Only One State Has Gas Under $3 Ahead of Memorial Day

Some 42.3 million Americans are expected to travel this coming weekend, the third-busiest Memorial Day break since records began in 2000.


Only one state has gas below $3 per gallon heading into Memorial Day weekend.

Mississippi recorded an average cost of $2.980 on Monday, while at the other end of the scale California drivers are paying $4.805 per gallon to fill up.

South Dakota saw the biggest fall in prices, with gas at $3.421 Monday compared to $3.443 on Sunday 21.

Figures from AAA showed 35 states saw drops in costs in recent days, with a national average of $3.540. That's about $1 less than this time a year ago.

Memorial Day impact is unclear

The organization said it is hard to tell what the long weekend will bring, though.

“Despite mild weather and a less volatile economic forecast, drivers are not hitting the road and raising gasoline demand to traditional seasonal levels,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “It’s possible this is merely the lull before Memorial Day, but it could be a trend that lingers into summer. Stay tuned.” 

If the demand goes up, it is likely prices will respond.

Filling up a car with gas (Photo: Getty Images)

AAA is predicting 42.3 million Americans will travel this coming weekend. Many of them will go by car and it's expected to be the third-busiest Memorial Day break for travel since records began in 2000.

There are clear regional differences in prices. GasBuddy's heat map showed the cheapest fuel in the south-west, especially in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The costs then radiate out from there, with the north-east seeing gas at around $3.50 in states like New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The most expensive region is the west coast and Hawaii.

Looking ahead to the summer, the US Energy Information Administration predicts gas prices will be 20% lower than summer 2022.

Other factors putting Americans off travel

Even though prices are on average $1.10 lower than last Memorial Day, GasBuddy says drivers are cautious about planning travel going into the summer.

According to the organization's 2023 Summer Travel Survey 64% of Americans are planning to take a summer road trip this year, up from 58% last year.

However, 60% of that group has yet to confirm their plans by booking accommodations, activities or other travel plans.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It is the costs of those elements which are putting people off confirming their travel, GasBuddy said.

“While gas prices are far lower in most areas than they were last year, Americans seem to feel a bit worse about the economy this year on the heels of rising interest rates, the bank crisis, and inflation that has spiked, impacting their ability to take a road trip during the summer driving season,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“While the number of Americans planning on taking a road trip is higher this year, we’re finding that many remain cautious about the direction of the economy and thus have not yet cemented those plans in, with some hinting that price uncertainty is making things challenging.”

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