Hoosiers hitting the road this holiday weekend may be in for a surprise at the gas pump.
Since January, the price for unleaded gas in Indiana has risen from approximately $2.23 per gallon to $3.10 per gallon, according to AAA. That’s about a full dollar more than this time last year.
Though some might be alarmed at the increasing prices, to Patrick De Haan, spokesperson for GasBuddy, these increases tell “the story of economic improvement.” As the country opens back up, Americans are hitting the road — and buying gas.
An expected 43.6 million Americans will drive to their destination over the holiday weekend, making 91% of holiday travel this year by car, according to AAA. Overall travel is expected to increase 40% from 2020.
“We’re looking at considerably higher demand in July and August than we saw in July and August last year,” said Tom Kloza, who serves as global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service.
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While Hoosiers might notice prices at the gas marquee slowly creeping up this week, De Haan said gas prices in Indiana are increasing at a rate that is relatively on par, if not slightly above, the rest of the country.
Indiana prices have increased by about 94 cents since last July, whereas the national average marked a 93 cent increase, De Haan said.
“By that metric, everything in Indiana is being seen pretty much equally nationally,” De Haan said.
As for month-to-month data, Indiana gas prices have increased by 11 cents in the last month, De Haan said, whereas the national average is seven cents.
But don’t delay your travel plans: De Haan said there’s not a notable change in gas prices per day.
“Anytime’s a good time to leave. There’s not so much that changes that would warrant a delay in people hitting the road.”
Gas prices can vary by location, especially out of state. De Haan said road-trippers can see a price difference of 20 to 40 cents per gallon just by crossing a state line.
“I would just tell people as they take to the road this summer, shop around for those prices no matter where you are,” De Haan said.
Contact IndyStar Pulliam Fellow Claire Rafford at email@example.com or on Twitter @clairerafford.