INDIANAPOLIS — Gas prices hit a new high over Memorial Day Weekend, and experts say these prices are not expected to come back down anytime soon.
“There is still the possibility that we could see the national average go even higher,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “I would say or estimate 60% odds of the national average hitting that $5 a gallon mark at some point later this summer.”
De Haan said Indiana is one of few markets to do what is called “price cycling.” He said it is a “very predictable behavior” where prices slowly decline before spiking all in one day.
“Most markets see small fluctuations passed along on a daily basis,” said De Haan. “Where as these areas that price cycle ignore those daily changes for several weeks and then all at once pass two weeks worth of daily changes along in one full swoop.”
It is why some Hoosiers saw prices jump as high as $4.89 at local gas stations on Tuesday – a 30 cent increase from the day prior. According to De Haan, similar jumps were seen in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
“It’s all really contingent on how much prices go up, but I do expect this roller coaster ride to continue,” said De Haan.
According to AAA, the highest recorded average price for unleaded gas was set on May 19 at $4.616 per gallon.
Lisa Wall, a senior manager of Promotions & Communications with AAA Hoosier Motor Club, said it is usual to see an increase in gas prices over a holiday weekend. She said that demand increase throughout the summer due to travel demands.
“The increase in demand that we see in the summer months does lead to higher gas prices, but combining them right now with the higher prices of oil that we’re seeing. We reach these unprecedented levels that are unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said Wall.
When it comes to saving your money — and your mileage — Wall said she recommends Hoosiers do one or more of the following:
- Combine multiple errands into one trip: Taking a one-stop-shop approach can save you unnecessary trips.
- Slow down, and drive the speed limit: “Once you get over that 50 mile per hour threshold that can really make a difference in your fuel economy,” said Wall.
- Be mindful of when you hit the road: If driving during peak travel times, you may spend more time idling during rush hour. “The more time you spend idling, the more fuel you’re going to use. So if you can take advantage of maybe flexible work hours or travel times – that’ll save you some fuel as well.”
- Shop around for the best prices: Experts suggest using gas monitoring apps or choosing a gas station further away for better prices.
- Enroll in fuel rewards programs
Experts said the price for gas highly depends on demand. Despite already seeing record-high prices nationwide, experts said summer travelers are still giving the green light for their plans.
“Still remains to be seen what impact this could have on summer travel, but right now people are still keen to hit the roads to get to where they want to go,” said Wall.