WASHINGTON (November 27, 2017) – This December motorists will not find significant holiday savings at the gas pump. Today’s national gas price average is $2.51, which is 38 cents more than this time last year. While AAA does expect gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, motorists will still pay the highest November and December gas prices since 2014.
“Despite a forecasted 5 to 20 cents decrease in coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices – especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.”
In 2017, gas prices have strayed from typical trends. Historically, year-end gas prices tend to be relatively cheap due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to cheaper to produce winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. This year, the typical factors that drive gas prices down in winter were outweighed by the impact of two major hurricanes, steady consumer demand and continued growth in gasoline exports.
2017’s Tumultuous Trends
On average, motorists in Michigan ($2.44), Illinois ($2.43), South Dakota (2.38), Wisconsin ($2.35) and Nebraska (2.35) have seen the highest gas prices in the region this year; while Missouri ($2.17), Kansas ($2.23), Ohio ($2.29), Kentucky ($2.29) and Minnesota ($2.32) have seen the lowest gas price averages in the region. Currently, gas can be found for $2.25 or less at the following percentages of gas stations: Missouri (36%), Kentucky (26%), South Dakota (9%), Kansas (5%), Ohio (5%), Michigan (3%) and North Dakota (2%). While Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin gas stations are selling gas for 2.25 or less, it is at less than one percent of stations.
There is a 44-cent price difference between the highest and lowest gas price average year-to-date in the region with Pennsylvania ($2.61) topping the charts and Tennessee ($2.17) rounding out the list. Only six states have the majority of gas stations selling gas for $2.50 or less: North Carolina (96%), Delaware (96%), Tennessee (94%), Virginia (94%), Maryland (71%) and New Hampshire (53%).
Florida ($2.37) leads the region with the most expensive year-to-date average. New Mexico ($2.30), Georgia ($2.29), Texas ($2.19) and Louisiana ($2.18) round out the top five highest year-to-date gas price averages in the region. South Carolina ($2.12), Alabama ($2.14), Mississippi ($2.15), Oklahoma ($2.15) and Arkansas ($2.15) have the cheapest averages in the region and the country for the year.
Year-to-date averages: Idaho ($2.56), Utah ($2.46), Montana ($2.42), Wyoming ($2.35) and Colorado ($2.34). The vast majority of gas stations in Montana (94%) and Idaho (84%) are selling gas for $2.51 or more; whereas gas can be found for $2.50 or less at the majority of stations in Colorado (56%), Wyoming (63%) and Utah (71%).
Gas Station Stats Nationwide and State-by-State
Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 63 percent of gas stations nationwide. Here is a breakdown state-by-state for the percentage of gas stations selling regular unleaded gasoline for $2.51 or more.
|2017 Year-to-Date Average||Percentage of Gas Stations Selling $2.51+|
|District of Columbia||$ 2.59||84%|
|North Carolina||$ 2.27||4%|
|North Dakota||$ 2.34||52%|
|New Hampshire||$ 2.34||47%|
|New Jersey||$ 2.42||57%|
|New Mexico||$ 2.30||30%|
|New York||$ 2.54||93%|
|Rhode Island||$ 2.41||77%|
|South Carolina||$ 2.12||1%|
|South Dakota||$ 2.38||32%|
|West Virginia||$ 2.40||56%|
2018 Look Ahead:
Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to trend cheaper the first few months of 2018, with potential to see the national gas price average in the $2.25-$2.35 range by February. OPEC’s November 30, 2017 meeting and any decisions to further cut or keep production rates stable will influence longer-term forecasts for 2018.
New Tools and Enhancement Unveiled at GasPrices.AAA.com
In time for year-end road trip planning, AAA has added new tools to GasPrices.AAA.com to provide more comprehensive gas price data and insight to motorists and journalists.
In addition to the daily national gas price average for regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel gas, AAA now provides the daily E-85 national average.
Enhanced features to the Top Trends page allows visitors to sort data in various ways (high to low pricing, by date) and easily identify changes by directional colored arrows: increases (red); decreases (green); or no change (grey). Lastly, the top trends page now offers the ability to query gas prices at the state metro level.
With the addition of 175 new metropolitan areas and corresponding gas prices, state coverage is more comprehensive. In addition, each state now touts county gas price averages via a state heat map.
A new ‘State Gas Price Averages’ page provides an overview of each state’s daily gas price for regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel fuel. From this page, a visitor can also click on a state name and be taken directly to that state’s landing page. Users can sort data on this page alphabetically by state name or highest/lowest price by fuel grade.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
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