BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The low gas prices around the state have been a welcomed Christmas gift for many drivers, thanks to a downturn in crude oil prices.

As Gigi Barnett explains, AAA says the drop could continue to dip.

It’s not a mistake: gas prices in Maryland are below $2. The low prices hit on Christmas pday, a welcomed holiday gift for drivers.

“A big Christmas present and I hope it goes lower or stays the same,” said Crystal Kosh.

This same time last year, a gallon of regular cost drivers at least 45 cents more. The savings mean extra cash on hand.

“At least about $10, $15 cheaper than what I normally pay on the average. I just love it,” said Eric Weems.

So what’s causing the plummet in prices? AAA says it’s the crude oil trading low in the markets.

“The cost of crude is the primary component in the price of gasoline so when crude oil prices drop, motorists can expect to see the price at the pump to drop,” said Christine Delise, AAA.

But how long can this below the $2 mark last? AAA says the future looks bright.

“The average annual price for gasoline in 2016 could stay the same as 2015 or possibly even drop five to 15 cents a gallon lower,” she said.

Drivers are paying more in one part of the pumping: the state’s gas tax went up by half a penny on January 1. Experts say it’s not enough to cut into the low prices at the pump.

This same time last month, Maryland drivers were paying about 10 cents more for a gallon of regular gas.

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