BOISE – Idaho drivers enjoyed another week of savings at the pump, but AAA warns that the current trend is likely the calm before the storm.

Today’s average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.65, which is two cents less than a week ago, but a nickel more than a month ago.  Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.41 per gallon, which is four cents more than a week ago but six cents less than a month ago.

Idaho slipped from 9th to 10th place for most expensive fuel this week, trailing California ($4.90), Hawaii ($4.83), Nevada ($4.32), Washington ($4.24), Colorado ($3.99), Oregon ($3.90), Alaska ($3.80), Utah ($3.72), and Arizona ($3.68).  Just three states are below the $3 mark today – Mississippi ($2.95), Texas ($2.97), and Missouri ($2.99).

“Refiners are making the switch to summer-blend fuel, and because it has more additives in it to prevent evaporation at higher temperatures, it costs more to make – anywhere from 5 to 10 cents per gallon of gasoline,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “As travel demand starts to ramp up for Spring Break in a few weeks, it could also lead to a higher price tag for fuel.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline stocks decreased by 1 million barrels this week, but crude oil stocks increased by approximately the same amount.  And Rockies region refineries have increased their production rate to 84% after plummeting to 60% in the aftermath of the fire and ongoing shutdown at the Suncor facility in Colorado.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that things on the supply side hold steady, with the understanding that demand is going to build sometime in the near future,” Conde said.  “Any savings that we can pocket now will make those spring and summer trips more affordable.”

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $80 per barrel, which is $4 more than a week ago and $6 more than a month ago.  If the market believes that fuel demand will increase, the cost of crude oil could climb and, in turn, drive higher pump prices.

AAA reminds drivers that fuel that is rated “Top Tier” has a higher level of detergents and additives to clean and protect engine systems, which may help prevent expensive vehicle repairs in the future.  However, it is also more expensive than gas products that do not meet this standard.

Previous AAA research shows that using a higher grade of fuel than required by the manufacturer does not significantly improve performance, making it unnecessary to give your car a “treat.”

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 3/6/23:

  • Boise – $3.79
  • Coeur d’Alene – $3.33
  • Franklin – $3.70
  • Idaho Falls – $3.46
  • Lewiston – $3.46
  • Pocatello – $3.68
  • Rexburg – $3.57
  • Twin Falls – $3.77