At the time of writing, the national average price of regular gas is $3.62 per gallon, $0.02 higher than this time last year. Drivers who use premium gas are paying $0.07 more this year than last year at $4.42 per gallon. While Americans are currently paying about 15 percent less for gas than in 2022, prices are expected to climb higher throughout 2024. Numerous factors impact the price drivers pay at the pump, including the cost of crude oil, taxes, distribution and refining. Gas prices also depend on the ZIP code you fill up in, with states in the West paying the highest gas prices on average and Southeastern states paying the lowest.

Key gas price statistics

Here’s what to know about regular gasoline prices:

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  • The current national gas price average is $3.62 per gallon.
  • The average cost of gas has decreased 15% in the last two years, from when it was $4.27 per gallon.
  • The highest recorded average price of regular gas was in June 2022 at $5.06 per gallon.
  • Drivers in California currently pay the most for gas at an average of $5.39 per gallon. Hawaii follows close behind at an average of $4.72 per gallon.
  • The average price of gas increased by 27 cents in the first two weeks of April 2024, and AAA anticipates the cost will continue to rise.

Why gas price matters

Gas prices impact all drivers’ personal finances. As the cost of gas increases, it could mean having less money to spend on other necessities, such as food and housing. It may even create difficulties getting to work if you have a long commute. Drivers also tend to put off car maintenance to save money on overall vehicle expenses, but this can lead to higher repair costs down the line.

When gas prices are low, drivers have more wiggle room in their budgets for daily essentials and car care and are more likely to take road trips. Tracking regular gasoline prices and planning for seasonal price fluctuations is as important to vehicle ownership as carrying the proper levels of auto insurance and keeping up with maintenance.

Gas prices by year

Gas prices within the last 10 years highlight how volatile the market can be. When looking at historical data, gas prices were the same in 2011 as they were in 2023 — $3.52 per gallon. However, prices can swing drastically, sometimes jumping several cents in a short span of time. For example, from May 2022 to June 2022 the average cost of gas increased by $0.88 per gallon. Data below from the U.S. Energy Administration show fuel costs from 2011 to 2023.

Year Average price per gallon (regular grade)
2011 $3.52
2012 $3.62
2013 $3.51
2014 $3.36
2015 $2.43
2016 $2.14
2017 $2.42
2018 $2.72
2019 $2.60
2020 $2.17
2021 $3.01
2022 $3.95
2023 $3.52

Historical gas prices and trends

Fluctuations in gas prices are a normal trend around the globe. There are numerous events that may cause increases or decreases in prices, including supply and demand. As demand for gas increases, the price of gas typically increases with it, and vice versa.

In 2020, for instance, Americans were using far less fuel. There was less demand for gas due to many countries imposing lockdowns and limiting travel due to COVID-19. As a result, gas supply saw an unexpected increase with less demand, which brought the average price of gas down.

Global conflict is currently playing a significant role in gas prices in the U.S. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil to global markets. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, the U.S. and the E.U. placed sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas. These sanctions and other world conflicts are still impacting current gas costs.

Historical gas prices also show how changes in cost can occur anytime there is a disruption in the supply chain, such as a fire or damage to a refinery. For example, in 2008, when gas prices were at their highest, the cause was due to a combination of unprecedented demand from China, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as uncertainty in the supply chain, which all negatively impacted the cost drivers paid.

Gas prices by state

The gas prices chart below, based on daily price updates from AAA, illustrates how much the cost of gas can vary from one state to another. California, Hawaii and Washington hold the top spots for having the most expensive current gas prices. The least expensive regular gas prices are found in Colorado, Mississippi and Louisiana.

During the first week of April 2024, California saw the biggest increase in the cost of gas compared to any other state. Gas prices rose $0.23 in California and $0.19 in Arizona. These changes are significant when compared to Montana, Ohio and Minnesota, all of which saw increases of less than a penny.

State Regular
Alabama $3.23
Alaska $4.28
Arizona $4.10
Arkansas $3.19
California $5.39
Colorado $3.08
Connecticut $3.46
Delaware $3.37
District of Columbia $3.73
Florida $3.51
Georgia $3.40
Hawaii $4.72
Idaho $3.85
Illinois $4.00
Indiana $3.66
Iowa $3.33
Kansas $3.26
Kentucky $3.37
Louisiana $3.18
Maine $3.39
Maryland $3.64
Massachusetts $3.33
Michigan $3.54
Minnesota $3.32
Mississippi $3.10
Missouri $3.33
Montana $3.59
Nebraska $3.39
Nevada $4.59
New Hampshire $3.30
New Jersey $3.33
New Mexico $3.32
New York $3.47
North Carolina $3.30
North Dakota $3.42
Ohio $3.48
Oklahoma $3.21
Oregon $4.42
Pennsylvania $3.70
Rhode Island $3.34
South Carolina $3.24
South Dakota $3.37
Tennessee $3.29
Texas $3.23
Utah $3.90
Vermont $3.39
Virginia $3.47
Washington $4.65
West Virginia $4.69
Wisconsin $3.38
Wyoming $3.35

Gas prices by season

Seasonality is another factor influencing how much drivers pay at the pump. In the last 10 years, the least expensive months for gas prices have been November, December and January. The most expensive months have been May, June and July. Since gas prices are tied to supply and demand, costs during the summer months are seemingly higher since more Americans are vacationing and traveling by car. Higher prices could also result from weather-related events, such as hurricanes, which can disrupt production and put added pressure on demand.

Month Average gas prices from 2013 to 2023
January $2.77
February $2.83
March $2.98
April $3.02
May $3.12
June $3.19
July $3.15
August $3.08
September $3.05
October $3.00
November $2.90
December $2.77

How to save money on gas

When it comes to gas prices, the volatility and fluctuations in the market are out of drivers’ hands. However, there are steps you can take that will help you cut back on how much gas you use and how much vehicle expenses eat into your budget.

  1. Choose a vehicle with greater fuel efficiency. Look for models that get the best fuel economy in their class and avoid buying too large of an engine, if possible.
  2. Avoid driving at high speeds when possible. For every 5 mph above 50 mph, drivers essentially pay an additional $0.22 per gallon of gasoline, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, braking too hard and accelerating too fast, also impacts the amount of fuel used.
  3. Combine trips for errands. Try to combine as many short trips together as you can. This saves fuel by limiting driving and preventing you from having to warm up your vehicle as often.
  4. Remove heavy items from your vehicle. The more weight you load into your vehicle, the greater the use of gas. If you do have larger items, it’s recommended to store them in your trunk versus a roof rack. Roof racks cause drag, which uses a greater amount of gas.
  5. Maintain your vehicle. Keeping your car in top condition is another way to improve fuel efficiency. Keeping your engine tuned, emissions in check and tires inflated at the right pressure all improve fuel usage.
  6. Additional resources to save money on vehicle expenses:

Frequently asked questions

    • It is normal for gas prices to fluctuate throughout the year. They tend to be lower in the winter and increase through spring and summer. Predictions on the overall cost of gas for 2024 change regularly, in part because of the implications of conflicts overseas. But odds are gas costs will continue to increase, particularly during the summer months when Americans travel more.
    • At the time of publication, drivers in Colorado pay the lease for gas at $3.07 per gallon, but fuel costs are on the rise. Drivers in Mississippi and Louisiana pay an average of $3.10 and $3.18, respectively, and have seen recent decreases that are fractions of a cent.
    • Nationally, the highest average cost of gas was in June 2022 at $5.06 per gallon. While states like California may see gas above $5.00 a gallon on a fairly regular basis, that is not true for most other states.