June 30th, 2015 by AAA
(WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015)
Americans Have Saved $65 Billion on Gas During First Six Months of the Year
- Lower prices have helped Americans save about $65 billion on gas so far this year, compared to the first six months of 2014, which is more than $530 for every U.S. household on average. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.77 per gallon, which is the lowest average for this date since 2010 and about 91 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
- “It is much easier for a driver to take a summer road trip knowing that they have saved hundreds of dollars on gas so far this year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “The gas savings should continue for the rest of the summer, which could help motivate millions of Americans to travel.”
- AAA expects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Independence Day, which is the highest total since 2007. About 35.5 million people will travel by car for the holiday. Most drivers should pay the lowest gas prices for Independence Day in at least five years.
- S. gas prices have averaged $2.45 per gallon this year, which is the cheapest average for the first six months since 2009. During the first six months of 2014, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon.
- Americans are driving more this year due to lower gas prices and a stronger economy. Gasoline demand for the first six months of the year is up about three percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to initial estimates by the Energy Information Administration. Summertime demand is even higher with the current four-week average about 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.
- Gas prices averaged $2.78 per gallon in June, which was the lowest average for the month since 2010. By comparison, the average price of gas in June 2014 was $3.67 per gallon.
- Gas prices remained relatively steady in June with the national average finishing the month only about three cents per gallon higher than at the beginning of the month. U.S. average gas prices are about 74 cents per gallon higher than the lows in late January.
- Average U.S. prices reached a 2015 high of $2.80 per gallon on June 15. If this remains the highest average of the year, it would be the cheapest peak price since 2009.
- The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil remained stable in June with the price settling within a relatively narrow range of $58.00-$61.26 per barrel, which has helped to prevent significant changes in the national average price of gasoline.
- The average price of diesel is only eight cents per gallon more than gasoline today. The difference between gasoline and diesel reached its most narrow point since 2009 in June, due in part to a late peak in gas prices and seasonal factors that help reduce the cost of diesel in the summer. In January, the average price of diesel was 90 cents more expensive per gallon than gasoline.
- Gasoline costs less than in recent years because of significantly lower crude oil costs. Crude oil remains about $50 per barrel cheaper than the highs reached in summer 2014.
Gas Prices May Drop this Month Due to Rising Production
- The national average price of gas is likely to remain less than $3 per gallon this year, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future direction of prices. It is possible that gas prices this month will drop or at least remain relatively flat in the near term as gasoline production increases to take advantage of high profit margins. Oil prices similarly should remain near current levels given that domestic, commercial supplies are about 19 percent higher than a year ago. Nevertheless, factors such as strong summertime demand or other unexpected events could send gas prices higher.
- “Drivers are hoping that history repeats last year’s dramatic selloff in gas prices during the second half of the summer,” continued Ash. “There is real possibility that gas prices will drop this month as millions of Americans hit the roads for their summer vacation.”
- Fuel demand is likely to be a key factor in whether gas prices drop or increase this summer. July and August are generally the two months with the highest level of U.S. driving, which could affect supplies and prices. If gasoline stocks decline due to strong demand, it is likely that gas prices will rise. Demand generally drops significantly after Labor Day, which leads to lower gas prices in the fall.
- There are a number of unexpected factors that could send summertime gas prices even higher than today, such as increased fighting in the Middle East, unexpected problems at major refineries or strong Atlantic hurricanes that disrupt refinery production.
- Two international events taking place this week could help lower petroleum prices this year. First, negotiators are working on an Iranian nuclear deal, which could lead to abundant supplies of Iranian crude oil entering the markets later this autumn. Second, the effects of Greece defaulting on its debts could weaken the global economy and reduce fuel demand. Similarly, problems in Europe could lead to a stronger dollar, which generally results in lower oil prices.
- It can be relatively common for gas prices to increase in July as more Americans take long, summer road trips. For example, gas prices increased by an average of 16 cents per gallon during the month from 2011-2013.
- Average U.S. gas prices in July 2014 dropped for 30 out of 31 days for a total of 16 cents per gallon, due to abundant petroleum supplies worldwide. This decline was the start of an eventual $1.65 per gallon drop through January.
Alaska Tops Most Expensive States for Gas for the First Time Since 2011
- Alaska because the most expensive state for gas in the country on June 27 for the first time since 2011. The five most expensive state averages include: Alaska ($3.48), California ($3.44), Hawaii ($3.38), Washington ($3.20) and Nevada ($3.19).
- The states with the lowest average gas prices include South Carolina ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.48), Alabama ($2.50), Arkansas ($2.50) and Tennessee ($2.54).
- About 13 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for more than $3 per gallon. A year ago, 99.99 percent of stations were selling gas above that price. About 15 percent of U.S. stations are still selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon, which is about half as many as a month ago.
