Motorists hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend will be greeted by the lowest national average for the holiday weekend since 2003, rising gently in the coming days to $1.93 per gallon on Memorial Day. It will be the first time the national average has been below $2 per gallon during the holiday weekend in 17 years, when the national average stood at $1.46 per gallon. The low prices come as demand for gasoline plummeted to the lowest levels in 50 years as COVID-19 led most states to temporarily shut down, reducing gasoline demand, pushing prices down.
“While millions of Americans have been affected by the coronavirus, gas prices plummeted to their lowest since 2016, but what’s different this time around is that this environment is leading to the lowest-priced start to the summer driving season in over 17 years,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Millions of Americans are struggling with job losses and while gas prices have rebounded slightly, the low-priced start to the summer may offer some respite from the dire economic conditions many are stuck in. With Americans reluctant to get on a plane or train for the holiday weekend, which is likely to continue throughout the summer, gas prices may slowly continue to rise, but prices will remain at a steep discount to last year to account for the situation: gasoline demand hasn’t been this low to start summer in decades, and gas prices reflect that situation.”