Local Gas Prices Soar Above Rest

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

May 3, 2005

No matter where you live, people have to contend with the rising cost of gas, but in Charlottesville the price jumped $0.36 in the last two months--making it one of the most expensive places to buy gas in the state. Reasons include:

"Rising prices for real estate and labor costs might be going up as well if labor is in a relatively shorter supply here, the kind of labor people need to run gas stations," said Economist William M. Shobe of the Weldon Cooper Center For Public Service.

Charlottesville residents pay on average, $2.20 per gallon for regular fuel. This is 6 cents more than the state average. In fact, it's 7 cents more than the Richmond's average. AAA explained that the lack of competition could be keeping your prices high.

"In general, the more competition you see in the market, the more that it's going to bring prices down close to the vendors cost, and the less competition the more power a vendor has to raise their prices," said Shobe.

But some students have a different opinion on how to rate our local prices. "Most of us aren't from a smaller town, and are from a larger town up north or Virginia Beach where the prices are more expensive," said 4th year UVa student Maureen Bell.

Even though local prices are the highest in the region, Virginia as a whole is the 10th cheapest state for gas.

In Charlottesville you can find less expensive prices, down to the mid-teens, but the truth is when you leave the city prices tend to drop below the state average, like in Madison County, where you can find gas for $2.08 off of Rt. 29.

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