Personal Finance

Higher Gas Prices May Cost the Average American Hundreds in 2022

A young adult refuels their car while looking worried at the high gas prices at a gas station.

Image source: Getty Images

Most of us will spend hundreds of dollars more at the pump this year.

Key points

  • With gas prices hitting all-time highs, Americans can expect to pay $700 more per year to drive.
  • Even with President Biden releasing emergency oil reserves, prices are expected to remain high.

The average price of gas hit an all-time high this past March, reaching $4.33 per gallon. Gas prices have leveled out to $4.03 this week, but they’re still over 40% higher than a year ago. Soaring inflation and gas prices are hurting Americans, especially those with low to moderate incomes. Americans can expect to pay close to $700 more per year, or $60 a month due to the rapid rises in gas prices.

Gas increases

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) states the average person drove about 1,200 miles per month in 2019. The average fuel mileage for cars is about 24 mpg, meaning most drivers will use almost 600 gallons of gas a year.

One year ago, this would have cost about $1,700 a year. With the recent surge in gas prices, Americans will now pay over $2,400 for the same number of miles, or $700 more per year. This comes out to about $60 a month.

What options do you have?

Even with President Biden releasing emergency oil reserves, prices are expected to remain high. This is on top of the already high costs Americans face due to record high inflation. According to the Department of Energy, aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and braking, can lower your gas mileage by 15% to 30%. Gas mileage also decreases when you drive over 50 miles per hour. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.

Look into credit cards with cash back rewards for gas purchases. Many gas station chains also offer loyalty programs, which can help offset the dramatic spike in gas prices. By being more mindful of your spending habits and driving more efficiently, you can better deal with the price increases.

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