November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving drivers may pay less for gasoline than last year


The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline across the U.S.

Although gas prices have begun inching higher, the 38.9 million Americans who are projected to hit the highways this week for Thanksgiving travel likely will have a cheaper holiday drive than the past few years.

The average price of regular gasoline was $3.2517 a gallon as of Nov. 22, according to the latest survey by market-research firm Lundberg Survey. While that’s up 3.46 cents over the previous two weeks, a year ago this time a gallon of regular cost on average about $3.47.

gasoline_pricesThe Lundberg data, which come from a survey of about 2,500 filling stations across the lower 48 states, track closely with the Energy Information Administration’s weekly pump-price survey. Both surveys found that gas prices have declined steadily since Labor Day.

Pump prices are the result of several interacting, and not always predictable, factors, among them crude-oil prices, seasonal reformulations, refinery capacity in different regions and driver demand. This Thanksgiving’s gas prices are the lowest since 2010, when the national average price for a gallon of regular was $2.876, according to the EIA.

As of Nov. 18, according to the EIA, gas was most expensive on the West Coast ($3.467 for a gallon of regular) and cheapest on the Gulf Coast ($3.004 for a gallon of regular). (The EIA will update its data later today at 5 p.m. Eastern time.)

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Energy and Environment

  1. Photo of Drew DeSilver

    is a senior writer at Pew Research Center.