Motorists pay less at pumps; how much less, depends on where you live

Quebec drivers saved at the pumps in 2016.

"On average, we can say it's an economy of 100 dollars per motorist in 2016 in Quebec." says spokesperson Pierre Olivier Fortin.

CAA Quebec says lower prices for crude oil and a decline in acquisition costs led to cheaper gasoline prices.

While all motorists benefited, the review of last year's gas prices found those who live close to border markets or in the Quebec City area saw the biggest savings.

The average pump price in the provincial capital last year was 100.6.

"The retail margin in Montreal last year was 7 cents, down by 9 percent but in all the province of Quebec it was 15 percent. So yes, it went down but not as much as in the province.

CAA Quebec notes there is little competition in the Montreal region and wants the industry to explain why,  if one retailers hikes its price, the others follow.

"Why the prices go up and down all at the same time, from one end of the metropolitan area to the other.  That's not something we would expect to see in such a large market as Montreal," says Fortin.

As for the widespread perception that gas stations hike prices before long weekends and holiday periods,  Fortin says there was no proof of that in 2016.

On the other hand, CAA did see that many price hikes happened on Fridays but couldn't find any logical explanation for the increase.