AAA: Gas prices had their lowest quarter in 12 years

Cheapest gas prices for a quarter in 12 years

The first three months of 2016 featured the lowest gas prices in 12 years. Those savings put billions of dollars back in the pockets of Americans.

The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.86 during the first quarter, AAA said Thursday.

It was the cheapest three-month period for gas prices since the start of 2004. The agency believes American consumers will continue to enjoy low prices throughout 2016.

The current national average of $2.06 is down 36 cents year-over-year. It is the lowest price per gallon heading into an April in seven years.

AAA says 59% of gas stations are still selling gasoline for less than $2 a gallon.

Based on the first quarter of 2016, drivers in the US saved $10 billion on gas purchases.

Prices at the pump have climbed steadily in recent months with a 35 cent increase in the last 37 days.

Despite those increases, AAA believes a typical jump of 50 cents per gallon will occur and then stabilize. That price jump is fairly standard during the Spring and Summer months.

The agency reports that Missouri features the cheapest gas at $1.83 per gallon, while Hawaii is the most expensive at $2.59 a gallon.