Updated November 21, 2019

Gas Price History


What is the highest gas price ever? Keep reading to learn how the cost has changed over the last 100 years.

Average Gas Prices by Year

© CreditDonkey

YearAverage Price of Gas
1929$0.21
1930$0.20
1931$0.17
1932$0.18
1933$0.18
1934$0.19
1935$0.19
1936$0.19
1937$0.20
1938$0.20
1939$0.19
1940$0.18
1941$0.19
1942$0.20
1943$0.21
1944$0.21
1945$0.21
1946$0.21
1947$0.23
1948$0.26
1949$0.27
1950$0.27
1951$0.27
1952$0.27
1953$0.29
1954$0.29
1955$0.29
1956$0.30
1957$0.31
1958$0.30
1959$0.31
1960$0.31
1961$0.31
1962$0.31
1963$0.30
1964$0.30
1965$0.31
1966$0.32
1967$0.33
1968$0.34
1969$0.35
1970$0.36
1971$0.36
1972$0.36
1973$0.39
1974$0.53
1975$0.57
1976$0.59
1977$0.62
1978$0.63
1979$0.86
1980$1.19
1981$1.31
1982$1.22
1983$1.16
1984$1.13
1985$1.12
1986$0.86
1987$0.90
1988$0.90
1989$1.00
1990$1.15
1991$1.14
1992$1.13
1993$1.11
1994$1.11
1995$1.15
1996$1.23
1997$1.23
1998$1.06
1999$1.17
2000$1.51
2001$1.46
2002$1.36
2003$1.59
2004$1.88
2005$2.30
2006$2.59
2007$2.80
2008$3.27
2009$2.35
2010$2.79
2011$3.53
2012$3.64
2013$3.53
2014$3.37
2015$2.45
2016$2.14
2017$2.52
2018$2.75

What is the highest priced gas in history?
The highest average gas price was $3.64 in 2012, which is 167% more expensive than a decade earlier.

What year did gas go over one dollar?
The average price of gas first went over $1 a gallon in 1980, when it went from $0.86 per gallon to $1.19 per gallon.

When was the last time gas was under $2 a gallon?
The last time the average price of gas was less than $2 was 15 years ago, in 2004. The average price of gas then was $1.88.

How much was gas in the 90s?
The average price of gas in the 1990's was just shy of $1.15.

Gas Prices by State

What are the top five states with the highest average gas prices today?

StateAverage Gas Price
California$4.03
Hawaii$3.58
Washington$3.52
Nevada$3.48
Alaska$3.43

What are the lowest five states with the lowest average gas prices today?

StateAverage Gas Price
Louisiana$2.44
South Carolina$2.44
Mississippi$2.46
Alabama$2.46
Oklahoma$2.50

How much is the federal gas tax?
The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. It hasn't changed for the last 25 years.

What is the average state gas tax?
The national average state tax for gasoline is 34.24 cents per gallon.

Which five states have the highest gas tax?

StateAverage Gas Price
Pennsylvania58.7 cents per gallon
California62.05 cents per gallon
Washington49.4 cents per gallon
Hawaii48.41 cents per gallon
Indiana46.62 cents per gallon

Which five states have the lowest gas tax?

StateAverage Gas Price
Missouri17.42 cents per gallon
Mississippi18.79 cents per gallon
New Mexico18.88 cents per gallon
Texas20 cents per gallon
Oklahoma20 cents per gallon

Gas Price Changes

The cost of gas depends on a variety of factors including:

FactorCost Makeup
Cost of crude oil60% of the price of gas
Federal and state taxes16% of the price of gas
Costs of refining13% of the price of gas
Marketing12% of the price of gas

Why do gas prices fluctuate?
Gas prices rise and fall according to supply and demand. If the supply is down and the demand is high, prices increase. If the demand is low and the supply solid, prices tend to fall.

What causes gas prices to change quickly?
Abrupt increases or decreases in gas prices are usually due to a disruption in crude oil supplies, the operations, or delivery of gas pipelines.

In which seasons are gas prices the highest?
Gas prices tend to increase in the spring and summer. People drive more during warmer weather, so the demand is higher.

In addition, during the summer months, gas refineries must use more expensive gasoline components in order to meet federal guidelines.

In which seasons are gas prices the lowest?
Winter months usually have lower gas prices since people tend to drive less due to the poor road conditions. Gas is also cheaper for refiners because they don't have to worry about evaporation.

What is the best day of the week to buy gas?
The best day to buy gas is Monday, according to a Gas Buddy study. The next best day to buy gas is Sunday.

What is the worst day of the week to buy gas?
Fridays are the most expensive day to buy gas. In a Gas Buddy study, 19 states had the highest gas prices at the end of the work week.

What is the best time of day to get gas?
Generally, gas station owners change gas prices in the late morning/early afternoon when they learn that other gas station owners are changing prices.

Diesel Fuel

What is the average price of diesel fuel in 2019?
The average price of diesel fuel is $3.16 in the United States.

What was the average price of diesel fuel in 2018?
The average price of diesel fuel in 2018 was $3.18. This is 0.43 more per gallon than the average price of regular gas.

What was the average price of diesel fuel in 2017?
The average price of diesel fuel in 2017 was $2.63.

Bottom Line

In the last five years, the price of gas has remained steady between $2.45 and $2.75 per gallon. Gas prices are based largely on supply and demand.

Typically, gas costs less during the winter months when drivers are less likely to be on the road. Similarly, prices tend to rise during the spring and summer months when more drivers are on the road.

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