The national average gas price in 2020 will be lower than 2019, but a robust economy could mean that some households increase consumption, driving their fuel bill higher
GasBuddy, the smartphone app helping consumers avoid paying full price for fuel, today predicts that 2020 will feature a yearly national average of $2.60 per gallon, representing a 2 cent drop versus 2019, but warns that the national average will rise as much as 75 cents per gallon from a low in February until an eventual peak in May, leading to localized gas price hotspots that could lead unsuspecting motorists to pay as much as 15-50 cents more per gallon than competitors.
Some highlights from GasBuddy’s 2020 Fuel Price Outlook include:
- The nation’s yearly gasoline bill will rise to $373 billion dollars, an increase of over $1 billion from last year as the average household sees their annual gasoline spending rise to $1,935.
- The national average is forecast to rise as much as 75 cents per gallon from a low in early February to a possible peak in May, as the seasonal switch to summer gasoline leads to notable jumps and causes some stations to raise prices much quicker than others, leading to buying opportunities for motorists who compare prices.
- 75% of the country’s largest metro areas are at risk for seeing average prices hit $3 per gallon at some point in 2020, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. while four could see close to or over $4/gal: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle.
“Hit the road, America! It will be another year where gasoline prices will be relatively affordable- but don’t close your eyes- the price variation between stations and states will approach record levels. Never has there been a bigger opportunity to spend less, or to spend more, if you aren’t checking prices before filling up,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis. “In addition, motorists should be feel some comfort that for a sixth straight year, gasoline prices will start with a “2” in most areas amidst a robust economy, with thanks to U.S. oil producers for matching our increasing appetite for affordable energy, which also helps to act as insulation against unpredictable events including production cuts from other nations to keep oil prices from spiraling out of control.”