Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

AAA tests show premium fuel benefits some vehicles, but comes at a high cost

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2017) – According to new research from AAA, premium gasoline offers some benefit to select vehicles, but is becoming increasingly expensive for drivers. In recent years, the price gap between premium and regular-grade gasoline has risen from a historically steady 10 percent to 25 percent or more per gallon. While past AAA research has shown no benefit in using premium gasoline in a vehicle designed to operate on regular fuel, new testing indicates that some vehicles – those that recommend, but do not require premium gasoline – may see increased fuel economy and performance under certain driving conditions when using the higher-octane gasoline. Unfortunately, the high cost of premium gasoline may outweigh that advantage for many drivers. As a result, AAA recommends drivers weigh the potential benefits against the cost of using premium gasoline, if their vehicle does not require it.

Additional Resources

“AAA’s testing reveals that drivers could see modest gains in fuel economy and performance when opting for premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend, but do not require, the higher-octane fuel,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “Those seeking the maximum capabilities of their performance-focused or utility vehicle may see some benefit from using premium gasoline, particularly over the long haul.”

In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA tested a variety of vehicles that recommend, but do not require, the use of premium (91 octane or higher) gasoline. Although drivers of these vehicles are unlikely to see any benefit from using premium gasoline during typical city or highway driving, a combination of laboratory and on-road tests were performed to simulate extreme driving scenarios such as towing, hauling cargo and aggressive acceleration. When using premium fuel in these vehicles under these conditions, AAA tests found that:

  • Fuel economy for test vehicles averaged a 2.7 percent improvement. Individual vehicle test result averages ranged from a decrease of 1 percent (2016 Audi A3) to an improvement of 7.1 percent (2016 Cadillac Escalade).
  • Horsepower for test vehicles averaged an increase of 1.4 percent. Individual vehicle test result averages ranged from a decrease of 0.3 percent (2016 Jeep Renegade) to an improvement of 3.2 percent (2017 Ford Mustang).
  • According to national averages, the price difference between regular and premium gasoline is approximately 20 to 25 percent, or 50 cents per gallon.
    • The modest fuel economy improvements found in AAA tests do not offset the higher cost of premium gasoline.

“There’s no question that higher-octane premium fuel has the potential to boost a vehicle’s fuel economy and performance, however, engines have to be calibrated to require that fuel to see the full benefit,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Based on AAA’s testing, vehicles that only recommend premium gasoline can’t take full advantage of higher octane fuel and, as a result, the benefit that comes from upgrading to premium gasoline may not offset its high cost.”

Last year, nearly 1.5 million new vehicles sold in the United States recommend, but do not require, premium gasoline. The trend toward recommending or requiring higher-octane fuel continues to rise as manufacturers work toward meeting stringent CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. However, a vehicle that requires the more expensive premium gasoline may dissuade a car buyer, leaving automakers to balance higher performance with what consumers desire. Rising prices for premium gasoline, coupled with great variation in prices across the country, compounds this issue. AAA urges drivers who use premium gasoline to shop around for the best price, as it could vary dramatically between gas stations in any given city. The AAA Mobile app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android, can help drivers identify the least expensive premium gasoline near them.

“The gap between premium and regular gas has been steadily rising since 2009, with the most dramatic increase occurring in the last two years,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert. “Fewer than five years ago, only a 10 percent gap existed between premium and regular. Today, that spread has doubled with premium gasoline costing almost 50 cents more per gallon and is still climbing despite the fact that consumer demand for premium isn’t necessarily increasing. ”

For those vehicles that do not recommend or require premium gasoline, AAA suggests drivers opt for the lower priced, regular fuel. In a study released last year, AAA found that consumers wasted nearly $2.1 billion dollars fueling these vehicles with higher-octane gasoline. However, drivers of vehicles that require premium gasoline should always use it. Additionally, any vehicle that makes a “pinging” or “knocking” sound while using regular gasoline should be evaluated by a repair facility and likely switched to a higher-octane fuel.  Drivers seeking a higher quality fuel for their vehicle should consider using one that meets Top Tier standards, as previous AAA research found it to keep engines up to 19 times cleaner.

The full report, fact sheet and other information regarding this study can be found on the AAA NewsRoom.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Gas Prices and Consumer Demand on Steady Decline

December 11th, 2017 by PMarra

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline dropped two cents on the week to $2.46. East Coast and Midwest states are seeing the largest drops in gas prices – as much as six cents – in the last week. While a small number of states, who historically experience ongoing volatility, are seeing increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), Hawaii (+1 cent) and Illinois (+1 cent). Drivers can expect pump prices to continue to drop heading into the holiday season as supply strengthens and fall gasoline demand weakens.

“Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents cheaper on the month and will continue to drop as we count down the days to the holidays,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects gasoline demand to weaken throughout the winter, which translates to better prices at the pump.”

Consumer gasoline demand is registering under 9 million b/d for the second consecutive week, while gasoline inventories increased by nearly 7 million bbl, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2014-2017

Quick Stats

  • The top ten states with the largest weekly changes are: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), Delaware (-4 cents), Maine (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents), Iowa (-4 cents), Wisconsin (-4 cents) and New Mexico (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($2.19), Alabama ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21), Arkansas ($2.22), Missouri ($2.22), Texas ($2.22), Tennessee ($2.25), Louisiana ($2.27) and Virginia ($2.27).

West Coast

Prices in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country. Six states in the region are on the top ten most expensive list for gasoline prices: Hawaii ($3.29), Alaska ($3.21), California ($3.13), Washington ($2.95), Oregon ($2.80) and Nevada ($2.68). However, on the week, gas prices in these states are down at least two cents, while Hawaii’s price increased by a penny.

The latest report from the EIA shows that total gasoline stocks in the region hit nearly 30 million bbl, the highest point since April 29. Weak demand contributed to the build, even as gasoline production in the region fell to 1.48 million b/d, and will continue to help prices decline throughout the fall and winter.

Top Ten Largest Weekly Changes in Gas Prices

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the region range from $2.22 (Missouri) to $2.51 (Michigan). In many states, drivers are paying as much as five cents less at the pump compared to last Monday, except for those filling up in Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Ohio (+4 cents).

Of note, last Monday Kentucky was the only state in the region to see pump prices jump. Today, gas prices have decreased six cents, which is the largest decrease of any state in the country on the week.

Adding 1.6 million bbl, the region’s gasoline inventories register at 47.2 million bbl. This is the largest inventory total for the Great Lakes and Central states since mid-October, yet two million bbl below this time last year.

Top Ten Least Expensive Average Gas Prices

South and Southeast

On the week, most South and Southeast states are seeing moderate gas price drops – two to three cents. The region is home to the top five states with the cheapest gas in the country: Oklahoma ($2.19), Alabama ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21) and Texas ($2.22). At $2.41, Florida carries the most expensive gas of all states in the region, which is about 20 cents more than one year ago.

