SoCal gas prices slide as coronavirus outbreak impacts oil industry

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Recent gas prices are moving in the right direction for Southern California drivers. Some stations are dropping the price for a gallon of regular to about $3, surprising customers.

"That $2.99 price is something you don't really see often in L.A.," said driver Jose Martinez.

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The Automobile Club of Southern California says crude oil prices are lower because of uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus on global supply and demand.

"I'm spending about $150 a week to drive this van. With this, I'm gonna be spending instead of a $150 probably $100 or less, so that's a big difference," said driver Enrique Magallon.

The average price for regular gas in the Los Angeles area is $3.54 a gallon, down three cents from last week.

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"There's no good news out of the coronavirus, but when you look at prices at the pump given this time of year, drivers are seeing lower prices slightly and that could help them as they head out to their road trips for the spring break season," said Doug Shupe, a spokesman for AAA.

Shupe says right now there's no indication that people are canceling spring road trips and vacations because of the coronavirus.

"But what we are seeing is travelers working with their travel agents, working with their tour operators, working with the cruise operators to find alternate destinations to places where they feel a little more comfortable right now," he said.

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"We usually do a lot of road trips, so we're very cautious regardless, but now we're super cautious. I have a two year old and a four year old," said driver Joann Blanco.

Experts warn though prices are lower now, the trend could reverse over next few weeks.
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