It may not do much to reduce air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions – it’s certainly not helped the oil industry – but low fuel prices are a boon to motorists.
In the US petrol prices on average have dropped below two dollars a gallon for the first time since 2009 – down an estimated 64 cents a gallon compared to last year.
“I had noticed when I put gas in my car, I remember one year ago, I had to put around $50. Now, with $36 or $38, I fill up my car,” said Hugo Ballesteros, a motorist in Florida.
The lower prices are helping American households save, though petrol consumption has increased by some 500 million barrels a day compared to last year.
“This year alone we’ve seen savings in gasoline amount to $115 billion or $555 for every licensed driver in the United States,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., Media Relations Manager for the American Automobile Association (AAA).
In the UK it’s thought most price falls are being passed onto consumers, despite concerns that drivers using diesel – which is more expensive in Britain than elsewhere in Europe – are losing out.
There are also fears that insurers may look to pounce on the price falls by raising premiums.