U.S. to see lowest average Independence Day gas prices since 2005

A woman in Tennessee thwarted would-be robbers at a gas station, according to a police report.
A woman in Tennessee thwarted would-be robbers at a gas station, according to a police report.

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Drivers hitting the road for the July 4 holiday weekend may see some of the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005, paying an average of $2.21 per gallon, well under the 10-year average of $3.14, according to GasBuddy.

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Even though average gas prices are at historic lows, the price variance "spread" in industry parlance in gas prices in any given city on July 4 will be at historic highs,” said Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, in a news release on Tuesday. This means there is a higher chance consumers will overpay at the pump over the holiday weekend.

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SUV drivers can save on average $11 per fill-up by stopping at the favorable end of the price spread while smaller cars can save $6, according to GasBuddy.

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The spread between the nation's lowest and highest priced gas stations today stands at $1.29 per gallon — sharply higher than the 10-year average of 98 cents per gallon for this time of year. Among gas stations in the same state, the spread stands at 51 cents per gallon.

"It's thrilling to see gas prices falling just in time for the most traveled summer holiday,” DeHaan said. “Perhaps we can finally get rid of the myth that gas prices go up for the holiday."

Over the last decade, the national average has been as much as $1.04 per gallon higher on July 4 than New Year's Day, while the average year sees prices 47 cents higher on the holiday, DeHaan said.

"Most importantly, motorists are getting a well-deserved break at the pump after years of high summer gas prices,” DeHaan said. “This is like Christmas in July instead of seeing fireworks at the pumps like we saw just a few short years ago."

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