Now That You’re Done With Your Summer Travels, Gas Prices Are Lower Than Last Year’s

Year-over-year gas prices are lower heading into the Labor Day weekend, mostly because prices aren't taking off like they did last August.

Year-over-year gas prices are lower heading into the Labor Day weekend, mostly because prices aren’t taking off like they did last August.

After a summer during which the average gas price in the U.S. was frequently higher than what consumers paid 12 months earlier, the last few weeks have seen a leveling off of prices at the pump. In fact, the average price per gallon is the lowest it’s been in a few years. Of course, this happens after you spend your retirement savings driving the kids to Wally World for vacation.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price per gallon currently sits at $3.55, $.13 lower than this summer’s peak in late July. In 2012, gas prices actually dipped during the middle of the summer, reaching around $3.40/gallon, but then began rising quickly in August. So between the current, somewhat flattened price, and last year’s rapid increase, folks getting out for one last road trip this International Bacon Day weekend are paying $.19 less per gallon on average than they did a year ago, and $.03 less than during the same time period in 2011.

Of course, GasBuddy.com’s historic chart of the last ten years of prices shows just how much prices have soared (and briefly, mercifully sank in 2009) since 2003.

A little bit of gasoline-scented nostalgia to make  you pine for $1.70 gas.

A little bit of gasoline-scented nostalgia to make you pine for $1.70 gas.

It should be pointed out that we’re only talking about the national average gas price here, as retail prices vary widely depending on where you are. Many densely populated parts of the country, including New York and Connecticut, some major metro areas in the Great Lake states, and the California coast, are generally paying above the national average. Meanwhile, the areas where you’re most likely to find prices below the national average includes the cluster of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri, along with South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and parts of the Southwest.

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