I’ve noticed something at gas stations in the last few days that I can’t remember seeing in the recent past.
When I glance up at the fuel prices, I’ve noticed that the price of diesel is at or below the price of regular unleaded. How can that be? Diesel prices have, for as long as I can remember, been considerably higher than gasoline.
That’s been the tradeoff when buying a diesel. Sure, you get better fuel economy, but the price of the fuel offsets some of the benefit.
Those days have ended, at least temporarily, as diesel prices have retreated significantly. Why are they going down and what does it mean for car shoppers?
U.S. diesel prices declined for the seventh consecutive week according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). This week, diesel prices dropped another 1.8 cents to a nationwide average of $2.814, compared to last week’s $2.832. This week’s price is over a dollar cheaper than the same week last year.
Summer gasoline prices are at their lowest levels since 2009. EIA said the decline is mainly the result of a projected 41 percent decline in the average price of North Sea Brent crude oil.
That’s good news for drivers, good news for car dealers, and good news for automakers. The LA Times said,
Although only a handful of automakers sell diesel passenger cars in the U.S., the choices are good. Volkswagen, for example, offers a comfortable Jetta sedan and a utilitarian Golf station wagon. They get 36 and 35 mpg, respectively, in combined city and highway driving and easily reach 40 mpg-plus on open roads. BMW offers the sporty 320d sedan, which gets even better combined driving fuel economy, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Diesels are also great for road trips because they can easily provide more than 500 miles of range on a single tank.
With low prices at the pump and ample choices for fuel-efficient diesels on dealer lots, this could be a great time to shop for a diesel-powered vehicle.
Will lower fuel prices convince you to purchase a diesel?