MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Rapidly falling gas prices are giving South Carolinians reason to be thankful ahead of the holiday travel season.

AAA and GasBuddy both show that prices have fallen at least eight cents a gallon in the past week across South Carolina. As of Monday, AAA reported the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas was $3.22; GasBuddy showed it was $3.17.

“What an incredible turnaround in the last week,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While a decline was expected in more states than last week, I didn’t expect every single state to hop on the bandwagon so quickly. But, it’s terrific news as motorists prepare for Thanksgiving travel, with tens of thousands of stations under $3 per gallon, and thousands more to join in the next few weeks, barring a dramatic turnaround.

During the past month, GasBuddy reports that the average price in the state is down more than 10 cents a gallon: AAA showed a 12-cent drop.

De Haan said prices should go even lower as oil prices continue to drop.

“Everyone will be seeing relief at the pump this week, with even more substantial declines on the way as oil prices plummeted last week to briefly trade under $80 per barrel,” he said. “It’s not impossible that if oil markets hold here, we could see a national average of $2.99 around Christmas, certainly the gift that every motorist is hoping for. Drivers shouldn’t be in a rush to fill up as prices will come down nearly coast-to-coast into the heavily traveled Thanksgiving holiday.”

The national average on Monday was $3.66, according to AAA; GasBuddy showed the national average at $3.64. Both showed a 16-cent drop over the past month.

According to GasBuddy, the least-expensive station in South Carolina was priced at $2.74 on Sunday, while the most expensive was $3.89.

Following are the average prices on Monday for counties in the News13 coverage area, according to AAA.

SOUTH CAROLINA — $3.22

  • Horry — $3.19
  • Darlington — $3.28
  • Dillon — $3.22
  • Florence — $3.21
  • Marion — $3.22
  • Marlboro — $3.29

NORTH CAROLINA — $3.32

  • Robeson County — $3.32
  • Scotland County — $3.31