With summer coming to an end, many Americans are looking for that last epic road trip or vacation. Planning ahead will save you money in the long run. But can we expect any mercy at the tanks?
Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the U.S. on average, at $5.349 per gallon. For specialty gas such as mid-grade, premium, and diesel, you can expect to pay $5.558, $5.801, and $6.101, respectively. Runner-ups included California at $5.343, Nevada at $4.928, Alaska at $4.893, Oregon at $4.851, Washington at $4.798, and Idaho at $4.691.
As restrictions eased across the country, Americans encountered a new adversary: rising inflation. The spike in inflation coupled with the war in Ukraine has led to high gas prices across the country, making many people cancel or alter their vacation plans. Avoiding states with higher-priced gas is one step you can take to maximize your budget as you try to squeeze in one last trip this summer.
Why Do Gas Prices Range So Differently Across States?
Stephen Arbogast –- a Professor at the University of North Carolina –- offered some advice to understand the gas dilemma better. Some factors that impact gas prices include distance to refineries, competing supplies from imports, and the degree to service station retail competition.
“Closer proximity lowers logistics costs and leads to lower prices in Texas and North Carolina versus Colorado or Oregon,” explains Arbogast. Competing supplies keep prices low in New York but high in California because that state has less access to refineries on the Gulf Coast. “Finally, markets with price-cutting retail chains, like City and Jet, offer lower prices,” he says.
Now let’s take a deep dive into the states with the highest prices.
The Most Expensive Gas in the U.S.
Known as much for its celebrity population as its smog, California has some of the highest gas prices in the country. How much is gas in California?
On average, a trip to the gas station will cost you $5.343 per gallon. If you’re looking for mid-grade, you can expect to pay $5.553 per gallon. Premium will run you $5.696, while diesel goes for $6.229 on average.
Home to Sin City and low taxes, visitors might be shocked to learn how high Nevada’s gas prices are. You might lose it at the pump before you lose it at the slots, with the average gallon costing $4.928. Mid-grade will cost $5.173 on average, while premium and diesel are going for $5.382 and $5.166, respectively.
The 49th state is no bargain when it comes to filling up your tank. On average, you can expect to pay $4.895 a gallon for regular and $5.103 for mid-grade. If you’re in the market for premium and diesel, that’ll cost you $5.300 and $5.399 per gallon.
Home to one of the deepest lakes in the world — Crater Lake — Oregon is also home to some of the most expensive gas in the United States. When fueling up, you can expect to pay $4.851 on average. Mid-grade is currently priced at $5.056, while premium costs $5.267. Diesel will cost you $5.705 per gallon.
Washington is home to the Nationals — who won their first World Series in 2019. Unfortunately, their gas prices are also some of the highest in the country.
On average, a trip to the gas station will cost you $4.798 per gallon. If you’re looking for mid-grade, you can expect to pay $5.038 per gallon. Premium will run you $5.227 while diesel goes for $5.635 on average.
Their potatoes may be bountiful, but Idaho’s gas prices are steep. On average, you can expect to pay $4.691 a gallon for regular and $4.928 for mid-grade. If you’re in the market for premium and diesel, that’ll cost you $5.147 and $5.209 per gallon.
Utah is home to some of the most incredible sights in America. It’s also home to high gas prices. On average, a trip to the gas station will cost you $4.587 per gallon. If you’re looking for mid-grade, you can expect to pay $4.810 per gallon. Premium will run you $5.011 while diesel goes for $4.934 on average.
How to Better Save Money on Gas
Dr. Robert Scott — a Professor of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate at Monmouth University — offered his opinion on rising gas prices and what regular Americans can do to save at the tank.
His first tip: drive fewer miles. “It’s amazing how much less driving someone can do with some forethought about trips,” explains Dr. Scott. Saving miles will not only save you at the pump but also may make you eligible for government incentives. “The IRS just increased the reimbursed mileage rate to $0.625 per mile,” Dr. Scott told us.
And what about converting all cars to hybrid or electric?
“There would be an initial benefit to the economy because many people would be buying new cars,” he says, citing the Cash for Clunkers program in 2009. While electric cars may be out of some people’s price points, Dr. Scott is optimistic about a future with hybrid vehicles. “Hybrids are a more efficient way to reduce gas consumption,” he says.
With high gas prices across the country, it might be time to consider investing in a hybrid vehicle to save at the pump and help the environment.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Justin McDevitt is a playwright and essayist from New York City. His latest play HAUNT ME had its first public reading at Theater for the New City in September. He is a contributor for RUE MORGUE where he lends a queer eye to horror cinema in his column STAB ME GENTLY.