Kulmie. “I’m a Lyft and Uber driver and I couldn’t believe it myself, so I made a U-turn to get gas. $1.77 was a long time ago.”

“I’ll greatly and happily pay these prices every day if that’s what it’s going to cost me,” said Ingrid Martinez of Lorton, “but I just wish things would go back to normal at the same time.”

“I’m very sorry that coronavirus is happening in general because there are a lot of disruptions but at least in terms of gas prices, silver lining,” said driver Octavio Betancourt.

Flynn said he expects these gas prices to drop for a little while longer.