Gas prices reached a new all-time high at $5 per gallon this month, according to AAA. The national average on June 13, 2022, was $5.014 — an all-time high never seen since AAA started tracking pricing data in 2000.
The cost of a barrel of oil is higher than $120, nearly double last August’s price, as increased oil demand outpaces the tight global supply. The current average of one gallon of regular gas, at $5.014, is almost $2 higher than last year’s average of $3.078.
States are looking at different ways to help drivers save on the price of gas. Some states – Connecticut, Florida, Georgia and New York – have enacted gas tax holidays to help residents save at the pump. The downside to this, however, is that state roadway infrastructure is partly funded by gas taxes. Furthermore, consumers won’t actually save that much and federal tax revenue would decrease.
In a March 2022 publication from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton, the school estimated that suspending the federal gas tax from March to December 2022 would “lower average gasoline spending per capita between $16 and $47 … but lower federal tax revenue by about $20 billion over that period.”
Beyond saving at the pump, there are things drivers can do to increase their gas mileage, such as minimizing idling, avoiding aggressive driving, planning errands and trips and utilizing alternative methods of transportation.
Saving gas “is economical for your pocketbook and also for your safety,” says Paul Quinn, head of claims customer experience at Farmers Insurance.
Gas prices in each state in June 2022
As of June 13, 2022, the most expensive markets in the U.S. are California ($6.43), Nevada ($5.65), Alaska ($5.56), Illinois ($5.56), Washington ($5.54), Oregon ($5.53), Hawaii ($5.53), Arizona ($5.31), Washington, D.C. ($5.26) and Indiana ($5.05), according to AAA data.
Tips to save money on gas in 2022
Here are a few ways to dial back your fuel consumption and help you save money at the pump.
Plan your driving trips properly
From planning stops for gas on road trips to planning your errands in advance so you can conserve gas, proper planning can help drivers save money.
“Based on the demand we’re seeing, it seems high prices have not really deterred drivers,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “If prices stay at or above $5, we may see people start to change their daily driving habits or lifestyle, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
Use an app to find the best gas prices
Using an app can help you find the cheapest gas prices in your area. GasBuddy and Gas Guru are specifically gas apps, but navigation apps can also help drivers find the cheapest gas nearby.
App options include:
Avoid idling in your car
If you’re waiting in your car, be sure to turn off your vehicle and avoid idling if your car is parked for longer than 10 seconds. Each hour your car spends idling burns between a quarter- to a half-gallon of fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE.
Drive sensibly and avoid aggressive driving
Avoid aggressive driving activities like speeding, rapid acceleration and harsh braking. Aggressive driving can reduce your fuel efficiency by 15% to 30% on the highway and 10% to 40% around town, according to the DOE. Another way to boost fuel economy is to observe the posted speed limit. Not only should that shield you from a speeding ticket, but it may also help lower your fuel costs.
Furthermore, if you avoid driving at high speeds, you can also save on fuel – for every 5 mph you drive higher than 50 mph, it’s the same as paying an additional $0.22 per gallon of gas.
Maintain your vehicle
It pays to keep your car in top shape and proper vehicle maintenance can help reduce fuel costs. Here are a few tips from the DOE for maintaining your vehicle:
- Use the manufacturer’s recommendation for your car’s grade of motor oil.
- Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
- Get regular maintenance tune-ups.
- Don’t ignore the check engine light.
Don’t overload your vehicle and reduce drag
Make sure not to overload your vehicle and reduce drag on your car if possible. Don’t drive around with your regular tires in the back once you’ve put on your snow tires or keep heavy sporting equipment in the trunk for occasional use.
Extra weight adds up to extra fuel consumption. Hauling around an extra 100 pounds can increase your gas costs up to $0.03 per gallon, according to the DOE. And keep items in your trunk rather than atop your car to reduce drag: A roof-top cargo box can lower fuel economy by up to 8% on city streets and up to 25% if you’re cruising along on the interstate, the DOE said.
Use alternative modes of transportation
Heading to the grocery store for a few things? Walk or ride your bike. Carpool with a friend to work or use public transit if it’s available to save on fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.
Pass on premium gas
You may think you’re boosting your fuel efficiency if you put premium gas in your car, but in most cases, you’re just boosting the amount you pay at the pump. According to the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, buying higher octane fuel is a waste of money unless your car specifically calls for it or if your engine is knocking.
- “National Average Gas Prices.” Accessed June 13, 2022.
- “National average hits new all-time high at $ per gallon.” Accessed June 13, 2022.
- “State Gas Prices.” Accessed June 13, 2022.
- U.S. Department of Energy. “Saving Money on Gas.” Accessed June 13, 2022.
- University of Pennsylvania, Wharton. “Budget Model: Effects of a Federal Gas Tax Holiday.” Accessed June 13, 2022.
– Susan Ladika contributed to this story.