- The most common price in the country today is $2.599 per gallon, which compares to $3.599 per gallon a year ago.
One-in-Three Americans Doubt Accuracy of Fuel Economy Ratings
- A recent AAA survey found that 1-in-3 Americans do not believe the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new-vehicle window stickers accurately reflect real-world fuel economy.
- AAA’s comprehensive analysis of fuel economy data submitted to the EPA’s website revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers reported fuel economy higher than the combined city and highway EPA mileage rating for their vehicle.
- AAA independently tested three vehicles that were frequently reported as failing to achieve the EPA fuel economy and determined the EPA mileage ratings were accurate.
- AAA concludes that driving behaviors, vehicle condition, driving environment and terrain are likely responsible for most deviations from EPA ratings that consumers experience.
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 updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 26th, 2014 by AAA
ORLANDO, Fla., (June 26, 2014) – AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The majority of travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in 10 (34.8 million) choosing to travel by automobile, the highest level since 2007. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 2 to Sunday, July 6.
Highlights from 2014 Independence Day Travel Forecast include:
- Willingness to take on credit card debt, not an increase in income, is responsible for the increase in consumer spending.
- Nearly five million more Americans are expected to travel for Independence Day than for Memorial Day.
- Travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years and is expected to be more than six percent higher than the average of the past 10 years.
- Holiday air travel is expected to increase one percent to 3.1 million travelers from 3.07 million last year.
- Travelers will encounter airfares five percent lower than last year and car rental costs that remain consistent with last year at $58.
- Hotel rates at AAA Two Diamond hotels are 15 percent higher than last year and Three Diamond hotels are nine percent more.
“With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “In line with tradition, most travelers are celebrating their newfound summer freedom with an all-American road trip.”
An increase in consumer spending is primarily due to increasing credit, rather than rising incomes. Consumers have been hesitant to add to their credit card balances the past several years, but continued improvements in the employment picture and rising home values means they are starting to feel more comfortable taking on debt. In addition to consumer spending, a boost in consumer confidence and the employment outlook are driving more Americans to take a road trip.
“Steady improvement in the economy has spurred increased consumer confidence and spending,” continued Doney. “Optimistic Americans are more willing to take on debt this year, dusting off their credit cards to pay for a much-needed Independence Day getaway.”
Travelers likely to pay most expensive Independence Day gas prices in six years
AAA expects the majority of U.S. drivers likely will pay the highest gas prices for Independence Day since 2008. Today’s national average price of gas is about 20 cents per gallon more expensive than the average on July 4, 2013, which was $3.48 per gallon. In recent years gas prices have declined in the weeks leading up to Independence Day, but this has not occurred this summer due to higher crude oil costs as fighting intensifies in Iraq. AAA does not believe that high gas prices will have a significant impact on the number of people traveling, but it could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities. AAA provides the latest gas prices for the nation, states and metro areas at FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com.
Travel expenses mixed
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase nine percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $178 per night compared to $164 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen 15 percent with an average cost of $137 per night.
Weekend daily car rental rates will average $58, the same as last year. Airfares have declined five percent with the average round-trip, discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $215, down from $228 last year.
AAA offers digital travel planning resources
AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones, available free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from 101 top North American destinations including city titles, like the award-winning Las Vegas, regions, like Wine Country, and National Parks.
The free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android uses GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Members using the iPad version can access interactive Top Destinations travel guides for 10 popular cities. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
On AAA.com, travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA 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.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. More information including an infographic for the AAA / IHS Global Insight 2014 Independence Day Travel Forecast can be found here.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
June 29th, 2012 by AAA
ORLANDO, Fla., (June 29, 2012) –As everyone searches for their favorite spot to watch fireworks or makes plans to attend celebrations around the July 4 holiday, AAA strongly encourages arranging a safe ride home before they partake in any festivities.
AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result. PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages family and friends to pick a designated driver before they head out for any Independence Day celebrations.
*Please note availability is subject to change without notice
AAA Clubs Currently Offering a Tipsy Tow Program for Independence Day (July 4, 2012)
- The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida and Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
- AAA Northwest Ohio ( available in Lucas, Fulton, Wood, Henry, Williams, Defiance, Paulding and Ottawa counties)
- AAA Northern California (in all club territories)
- AAA Nevada ( Statewide)
- AAA Utah (Statewide)
- AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties)
- AAA Arizona (statewide)
- AAA South Dakota (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton
- AAA Oklahoma ( Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Ardmore and Lawton )
- AAA Texas (statewide)
- AAA New Mexico (statewide)
- AAA Utah (statewide)
- AAA Hawaii
- AAA Alabama – (Program is called Tow-For-Life)
- Automobile Club of Southern California (in all club territories)
- AAA Mid-Atlantic is a key part of the “Tipsy Taxi” program in the Baltimore area only. This program offers cab rides home to members and non-members.
For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website