SAN ANTONIO – After a nickel-plus spike at the pump in time for holiday road trips, drivers can expect the new year to ring in lower prices in the coming weeks, according to industry analysts.
“Gas prices across the state increased after a record amount of travel volume for the year-end holiday period,” said Joshua Zuber, AAA Texas spokesperson. “However, market analysts suggest gas prices could decrease following the holidays.”
That’s good news for David Tillmutt, who fills up his minivan twice a week.
“I put on 120 miles a day going back and forth to work,” he said.
His hefty commute should get cheaper in the weeks ahead. Analysts at GasBuddy.com say pump prices are likely to cruise downward, hitting their lowest of 2020 in February.
But come spring, prices are expected to do their usual U-turn as refineries switch to pricier summer blends. GasBuddy’s fuel forecast says prices could peak for the year in May to as high as $2.80 a gallon locally. That’s just in time for summer vacations and less expensive than much of the country.
As prices fluctuate, consumers can save money by using apps to help locate the best prices.
GasBuddy says the average price of 2020 will likely be $2.60 a gallon nationwide, a couple of cents less than 2019. Because of the strong economy, families are expected to drive more this year, but rising U.S. oil production should keep consumer pump prices in check.
The average U.S. household is expected to spend $1,935 to fill up their tanks this year.
“A good part of my paycheck goes to gas,” said driver Alexandria Soto.
Gas prices can be difficult to predict because they are subject to change by events such as weather and the election.