Record gas prices will do little to deter holiday travelers this Memorial Day. The national average according to AAA is an eye-watering $4.596 per gallon of regular — a 51% increase from the $3.039 average at this time a year ago. Yet a study has found that 82 percent those taking a trip this coming long weekend plan to do so by car.
To be fair, the Cars.com survey found that the car travel is down by 7% compared to 2021, even though overall travel via all modes of transportation is up by 8%. Those who won’t be driving said that gas prices, inflation, and COVID-19 concerns all played a factor.
Furthermore, the survey found that 11% of road trippers this year will do so in an electric vehicle. Based on their calculations between a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and 2022 Volkswagen ID.4, the EV driver will save about 25% per mile. It’s not as much savings as you might think, but still significant. Obviously, your mileage will vary depending on how much gas costs in your area and how efficient your cars are.
Fuel prices are expected to stay high due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Even though Russian oil contributes less than 2% to the U.S.’s supply, according to an NBC News report, many countries have sworn off Russian oil, which formerly comprised 10% of the world’s supply. This puts a demand on other sources, and when demand goes up, so do prices.
According to AAA, the current highest U.S. averages by state can be found in California, where an average gallon of regular costs $6.069. The cheapest can be found in Oklahoma, which averages $4.037 per gallon. Neighboring states tend to follow suit. So, good luck if your travel plans take you to the west coast, and congrats if you’re traveling through the Great Plains.