Be it on the road or in their house, millions of Americans are consuming a huge amount of gas daily, making fuel costs a prominent concern. But, gas prices can vary significantly across different regions due to several factors. That’s why you should learn about the average gasoline cost per month to manage your fuel consumption better. Scroll down to know.
How Much Do People Spend On Gas A Month?
On average, American citizens spend around $150-$200 on gas monthly – about 2.57% of their income each month, totaling $1,800-$2,400 annually. The exact amount varies based on gas type, retail prices, state of residence, driving distance, and personal driving habits.
The average gas price
According to Finder, the national average gas price on October 12th, 2023, was $3.68 per gallon, which marks a notable decrease compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, it is still a huge jump compared to the average price recorded between 2018 and 2020, which never surpassed $3 per gallon.
Each state sets its gasoline price. Certain areas, like California, Nevada, and Washington (until September 2023), charge higher than the national average price. On the other hand, states such as Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi offer more affordable prices for consumers.
Driving distance & habits
American drivers accumulate approximately 1,200 miles per month. However, residents of some states, such as New York or Washington, D.C., only travel 400 miles or fewer. Also, those adopting an aggressive driving habit, like abrupt speed changes or hard braking, will have to pay more since this habit reduces the car’s fuel efficiency.
The choice of gas type
Average Monthly Gas Cost By Vehicle & By State
As mentioned above, fuel costs vary from state to state. New York and Washington D.C. drivers consume little on gas, less than 2% of their monthly income. Conversely, Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming residents spend about four to five times more. Please refer to the table below to identify the top 10 states with the highest gas costs.
|State||Portion of monthly income spent on gas|
Full-size pickups and SUVs require $100-$110 for each gasoline fill-up. In comparison, sub-compact and compact cars are the most fuel-efficient choices for drivers, with monthly gas bills being only half of that. Meanwhile, hybrid models will save the most gas. Check out the table below to learn the comparison between models.
|Type of vehicle||Monthly gas cost|
|Luxury full-size crossover/SUV||$228|
|Full-size pickup truck||$206|
|Luxury high-performance car||$194|
|Midsize pickup truck||$191|
|Luxury midsize SUV/crossover||$184|
|High-end luxury car||$181|
|Luxury sports car||$171|
|Luxury compact crossover/SUV and Sport car||$164|
|Sport compact car||$155|
|Entry-level luxury car||$147|
|Luxury subcompact crossover/SUV and Minivan||$142|
|Hybrid/Alternative energy car||$76|
Why Is Your Average Cost Of Gas Per Month So High?
Many factors affect your fuel cost, but if you notice you have to pay more than normal, the 5 reasons below could be the case.
Poor or incorrect motor oil
The engine oil type and quality determine energy efficiency and overall performance. Using the wrong viscosity or low-quality oil results in heat buildup and excessive gas usage. It’s best to change your oil every 5,000 – 7,000 miles, or it will deteriorate in quality.
Worn-out tires often lose grip and require more energy to respond to steering movement. Similarly, low tire pressure or incorrect wheel alignment causes extra rolling resistance, resulting in higher costs for gas.
Engine problems are considered some of the most serious issues affecting the fuel economy and the performance of the vehicle. For instance, dirty or worn oxygen sensors or fuel injectors lead to inefficient fuel consumption.
Carrying excessive weight in your vehicle strains the engine, leading to decreased gas mileage. Accessories or additional features also consume more energy, further contributing to increased fuel usage.
As mentioned, aggressive driving, like rapid acceleration or frequent braking and speeding, wastes more fuel. Frequent short trips, particularly those under 5 km, are just as devastating since the engine does not reach its optimal operating temperature.
Tips To Save On Your Gas Bills
Here are some essential tips & tricks to help you cut down on your gasoline costs:
- Take advantage of loyalty programs at gas stations or promotions of credit cards.
- Turn off the AC and put the windows down when you are in town.
- Maintain regular vehicle maintenance.
- Adopt fuel-efficient driving habits, such as maintaining a steady speed, using cruise control, accelerating gently, etc.
- Avoid unnecessary idling.
- Opt for efficient routes to minimize the traveling distance and avoid traffic congestion.
- Consider using fuel-efficient car models or alternative transportation.
Are Gas Prices Going Up Or Down?
The current gas prices decrease at the beginning of October 2023. However, it is difficult to conclude accurately because the market changes continuously.
Which States Are Cheapest To Buy Gas Now?
According to Finder, as of October 12th, 2023, Mississippi and Georgia are the cheapest places to buy gasoline, with an average price of $3.12 and 3.10, respectively.
Since gas prices continue to fluctuate, it is crucial to monitor the average cost of gas monthly so you can adjust your driving habits or switch to alternative transportation options to save more money. Regardless, staying informed about the gasoline price assists you in making better choices to manage your budget.