Local gas prices are as low as they've been since February 2011 despite the state's average price in 2012 being the highest year on record, according to AAA.
The fuel price roller coaster is in full swing.
Prices in Coeur d'Alene averaged $2.97 on Tuesday and $3.03 in Post Falls, sandwiching the state's average of $2.98.
"I like it, I like it, I like it," said Post Falls' Mike Johnson as he filled up in Post Falls on Tuesday. "Lord only knows if they'll stay that way. But enjoy them while you've got them, right?"
The good news for motorists comes on the heels of Idaho's $3.58 average for 2012 - the most expensive gas price year on record. Idaho's previous highest average annual price was $3.49 in 2011.
"Gas prices generally take their lead from the price of oil, but 2012 prices were influenced more by hurricanes, domestic refinery closures, distribution problems and outages and issues closer to home," said Dave Carlson, AAA spokesman.
Carlson said prices are expected to be lower this year overall.
"Speculating on where prices may be for 2013, or even just months away, is foolhardy at best," he said. "There are simply too many factors to consider, but the underlying factors suggest prices at the pump should be lower this year."
Oil prices, generally considered a harbinger of future pump prices, are up several dollars a barrel from where they were a month ago, but about $8 less than a year ago.
Carlson said a weak economic recovery, lower demand and good inventories should keep pump prices in check by exerting influence on the underlying oil prices.
A weaker global economy should also lessen the market speculation that historically drives the early spring run-ups in oil and fuel prices, he said.
In 2012, Idaho's lowest daily average price was $3.04 (Jan. 17) and the high mark was $3.88 (Sept. 19). AAA doesn't have the highest and lowest prices for individual cities for the year.
On the national scene, the 2012 average of $2.60 surpassed the previous record of $3.51 in 2011.
Tuesday Month ago 6 mo. ago Year ago
Coeur d'Alene $2.97 $3.24 $3.58 $3.02
Post Falls $3.03 $3.34 $3.58 $3.08
Idaho $2.98 $3.43 $3.60 $3.06
U.S. $3.30 $3.35 $3.38 $3.37