CHICAGO, Ill. – Motorists driving for the holidays may be giving thanks for the recent downtrend in gasoline prices, but history will be broken as the national average will be the highest it’s ever been on Thanksgiving.
GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan is estimating that the national average will sit at $3.43 per gallon on Thanksgiving, some 10 cents higher than it was in 2011. In Pennsylvania, gasoline prices currently stand at an average of $3.61 per gallon, compared to last Thanksgiving, when prices stood at an average of $3.37 per gallon.
“Gasoline prices have continued their slow decline in the last week across a solid majority of the United States, with the national average sagging to its lowest level since this early summer,” said DeHaan.
“Even though consumers are seeing gasoline prices decline in most parts of the country, and we’re certainly thankful for that, the national average will remain higher than where it was a year ago.”
As pump prices have fallen, GasBuddy has asked surveyed motorists about their travel plans. Results from the poll of more than 15,000 GasBuddy households showed some surprises.
Sixteen percent of respondents in this year’s poll indicated they would not be driving at all for holiday gatherings; this is up from 15 percent last year. In addition 53 percent indicated they would be driving a similar amount compared to last year, up from 50 percent the year before.
More notably, 18 percent of respondents said they would be driving less than last year, a drop of 4 percent from the previous poll, which showed 22 percent of motorists would be driving less. Overall, 8 percent of those surveyed said they would be driving slightly or significantly more than last year, down from 9 percent a year ago.
The results of the poll indicate that drivers drove more last year, and are planning similar travels this year, as gasoline prices have trended lower.
“Overall, we believe more Americans will be hitting the road for this Thanksgiving
Day compared to last year. Gasoline prices have come down over the last month dramatically in some states, leading motorists to feel better about things, including driving the car to get to their destinations, ” added Gregg Laskoski, also an analyst with GasBuddy.com.