Thanksgiving gas prices will be the highest since 2014 even after a drop of 25 cents in the national average since the start of October, leading to a decline in holiday travel on the roads during the busiest traveling weekend of the year.
We project the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be $2.57 per gallon. The last Thanksgiving day when gas prices were more expensive was in 2014 when the national average was $2.79 per gallon. Although prices are higher than previous years, seasonal declines have now hit every state in the country and may accelerate in the days leading into Thanksgiving.
“While gas prices have dropped in the last month, we’ll be paying nearly $80 million more over the travel period as a country than we did last year. Conversely, we’ll be spending $1.7 billion less than what we spent at the pump during the 2012 Thanksgiving travel period*,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With gas prices decreasing in nearly every city every day since mid-October, travelers should be shopping around to find the stations that have passed along the big savings.”
According to our annual Holiday Travel Survey, 32 percent of participants said high gas prices were impacting their travel plans. 2018 is expected to see a 15 percent decrease in travelers on the road for Thanksgiving compared to 2017. However, we expect some last minute mind-changing due to the recent fall in gas prices that has seen stations in eight states drop their price to $1.99/gal or less.
To combat higher prices at the pump, two-thirds of consumers will be using a loyalty or cash back program to save money or earn rewards when they fill-up.
We offer several tips for motorists on the road this holiday season:
- Know When to Buy. We analyzed gas price data and found that Monday offers the lowest average gas price in 21 states, making it the best day to fill-up. The day with the most expensive average gas prices: Friday.
- Watch Your Driving Habits. Aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and braking as they can cost drivers up to an extra $477 per year in fuel consumption. Drivers in California, Connecticut and Georgia are the most aggressive drivers in the country according to our recent study.
- Pay with GasBuddy. A free payments service that offers 10 cents off per gallon on the first fill-up and 5 cents off per gallon on every fill-up at thousands of gas stations nationwide.
*Thanksgiving travel period defined as Wed. – Sun. during the week of Thanksgiving.
GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $3.6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.