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5 reasons why gasoline prices will drop

'Tis the season for falling gas prices?
'Tis the season for falling gas prices? © cabania/Shutterstock.com

Next time you fill up, don't be surprised if you leave the gas station with a few more dollars in your pocket. Gasoline prices have been falling for months, and they should continue to decline throughout the rest of 2013.

The national average, which has held stubbornly above $3 per gallon since 2010, may finally dip below that mark before next year, according to an October forecast by energy information service GasBuddy.com. If it goes that low, it'll be a discount of about 76 cents per gallon from July, when the national average hit a summer peak of $3.75 per gallon.

That's a lot more than pocket change. Combined with a decline in driving this winter, lower gasoline prices could help American drivers save $13.1 billion in the fourth quarter, according to Bankrate's analysis of government petroleum data.

Why are prices falling? You can thank a variety of market forces that are working together to push prices lower. Here are five of the main ones, and how each will make it less expensive to drive this winter.

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