There was a 1.5 million bbl build in gasoline inventory. With 78.4 million bbl in total, the South and Southeast region carry the largest amount of inventory in the country. Second largest is Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with 58.4 million bbl, a 20 million bbl difference.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

As gas prices drop for every state in the region, two states land on this week’s list of top 10 largest declines: Delaware (-4 cents) and Maine (- 4 cents). Despite recent declines, Washington, D.C. ($2.70) averages among the most expensive gasoline in the region along with Pennsylvania ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.67) and New York ($2.65).

Compared to one month ago, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are paying less for a gallon of gasoline, with Delaware (-14 cents) seeing the largest regional drop.

For the fourth consecutive week, gasoline inventories increased in the region. With a 2.4 million bbl build, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast sit at 58.4 million bbl – the largest amount of inventory carried by this region since the beginning of September.

Rockies

Across the Rockies, motorists are paying two to three cents less at the pump on the week: Idaho (-3 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Colorado (-3 cents), Wyoming (-2 cents) and Montana (-1 cent). The most expensive gas in the region is found in Montana ($2.62) and Idaho ($2.61).

Compared to this time last year, Montana (+43 cents), Colorado (+42 cents), Wyoming (+40 cents) and Minnesota (+36 cents) land on the top 10 list of states with largest year-over-year increases.

With a build of 258,000 bbl, gasoline inventories jumped above the 7 million bbl mark for the first time in four weeks.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 67 cents to settle at $57.36. Price volatility kicked into high gear last week for crude prices, amid reports of a potential oil worker strike in Nigeria and financial woes in Venezuela potentially impacting its oil production. Nigeria was not subject to the OPEC 2017 oil reduction agreement and as a result, their crude oil exports and market share grew. If the strike occurs, Nigeria’s oil deliveries may be interrupted and cause supply constraints in the global market. For Venezuela, a large-scale default on its debt would lead to it losing access to capital needed to continue producing oil. As a major global exporter, any reduction in the country’s production level is certain to rattle the market and drive prices up.

In additional news, this morning, the energy minister for the United Arab Emirates said that non-OPEC and OPEC countries that have agreed to cut production through December 2018 will announce an exit strategy from the production agreement in June 2018. Although the agreement will still be in effect until the end of 2018, early signals about the end of the agreement may give market observers greater confidence in knowing that global crude supply has been curtailed and prices are likely to keep riding high.

This news comes after EIA’s latest report showed that U.S. crude stocks fell by 5.6 million bbl. The large drawdown demonstrates the U.S.’ growing export prowess, with EIA reporting that crude exports reached 1.4 million b/d last week compared to 500,000 b/d at the same time last year. Moreover, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. increased by two last week, bringing the total number to 751.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

At $2.48, the national gas price average is at the cheapest price since early November. More so, pump prices nationally have been steadily dropping during the last two weeks. Today’s gas price is three cents less than a week ago, four cents cheaper than one month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago.

“Cheaper winter gas prices are being seen for the bulk of the country as gasoline demand hits the lowest mark since February,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, 90 percent of states saw their gas price average drop – some even by double digits.”

Declining gas prices mirror the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest consumer gasoline demand report, showing a drop of 871,000 b/d on the week for a total demand number of 8.7 million b/d (week ending Nov. 24). EIA’s next report, due out on Wednesday, will indicate if the drop is a trend.

Quick Stats

  • The top 10 states with the largest monthly changes are: Indiana(-40 cents), Ohio (-34 cents), Michigan (-30 cents), Illinois (-29 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents), Alaska (+14 cents), Missouri (-14 cents), Oklahoma (-11 cents), Hawaii (+10 cents) and Kansas (-8 cents).

 

  • The top 10 states with the largest yearly changes are: Alaska(+62 cents), California (+50 cents), Colorado (+48 cents), Montana (+43 cents), Wyoming (+43 cents), Hawaii (+43 cents), North Dakota (+43 cents), Oregon (+42 cents), Minnesota (+41 cents) and New Mexico (+39 cents).

West Coast

Drivers in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest prices at the pump, even as prices continue to drop across the nation. Current prices in six of the region’s states are the most expensive in the country, including: Hawaii ($3.28), Alaska ($3.23), California ($3.16), Washington ($2.98), Oregon ($2.83) and Nevada ($2.71).

According to EIA’s latest report for the region, gasoline inventories sit at 28.8 million bbl, which is considered a comfortable supply level for the region. West Coast gasoline production fell slightly to 1.57 million b/d, but with gas stocks sitting high, drivers in the region are likely to see prices continue to drop this week.

Great Lakes and Central

For a second week, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops at the pump in the region and the country. Eight states land on this week’s top 10 states biggest change list: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and Kansas (-4 cents). Of note, Kentucky (+3 cents) was the only state in the region to see pump prices jump in the last seven days.

Compared to one month ago, all states in the region except two are paying less at the pump with Indiana (-40 cents), Ohio (-34 cents), Michigan (-30 cents), Illinois (-29 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) and Missouri (-14 cents) seeing double-digits drops. Only North Dakota (+1 cents) is paying more on the month in the Great Lakes and Central region.

After shutting down for two weeks following a spill, the Keystone pipeline resumed operations last Tuesday. The shutdown had minimal impact on gas prices in the region. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois.

With a small build on the week, gasoline inventories remain above the 45 million bbl level for the third consecutive week. According to OPIS, this inventory level mark is close to the five-year average for this time of the year.

South and Southeast

While gas price averages are cheapest in the South and Southeast, motorists are paying 20 cents or more at the pump compared to where they were one year ago. For example: New Mexico (+39 cents), Arkansas (+30 cents), Texas (+29 cents), Louisiana (+28 cents), Florida (+25 cents), Oklahoma (+25 cents), South Carolina (+24 cents), Mississippi (+24 cents), Alabama (+23 cents) and Georgia (+21 cents).

On the week, the states in the region saw moderate (at most two cent) drops in price.

Due to a small fire, a crude processing unit at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery is shut down and expected to be offline for two to three weeks, OPIS reported. The shutdown had no immediate impact on pump prices, but did spark jumps in the futures market.

The South and Southeast was the only region to see a drop (119,000 bbl) in gasoline inventory levels.  

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

States in the region tout some of the cheapest and some of the most expensive gas in the country. Tennessee ($2.28) and Virginia ($2.27) land on the top 10 states with the lowest gas price average this week, while Pennsylvania ($2.75), Washington, D.C. ($2.72), Connecticut ($2.69) and New York ($2.67) average among the top 10 most expensive gas prices. On the week, gas prices are cheaper or unchanged at pumps across the region. With a four-cent decrease, Delaware saw the biggest change.

The latest EIA report shows the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had the largest build of gasoline inventory in the country on the week with 2.6 million bbl added. Totaling at 56 million bbl, this is the largest inventory build and level for the region since late October.  

Rockies

Utah (+3 cents) saw the only jump in gas prices of any state in the region. Gas prices decreased two cents in Colorado and dropped by just one penny in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana on the week.

