Unless you’re driving an electric vehicle, your heart likely skips a beat every time you drive by a gas station. Seeing the price of gas increase over the past several months has been frustrating for many drivers. Spending $100 every time you drive up to the fuel pump is no longer uncommon.
Considering that the national price for a gallon of unleaded gas is hovering around $5.00, many wonder if we’ll see $10 a gallon. So is it possible? Let’s look and see!
Why Are Gas Prices Going Up?
Gas prices increase when the demand increases, typically in the summer months. This is when schools are out and families are taking vacations. This is nothing new, and it happens every year.
This year’s difference is there is tremendous volatility in the oil industry due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Russia produces 13.1% of the world’s crude oil, and their ongoing war results in unpredictability when it comes to their continued supply. This naturally causes prices to climb.
Where have all the van lifers gone? Well, they ran out of gas money.
Why Do Gas Prices Vary in Different States?
If you travel from state to state and it seems like gas prices vary quite a bit, it’s because they do. Some states are closer to refineries, meaning fuel stations can purchase fuel at a lower price. They don’t have to pay to haul the fuel hundreds of thousands of miles to the fuel stations.
Another major factor in the differing prices is state fuel taxes. Similar to sales tax, individual states set their levels of taxes when it comes to fuel sales.
States like Pennsylvania (57.6 cents), California (51.1 cents), and Washington (49.4 cents) have the highest fuel tax per gallon in the country. On the other hand, Alaska (8.95 cents), Hawaii (16 cents), and New Mexico (17 cents) have the lowest taxes per gallon.
Will $10 a Gallon Actually Happen?
There’s a high probability that gas in some places of the country will reach $10 per gallon. In some remote sections of California near Death Valley, prices in early June 2022 were hovering around $9 per gallon. The area’s remote location leaves travelers little option other than to pay the exorbitant amount of money per gallon.
While this area will likely see $10 per gallon, there’s very little chance that we’ll see outrageous prices widespread throughout the rest of the country. While Death Valley was paying through the roof for gasoline, the national average hovered around $5 per gallon.
This would likely mean we’d have to experience a major issue with oil supply for the national average to get closer to $10 per gallon.
How Can I Conserve Gas?
With every fill-up costing more and more, you likely want to make each tank last as long as possible. Finding ways to conserve gas will be essential to get the best bang for your buck. One of the best ways to conserve gas is to eliminate unnecessary trips. Instead of running to the store for every single item when you need them, create a list and grab several items in one trip.
You should also ensure you’re keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance. Your vehicle will operate more efficiently when it is in good working order. Simple things like checking the tire pressure can increase fuel efficiency by about 4% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper levels.
Another way you can conserve gas is by slowing down while driving. You can save between 7% and 14% simply by reducing your speed by 5 or 10 miles per hour. This can be especially helpful if you do a lot of highway driving. You may need to build a few more minutes into your commute, but the savings can be worth it.
Remaining stationary in your RV can be cheaper than renting.
What’s the Highest Gas Price Ever in the United States?
To find the highest gas price, you must adjust the prices for inflation. With all things equal, June 2008 was the highest price for gas ever in the United States. The national average was $5.38 per gallon, and Americans weren’t happy about it.
The current national average is flirting with $5.00 per gallon and likely will surpass the previous record if things don’t change soon.
Which Country Has the Cheapest Gas?
Venezuela is at the top of the list, with an average price of $0.08 per gallon. Libya, at $0.12 per gallon, is in second, and Iran’s $0.20 per gallon earns them a spot in third place.
These countries have a tremendous amount of oil, allowing them to charge more than nothing for gas.
Will Gas Prices Hurt the Travel Industry?
For now, many Americans are continuing to travel. However, many are making adjustments to their travel plans. Travelers will likely make trips closer to home instead of cross-country road trips.
With many travelers paying premium prices at the pump to get to their destinations, they’re also likely to spend less on souvenirs and eating. They’ll look for alternative ways to stretch every dollar in their travel budget until prices return to normal prices.
How have you been dealing with the rising gas prices?