Californians will pay nearly a dollar more for a gallon of regular gasoline this Labor Day weekend than they did last year, and $2 more than in 2020, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Although the cost of gas in the Golden State has slowly backed off its record price of $6.43 per gallon, the current average is still higher than that of the same time last year.
Days before the holiday weekend on Aug. 29, the statewide average was $5.28 a gallon, the same as in Los Angeles County. In Orange County, the average cost was nearly $5.19. The national average was $3.85, according to the American Automobile Association, of which the auto club is a member.
Last year, Californians paid the highest gas prices ever during Labor Day, when the average price for a regular gallon of gas was $4.39—still 89 cents less than the same time this year, according to the auto club’s weekend gas watch.
In 2020, the statewide average was $3.24 per gallon during the holiday—more than $2 less than this year.
These prices are not expected to change dramatically before this long weekend when millions of Americans are expected to hit the road.
“It looks like it’s going to stay around the same price,” Automobile Club of Southern California spokeswoman Anlleyn Venegas told The Epoch Times.
The state’s average gas price reached its all-time record of $6.43 on June 14. During that time, people started changing their habits to save money, according to Venegas.
A survey conducted by the auto club in June found that 88 percent of Americans cut back on driving and shopping. About 56 percent of people reduced their shopping and dining out.
Many people also canceled their travel plans because of the high transportation costs and inflation. Now that gas prices are dropping, Americans are taking a trip on Labor Day weekend and during the fall, Venegas said.
“We do see that people are starting to drive a little bit more in comparison to the last two months when we did see gas prices a lot higher than they are now,” she said. “When people start driving more, that could affect the way [gas prices] are going down. It might just stay the way it is right now at least for the next few weeks.”
Another survey by the auto club found that about 32 percent of Americans will travel for the long weekend. Of those, the vast majority—82 percent—will travel by automobile.
Although Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of the travel season for the year, the survey found that 73 percent of Americans plan to take another trip after the holiday. Of those, 52 percent said they would drive, and 30 percent would fly somewhere.