All states in the Rockies are paying significantly more for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on the year. Motorists in Colorado (+48 cents), Montana (+43 cents) and Wyoming (+43 cents) are seeing the biggest year-over-year increases.

Gasoline inventories increased (608,000 bbl) in the Rockies, totaling 28.8 million bbl according to the EIA. Since 2013, stocks generally level at the 28 million bbl mark through the month of November.

Oil market dynamics

On Friday, WTI increased 96 cents, closing at $58.36. The price per barrel of crude pushed higher last week and is likely to continue its climb following news on Nov. 30 from OPEC and some non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, that they have agreed to keep their production cuts in place through the end of December 2018. Participants in the agreement will continue to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in order to drain the global glut of oil that has suppressed oil prices.

Increased production and investment in drilling from producers outside of the production reduction agreement have slowed efforts to drain the global glut, which is why OPEC decided to extend its current agreement. All of this news signals that the U.S. is gaining export prowess through increased demand for exports, making up for losses in global supply due to OPEC’s agreement. As the U.S. moves toward exporting more oil and petroleum products than it imports, such as gasoline for the second year in a row, market observers may decide to pull back on optimistic expectations for the price per barrel of crude.

EIA reported last week that U.S. crude production hit its highest point since April 2015 in September of this year. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the active U.S. rig count grew by two last week, with rigs now standing at 749 – that is 272 more rigs than last year at this time.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Most senior drivers surveyed by the AAA Foundation are not taking advantage of simple, inexpensive features that can improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 29, 2017) – Nearly 90 percent of older drivers do not make inexpensive adaptations to their vehicles that can improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Common vehicle adaptations like pedal extensions, seat cushions and steering wheel covers can help to improve safety by reducing a senior driver’s crash risk. Seniors aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash. AAA urges seniors to consider making the necessary adaptations to their vehicles in order to reduce crash risk and extend the time they can continue to drive.

Additional Resources

“While many seniors are considered to be safe drivers, they are also the most vulnerable,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our research suggests that most senior drivers are not taking advantage of simple and inexpensive features like steering wheel covers that can greatly improve their safety and the safety of others on the road.”

The research brief, In-Vehicle Technologies, Vehicle Adaptations, and Older Drivers: Use, Learning, and Perceptions is the first phase in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s groundbreaking Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) project. Researchers are currently engaged in generating the largest and most comprehensive senior driver database in existence. This critical information will support in-depth research to better understand the risks and transportation needs of our aging population.

For this phase of the study, researchers investigated 12 vehicle adaptations and found that fewer than nine percent of senior drivers reported using any of the devices in their vehicles. Some of the inexpensive devices that can be purchased and put to use in new or existing vehicles are:

Vehicle Device Potential Safety Impact
Cushions and seat pads Improves line of sight and can help alleviate back or hip pain
Convex/ multifaceted mirrors Improves visibility and minimizes blind spots
Pedal extension Helps drivers obtain a safe distance from the steering wheel/airbag and optimize visibility
Steering wheel covers Improves grip for drivers with arthritic hand joints
Hand controls Allows the driver to perform all vehicle maneuvers and functions without the use of lower extremities

 

Choosing the right features and working with a trained technician is imperative to safety behind the wheel. Of those drivers who have a device, almost 90 percent reported that they did not work with a trained professional to install the modification, a key recommendation by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AAA urges drivers to consult with a trained technician to guide them in making adjustments to their vehicle.

“When an ache or pain begins hindering driving ability, many older drivers are able to continue driving safely after making a few adjustments,” says Elin Schold Davis, project coordinator of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Initiative. “Occupational therapy practitioners trained in driving rehabilitation are especially valuable in connecting the dots between medical challenges that can affect driving and the appropriate equipment and adaptations needed to remain safely independent in the vehicle.”

Vehicle adaptions also benefit seniors’ mental health by extending their time on the road. Previous research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that seniors who have stopped driving are almost two times more likely to suffer from depression and nearly five times more likely to enter a long-term care facility than those who remain behind the wheel.

In the LongROAD study, more than 70 percent of senior drivers had experienced health conditions that impact muscles and bones such as arthritis, hip/knee replacement and joint pains. Some seniors in the study reduced their driving due to these conditions. The installation of certain devices like steering wheel covers can help lessen the impact of arthritis while larger mirrors and assistive devices on seats can help with limited neck mobility.

“It’s surprising that more seniors are not utilizing simple and inexpensive vehicle adaptations when you consider the large number who are dealing with muscle and joint conditions,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety and advocacy. “Knowledge is power when it comes to extending time behind the wheel, and AAA is committed to providing seniors with the information they need to make sound decisions.”

AAA is promoting the report in partnership with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to support Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. AAA and AOTA worked in collaboration with the American Society on Aging and AARP to develop CarFit to help senior drivers better utilize the features and technologies in their vehicles. The community-based program allows trained professionals to conduct a quick, yet comprehensive 12-point check of a senior’s personal vehicle and make recommendations for needed adjustments or adaptations. Older drivers can sign up for an event online. AAA also offers the Smart Features for Older Drivers tool, which can help senior drivers identify in-expensive devices and vehicle features that optimize their comfort and safety.

About LongROAD: Recognizing that lifestyle changes, along with innovative technologies and medical advancements will have a significant impact on the driving experiences of the baby boomer generation, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has launched a ground-breaking, multi-year research program to more fully understand the driving patterns and trends of older drivers in the United States. The LongROAD (Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers) study is the largest and most comprehensive senior driver database on senior drivers incorporating 2,990 participants. It will support in-depth studies of senior driving and mobility to better understand risks and develop effective countermeasures.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Find more information on AAA clubs at AAA.com.

The national gas price average has been trending cheaper for 10 days. At $2.51, today’s price is three cents less than last Monday. On the week, 49 states are paying less at the pump for a gallon of regular gasoline. The District of Columbia and Hawaii saw their gas price increase by one cent. Prices have dropped between one and 15 cents elsewhere across the country.

“AAA expects to see gas prices trend cheaper through the year-end, decreasing as much as 20 cents for some motorists before year-end,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 63 percent of gas stations nationwide.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest weekly decreases: Indiana(-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kansas (-4 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and Oklahoma (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas: Alabama ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Texas ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.27), Tennessee ($2.29), Missouri ($2.29), Virginia ($2.30) and Louisiana ($2.31).

West Coast

Gas prices in states within the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country. In fact, current prices rank five of the region’s states as the top most expensive states in the country: Alaska ($3.26), Hawaii ($3.24), California ($3.19), Washington ($2.99) and Oregon ($2.84).

After a few weeks of slow growth and declining refinery rates, the region’s refinery utilization rate jumped above 86 percent last week – a rate higher than last year’s at this time. Demand has remained stronger than expected for the early part of fall, so an increasing utilization rate will close the supply gap and help keep stocks in check as winter draws closer.

Great Lakes and Central

Of all the regions, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops at the pump – some at double-digit rates on the week: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).

