Gas prices in America are the cheapest they’ve been in 11 years for the Fourth of July weekend, according to AAA. The current national average is $2.29 for a gallon of regular, compared to $2.77 a year ago, $3.65 in July 2014, and a record high of $4.11 in the summer of 2008.
Lately, pump prices have been inching lower—down about 2¢ since Monday—and “remain at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2005,” this week’s AAA report stated. “Year-over-year drivers continue to benefit from noticeable discounts in the price to refuel their vehicles, and prices are down 47 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.”
Unsurprisingly, cheap gas has helped inspire more road trips for the big Fourth of July weekend coming up. An estimated all-time high of 43 million Americans will be traveling this weekend, and about 84% of them will be driving to their destinations.
Drivers can look for even cheaper prices down the road. Based on how the oil market has been trending and normal seasonal changes in demand, analysts are forecasting that prices at the pump will basically follow last year’s pattern, when gas prices dropped from mid-summer into the fall and early winter. The experts at GasBuddy say that, barring any unforeseen events like natural disasters or heightened global tension, the national average price is likely to dip back below the $2 mark by November. “Gas prices in the South are most likely to spend the most time under $2 this autumn, while the West Coast may be left behind,” the site stated in a blog post. “By Thanksgiving, GasBuddy sees the national average back at $1.99 or less.”
In fact, drivers in South Carolina are already paying $1.99 per gallon, on average, the lowest levels in the country. According to AAA, nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Virginia) are currently paying an average of $2.10 or less per gallon.
By December, GasBuddy is predicting the national average will be a super cheap $1.88 per gallon. That’s about 10¢ cheaper than it was even in late last December and early January, when most drivers were stunned that gas could ever be so cheap.