Gas price surge isn’t over: $4/gal could happen in 2022

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

Yearly average expected to rise nearly 40 cents per gallon to $3.41 with a shot at $4 possible

GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform providing North American drivers with the most ways to save money on gas, today predicts that 2022 may bring more sharp increases to gas prices – straining motorists’ wallets even more than the steep hikes of 2021. A national average of $4 per gallon is possible this spring, largely due to pandemic recovery and rising demand before relief, or additional oil supply, arrives later in 2022. GasBuddy expects the 2022 yearly national average gas price will rise from 2021’s $3.02 to $3.41 per gallon.

Key highlights from GasBuddy’s 2022 Fuel Price Outlook:

  • The national average price of gasoline is forecast to climb early in the year, peaking as high as $4.13 per gallon in June. After a hot start to the summer, prices should begin to decline, falling back to potentially just under $3 per gallon by the holiday season.
  • Most major U.S. cities could see prices peak around or just short of $4 per gallon, though some Californian cities such as San Francisco and Sacramento could see average prices soar to over $5 per gallon.
  • The nation’s yearly gasoline bill will rise to nearly $485 billion, an increase of nearly $80 billion from last year as the average household sees their annual gasoline spending rise to $2,341, the highest tally since 2014.

“While Americans are likely to see higher prices in 2022, it’s a sign that the economy continues to recover from Covid-19. The higher prices go, the stronger the economy is. No one would love to see $4 per gallon gasoline, but we’ll only get there on the back of a very strong economy, so it’s not necessarily bad news,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “There remains higher uncertainty than in a non-Covid year, but all signs point to gas prices remaining elevated next year until the high prices attract additional oil supply, which will help prices cool off as we end 2022.”

For those making resolutions, GasBuddy suggests always shopping around for the best prices and driving less aggressively: the savings could add up to $477 per year, or roughly $10 per tank. In addition, motorists can sign up for Pay with GasBuddy, a free program that links to your checking account and offers savings of up to 25 cents per gallon.