The Keystone pipeline remains shut down; however, it has not had an immediate impact on gas prices in the region. TransCanada still does not yet have a potential restart date for the pipeline, which runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows regional gasoline inventory registers at 45 million bbl, which is about 3.2 million below levels this time last year.

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, motorists continue to see gas prices decline and trend toward pre-hurricane prices. In fact, five states in the region are selling the cheapest gas prices in the country: Alabama ($2.23), Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Texas ($2.26) and Arkansas ($2.27). While all states are seeing cheaper gas prices on the week, Oklahoma (-3 cents), Florida (-3 cents), Georgia (-3 cents) and Alabama (-3 cents) saw the largest decreases.

While gas prices in the region remain significantly higher than this time last year, Georgia is seeing the smallest change compared to last year (+27 cents). Oklahoma (+37 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in gas prices.

Gasoline inventories had a small 439,000 build on the week, bringing levels above the 77 million bbl mark. The region carries the largest gasoline inventory in the country, according to the EIA.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

In the region, gas prices are cheaper on the week with Maryland seeing the largest decline (-3 cents). Prices dropped across the region except in Washington, D.C., where prices increased one cent on the week. The cheapest gas in the region can be found in Tennessee ($2.29) and Virginia ($2.30). These two states land on the top 10 states with the least expensive gas, while four states in the region land on the top 10 states with the most expensive gas: Pennsylvania ($2.77), Washington, D.C. ($2.74), Connecticut ($2.70) and New York ($2.68).

With a build of 546,000 bbl, the region saw the largest gasoline inventory increase in the country on the week. However, the region is also experiencing the largest deficit year-over-year, according to the latest EIA report. An uptick in imports is expected to help reduce the deficit.

Rockies

Gas prices declined as much as two cents in the region on the week: Wyoming (-2 cents), Colorado (-1 cent), Idaho (-1 cent) and Utah (-1 cent). At $2.47, Utah’s gas price average today is eight cents less than one month ago, which is the second biggest monthly decrease of any state in the country. Similarly, Idaho (-4 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent) are also seeing a month-over-month drop at the pump.

With a 43,000 bbl draw on the week, gasoline inventory in the region measures at 6.7 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

On Friday, WTI hit $58.95 bbl – a multi-year high that the price per barrel has not come close to since June 2015. Expectations for an extension of the current OPEC and Russian production cut until December 31, 2018 fueled this spike. OPEC and non-OPEC members of the production reduction agreement will meet in Vienna on November 30, to discuss the fate of the agreement, which is currently set to expire in March 2018. Market observers have been awaiting this meeting to see if agreement participants will take additional measures to restrict supply in the global market, which could push oil prices even higher.

Increased oil production and exports from countries outside of the agreement, including the U.S., have acted as a counterforce to the agreement’s intended market impact. In fact, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the active U.S. oil rig count grew by nine last week, with the total now at 747. Moreover, oil production in the U.S. reached 9.7 million b/d last week, according to EIA’s latest report, a high not seen since April 1971. With the U.S. gaining a stronger foothold in the market, OPEC’s announcement following this week’s meeting will be heavily assessed for its potential impact on the market in 2018 and beyond.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA unveils new tools and enhancements to GasPrices.AAA.com in time for holiday road trips

WASHINGTON (November 27, 2017) – This December motorists will not find significant holiday savings at the gas pump. Today’s national gas price average is $2.51, which is 38 cents more than this time last year. While AAA does expect gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, motorists will still pay the highest November and December gas prices since 2014.

“Despite a forecasted 5 to 20 cents decrease in coming weeks, motorists will see higher than expected December gas prices – especially compared to year-end prices from 2015 and 2016,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Driving factors for cheaper gas prices this winter include colder temperatures, the threat of inclement weather and online shopping.”

In 2017, gas prices have strayed from typical trends. Historically, year-end gas prices tend to be relatively cheap due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to cheaper to produce winter-blend gasoline in mid-September. This year, the typical factors that drive gas prices down in winter were outweighed by the impact of two major hurricanes, steady consumer demand and continued growth in gasoline exports.

2017’s Tumultuous Trends

  • Highs and Lows: Summer driving season traditionally brings the highest gas prices of the year and year-end brings the lowest, but not this year:
    • 2017 High: $2.67 on September 11
    • 2017 Low: $2.23 on July 5
  • Exports: According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in the first half of 2017 U.S. exports of total motor gasoline averaged a record high of 756,000 b/d, a three percent increase from the first half of 2016. The second half of 2017 has seen this trend continue to climb, with exports peaking to one of their highest points in 2017 – 906,000 b/d – last month.
  • Production: According to Baker Hughes, Inc., the total oil rig count is currently 747, which is 273 more rigs than last year’s count at this time.

Regional Outlooks

  • West Coast: This region is home to the most expensive markets in the country. The crude refinery utilization rate in the region has grown to nearly 88 percent this autumn, after lower rates earlier in the season placed greater strain on supplies in the face of strong demand as evidenced by high year-to-date averages: Hawaii ($3.09), California ($3.00), Alaska ($2.88), Washington ($2.86), Oregon ($2.71), Nevada ($2.66) and Arizona (2.28). Gas can be found for $3.01 or more in all seven states in the region, though at just one percent of gas stations in Arizona, five percent in Oregon and six percent in Nevada. The good news is AAA expects the West Coast to see gas prices drop the most in the month ahead.
  • Great Lakes and Central States: High refinery maintenance this fall has led to higher gas prices and tightened supply, leaving a typically volatile area even more susceptible to sudden price shocks. With gasoline stocks sitting just above 45 million bbl – 3 million bbl below last year’s level at this time – further unscheduled refinery maintenance and the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline could cause a spike in prices.

On average, motorists in Michigan ($2.44), Illinois ($2.43), South Dakota (2.38), Wisconsin ($2.35) and Nebraska (2.35) have seen the highest gas prices in the region this year; while Missouri ($2.17), Kansas ($2.23), Ohio ($2.29), Kentucky ($2.29) and Minnesota ($2.32) have seen the lowest gas price averages in the region. Currently, gas can be found for $2.25 or less at the following percentages of gas stations: Missouri (36%), Kentucky (26%), South Dakota (9%), Kansas (5%), Ohio (5%), Michigan (3%) and North Dakota (2%). While Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin gas stations are selling gas for 2.25 or less, it is at less than one percent of stations.

  • Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Many motorists in this region have seen sizeable price increases at the pump during November, as current gasoline inventories were sitting at their lowest inventory points for this time of year since 2014. The increases were likely due to a lack of gasoline imports that has contributed to tighter than usual supply in the region. However, pump prices in the last week have started to decline and will continue to drop, especially if imports move into the region.

There is a 44-cent price difference between the highest and lowest gas price average year-to-date in the region with Pennsylvania ($2.61) topping the charts and Tennessee ($2.17) rounding out the list. Only six states have the majority of gas stations selling gas for $2.50 or less: North Carolina (96%), Delaware (96%), Tennessee (94%), Virginia (94%), Maryland (71%) and New Hampshire (53%).

