A new AAA survey reveals that nearly a quarter of consumers believe pump prices are already too expensive. AAA projects the national average for a gallon of gasoline to increase 40 cents this summer, peaking near $2.70, which would be the highest price since July 2015. The Oregon average is also expected to add at least 40 cents and will likely climb above $3 a gallon for the first time since August 2015.
To offset the increase in gas prices compared to last year, more than 70 percent of consumers say they would make everyday lifestyle or driving habit changes. The top five changes drivers would make are:
- Combining errands or trips
- Driving less
- Reducing shopping or dining out
- Delaying major purchases
However, not everyone will jump to make a change. The survey found that younger Americans (18-34) are more tolerant of higher prices and less likely to change habits compared to older consumers (35 and older). “Despite higher gas prices this year, folks are still planning to travel. In fact, nearly 80 percent of family travelers are planning a road trip this year,” says Marie Dodds, director of public affairs for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “National parks and theme parks are some of the most desired travel destinations as well as locations close to home.”
In the coming weeks, gas prices will continue their seasonal spring climb as the industry wraps up spring maintenance and completes the switch over to the more expensive summer-blend gasoline. So far this spring, gas prices have remained fairly stable due to lower crude oil prices. Over the years, public opinion for whether a gallon of gasoline is too high or too low has fluctuated as much as the price itself.
- When gas prices are above the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2013 and 2014), Americans believe prices should be six percent lower.
- When gas prices are below the $3.00 benchmark (as they were in 2015 and 2016), Americans believe a 25 percent increase is too high.
This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), which, when combined, consists of 1,017 adults, 510 men and 507 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was completed on February 2-5, 2017. 517 interviews were from the landline sample and 500 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
Information provided by AAA