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July 4 Gas Prices to be Highest in Four Years

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Motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July 4 holiday will be feeling more pinched than last year, shelling out an average of $2.90 per gallon, the highest Independence Day gas prices since 2014, when the national average hit $3.66 per gallon.

Making holiday travel sourer this year is that a price jump is looming. After five-straight weeks of prices dropping, gas prices are likely to increase again ahead of July 4 as oil prices surged to $73 per barrel yesterday, the highest since 2014. The State Department ordered buyers to curb their oil purchases from Iran by November. In addition, OPEC’s smaller than expected oil production increase last week fueled speculation that global inventories will continue to drop, and a government report showed U.S. oil inventories dropped 3 times as much as expected as total petroleum exports from the U.S. hit a new record high.

The difference may not seem significant given that current gas prices are below the peak of $2.98 per gallon hit in May, but over the first four days of July, gas purchases will cost motorists $1.02 billion more than last year. Even with high gas prices, however, most motorists aren’t likely to curtail their travel during the most popular summer holiday, due to its appeal and rich tradition celebrating the nation’s birthday.

The top fear of travelers is overpaying for gasoline, according to our 2018 Summer Travel Survey. For motorists traveling out of state, we urge motorists to check prices before crossing a state line. “Crossing a line can be exciting and fun during summer road trips, until drivers realize that they left cheaper gas prices in the dust. Instead, motorists should mind the state line and find the best side to fill up on,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “In some extreme cases, we’ve seen consumers spend an extra $25 on a single tank when refueling on the wrong side of the line.”

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $3.6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.