gallery pay less for gas
Gas is expected to drop in price from last year's average of $3.63 a gallon.

Despite rising prices at the pump early in the year, gas prices overall are expected to be lower in 2013.

Gas prices are projected to average $3.43 per gallon this year, down from $3.63 in 2012, according to a December forecast from the Department of Energy.

Helping to keep prices lower: More fuel-efficient vehicles on the road and an increase in domestic oil production, said Robert Darbelnet, chief executive officer of AAA, which tracks gas prices throughout the year.

Extreme weather and tensions in the Middle East, though, are always a wild card and could lead to higher prices as they did in 2012, he added.

  @melhicken - Last updated January 22 2013 04:43 PM ET
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