- Gas in Texas cost $3.086 per gallon on average in January and February 2023
- Texas also had the second-lowest increase in gasoline prices in a decade.
- California and Hawaii had the highest prices in 2023 at $4,907 and $4,617
A new study found that Texas had the cheapest gas prices in the country so far in 2023, 37 cents per gallon below the national average.
Automobile subscription service Finn found that Texans paid an average of $3,086 for regular gasoline in January and February, below the current national average of $3.40.
Finn’s study found that Texans could drive the farthest on $50 worth of gas, which in Texas would buy about 16.2 gallons and in a Ford F-150 would fuel drivers 356.45 miles.
Trailing Texas for the cheapest gas were Mississippi with an average of $3.124 per gallon, and Oklahoma and Missouri with averages of $3.136 per gallon.
The most expensive states for gasoline were Hawaii, where gasoline averaged $4.907 a gallon, and California, where a gallon averaged $4,617.
Finn’s data noted that Texas ranked sixth in the nation for number of miles driven by residents in a day and for increase in miles driven over 23 years.
“Texas ranks sixth in the United States for daily travel with 17,123 lane miles and is also sixth for an increase in vehicle miles traveled since 2000, at a rate of 49%,” indicates the study.
“That’s 23% more than the national average, which stands at 26%.”
Since the survey was conducted, gasoline prices have fallen even lower in Texas and settled at $2.97 a gallon on Monday. That’s slightly more expensive than Mississippi, which has the cheapest gas in the country at $2.95 a gallon.
Finn’s data also revealed that Texas ranked second in the nation for the lowest gasoline price increase in a decade.
The study noted that in 2013, the average gasoline price in Texas was $2.763 per gallon, making the 2023 average of $3.086 per gallon so far 11.69% over the last decade.
“As mentioned earlier, Texas currently holds the title of state with the lowest gas prices,” the study said. “It is, however, the 11th most congested state with a rate of 58%, which is 11% more than the national average.”
Hawaii and California also brought the end of this list, posting the largest increase in average gas prices over a ten-year period.
California jumped 56.14% from a 2013 average of $2.957 per gallon to a 2023 average of $4.617 per gallon, and Hawaii jumped 57.53% from $3.115 per gallon to $4.907 per gallon.
Finn’s data comes after the United States was plagued by runaway gas prices in 2022, which peaked at an average of $5.01 a gallon in June.
Although prices eventually fell from that staggering high, experts warn that 2023 won’t be entirely a return to cheaper times at the pumps.
“2023 will not be a cakewalk for motorists. It could get expensive,’ Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN in December.
“The national average could top $4 a gallon as early as May — and that’s something that could last for much of the summer driving season,” he added.
GasBuddy project prices will reach a range of $3.52 to $4.05 in May as the summer driving season kicks off and demand increases.
Average gas prices in the United States currently sit at $3.405.
Gasoline prices typically rise in the summer as more Americans hit the road and refiners switch to a more expensive summer formulation intended to reduce air pollution.
GasBuddy does not expect a return to $5 a gallon of gasoline next year.
De Haan told CNN he expects prices to hit $4.25 a gallon in August before falling back to $3 a gallon by the end of the year.
The federal Energy Information Administration released similar projections, with gas prices averaging $3.51 during 2023, down from the $3.99 average in 2022.
Gas prices rise and fall primarily based on the international price of crude oil. For every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, a gallon of gasoline increases by about 20 cents.
Oil prices soared in 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February led to a ban on Russian oil exports. OPEC has also cut production despite pleas from the Biden administration.
Nor has U.S. production returned to record levels reached before the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered many marginal producers amid falling demand.
Beginning in March, Biden withdrew 180 million barrels from the Strategic Oil Reserve, bringing the stock to its lowest level since the 1980s.
The reserve was created after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s to give the United States a supply that could be used in an emergency.
Tapping the reserve is one of the few things a president can do on his own to try to control inflation, which often creates political liability for the party that controls the White House.