GasBuddy projected on Monday that Thanksgiving will see the highest average gas prices since 2014 as the country prepares for the busiest travel weekend of the year. Yet the average gas price in four of five U.S. states is lower than a week ago, coming as the number of Americans driving is expected to surge by 20 percent over last Thanksgiving according to GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey.
GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be $2.53 per gallon, the priciest Thanksgiving in three years (2014: $2.79), though not as high as the peak on Thanksgiving in 2012 ($3.44). Additionally, average gas prices have risen 9 cents in the last month, the largest pre-Thanksgiving Day increase since 2007, when average prices rose 26 cents in the 30 days leading up to the holiday.
“This year has been unique at the pumps. Gas prices spent much of the time in the weeks approaching Thanksgiving by rising when typically, they would be on a sizeable downward trend,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “On average Americans are paying nearly 40 cents a gallon more than last year, which means collectively we’re spending $800 million more on fuel over the Thanksgiving travel period. Drivers should pay close attention to prices to avoid overpaying.”
According to GasBuddy’s Annual Holiday Travel Survey, despite higher gas prices, travelers are driving longer distances. 2017 is expected to see a 4 percent increase in travelers driving for 10 or more hours over Thanksgiving compared to 2016.
GasBuddy offers several tips to motorists on the road this holiday season:
- Watch Out for State Lines. Because of differing state taxes, in some extreme cases, drivers can spend an extra $25 when refueling the tank if on the wrong side of the line according to a review GasBuddy study.
- Avoid Gas Stations Near the Highway. Gas station on a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan ahead or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station.
- Pay with GasBuddy. A free new payments service that offers 15 cents off per gallon on the first fill-up and 5 cents off per gallon on every fill-up after at over 100,000 stations nationwide.