NewsRoom.AAA.com

More Americans than ever will be heading out of town this Independence Day, according to AAA.

AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this weekend — 5 million more than the recent Memorial Day holiday. 84% of those travelers will take a road trip, an increase of 1.2% over last year. The holiday travel weekend is Thursday, June 30, through Monday, July 4.

The increase in car travel is largely due to low gas prices. AAA said that drivers in most parts of the country will pay the lowest July Fourth prices since 2005. The national average is currently $2.31 per gallon, 47 cents less than last year’s July 4 holiday.

Despite cheaper gas, car rental costs are up substantially. AAA reported that daily rates averaged $75, a 6% increase from 2015.

Those travelers needing a hotel can expect to pay $144 per night on average for a hotel with an AAA Two Diamond rating and $185 on average for hotels with a Three Diamond rating.

AAA is expecting to provide roadside assistance to more than 370,000 drivers this Fourth of July weekend. Don’t be one of them. Make these 6 car checks before a holiday road trip.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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