Gas Prices Reach Historic Highs — How Much More Will You Pay at the Pump This Year?

"Photo of a young man watching filling his gas tank, watching in disbelief as the dollar amount climbs on the gas pump display too quickly to comprehend.
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Gasoline prices hit record highs this week as the global supply of oil and gas — which was already limited in 2021 — has become even more scarce because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The national average price of gasoline in the U.S. reached a new all-time high of $4.104 per gallon on Tuesday, according to fuel savings platform GasBuddy. The previous record of $4.103 was set back in 2008, just ahead of the Great Recession and financial meltdown. The average price of diesel, currently $4.63 per gallon, is also nearing the record of $4.846. That record will likely be eclipsed in the next two weeks, GasBuddy predicted.

That’s not even the worst news. In addition to setting a new all-time high, the national average has witnessed its biggest seven-day spike ever at 49.1 cents per gallon, meaning that prices are rising faster in a shorter amount of time.

“Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a press release. “That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions on Russia curbing their flow of oil, leading to the massive spike in the price of all fuels.”

Don’t expect prices to magically drop, either. As GOBankingRates previously reported, GasBuddy expects the average price to hit $4.25 a gallon by May and probably stay above $4 until at least November. 

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“It’s a dire situation and won’t improve any time soon,” De Haan said. “The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months. GasBuddy now expects the yearly national average to rise to its highest ever recorded.”

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for many Americans, who are gearing up for the spring and summer travel seasons in a much more open economy after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

GasBuddy’s recommendation? Limit your fuel consumption whenever possible, and drive more efficiently — which basically means keeping a steady speed and avoiding revving the engine or flooring the gas pedal. As we reported, you can also use gas apps to help you find stations with the lowest prices in the area.

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