Here’s What a Gallon of Gas Cost the Year You Were Born

Old timey gas station
DIDIER FOTO / Shutterstock.com

As gas prices spike again — closing in on historic levels for the second time this year — it’s hard not to remember the good old days. But how good were they, really?

Adjusting for inflation gives an apples-to-apples comparison with the numbers we’re seeing today. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, let’s take a look at 50 years of gas prices.

Check out the numbers for the years in which you and your friends were born. Following are the average retail prices for gas (regular leaded until 1990, then unleaded) for each year between 1950 and 2000, as they were paid at the pump back then — after federal and state taxes — and after being adjusted for today’s inflation.

2000

Ford Fiesta
LIAL / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.51 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.52

1999

Historic Ambler's Texaco Gas Station
BD Images / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.17 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.00

1998

1998 Chevrolet Corvette
photo-denver / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.06 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $1.84

1997

1997 Subaru Impreza
santi lumubol / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.23 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.17

1996

1996 Volkswagen Beetle Harlequin
Milos Ruzicka / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.23 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.24

1995

1995 Porsche Carrera
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.15 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.15

1994

1994 Yamaha Virago motorcycle
Angel DiBilio / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.11 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.13

1993

1993 Suzuki Vitara
Stock High angle view / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.11 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.19

1992

1992 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster prototype
S.Candide / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.13 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.30

1991

historic Soulsby Service Station
BD Images / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.14 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.38

1990

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL
Kevin Bruce Photos / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.15 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.54

1989

Pete's Gas station museum on September 22, 2011. It's been a station for a very long time but the current building was built in 1949. It operated as a gas station till 1989.
anderm / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.00 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.32

1988

Vinnytsia, Ukraine; November 29, 2021. Grey Volkswagen Jetta 1988 in the city street. German car Volkswagen Jetta in autumn.
Best Auto Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.90 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.19

1987

Modena, Italy, December 2021, MEF Ferrari Museum birth home of Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari F40, year 1987, details of the super car
Fabrizio Annovi / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.90 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.28

1986

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - April 28, 2021: 1986 Honda Accord won Car of the Year award in Japan. It was one of the most popular car in the world.
The Global Guy / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.86 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.21

1985

Stony Stratford,Bucks,UK - January 1st 2022. 1985 Lotus turbo Esprit classic sports car
Sue Thatcher / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.12 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.98

1984

JAWORZNO, POLAND - SEPTEMBER 11, 202: Photo shoot of a restored 1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4
Jacek Piotrowski / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.13 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.12

1983

Riga, LV - JAN 18, 2020: Chevrolet El Camino 5.0 V8 1983 near bridge
BoJack / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.16 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.33

1982

Jeffery City, Wyoming - August 5, 2021: Abandoned tire shop and gas station in the former Uranium boomtown, deserted since 1982
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.22 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.64

1981

Adelaide, Australia - September 7, 2013: DeLorean DMC-12 1981 car front view with opened gull-wing doors parked on the bridge at dusk
myphotobank.com.au / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $4.23

1980

Bicester, Oxon, UK, October 10th 2021. 1980 BMW classic car
Sue Thatcher / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $1.19 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $4.30

1979

Paaren im Glien, Berlin, Germany, June 03, 2017, Oldtimer Show: Ford LTD Country Squire 1979, glossy and shiny old classic retro auto
Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.86 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.54

1978

Reno, NV - August 4, 2021: 1978 Chevrolet El Camino Pickup Truck at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.63 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.83

1977

São Paulo, São Paulo, brazil- December 23, 2021, Car Ford Maverick 1977
luizsantanna / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.62 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.98

1976

Retro muscle car on the mountains background. Vintage car. Old mobile outdoor. Ford Thunderbird "Big Birds" 1976, front view. Colorado, United States. April 13. 2021
AlyoshinE / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.59 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.98

1975

Virginia City, NV - July 30, 2021: 1975 Ford F-250 Ranger XLT pickup truck at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.57 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.08

