Hold off on filling up the tank today because Vancouver gas prices are dropping like we haven't seen in a while. The novel coronavirus is hitting markets hard, but at least something good is coming out of it for those of us who drive. Enjoy the cheap gas while it lasts, though, because experts say the low prices could cost Canadians a lot more in the long run.

Allison Mac, a petroleum analyst with Gasbuddy, a gas price tracking service, told Narcity the current drops are "pretty unprecedented."

"Oil prices dropping at this rate is not normal. It basically dropped 25% overnight. It's US$32 a barrel and just to put things in perspective, normally it's at around US$60-70 a barrel," she said.

According to Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, Wednesday, March 11 is expected to see an historic gas price drop of eight to 10 cents a litre.

He even tweeted that some gas stations in Canada will try selling gas for under a dollar a litre.

While Mac disagrees with that exact figure, she notes that it's "very realistic" we see drops of eight to 10 cents a litre by next week.

According to Gasbuddy, Vancouver took a massive tumble from a peak of 143 cents per litre on Friday, March 6, to 129.9 cents per litre on Tuesday, February 26.

Mac and McTeague say this could be a bad thing. As gas prices fall, so too does the Canadian economy.

"It becomes bad when you see the Canadian dollar lose two or three cents in value, said McTeague to CTV News. "That adds to the cost of living."

Oil prices are plunging nationwide, due in no small part to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Mac explained that the price drop could be because of more people staying inside due to COVID-19, paired with an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, also due to COVID-19.

Although she couldn't predict how the prices will change in the future, she said that we might be seeing a "new norm" for gas prices nationwide.

For now, McTeague seems happy with the lowered prices. "It’s been a good week in Vancouver," he told CTV News.

"It’s an island of hope in the middle of a churning storm that I think is likely to lead to significant economic problems," he continued.

According to Mac, you should only fill your tank halfway up for now. She expects the prices to keep decreasing over the next few weeks, and you can save a buck by going half full.

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