Gas prices continue to slide, but not on the Outer Banks

By on November 13, 2018

Dare County has the highest prices in N.C. (Sam Walker)

Gas prices have been steadily tumbling down in North Carolina, except here on the Outer Banks, which once again has the highest average prices in the state.

According to, the average price of regular unleaded in North Carolina on Monday was $2.57.

The state saw a four-cent drop from a week ago, and prices are down 16 cents since mid-October. Average prices are still 17 cents above where they were at the same time last year.

“The last week has seen another notable decline at pumps in nearly every state with average prices again plummeting, in some places to $1.99 per gallon or less, following oil’s longest losing streak in nearly 34 years,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

But the average price in Dare County was $2.76 on Monday, and Hatteras Island stations were at around $3 until recently.

Just across the Wright Memorial Bridge, Currituck County has the lowest average price in the northeast at $2.43 a gallon, with a few stations as low as $2.39.

In Virginia, which has a much lower gas tax than North Carolina, some stations are now selling gas below $2.30 a gallon.

Suppliers and industry representatives have long blamed the long distance to fuel depots in Chesapeake for the higher prices. Edenton is just 10 miles closer to the end of the pipeline than the north beach towns, and the price there was $2.54.

Or they noted that vacation destinations tend to have higher gas prices than nearby locations. Emerald Island and Carolina Beach prices were running between $2.50 and 2.54.

When the price difference grew to as much as 60 cents in 2015 between Dare County and surrounding counties, a probe by the state Attorney General’s Office was requested. But it essentially turned up nothing, and there was no formal report released.

The president of the primary fuel wholesale suppliers told the Board of Commissioners in September 2015 that it just cost more to do business in Dare County.

He said increased insurance costs, weather-related pump and point-of-sale equipment repairs, additional freight charges, higher labor costs, and a shortened peak business season were all reasons why gas in Dare County cost more.

As the public outcry over the price differences reached a peak about four years ago, prices on the beach suddenly equalized with stations on the mainland with no explanation.

They held that way into 2017, before starting to spread apart.

While prices have declined dramatically on the other side of the sound, dropping by 15 to 20 cents in a single day at some stations, the Outer Banks has yet to catch up.

And that has locals scratching their heads again as the pennies add up to dollars at the pumps on the Outer Banks, and contemplating their next shopping trip to Virginia to get a full tank of gas.

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  • Sean

    I’m tired of my but hurting all there excuses are bull

    Wednesday, Nov 14 @ 6:23 am
  • goldwater conservative

    Virtually everything on the market cost more in the OBX. Why does everyone expect gas to be any different. Also, don’t compare other states because NC has one of the highest gas taxes around. Thank Bev Perdue for that one.

    Wednesday, Nov 14 @ 8:05 am
  • Really?

    @wombat talking, blah, blah, blah…. you mean like the 100 year floods that happen EVERY year? Lol! I’d suggest not riding behind me in your Prius while I’m ‘rolling coal’ in my diesel! 🙂

    Wednesday, Nov 14 @ 6:52 pm
  • Joe

    Wombat, I’m with you.

    Wednesday, Nov 14 @ 8:47 pm
  • WombatNC

    @really, I suggest the blood-letting for you too – maybe it’ll release some of that ignorance stuck in that tiny brain of yours.

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 7:56 am
  • dave

    Really? 26 500 year floods in last 10 years. Thats 2.5 500 yr floods/yr. Are you physically allergic to facts? Next election you should go to the election polls and make sure nobody is going out and putting on disguises so that they don’t vote twice. People are laughing at you, not with you; but you will never “get it”! LOL!

    Eugene, please tell me what business you’re in so I don’t go there and get ripped off.

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 8:21 am
  • G Larry

    Funny thing is, when prices go up, OBX is lock-step with the rest of the state/area. It’s the coming down part that seems to be the problem.

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 2:11 pm
  • dave

    @ Michael: This just in!! The earth is round! It isn’t flat! Who knew?

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 2:58 pm
  • Getting local

    $227 in Grandy today. That’s like $.50 a gallon cheaper.

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 5:32 pm
  • Really?

    Awww wittle blue wave dave is triggered again! Haha! Still waiting for that blue wave to crash…. @wombat dingbat why do you keep driving to wawa spewing all those emissions? YOU are part of the problem so stop driving and saddle up that horse.. Oh! I got it now , you go to wawa because its named after your favorite pastime…. crying waaaa!! waaaa!! Hahah!

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 6:13 pm
  • dave

    Really, you remind me of Jethro…..done graduated from the 6th grade. And yes, we can all tell how butt hurt you are that there indeed was a tsunami of a blue wave. Most Dem seats picked up since Watergate and about 350 dem seats picked up nationwide. 2020 will be an even bigger wave. Sore LOSER!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 8:51 am
  • Eugene

    Really? You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You were the first person to call out in the posts with “greed”. Whose greed is it? The right serves the wealthy, i.e. energy and big oil. As for ‘rollin coal’, bumper sticker logic, wow. One of, if not, the most subsidized industry in America. Corporate welfare of red states. Wind turbine and solar subsidies aren’t even close. Coal and oil have been receiving subsidies for more than 100 years. Your tax dollars already support fossil fuelsl. For those concerned about state gas taxes, the republicans in NC that complained and campaigned against the gas tax from Perdue, had four years with a majority in the NC House, Senate and Governors mansion and did not significantly reduce the gas tax. In fact, hard for some to comprehend, they raised fees on gas stations, service stations, license fees, and taxed labor for repairs.

    Really? is playing you from the “basement” of his parents house. He has no facts or research, just statements without backing. Seeds of doubt that weaken and take advantage of the simple minded. Life is so much easier when you can just write off science and reality as falsehoods so you don’t feel guilty for not being part of the solution.

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 10:31 am
  • Roadrunner

    What really set me off in 2015 when the question came up about the high gas prices was when I saw a local trophy wife riding in a pretty white convertible with “Oil $$$” on her license plate.

    Saturday, Nov 17 @ 3:55 pm
  • WombatNC

    Shhhhh.. that last paragraph is/has been the GOP game plan since Newt was the Speaker – oh, and, “keep ’em focused on abotion and gunz.”

    Sunday, Nov 18 @ 11:11 am
  • Anonymous

    I was just in chesapeake and it was 40 cents a gallon cheaper.

    Sunday, Nov 18 @ 8:06 pm
  • dave

    $2.19/gal at Wawa on Sun

    Monday, Nov 19 @ 3:16 pm
  • Sean

    It’s obvious what gas company’s are doing when you drive from kitty hawk to harbinger more than a .35 cents difference. Sorry the truth offends the gas station owners. Come on you drive less than 5 miles from kitty hawk gas station and drive to harbinger gas station and .35 more . If it were a natural disaster yall wouldn’t be charging so much

    Wednesday, Nov 21 @ 6:09 am
  • Sean

    It is gouging if it wasn’t the prices would be closer in price. 40 cents between kitty hawk and just across the bridge. 40 cents a gallon difference is gouging

    Wednesday, Nov 21 @ 6:31 pm
  • Manteoer

    Give us an explenation on the price difference that is what I ask just a truthful answer to our question.

    Wednesday, Nov 21 @ 6:37 pm