  • South and Southeast: The direct impacts to gasoline production and delivery from the active hurricane season were felt hardest in this region, with nearly a quarter of the U.S. refining capacity shut down during some points of late summer and early fall. Refining capacity has been slowly recovering in the region, increasing production by more than 100,000 barrels per day in the weeks following the storms.

Florida ($2.37) leads the region with the most expensive year-to-date average. New Mexico ($2.30), Georgia ($2.29), Texas ($2.19) and Louisiana ($2.18) round out the top five highest year-to-date gas price averages in the region. South Carolina ($2.12), Alabama ($2.14), Mississippi ($2.15), Oklahoma ($2.15) and Arkansas ($2.15) have the cheapest averages in the region and the country for the year.

  • Rockies: During the region’s summer tourism season, gasoline retail prices skew their highest and drop when winter approaches. This year was no different. In October, gasoline inventories in the area reached their highest point since the end of June at just over 7 million bbl. The current total level is lower than last year’s amount at this time, making the region vulnerable to higher gas prices this winter. If demand falls, as expected in the region, prices are likely to drop.

Year-to-date averages: Idaho ($2.56), Utah ($2.46), Montana ($2.42), Wyoming ($2.35) and Colorado ($2.34). The vast majority of gas stations in Montana (94%) and Idaho (84%) are selling gas for $2.51 or more; whereas gas can be found for $2.50 or less at the majority of stations in Colorado (56%), Wyoming (63%) and Utah (71%).

Gas Station Stats Nationwide and State-by-State

Today, motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 63 percent of gas stations nationwide. Here is a breakdown state-by-state for the percentage of gas stations selling regular unleaded gasoline for $2.51 or more.

 

 

State

2017 Year-to-Date Average Percentage of Gas Stations Selling $2.51+
Alaska  $        2.88 100%
Alabama  $        2.14 0%
Arkansas  $        2.15 2%
Arizona  $        2.28 18%
California  $        3.00 100%
Colorado  $        2.34 44%
Connecticut  $        2.53 93%
District of Columbia  $        2.59 84%
Delaware  $        2.30 4%
Florida  $        2.37 19%
Georgia  $        2.29 6%
Hawaii  $        3.09 100%
Iowa  $        2.33 30%
Idaho  $        2.56 84%
Illinois  $        2.43 55%
Indiana  $        2.32 34%
Kansas  $        2.23 3%
Kentucky  $        2.29 16%
Louisiana  $        2.18 3%
Massachusetts  $        2.39 63%
Maryland  $        2.37 29%
Maine  $        2.39 65%
Michigan  $        2.44 46%
Minnesota  $        2.32 26%
Missouri  $        2.17 0%
Mississippi  $        2.15 1%
Montana  $        2.42 94%
North Carolina  $        2.27 4%
North Dakota  $        2.34 52%
Nebraska  $        2.35 32%
New Hampshire  $        2.34 47%
New Jersey  $        2.42 57%
New Mexico  $        2.30 30%
Nevada  $        2.66 89%
New York  $        2.54 93%
Ohio  $        2.29 18%
Oklahoma  $        2.15 10%
Oregon  $        2.71 100%
Pennsylvania  $        2.61 100%
Rhode Island  $        2.41 77%
South Carolina  $        2.12 1%
South Dakota  $        2.38 32%
Tennessee  $        2.17 6%
Texas  $        2.19 3%
Utah  $        2.46 29%
Virginia  $        2.19 6%
Vermont  $        2.43 84%
Washington  $        2.86 100%
Wisconsin  $        2.35 38%
West Virginia  $        2.40 56%
Wyoming  $        2.35 37%

 

2018 Look Ahead:

Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to trend cheaper the first few months of 2018, with potential to see the national gas price average in the $2.25-$2.35 range by February. OPEC’s November 30, 2017 meeting and any decisions to further cut or keep production rates stable will influence longer-term forecasts for 2018.

New Tools and Enhancement Unveiled at GasPrices.AAA.com

In time for year-end road trip planning, AAA has added new tools to GasPrices.AAA.com to provide more comprehensive gas price data and insight to motorists and journalists.

National-level enhancements

In addition to the daily national gas price average for regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel gas, AAA now provides the daily E-85 national average.

Enhanced features to the Top Trends page allows visitors to sort data in various ways (high to low pricing, by date) and easily identify changes by directional colored arrows: increases (red); decreases (green); or no change (grey). Lastly, the top trends page now offers the ability to query gas prices at the state metro level.

State-level enhancements

With the addition of 175 new metropolitan areas and corresponding gas prices, state coverage is more comprehensive. In addition, each state now touts county gas price averages via a state heat map.

A new ‘State Gas Price Averages’ page provides an overview of each state’s daily gas price for regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel fuel. From this page, a visitor can also click on a state name and be taken directly to that state’s landing page. Users can sort data on this page alphabetically by state name or highest/lowest price by fuel grade.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

After holding steady for nine days, the national gas price average is slowly declining at the start of the Thanksgiving week. At $2.54, today’s national gas price average is two cents less than one week ago and 40 cents more than a year ago. However, the more expensive year-over-year pump price is not stopping Americans from hitting the road for holiday travel.

“Nearly 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from their home by car this holiday. Many will be thankful to see gas prices trending cheaper in cities across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Since 2014, the national gas price average has dropped one to five cents heading into the Thanksgiving week.”

Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 55 percent of gas stations in the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest yearly increases: Alaska (+63 cents), Illinois (+59 cents), Indiana (+58 cents), Minnesota (+55 cents), Wisconsin (+54 cents), California (+52 cents), Michigan (+51 cents), Kansas (+49 cents), Iowa (+47 cents) and Colorado (+47 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas prices: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31), Virginia ($2.31), Tennessee ($2.31), Louisiana($2.33) and Missouri ($2.35). 

West Coast

The West Coast continues to sell the most expensive gas with Alaska $3.27 (+6 cents) leading the region and topping all states’ gas prices. Hawaii ($3.23) and Arizona ($2.40) saw a slight increase, albeit one cent on the week. California ($3.21) is down three cents on the week and Nevada ($2.73) is down one cent. Oregon ($2.85) and Washington ($3.00) saw no change on the week. 

According to the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, total gasoline stocks grew to 28.2 million bbl – which is in line with the five-year average for the region. Refinery utilization rates in the region continue to sit above 86 percent, which has given the region a comfortable supply and demand balance sheet and will help prices stabilize ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the region are volatile – increasing, stabilizing and decreasing – throughout the Great Lakes and Central states. With a double-digit decrease, Michigan has the country and the region’s largest decline at 12 cents. Also making the national spotlight for the region, Illinois ($2.70) lands on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gas in the country.

