Americans are projected to spend around $ 4.7 billion on gasoline on the Friday through Monday of Memorial Day weekend, according to GasBuddy, an app and website that focuses on tracking real-time fuel prices.
That’s the equivalent of about $ 1.18 billion spent on gas every day. Give or take $ 1 million, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNBC Make It.
GasBuddy predicts the national average price for gasoline will be $ 2.98 a gallon over Memorial Day weekend. This is the highest price since the May holiday weekend since 2014, when gasoline hit $ 3.66 per gallon. (AAA is reporting slightly higher averages of $ 3.04 per gallon as of Thursday.)
“Gas prices have been rising for months due to the sustained surge in gasoline demand as a variety of destinations reopen ahead of the summer driving season. The Colonial Pipeline shutdown has only shown how many more consumers have relied on gasoline since the pandemic.” De Haan says.
Gas prices should start to ease off after Memorial Day, but De Haan warns that a recovery could take place and gas prices could rise again towards mid-summer.
If you’re planning a road trip this summer, here are some tips to help you save on the pump.
1. Compare prices
Whether through GasBuddy or other driving apps that show local gasoline costs like the AAA mobile app or Waze, it’s worth looking around for the best price. A small difference can add up.
The average summer road trip is 568 miles round-trip, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Assuming you have a car with an average 12 gallon gas tank, saving just 5 cents per tank would save you over $ 20.
You should also be aware that fuel prices can fluctuate depending on your location. AAA recommends filling up with gas before you arrive, as many popular beach and vacation spots tend to have more expensive gasoline prices.
2. Make sure your vehicle maintenance is up to date
3. Drive calmly
As a Zen driver, you can not only reduce stress, but also save gas. This is because aggressive driving with a lot of lane changes, braking and rapid acceleration can increase fuel consumption on the highway by 30%.
Driving above 50 mph can also have an impact as it increases the vehicle’s wind resistance. For every five miles an hour you drive over 50, you will likely pay an additional $ 0.21 in gasoline.