1974

Izmir, Turkey - July 11, 2020: Orange colored Side front view of a 1974 Pontiac Trans Am Brand muscle car on a white background studio shot.
arda savasciogullari / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.53 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.20

1973

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA July 24, 2021 The Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix in Schenley Park, a yearly event since 1983 featuring car shows and circuit races. A 1973 green Mustang Mach 1 on display
woodsnorthphoto / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.39 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.57

1972

Reno, NV - August 5, 2021: 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.36 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.46

1971

Daytona Beach, FL - November 27, 2020: 1971 Pontiac GTO "The Judge" convertible at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.36 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.54

1970

SEAL BEACH/CALIFORNIA - APRIL 28, 2018: Classic 1970 Honda AN600 parked along at the road in Seal Beach, California USA
Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.36 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.68

1969

CHONBURI, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 8, 2015: The 1969 Chevrolet C10 Pickup 0Truck parking at the seaside.
sarunyu rapeearparkul / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.35 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.76

1968

Reno, NV - August 4, 2021: 1968 Ford Torino GT Convertible Replica Indianapolis 500 Pace Car at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.34 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.80

1967

GLOUCESTER, VIRGINIA - JULY 12, 2014: A Blue 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS350 in the Blast from the PAST CAR SHOW,The Blast From the Past car show is held once each year in July in Gloucester Virginia.
Barry Blackburn / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.33 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.82

1966

Xanten,Germany-September 19,2021: 1966 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible in Old timer car events, is Seventh generation of luxury car manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1965-1966
Heinsdorff Jularlak / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.32 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.83

1965

Daytona Beach, FL - November 28, 2020: 1965 Chevrolet C10 pickup truck at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.79

1964

CHONBURI, THAILAND - March 10, 2017: The 1964 Volkswagen Beetle parking at the seaside on street.
sarunyu rapeearparkul / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.30 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.73

1963

Reno, NV - August 6, 2021: 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint Hardtop Coupe at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.30 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.77

1962

GLENDALE/CALIFORNIA - JULY 19, 2014: 1962 Chevy Impala owned by Jose Felix at the Glendale Cruise Nights Car Show July 19, 2014 Glendale, California USA
Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.91

1961

Reno, NV - August 3, 2021: 1961 Buick LeSabre Hardtop Coupe at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.92

1960

Jesup, GA - March 17, 2018: Close up view of a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette at the Jesup 2018 St. Patrick's Day Car Show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.97

1959

São Paulo, São Paulo, brazil- December 23, 2021, ,car, green beetle 1959, german
luizsantanna / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.01

1958

Reno, NV - August 4, 2021: 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sport Coupe at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.30 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.95

1957

Westlake, Texas - October 21, 2017: Front side view of an aqua color 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible classic car.
Leena Robinson / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.31 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.16

1956

Woodbridge Suffolk UK August 27 2021: A mint condition 1956 Ford Popular parked in a public car park
Simon Collins / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.30 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.15

1955

Virginia City, NV - July 31, 2021: 1955 Ford Thunderbird convertible at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.29 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.05

1954

Reno, NV - August 4, 2021: 1954 Chevrolet Advance Design 3100 Pickup Truck at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.29 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.03

1953

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada - July 18, 2015: 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck at Outkast Car Club's Annual car show.
Ken Morris / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.29 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.07

1952

Reno, NV - August 6, 2021: 1952 GMC New Design Stepside Pickup Truck at a local car show.
Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.27 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.86

1951

COMBINED LOCKS, WI - AUGUST 18: A gold 1951 Pontiac Eight Chieftain Convertible car at the 2nd Annual Horizon of Hope Generations Car and Truck Show on August 18, 2012 in Combined Locks, Wisconsin.
Keith Bell / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.27 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $2.99

1950

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - February 8, 2020: 1950 Studebaker XF58 "Ice Princess" six-wheeled retro car at the annual International Auto-show
Boykov / Shutterstock.com

Average retail price for regular gas: $0.27 per gallon

Adjusted for overall inflation (2022 dollars): $3.23

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