On Thursday, November 16, the Keystone pipeline was shut down due to a spill at a section of the pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota. Over the weekend, TransCanada said that it does not yet have a potential restart date for the pipeline, which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and on to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois. While the pipeline is shut down, crude oil deliveries to some Midwestern refineries that draw from the pipeline may be reduced. In addition, crude inventory levels at Cushing, Oklahoma, may drop due to the delivery disruption. “The impact to gas prices in the Midwest will be based on the length of time the pipeline is down,” added Casselano.

Compared to one year ago, five states in the region are paying 50 cents more for a gallon of gasoline: Illinois (+59 cents), Indiana (+58 cents), Minnesota (+55 cents), Wisconsin (+54 cents) and Michigan (+51 cents). Heavy refinery maintenance this fall is one the factors that has contributed to the year-over-year hefty price increase.

After nearly two months of straight declines, regional gasoline inventory had an impressive 1.3 million bbl build. Overall, inventory stands 2.5 million bbl below levels this time last year. However, ExxonMobil’s Joliet refinery in Illinois is resuming operations following planned maintenance, which can help to alleviate the differential.

South and Southeast

Three months following Hurricane Harvey, gas prices in the South and Southeast are again among the cheapest in the country with seven states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas for a consecutive week: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31) and Louisiana ($2.33). Despite the cheap prices, two states landed on this week’s top 10 states with the largest changes this week. Louisiana saw a three-cent jump, while Florida saw prices decrease four cents.

Gasoline inventories took a substantial 1.4 million bbl dip on the week. This was the second straight week of inventory declines bringing total levels to 76.5 million bbl, according to the EIA. The region has been steadily exporting inventory.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region either are seeing no change or small declines at the pump on the week with Delaware (-3 cents) seeing the largest decrease. Pennsylvania ($2.78), Washington, D.C. ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.71), New York ($2.69) and Rhode Island ($2.61) carry the most expensive gas in the region. At $2.31, Virginia touts the cheapest of all Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states.

Compared to last Thanksgiving week, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying more at the pump, anywhere from 41 to 21 cents more. Pennsylvania pump prices have seen the biggest change year-over-year. 

The relatively small changes in gas prices reflect the EIA’s data that the region had a small (525,000 bbl) build on the week. At nearly 53 million bbl, inventory levels for the region sit 3.2 million below this time last year. The year-over-year deficit is attributed to a lack of gasoline imports as of late.  

Rockies

With a three-cent increase, Montana lands on this week’s top 10 states with the largest change on the week. Prices remained stable in Idaho ($2.65), Colorado ($2.55) and Wyoming ($2.53). While motorists throughout this region are paying more compared to Thanksgiving week 2016, Colorado (+47 cents) motorists are seeing the largest year-over-year change in the region, while Utah (+16 cents) is seeing the smallest year-over-year change in both the region and the country.

With a 217,000 bbl draw on the week, gasoline inventory in the region measures at 6.8 million bbl. Today’s levels are about a half a million less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.41 to settle at $56.55. The price per barrel of crude oil is likely to continue gaining throughout the week after EIA’s latest report showed that crude inputs into refineries, for production of products like gasoline, grew by 250,000 b/d on the week to land at 16.9 million b/d. On the flip side, crude oil inventories ballooned to 1.9 million bbl, but are still lower than where they were at this time last year. Increased oil inventories and domestic crude production, which reached an all-time high at 9.65 million b/d last week, have contributed to growth in crude exports as they rose to 1.12 million b/d.

After recent growth in the U.S. active oil rig count, last week’s count remained unchanged at 738. This news may give market observers hope that oil prices may push even higher ahead of OPEC’s meeting on November 30, in Vienna. However, recent growth in U.S. oil production may only underscore that other countries, such as the U.S., will continue to fill the void left by other oil producers. At the upcoming meeting, OPEC and non-OPEC member countries that are a part of the production reduction agreement to curtail supply may decide to extend the agreement beyond its current expiration date at the end of March 2018. All eyes will remain on key countries in the agreement, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, to see if they signal a willingness to extend the agreement through the end of the year or deepen the production cuts.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Travel times could be more than three times longer over the holiday week

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 16, 2017) – AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.

Additional Resources

“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.”

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

By the Numbers: 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast

  • Road trip ready: 89 percent of all travelers – 45.5 million – are planning a Thanksgiving road trip, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year.
  • Cheaper airfare: Consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013.
  • Fuller skies: The largest growth in holiday travel is by air travel, at five percent, with 3.95 million travelers.
  • Alternate travel: Travel by trains and other modes (including buses and cruises) is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 1.48 million travelers.
  • Fueling up: Drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014.
  • Holiday high: Car rental daily rates will hit a five-year holiday high at $70/day, which may be due to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles.

Travelers still hitting the road despite higher gas prices
While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2014, the vast majority of holiday travelers (89.3 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 3.2 percent this Thanksgiving, with 45.5 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. This November’s national average price is $2.54, which is 37 cents more than last November (1st-14th).

Highs and Lows: Car rentals, airfare and hotel rates

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay the lowest average in five years for a round-trip flight for the top 40 domestic routes. At $157, on average, that is a 23 percent fare drop year-over-year.

Travelers can expect to spend any ‘flight savings’ on car rentals. At $70/day, the daily car rental average is 34 percent more than last year and the highest rate for Thanksgiving weekend since 2013. The increase in rates may be attributed to an increase in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles in the fleets with added features and benefits.

Travelers will pay more for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels this holiday weekend. The average price increased by 14 percent to $176/night. Conversely, the average rate for AAA Two Diamond Rated hotels has decreased five percent with an average nightly cost of $117.

Travelers Beware and Advised: Traffic Hotspots and Best and Worst Times to Hit the Road

Based on historical and recent travel trends for the holiday week, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion during the early evening – as early as Tuesday of Thanksgiving week – as commuters mix with holiday travelers. At its peak, drivers on Chicago’s interstates, for example, could see a delay of nearly 300 percent over the optimal trip.

“Thanksgiving has historically been one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year we could see record-level travel delays,” says Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

Worst Time to Travel
Metro Area Worst Day

 for Travel

Worst Time

for Travel

Delay Multiplier
Chicago, IL Tuesday 5:00 – 6:00 PM 3x
San Francisco, CA Tuesday 4:00 – 5:45 PM 2.5X
Los Angeles, CA Tuesday 3:15 – 6:00 PM 2.5x
Boston, MA Tuesday 5:15 – 7:15 PM 2.5x
New York, NY Tuesday 5:30 – 6:30 PM 2x
Washington, DC Tuesday 4:45 – 6:00 PM 2x
Seattle, WA Tuesday 3:45 – 5:30 PM 2x
Atlanta, GA Wednesday 3:00 – 5:15 PM 2x
Houston, TX Wednesday 5:45 – 7:00 PM 1x
Detroit, MI Tuesday 3:00 – 5:30 PM 1x

The worst traffic hotspot during Thanksgiving week in each of the 10 most congested cities in the U.S. are:

Top Traffic Hotspot in America’s Most Congested Cities
Rank City Location
1 Los Angeles, CA I-5 S at Valley View Ave
2 New York, NY I-495 E at NY-106/NY-107
3 San Francisco, CA I-80 E at Pinole Valley Rd
4 Atlanta, GA I-75 N at Chastain Rd
5 Miami, FL I-95 N at Congress Ave
6 Washington, DC I-95 S at US-17/US-1
7 Dallas, TX US-75 S at I-45/I-3
8 Boston, MA I-90 W at I-84/US-20
9 Chicago, IL I-90 W at I-190
10 Seattle, WA I-405 S at WA-167

Across the country, travelers that take to the sky must account for long security lines, but also increased drive times to the airport. AAA and INRIX expect delays getting to the nation’s busiest airports could be as long as an hour.

