Gas Prices Reach New Record Highs Ahead of Memorial Day Holiday

With the Memorial Day holiday weekend ahead, motorists are likely to be paying more to fill their tanks. According to the latest figures from GasBuddy, average gas prices hit new record highs this past week — marking the fifth week in a row that prices have climbed. The app’s data (collected from more than 150,000 stations across the country) show an average price of $4.57 per gallon, which is up 11¢ from one week ago. What’s more, this figure is up 45.4¢ from last month and amounts to a whopping $1.55 year over year increase.

Further highlighting how much prices have risen, the most common gas price U.S. motorists encountered last week was $4.49 per gallon, which was up 30¢ from one week prior. Meanwhile, the median price of $4.39 was 10¢ higher than the week prior. Also notable is that, even among stations with prices in the bottom 10%, the average price still sat at $4.00 per gallon while the top 10% of stations had an average of $4.89.

As for which states had the highest and lowest averages, Oklahoma had the most affordable gas at $3.99 per gallon — barely avoiding a $4 average. Kansas and Arkansas were also on the lower end, with averages of $4.03 and $4.09 respectively. On the other end, California once again had the highest average price in the country, topping $6 a gallon ($6.04). That was well ahead of the $5.34 average in Hawaii and $5.21 per gallon in Nevada.

In some slightly encouraging news, the price of diesel fuel did fall last week — albeit very slightly. While the average came in at $5.53 per gallon, that was down 1.7¢ from last week.

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Commenting on the latest report, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan stated, “Gasoline prices surged over the last week to new record highs, but have finally started to slow their rise with diesel also finally cooling off. With more Americans planning to hit the road for Memorial Day this year compared to last, prices will be over $1.50 per gallon higher than last year.”

However, looking ahead, De Haan noted, “Though, prices are appearing to slow down, for now. While the coast isn’t clear yet, and prices will be at their highest Memorial Day level ever, I’m hopeful that we could avoid a dreaded national average of $5 per gallon this year. Whether or not we’re able to depends on Americans cutting demand in the face of sky high prices.”

Despite some efforts to curb rising gas prices, it looks as though American motorists will need to endure these record highs for at least a while longer. Of course, with the holiday weekend upon us, the timing is less than ideal. However, hopefully the slight reversal in diesel prices will signal a similar easing for unleaded, giving consumers a bit of relief from what’s been a challenging time of inflation.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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