Driving Costs Hit 6-Year Low — but Will It Last?

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Should You Donate to Wreaths Across America? A Lesson in Charitable GivingAround The House

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

10 Free Things That Used to Cost MoneyAround The House

7 New Year’s Resolutions to Make With Your KidsFamily

10 Simple Money Moves to Make Before the New YearFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

Although the cost of hitting the open road has been falling, the trend may be about to reverse.

As Memorial Day approaches, AAA reports that the cost of driving has fallen to a six-year low, thanks to sliding gas prices. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that you could be paying more for gas by Memorial Day.

According to AAA’s 2016 Your Driving Costs study, the annual cost of driving is now $8,558 per year, or 57 cents per mile, for the average sedan.

Although almost every factor affecting the cost of driving has increased — such as maintenance and insurance — gas prices have decreased more than enough to offset the other factors.

The annual cost of driving for specific vehicle types is now:

  • For small sedans: $6,579 per year ($0.4386 per mile)
  • For medium sedans: $8,604 per year ($0.5736 per mile)
  • For large sedans: $10,492 per year ($0.6994 per mile)
  • For SUVs (4WD): $10,255 per year ($0.6837 per mile)
  • For minivans: $9,262 per year ($0.6175 per mile)

But while gas prices should remain lower than they have in recent years, they have started to tick upward.

At the end of last month, AAA reported that the national average price of gas had surpassed $2 per gallon for the first time this year. It had risen 21 days in a row up to the end of the month.

The nonprofit organization has also predicted prices could rise another 25 cents per gallon by Memorial Day. Four factors are expected to cause the increase:

  • Higher oil costs: They’ve increased by more than $10 per barrel since early February, making it more expensive to produce gas.
  • Increased demand: Demand has increased this spring as the weather has been warming up.
  • Refinery maintenance: Refineries conduct maintenance to prepare for the summer driving season, and they produce less fuel while undergoing maintenance, which can lead to higher gas prices.
  • The switchover to summer-blend gas: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates require gas stations in some parts of the country to sell summer-blend gas from June 1 to September 15 for air-quality reasons. Refineries start producing summer-blend gas by April 1, and it costs more to produce.

Will you be driving out of town for the Memorial Day weekend? Let us know whether gas prices will affect your destination choice by commenting below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 8 Smarter Ways to Use Your $1,000 Savings on Gas This Year

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,839 more deals!