Another week, another new record for the national average gas price that stands just under $4.60. This time a year ago, travelers were paying $3.03. In some areas, it’s even worse. Drivers in 22 states are seeing prices above the national average.
“It’s going to be the highest Memorial Day in terms of gas prices that we’ve ever seen in fact, blowing out the previous record, which was $3.66 a gallon in 2014,” said Head of Petroleum Analysis for Gasbuddy Patrick De Haan.
One of the busiest travel days of the year is a week away, during some of the highest gas prices the country has ever seen. This has Americans eager to save money in any way they can. Despite the price at the pump, De Haan says 58% of Americans still plan to travel this summer.
“The numbers are kind of surprising given the fact that gas prices are at record highs. To see more Americans hitting the road this summer compared to last year I think is a testament to the strength of the economy, the fact that basically everything has been reopened and consumers still want to get out,” said De Haan.
While getting a bargain on anything is rare these days, there are a few tips that can potentially save drivers hundreds of these next few travel months.
Consumer saving expert Andrea Woroch says doing things like shopping at warehouse club stores and grocery stores that have fuel reward programs can save a lot of money. Woroch says drivers can also save by paying in cash and being cautious about which credit cards give rewards for buying gas.
“When you pull up to a gas station, you’re going to see that advertised per gallon price, and that is for cash paying customers, so don’t be fooled that you’re going to get that price. If you can carry cash, that’s going to be the best way to get the cheapest price at the moment,” said Woroch.
Woroch also says gas prices fluctuate daily, so a gas station drivers are used to going to for the cheapest prices may be a little higher than usual depending on the week. Therefore, searching the internet each day is the best option to find the lowest price per gallon. The small methods can make a big difference.
“When you think about saving 15 to 30 gallons by paying with cash, and then another 15 to 30 cents by saving, by going to the cheaper gas station and you’re redeeming fuel points, and earning cash back to pay for your gas. I mean we’re talking hundreds of dollars over the course of a few months maybe.” said Woroch.
De Haan says even doing things like going 10-15 miles per hour slower to improve fuel economy can save drivers a decent amount of money. It’s also best to do a quick search online for the lowest prices in the area and also watch the state lines during long road trips because the prices can vary a lot based on the state’s taxes.