Just 32 percent of Americans plan to drive for Thanksgiving this year as gasoline prices are expected to be the second most expensive for the holiday ever, the annual survey of fuel-savings platform GasBuddy showed this week.
Even compared to the pandemic 2020, the share of Americans who plan to travel by car for Thanksgiving is lower this year, at 32 percent compared to 35 percent last year, and to 65 percent who had said they would drive for the holiday in pre-pandemic 2019.
75 percent of Americans say that Covid-19 has had no impact on their holiday plans this year, while half say they are driving less overall this year. When asked what it would take for them to drive more, an overwhelming 78 percent said “lower gas prices,” GasBuddy’s survey showed.
On Thanksgiving Day, the national average price of gasoline is expected to decline to $3.35 per gallon, but it still be the second most expensive ever. The record for the most expensive gasoline prices on Thanksgiving Day was set in 2012 at $3.44 per gallon of regular gasoline.
As of November 18, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline stood at $3.414, according to AAA data.
Expectations are that gasoline prices would drop until Thanksgiving, but “there remains a remote chance that should oil suddenly surge, gas prices could quickly follow and potentially beat 2012’s record for most expensive national average ever for the date,” GasBuddy noted.
“Similarly to last year, motorists are contending with a rise in Covid cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday when many drive to celebrate with friends and family. Only this year, we’re also just cents away from the highest Thanksgiving gas prices ever recorded,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said.
Unlike last year, it will not be COVID – but high gasoline prices – that will have the highest impact on Americans’ plans for driving this Thanksgiving holiday.
Apart from the rally in international crude oil prices, higher U.S. gasoline demand is also contributing to high gas prices. For example, on Wednesday, U.S. gasoline demand was up 30.9 percent from the same day last year, De Haan said today.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oiprice.com
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