By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
This year’s average U.S. gasoline prices on Thanksgiving are expected to be at their highest level ever for the holiday and beat the previous record from Thanksgiving of 2012, according to estimates from fuel-savings app GasBuddy.
Despite the record-high average gasoline prices, 20% more Americans plan to travel by car for the holiday weekend, compared to 2021, especially after Covid precautions have significantly eased compared to the previous two years, according to GasBuddy.
Moreover, gasoline prices have dropped a lot from the record highs in June.
Per GasBuddy estimates, the national average is projected to stand at $3.68 a gallon on Thanksgiving Day – nearly 30 cents higher than last year and over 20 cents higher than the previous record of $3.44/gal set in 2012.
The number of Americans traveling over the Thanksgiving weekend this year is up from 32% last year to 38%, a nearly 20% rise, according to GasBuddy’s Thanksgiving survey. A total of 21% said they had chosen not to drive due to high fuel prices.
Most respondents in the survey indicated they would travel less than an hour away.
“While 21% say high fuel prices are impacting their travel, surprisingly fewer are citing high gas prices this year (46% vs. 51% in 2021) for impacting their travel plans,” GasBuddy said.
The majority of respondents traveling for Thanksgiving, 73%, will not be crossing state lines to do so.
“It has been a dizzying year at the pump, with motorists likely feeling nauseous not from the eggnog, but from the roller coaster ride at the pump with record gasoline prices earlier this year, which have fallen significantly since mid-summer,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“Americans, however, are proving that while we’ll openly complain about high gas prices, most of us aren’t deterred from taking to the highways to observe Thanksgiving with those that matter most to us, especially as precautions from the pandemic have eased.”
On Monday, De Haan said he expected that in the next ten days, the national average price of gasoline would fall to its lowest level since March. The number of states with below-$3 average gas prices will rise to 5 by the end of the month, he added.