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Pump Up the Savings: Drive Down Gas Costs This Summer with UMe 

AAA Forecast: 60.6 Million Americans to Hit the Road for July 4th with Lower Gas Prices


Get ready for a busy travel season, UMe-verse! AAA forecasts that about 60.6 million people will be hitting the road, traveling 50 miles or more, during the week of July 4th. The good news? You’ll probably enjoy lower gas prices compared to last year. AAA predicts prices will keep dropping as we approach the holiday and then level off for the rest of the summer. 

As of June 20, the average gas price in the U.S. is $3.455 per gallon. Though prices have risen 37 cents since the start of 2024, they’ve recently dropped by 14 cents from last month’s average. This is a relief compared to the high prices of 2022 and 2023. 


Why Are Gas Prices Changing? 

  • Driver Demand: This summer, the demand for gas hasn’t picked up as expected. AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross says that gasoline demand has been lower than in 2023, and economic uncertainty might be keeping it down. Normally, gas prices rise in the spring and peak in July. But this year, prices have dropped since Memorial Day.  
  • Summer-Blend Gasoline: In the spring, refineries switch from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline, which costs more to make. Summer-blend gasoline is designed to limit emissions during warmer months when gas evaporates more easily. 
  • Economic Factors: Despite global conflicts, oil prices have been stable. Crude oil, which greatly influences gas prices, fell below $80 a barrel in April and remained there until mid-June. 
  • Inflation: Lower gas prices helped keep the U.S. inflation rate down in May, though gas prices are still 2.2% higher than this time last year. 


How Are Gas Prices Determined?  

Gas prices are influenced by the cost of crude oil, refining costs, and state taxes. Prices at the pump often reflect costs from weeks or months prior, making them slow to respond to market changes.  


Why Are Gas Prices High in California?  

California has the highest gas prices due to several factors: 

  • Strict environmental regulations requiring cleaner but more expensive fuel blends 
  • High state taxes and fees 
  • A reliance on in-state refining, making the state vulnerable to price spikes if local refineries have issues 

Since the 1990s, California has required that its gasoline be specially formulated to reduce emissions. This cleaner fuel blend costs more to produce. Additionally, more than 90% of California’s gasoline is refined within the state. This means that any disruptions at local refineries can cause significant price increases. 

California also has high taxes on gasoline. According to a study by Stillwater Associates, drivers in the state pay about $1.19 per gallon in taxes and fees. 

UMe Pro Tip! Use these apps to find the best gas prices: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/saving-and-budgeting/articles/gas-apps-that-will-save-you-money-at-the-pump   


UMe Credit Union: Your Road Trip Partner  

Before you hit the road, check out what UMe Credit Union has to offer for great financial solutions: 

  • UMe Visa Rewards Credit Card: Earn rewards on all of your travel expenses. 
  • Auto Loans and Refinancing: Enjoy great rates and no payments for 90 days* to make your trip(s) more affordable. 
  • Autoland Car-Buying Service: Find the perfect vehicle for your summer adventures. 


At UMe Credit Union, we’re here to help make your travel plans smoother and more affordable. Our UMe Visa Credit Card offers great rewards for all your purchases, perfect for fueling up during your road trips. Plus, we provide fantastic rates on auto loans and refinancing options to help you save even more. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, check out our Autoland car-buying service for a hassle-free car buying experience. Call or email –– let us support your travel adventures and keep you on the road with ease! Stay informed, save money, and enjoy your summer travels with UMe Credit Union! 

Disclaimer: U matter to Me (to all of us) at UMe — and that’s why we do our best to deliver helpful information on our blog. Please note the following: (1) UMe Credit Union works hard to make certain that the information we post here is as accurate as humanly possible. But as you know, information can change and evolve quickly. While we try to update the blog on a regular basis, the content of some older posts may not be correct or up-to-date. (2) Some destinations on the World Wide Web that we link you to will exist on external websites. UMe Credit Union does not officially endorse any connected sites, nor do/did we compensate or get compensated by any entities to be featured in our posts (unless otherwise noted). (3) Everyone’s situation is unique and we advise you to consult with our personal bankers or your finance, tax, or legal professional for advice individualized to you!