At $3.09, the national gas price average is at its highest level of the year and not stopping, AAA reported. That average will increase, possibly as much as another nickel, in the lead up to the Independence Day holiday weekend.
AAA forecasts a record-breaking 43.6 million Americans will hit the road for a holiday getaway. This year’s Independence Day weekend is defined as Thursday, July 1 – Monday, July 5.
While it is typical to see gas prices increase ahead of a holiday, especially during the peak summer driving season, pump price increases as of late have been noticeable.
“Today, 89% of U.S. gas stations are selling regular unleaded for $2.75 or more. That is a stark increase over last July 4 when only a quarter of stations were selling gas for more than $2.25,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “Road trippers will pay the most to fill up for the holiday since 2014.”
Gas prices in 2014 averaged $3.66 a gallon over Independence Day weekend. Since that time, however, the highest averaged prices were $2.86 a gallon in 2018.
This summer’s prices are 8% higher than 2018, the previous highest market in six years. The average 2021 price is up 42% from Independence Day weekend 2020.
Motorists can expect little relief at the pump after the holiday, AAA said. With crude oil prices likely to continue climbing, gas prices are most likely to see increases through the end of summer.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Monday that national gas prices averaged $3.091, up 3.1 cents from the previous week and 91.7 cents from a year earlier. Diesel prices were $3.30, up 1.3 cents from the previous week and 87 cents from a year earlier.