Worst Travel Times to America’s Busiest Airports
Metro Area Airport Route Worst Time

for Travel

Travel Time

at Peak

New York, NY Downtown to JFK via Long Island Expressway East Tuesday,
5:30 – 7:30 PM
1 hr 54 min
Chicago, IL Downtown to ORD via Kennedy Expressway West Tuesday,
4:30 – 5:30 PM
1 hr 14 min
Denver, CO Downtown to DIA via I-70 E and Pena Blvd Wednesday,
4:30 – 6:30 PM
52 min
Los Angeles, CA Downtown to LAX via I-110 S Tuesday,
4:30 – 6:30 PM
46 min
Dallas, TX Downtown to DFW via TX-183 W Wednesday,
8:00 – 9:00 AM
46 min
Las Vegas, NV Downtown to LAS via I-15 S Wednesday,
8:00 – 9:00 AM
45 min
San Francisco, CA Downtown to SFO via US-101 S Tuesday,
5:00 – 7:00 PM
29 min
Seattle, WA Downtown to SEA via I-5 S Tuesday,
3:00 – 5:00 PM
29 min
Charlotte, NC Downtown to CLT via US-74 W Wednesday,
1:00 – 3:00 PM
19 min
Atlanta, GA Downtown to ALT via I-75 S Wednesday,
5:00 – 7:00 PM
12 min

Top 10 Thanksgiving Destinations
Many travelers will seek theme-park and warm-weather destinations this Thanksgiving. Both Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California, top this year’s top 10 holiday destinations based on AAA.com bookings. Compared to previous years, New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco are gaining popularity as holiday spots.  

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. New York City, New York
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Las Vegas, Nevada
  6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  7. Cancun, Mexico
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
  10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

According to Hertz, the busiest airport pick-up locations for travelers planning to rent a car this Thanksgiving are expected to be Orlando (MCO), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Las Vegas (LAS) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The busiest day for rental pick-ups is expected to be Wednesday, Nov. 22, with an average rental length of nearly five full days, as travelers look to take advantage of the long holiday weekend.

Lockouts, flat tires to strand 330,000 motorists this Thanksgiving
AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Thanksgiving weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Thanksgiving getaway
Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Inspected & Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

About the AAA travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast is available here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

At $2.56, the national gas price average has increased nine cents inside of 13 days. Strong fall consumer gasoline demand has continued into November and is chipping away at national gasoline inventory. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports total gasoline inventories dropped by 3.3 million bbl in their latest report.

 “Compared to the first half of November last year, gas prices this November are on average 39-cents more expensive,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, while November gas prices have come in like a lion, AAA expects them to go out like a lamb.”

On the week, gas prices increased for the majority of states across the country. However, only four states are seeing double-digit fluctuations at the pump: Florida (+13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Alaska (+12 cents) and Ohio (-10 cents).

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten states with the largest weekly changes: Florida (+13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Alaska (+12 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), Oregon (+7 cents), North Carolina (+6 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Texas (+6 cents) and South Carolina (+6 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten states with the least expensive gas prices: Alabama ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.29), Louisiana ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.31), Texas ($2.31), Virginia ($2.32), Tennessee ($2.34), Oklahoma ($2.35) and Missouri ($2.36).

West Coast

The West Coast has seen prices push upward and the region continues to sell the most expensive gas. Gas prices on the West Coast increased as much as 12 cents on the week: Alaska $3.21 (+12 cents), Oregon $2.85 (+7 cents), California $3.24 (+3 cents), Hawaii $3.22 (+ 5 cents), Washington $2.99 (+5 cents), Arizona $2.40 (+2 cents) and Nevada $2.74 (+1 cent). Refinery utilization on the West Coast remains high at 86.2 percent, according to the EIA weekly report. The report also showed that crude oil inputs through regional refineries also increased last week by 135,000 bbl to reach 2.388 million bbl per day.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices in the Great Lakes and Central states continue to see volatility across the region. Motorists in six states are paying less on the week: Indiana (-13 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-2 cent), Missouri (-2 cents) and Kentucky (-1 cent). The remaining states in the region saw modest price jumps with Nebraska’s gas price increasing the most with a five-cent increase. Michigan ($2.74) and Illinois ($2.72) are selling the most expensive gas in the region, while motorists in Kansas ($2.40) and Missouri ($3.36) are paying the least.

At 44.5 million bbl, the Great Lakes and Central region has seen gasoline inventories decline for six weeks straight and register at the lowest level since mid-November 2014.

South and Southeast

On the week, gasoline prices have increased an average of nine cents across the South and Southeast. With a 13-cent jump, Floridians are seeing the biggest change, while Oklahomans’ gas prices are five cents more than last Monday. Regardless of the increases, the region is still selling some of the cheapest gas in the country with seven states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas: Alabama ($2.26), Mississippi ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.29), Louisiana ($2.30), Arkansas ($2.31), Texas ($2.31) and Oklahoma ($2.35).

Sitting at 78 million bbl, gasoline inventory in the region dipped slightly by 800,000 bbl on the week. The latest EIA report shows that regional inventory has only surpassed the 80 million bbl mark one time since Labor Day.. This move shows demand, while steady, is slowing.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region is paying more for a gallon of gasoline on the week, with North Carolina (+6 cents) and New Jersey (+6 cents) seeing the largest jumps. The most expensive gas in the region is in Pennsylvania ($2.79) and Washington, D.C. ($2.74). Both areas also land on this week’s top 10 states with the highest gas prices. The cheapest gas in the region is in Virginia ($2.32) and Tennessee ($2.34).

According to the EIA, the region had a 1.6 million bbl draw on the week, which was the largest draw of any region in the country. At a total of 52 million bbl, regional inventories are at a low for the year. In fact, the last time regional inventory measured at the 52 million bbl mark was in December of 2014.

 Rockies

As motorists in Utah (-3 cents) and Idaho (-1 cent) pay less at the pump on the week, those in Colorado (+3 cents), Montana (+3 cents) and Wyoming (+1 cent) are paying pennies more. Compared to one month ago, gas prices in both Utah (-11 cents) and Idaho (-7 cents) are cheaper. Gasoline inventory remains at the 7 million bbl mark for a fifth week.

