WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2021)—Americans are paying a pretty penny to hit the road this summer. The monthly national gas price average has increased from $3.00 in May to $3.07 in June to $3.15 in July. The beginning of August will likely be as expensive as July, especially as crude oil prices remain over $70 per barrel. An increase in global crude production is expected this month. However, even with the additional supply, global demand could outpace global supply and keep prices high.
“On average, motorists are paying 15 cents more to fill up since the beginning of May,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “August could prove to be even more expensive if crude oil prices increase, driven by market concerns of rising COVID case numbers and how that could negatively affect global demand in the near future.”
On the week, the national average increased by two cents to $3.17 with the majority of states seeing jumps between two to ten cents. Today’s average is a nickel more than a month ago and 99 cents more than a year ago.
As many travelers take final summer vacations and others return to school this month, AAA reminds drivers not to rely heavily on in-dash fuel economy displays. Just released AAA research found that a vehicle’s “miles to empty” estimates vary significantly and drivers could be taking an unnecessary risk if they over rely on these displays. With more expensive gas prices, motorists may be trying to stretch their tank to empty, but AAA recommends drivers watch their gas gauge and fill up when it reaches a quarter of a tank.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Delaware (+10 cents), Nevada (+6 cents), Maryland (+6 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), Wyoming (+6 cents), Idaho (+6 cents), Montana (+5 cents), North Dakota (+4 cents), California (+4 cents) and Ohio (−4 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.78), Louisiana ($2.81), Texas ($2.83), Alabama ($2.84), Arkansas ($2.86), Missouri ($2.86), Oklahoma ($2.89), South Carolina ($2.89), Tennessee ($2.89) and Kentucky ($2.92).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 33 cents to settle at $73.95. A weaker dollar helped to push prices higher last week, while market concerns surrounding demand recovery continued to grow. Crude prices were also bolstered after the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report showed that total domestic crude stocks declined by 4.1 million bbl to 435.6 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could climb higher if EIA’s next weekly report shows another decline in total domestic crude supply.
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.