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, according to a GasBuddy report.
GasBuddy predicts that 2020 will feature a yearly national average of $2.60 per gallon, representing a two-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.”
GasBuddy suggests shopping around at the pump 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 instant savings of up to 25 cents per gallon.
GasBuddy’s mission is to help consumers avoid paying full price for fuel. As the source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $10 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017. The company’s business solutions suite, GasBuddy Business Pages, provides Fuel Marketers and Retailers their best opportunity to maintain their station information, manage their brand, and promote to their target consumer audience.