With the U.S. average price of gasoline at $2.80 today, the national average is at its lowest level since December 2010. Especially this holiday week, Americans are grateful that 80 percent of the nation’s gas stations are reporting prices under $3/ gal. today, compared to just 22 percent at this time in 2013.
“While many of us are convinced that gas prices automatically go up in advance of every travel holiday, our price tracking has proven that to be a widely-held misconception,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “In some years we’ve seen occasions, particularly during the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel periods, when prices remained flat or even posted a decline.”
In 2011 for example, the national average went from $3.32 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to $3.28 on the Monday immediately following.
“Given the inventory reported by the Dept. of Energy and the supply build following last week’s snow storms, we anticipate that retail gas prices in most parts of the country will show another decline this week, even though millions of us will be driving for Thanksgiving,” said DeHaan. “It may seem counter-intuitive, but, it’s been a very unusual year!”
– New York has the highest average ($3.18/ gal.) in the lower 48 states, followed by Connecticut at $3.11. Many New Yorkers can travel to New Jersey for significantly lower rates.
– South Carolina has the lowest state average in the country at just $2.55 today.
– There are 41 states with averages under $3/ gal. today: (List by postal code in alphabetical order.)
– Forty states have at least 50 percent of their stations reporting prices under $3, compared to only 9 states at this time last year.
“With so many of us driving for Thanksgiving, it’s imperative to put safety first,” added Gregg Laskoski, another senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “If it’s late or folks are fatigued they’ll be much better off staying overnight rather than trying to drive while struggling to keep their eyes open. ”