Relief may be on the way for drivers across the U.S., as the yearly national average price of gas in 2023 is forecast to drop nearly 50 cents per gallon from that of 2022 to $3.49, according to GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook.
Continuing improvement in refinery capacity will help alleviate gasoline and diesel prices, though high levels of uncertainty remain amidst Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine and continuing economic concerns. A $4 national average remains possible ahead of and during the summer driving season.
The national average price of gas could cool early in the year as demand remains seasonally weak, followed by a rise that starts in late winter, bringing prices to the $4 per gallon range in time for summer. Barring unexpected challenges, prices in 2023 should return to normal seasonal fluctuations, rising in the spring, and dropping after Labor Day into the fall.
Though most major U.S. cities will see prices top around $4 per gallon, areas of California like San Francisco and Los Angeles could again experience near $7 gas prices in the summer of 2023 if refineries struggle under mandates of unique formulations of gasoline.
Americans will spend an estimated $470.8 billion on gasoline in 2023, down $55 billion from 2022. The estimated yearly household spend on gasoline will also fall $277 to $2,471.
“2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “The national average could breach $4 per gallon as early as May — and that’s something that could last through much of the summer driving season. Basically, curveballs are coming from every direction. Extreme amounts of volatility remain possible, but should become slightly more muted in the year ahead. I don’t think we’ve ever seen such an amount of volatility as we saw this year, and that will be a trend that likely continues to lead to wider uncertainty over fuel prices going into 2023.”
The highest gasoline prices are forecast to be seen in June, with an estimated peak of up to $4.19 per gallon on average. Diesel prices are forecast to average $4.12 in 2023, beginning the year at their highest level and then rebounding as high as $4.30 per gallon in June.
Acquired by PDI Technologies in 2021, GasBuddy is a fuel savings platform providing North American drivers with the most ways to save money on gas. GasBuddy has delivered more than $3.5 billion in cumulative savings to its users through providing real-time gas price information at 150,000-plus stations, offering cash back rewards on purchases with brand partners and through the Pay with GasBuddy payments card that offers cents-off per gallon at virtually all gas stations across the U.S.