INDIANAPOLIS – Now that we’ve arrived at 2023, we can look forward to this: experts at GasBuddy believe the national average price of gas this year is projected to drop nearly 50 cents from last year.

“Hopefully, we’re able to avoid the $5 mark that we saw in 2022,” said Patrick De Haan, the head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.

De Hann says a $4 national average is possible but not until closer to summertime.

GasBuddy just released its 2023 Fuel Outlook. It says this year won’t be a cakewalk, but extreme shifts in prices should become slightly more muted.

Here are some of the highlights outlined by GasBuddy in its outlook for this year:

  • Though most major U.S. cities will see prices top around $4 per gallon, areas of California like San Francisco and Los Angeles could experience near $7 gas prices again in the summer of 2023.
  • 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.

This, as starting January 1 the Indiana Department of Revenue updated its gasoline tax. Indiana is now at 19.9 cents, down from 23.3 cents in December. This is the highest January gasoline tax on record.

De Haan says Indiana is typically close to national average gas prices and he expects that to continue.

“We expect on average lower prices, but that doesn’t mean prices won’t go up,” explained De Haan, “In fact, $4 a gallon could happen as early as this spring at some point. That’s usually when we start to see prices go up is late February and early March and we could again see the national average going over the $4 a gallon mark as demand goes up and we switch to more expensive summertime gasoline.

With all this talk of fluctuating prices, we wanted to find ways to help you budget and save.

De Haan suggests using the GasBuddy app or signing up for special offers at your local grocery store. That can help you save 20 cents or more a gallon.

Experts say, change the way you drive. Take your time and use cruise control when you can. You can remove extra weight in your vehicle to improve fuel efficiency. You could also try to avoid pre-heating your vehicle.

Click here for more on GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook.