AAA says Memorial Day weekend gas prices to be highest since 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – AAA is advising motorists that are traveling this Memorial Day weekend to expect the most expensive holiday gas prices since 2014.

The national average has stabilized following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, but pump prices are likely to fluctuate leading up to the holiday weekend. Over the past weekend, the national gas price average declined a penny to $3.03, the first decrease in two weeks. While barely cheaper on the week, the average is 17 cents more than last month and $1.12 more expensive than last year.

Kentucky’s average gas price followed suit, dropping a penny over the past week as well to land at $2.86. This compares to $2.72 a month ago and $1.83 last year at this time.

“AAA expects 37 million Americans to travel, mostly by car and plane, for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That is a 60% increase over last year’s holiday and a strong indication that summer travel is going to be largely popular,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “With the increase in travel demand, gas prices are going to be expensive no matter where you fill up, so plan ahead. The AAA app can help to find the best price.”

While the Colonial Pipeline is back in operation and deliveries are in progress, some stations in the southeast continue to experience supply strain. This is likely to extend into the holiday weekend, but motorists will be able to fill-up.

“Holiday road trippers may come across some gas stations with low fuel supply in popular travel destinations, like beaches, mountains or national parks. However, markets are not expected to be fuel-less, like we saw in the wake of the pipeline shutdown,” added Weaver Hawkins.

AAA presented these road trip recommendations for Memorial Day travelers:

  • Make a good “bet” before hitting the road: get your battery, engine and tires checked.
  • Consider refueling when your gas tank level hits ¼ of a tank.
  • Fill up before arriving at your vacation destination. Gas prices are likely to be cheaper outside of popular travel destinations.
  • Use the AAA app to find the closest gas station on your route. Travelers can always call ahead to confirm their pumps are flowing.
  • Do not leave home without an emergency roadside kit. Include a mobile phone and car charger, first-aid kit, blankets, drinking water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic toolkit, warning flares and jumper cables. Don’t forget extra snacks or meals, as well as cleaning supplies, including disinfecting wipes.

Today’s average of $2.86 in Kentucky is a penny lower than last week, but 14 cents more than a month ago. Today’s average price in Kentucky is now $1.03 higher than the Commonwealth’s average of $1.83 seen a year ago.

Average gas prices saw slight decreases across much of the Bluegrass this week. In Lexington, the average price fell 3 cents in the past week to land at $2.83, eight cents higher than a month ago.

Regarding the oil market dynamics, at the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.64 to settle at $63.58. While a stronger dollar contributed to higher prices for the day, on the week crude prices declined as the market remains concerned that increasing coronavirus infections around the world could reduce crude consumption this year.

Additionally, new market concerns about inflation and the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million bbl to 486 million bbl helped to reduce crude prices last week. If EIA’s next weekly report shows another increase in crude stocks, prices could decrease further this week.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the AAA Mobile app. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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