Gas prices could hit $4 again next year

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What happened

Gas prices may fall slightly in the coming months, but are unlikely to remain low in 2023. Analysts believe prices could reach $4 or more per gallon next summer. “2023 will not be a walk for drivers. It can be expensive,” says Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy.

And what

GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook offers some good news for motorists still reeling from an extraordinary year for prices. It projects the annual average will drop to $3.49 per gallon in 2023, nearly $0.50 less than in 2022.

The report cited an increase in global refining capacity as a reason for optimism. However, it raises concerns about economic uncertainty, climate issues and the war in Ukraine. It says the average family spent about $2,748 on gas in 2022, nearly 40% more than last year. GasBuddy predicts average gas costs will drop slightly to $2,471 in 2023.

What now

High gas prices can take a toll on our bank account balances. But there are ways that you can reduce the pain.

  • Driving less. Many Americans changed their habits this year because of high pump prices. Some shorten their mileage by combining errands or cutting back on non-essential travel. Others took public transportation or chose to walk or bike to cut costs.
  • Regular maintenance of the car. Vehicle inspections can improve safety as well as efficiency. For example, Fuel Economy says replacing a clogged air filter or inflating your tires can help you squeeze more miles out of every gallon.
  • Maximum rewards: If you spend a lot of money on gas, see if a gas credit card could work for you. It’s also worth finding out if the gas chains you use regularly have loyalty programs.
  • Shopping around. Gas prices vary from pump to pump, so be on the lookout for lower-priced gas stations in your area. There are several apps that can help you find the cheapest gas near you, including GasBuddy and AAA.

Many Americans rely on their cars to get to work or take their kids to school, making it difficult to completely avoid high gas costs. However, a few behavioral changes can translate into decent savings, especially if gas prices start to rise again in the summer.

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