The Future of Gas Prices

When gas prices hovered around the $2.00 mark, even dipping below that in 24 states, a lot of us had reason to applaud. But the applause fades quickly and don’t we want to know the future of gas prices?

A new survey from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found most think gas prices will keep going up and 86 percent of those polled say it’s a reason to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

CFA says consumers expect the national gasoline price average to rise by almost 50 percent in the next two years – from about $2.14 to $3.20 – and by over 80 percent in the next five years – to $3.90.

Woman Pumping Gas

But AAA puts a little perspective on things and points out that “ample gasoline supplies and lower crude oil costs than in recent years should prevent prices from rising as high as in recent memory.”

AAA projects that we’ll continue to pay less than $3.00 a gallon for the rest of 2015.

Gas Price Envy

We may share a little gas price envy. Drivers in Utah, Idaho and Montana paid less than $2.00 a gallon as we wrote this post. The volatility of the oil market will change all of that, we expect.

And that brings us back to CFA and its suggestions for dealing with see-sawing gas prices. The advocacy group cautions us not to rush out and buy gas-guzzling vehicles just because there’s in a dip in prices.

Dr. Mark Cooper, CFA’s Director of Research said, “Buying an inefficient vehicle during periods of low gas prices condemns the consumer to wider swings in monthly costs, much higher monthly peaks, and a whopping overall increase in lifetime gas costs.”

 

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.