GasBuddy is projecting that average Christmas Day gas prices will be their highest since 2013.
However, there is some good news – average gas prices have fallen in every state in the last month as demand for gasoline cools off with winter returning in full force, led by states in the Great Lakes which have seen drops of more than 15 cents per gallon in recent weeks.
GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Christmas will be $2.39 per gallon, a 12-cent drop since Thanksgiving, but the priciest Christmas in four years (2013: $3.26) The average price is 11 cents higher than Christmas last year.
Nearly 3,300 days have passed since prices on Christmas Day averaged under $2 per gallon, a feat last accomplished in 2008 when the average was $1.63 per gallon. Overall, while gas prices stand at higher seasonal levels than prior years, they remain relatively low. On Christmas Day 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, average gas prices were more than $3 per gallon.
“It’s hard to be completely happy with gas prices dropping slightly in recent weeks when we’re going to see the most expensive Christmas at the pump in years, but what we’re seeing now really pales in comparison to the holidays when we pulled up to a pump that was over $3 per gallon,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With a new year on the horizon, I’ll again try to set my new year’s resolution to spend only $2 per gallon on gas or less, but I suspect it’ll last as long as most resolutions...minutes, hours, maybe even days if I’m lucky.”
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.
● Look for discounts. Some gas stations offer discounts for paying with cash, others accept credit cards with no additional cost. If you have a credit card that earns rewards and the price is the same as cash, you end up getting free rewards. Motorists can also use the new Pay with GasBuddy service for a 15 cent per gallon discount on your first fill-up.
● In a Hurry? Speeding, aggressive driving and hard braking are things many of us may be guilty of, and it costs you if you’re in a hurry... leave on time and save dimes and relax at the same time. Such driving can cost upwards of $10 per tank, adding up to $477 per year on average.
Photo courtesy of Internet public domain