Oil market dynamics

International markets opened Monday morning posting crude oil losses amid reports of the U.S. adding oil rigs that indicate increased U.S. investment and oil production. Oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported that drillers added nine rigs last week – the biggest increase since June of this year – bringing the total crude oil rig count to 738. The increased U.S. production continues to dilute OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market and may be on the minds of OPEC cartel members when they meet in Vienna on November 30 to discuss extending their production cuts through the end of 2018 to rebalance global crude oil supply.

Additionally, tensions in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iran and Bahrain have traders keeping a watchful eye on the region. Discussions of political power and influence continue to surround the Saudi Arabian King and his son the Crown Prince. At this time the King has not relinquished the thrown to his son, but his son continues to instate economic reforms including a plan to sell off a portion of the government-owned Saudi Aramco oil company.

On Friday, an explosion at Bahrain’s main pipeline shut down operations. Bahrain officials have labeled the explosion an act of terrorism and linked it to Iran. Over the weekend, the country was able to get the fire under control and shut off oil supplies to the pipeline. At this time, it is unclear when Bahrain will have its pipeline back up and running. Monday also saw a powerful earthquake hit the border of Iraq and Iran, killing 348 people. Both countries currently have search and rescue missions responding to earthquake. In the coming days, government officials will know more about the extent of the damage and whether any energy producing sectors where damaged during the quake.   

Traders will continue to keep an eye on any supply disruptions in the Middle East, U.S. production and the impact it has on global supply and demand. At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 43 cents to settle at $56.74 per barrel.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Highest October Gasoline Demand Since 2006

November 6th, 2017 by AAA

Gas prices see a slight uptick

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the latest gasoline demand measurement is the highest for the end of October since 2006. At $2.53, today’s gas price is six cents more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and 31 cents more than a year ago.

“October has seen strong demand numbers likely, in part, due to consumers taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather rather than spending time indoors,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, we are seeing supply levels tighten and gas prices increase. However, we don’t expect this increase to be long-term.”

The national gas price average during the second half of October was relatively stable, fluctuating a penny or two until October 31. Since then, the national price has seen upward movement, primarily resulting from increased demand.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+21 cents), Ohio (+20 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), California (+17 cents), Wisconsin (+16 cents), Indiana (+14 cents), Missouri (+11 cents), Kentucky (+10 cents), Minnesota (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+7 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.22), South Carolina ($2.23), Texas ($2.25), Arkansas ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.26), Virginia ($2.28), Tennessee ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.33) and North Carolina ($2.35).

West Coast

Moving into the week, the West Coast continues to lead the U.S. among most expensive markets. Six of the top ten most expensive markets in the country are found in this region: California ($3.21), Hawaii ($3.17), Alaska ($3.09), Washington ($2.94), Oregon ($2.79) and Nevada ($2.73). Most prices in the region have seen growth over the past week, with California (+17 cents) and Alaska (+5 cents) seeing the largest increases of markets in the region. Drivers in California are likely to see pump prices increase due to new gasoline taxes that were imposed on November 1. The tax rate for gasoline increased 12cts/gal, from 29.7cts/gal to 41.7cts/gal.

In the EIA’s latest report, total gasoline stocks are below 28 million bbl, reaching a seven-week low at 27.6 million bbl. Additionally, EIA’s report showed that the refinery utilization rate of crude fell to 81.4 percent from 81.9 percent last week, which means less gasoline is being produced. With demand remaining high and supplies tightening in the region, prices are also being pushed up by these supply and demand factors.

Great Lakes and Central

Compared to a year ago, more than a dozen Great Lakes and Central states are paying at least 25 cents more a gallon to fill up their tanks. Topping the year-over-year increases list: Indiana (+60 cents), Illinois (+59 cents), Michigan (+54 cents), Ohio (+52 cents), Wisconsin (+51 cents), Minnesota (+44 cents), Missouri (+43 cents) and Kansas (+40 cents).

On the week and similar to last week, the region continues to see gas prices increase more than any other region in the country. This week, Illinois ($2.78), Indiana ($2.72), Michigan ($2.71) and Ohio ($2.64), all land on the top 15 states with the most expensive gas in the country.

The price volatility is attributed to the continued regional trend of gasoline inventory declines. With 45.5 million bbl, the region has seen levels drop for six straight weeks.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices continue to be volatile in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions with motorists either paying more or seeing stability at the pump. Not one state saw a decrease. A handful of states saw sizeable increases to gas prices on the week: Pennsylvania (+6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), New Jersey (+5 cents), Maine (+5 cents) and Maryland (+5 cents). However, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island saw no change to prices at the pump.

With a 2.9 million bbl decrease in inventory, the region saw the biggest drop of any in the country. With nearly 54 million bbl, inventory is nearing some of the lowest levels of the year.  As supplies tighten, it brings a nearly 7 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

South and Southeast

Most South and Southeast motorists are paying more at the pump for a gallon of unleaded gasoline on the week: Louisiana (+4 cents), Arkansas (+4 cents), Mississippi (+3 cents), Oklahoma (+2 cents), Texas (+2 cent), South Carolina (+2 cents) and Alabama (+2 cent). Only the state of Georgia (-1 cent) saw gas prices decrease and Florida remained stable over the course of the last seven days. Despite the increases, the region carries some of the cheapest gas prices in the country with Alabama ($2.21) topping the country’s list of least inexpensive gas.

Compared to one month ago, many states in the region have seen double-digit declines in gas prices: Georgia (-20 cents), Florida (-16 cents), Alabama (-15 cents), South Carolina (-13 cents), Texas (-13 cents) and Mississippi (-11 cents).

The region is the only one in the country on the week to see a build in gasoline inventory. EIA reports an increase of 1.15 million bbl. Sitting at 78.8 million bbl, the total inventory is on par with levels this time last year.

Rockies

Gas prices in the Rockies region are showing some volatility from state to state. On the week, Colorado (+5 cents) saw the biggest increase while Utah (-3 cents) saw the largest dip in gas prices.  Idaho declined (-2 cents), while Wyoming and Montana remain stable. Despite the small change in price, Idaho ($2.66) carries the most expensive gas of all five states in the region.

Oil market dynamics

Last week, WTI hit a new 2017 high at $54.54 and the market will likely build on those gains this week. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.10/bbl at $55.64/bbl. The latest EIA report showed major inventory draws and increased exports, both of which have helped push oil prices higher. Crude oil inventories slid by 2.4 million bbl, while crude oil exports reached a new record of 2.133 million b/d. All of this news has given market observers renewed confidence in seeing oil prices pushing higher as supplies appear to grow tighter and demand remains strong, fueled by oil demand growth in key export markets.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. oil rig count dropped by eight rigs, bringing the total to 729. The news follows reports that at OPEC’s next meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30, OPEC and allied non-OPEC producers will review the agreement to reduce production through March of next year. Some reports have stated that the group may extend the agreement through the end of 2018, which if true, will likely help boost oil prices through the end of the year.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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