US gas prices on Thanksgiving are their highest since 2012

As an estimated 48.3 million Americans head out for Thanksgiving, they will find that the gas prices along their route are not to their liking.

Thanks to inflation, the holiday meal at their destination will be expensive to put together, and the journey there will also be a bit higher. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $3.40, the highest for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend since 2012.

In an era where more cars are turbocharged and require premium, the national average price for higher octane fuel is $4.03.

Diesel’s national average is $3.64.

California has some of the highest averages, with regular going for $4.70 a gallon and premium for a hair over $5.

> Autoblog tool ‘Cheap gas near me’

Historically, however, the national average of $3.40 for plain unleaded is much lower than the highest average price AAA has ever recorded: $4.11 per gallon in July 2008 — which would be $5.28 in today’s dollars. .

Nor are current gas prices forcing anyone to stay home. AAA says forecasted travel volume is up 8% from last year when pandemic social distancing was taken more seriously, though the level is down 3% this year from 2019.

Thanksgiving is truly a holiday for drivers, as the number of car travelers dwarfs the 4.2 million expected to travel by air.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden authorized the release of 50 million barrels of crude oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower prices at the pump. But any effect that move could have on retail gasoline isn’t going to be felt right away. And that amount might not increase supply that much — it’s just the amount of petroleum Americans consume in 2½ days.

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