GasBuddy predicts highest Memorial Day gas prices ever

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With gas prices as high as they are some people in our hometowns are rethinking Memorial Day travel.

But some experts say the price might get even higher.

GasBuddy is estimating a national average of $4.65 a gallon. Viewers joining us on the WDBJ7+ Digital News Desk told us that was making them reconsider travel.

The average could likely be higher in places like California, according to GasBuddy writer Patrick De Haan. But he said Thursday he doesn’t expect it to get over $6.00.

During the update Thursday, De Haan said, according to their data, this Memorial Day is going to be one for the books.

“That’s gonna be a big jump from last year,” he explained. “In fact 51 percent of an increase in the average price on Memorial Day weekend this year compared to last year. It’s going to be the most expensive Memorial Day that we’ve ever seen.”

The previous highest price GasBuddy recorded during this same time frame was in 2014 when gas was about $3.66 a gallon.

Let’s put it into context now for inflation, going back a few years.

“Adjusting for inflation the previous high from 2008 is actually the equivalent of about $5.39,” he said. “So based on that we are not quite to an inflation adjusted high, I’m hopeful we won’t get there.”

De Haan says no relief in sight yet. He estimated prices will peak in July and will likely stay around $4.00 on average throughout the rest of the year unless an economic slowdown reduced demand.

He outlined the problem partly as reduced gasoline inventories because there are fewer refineries. That and the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.

So what can you do to help ease the strain of record high prices?

De Haan recommends we shop around to find the best price near us.

Find different ways to pay, maybe cash or a card with benefits.

Drive more fuel efficiently. He says slowing down to 55 to 60 miles per hour could save you as much as a dollar per gallon.

And if you’re road tripping this year, be mindful as you cross state lines how the prices might fluctuate.

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