MONROE — After months of steady increases in gas prices, the national average for a gallon of unleaded dipped by 2.6 cents per gallon last week to $3.40 per gallon, according to Gas Buddy.

As of Monday (Nov. 15), the average gallon of unleaded gasoline in the Charlotte area is $3.17 per gallon — a year ago, the average was less than $2 per gallon ($1.97).

The average price of gas is actually cheaper now than it was 10 years ago; on Nov. 15, 2011, the average price in the U.S. was $3.41, per Gas Buddy.

“As of Sunday evening, the national average price of gasoline posted its first weekly decline in months. … Motorists are likely to see the declines continuing into this week,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, in a release. “While it’s not known how long market conditions will continue to push gas prices down, it appears that the fall should last through Thanksgiving, just in time for millions of Americans to prepare to hit the road for the holiday. However, the damage may already be done. According to Gas Buddy’s Thanksgiving Travel Survey … a significant portion of Americans say the high gas prices already led them to re-think their plans.”

According to Gas Buddy, three stations in Indian Trail are selling unleaded gasoline for $2.89 per gallon, which is the lowest in Union County: Circle K (13719 Independence Blvd.), Mobil (1000 Technology Dr.) and QuikTrip (5650 W US-74).