The states with the highest and lowest gasoline prices
Due to the current cost of living crisis, we’re seeing prices rising everywhere, including food,
bills and fuel. With cars becoming more expensive to run, people are searching for
alternative ways to keep their costs down, such as car subscriptions, where everything (with the exception of fuel) is included in the price.
Fuel prices vary massively around the world and even within the United States itself,
depending on which state you live in. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the current
average gas prices in each US state to determine which state has the best value for fuel in
2023 and which state has seen the highest increase in gas prices over the last 20 years.
Additionally, we’ve also looked into how far you can travel in each state with $50 on gas,
revealing where in the country you can travel the furthest for your money.
You can find the cheapest gas price in Texas, where the average cost is $3.086 per gallon. The state which is the second-largest by both area and population has gas prices that are around $0.37 cheaper than the national average. Across the US, Texas ranks sixth for daily travel with 17,123 lane miles and is also in sixth place for an increase in vehicle miles of travel since 2000, with a rate of 49%. This is 23% higher than the national average, which stands at 26%.
The state with the second cheapest gas price is Mississippi, with an average cost of $3.124 per gallon. There are four states that border Mississippi - Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee - all of which have higher gas prices. Since 2000, the residents of Mississippi have increased their miles of travel by 45%, which is 19% higher than the national average. Mississippi currently has the second-largest traffic-related death rate in the US, with over 300 fatalities in the first half of 2022.
Oklahoma has the third cheapest gas prices, with an average cost of $3.136 per gallon. Of the six states that border Oklahoma, only Texas has cheaper gas prices. Regular gas in Missouri also has an average price of $3.136, however, prices of other types of gas, such as diesel, tend to be higher in Missouri than they are in Oklahoma. Across the US, Oklahoma currently ranks 16th for the states with the worst interstate road pavement conditions, sitting at 4%. Missouri currently ranks 10th for the states with the most structurally deficient bridges, sitting at 5%.
There are only four states that surpass the four-dollar mark for regular gas, with the most expensive being found in Hawaii. Residents of the volcanic island are paying an average price of $4.907 per gallon of gas, which is $1.821 more expensive than Texas. Hawaii is currently at the top of the list for the states with the worst interstate road pavement conditions, sitting at 23%. This is 20% higher than the national average.
The second most expensive gas can be found in the sunshine state of California, with an average price of $4.617 per gallon. California’s three bordering states - Oregon, Nevada and Arizona - all have cheaper gas prices. The state is known for having the worst traffic in the US with a congestion rate of 87%, as well as the busiest roads, based on 20,957 lane miles per day.
Washington has the third highest gas prices, with an average price of $4.137 per gallon. Residents of the state will pay approximately $0.68 more than the national average. The residents of Washington travel 16,251 lane miles per day, just over 1,500 miles more than the national average. During the first nine months of 2022, almost 600 people died as a result of traffic-related accidents in Washington. This is more than a 20% increase compared to the same period from the previous year.
New Hampshire has had the smallest increase in gas prices over the last 10 years, increasing from $3.058 to $3.377 per gallon of fuel and rising by just 10.43%. Although New Hampshire was the third most expensive state for gas in 2013, the price has only risen by $0.319 since then. The state is currently the 15th most congested in the US, with a rate of 54%. This is also 7% higher than the national average.
Following closely behind is the state of Texas, where gas prices rose by just $0.323, increasing from $2.763 in 2013 to $3.086 in 2023. This is a rise of 11.69%. As previously mentioned, Texas is currently holding the title for the state with the lowest gas prices. It is, however, the 11th most congested state with a rate of 58%, which is 11% higher than the national average.
The state with the third smallest gas price increase over the last 10 years is Kentucky, increasing by 12.09& and from $2.804 to $3.143 per gallon. Kentucky is currently the fifth cheapest state for average gas prices. It is also the 17th most congested state, with a rate of 51%. Residents of the state travel 14,404 lane miles per day, which is actually 338 miles less than the national average.
Hawaii has had the biggest increase in gas prices over the last 10 years, rising from $3.115 to $4.907 per gallon of fuel. This is a significant increase of 57.53%. In 2013, Hawaii had the second-highest average gas prices in the country and the state now sits at the top of the list. Residents of Hawaii travel 17,864 lane miles per day, which puts them in third place. This is over 3,000 miles higher than the national average.
Following closely behind is the state of California, where gas prices rose from $2.957 in 2013 to $4.617 in 2023. This is an increase of 56.14%. In 2013, California was the fourth most expensive state for gas and has since jumped two places to the second most expensive state. The residents of California are also traveling the most lane miles per day, with a figure of 20,957. This is 6,215 miles over the national average.
The state with the third biggest gas price increase is Washington, rising from $2.825 in 2013 to $4.137 in 2023. This is an increase of 46.44%. Even though Washington was only the seventeenth most expensive state for gas in 2013, it is now the third most expensive, with prices increasing by $1.132. It is also the 10th most congested state with a rate of 58%, which is also 11% higher than the national average.
Arizona has had the smallest increase in gas prices over the last 20 years, going from $1.167 to $3.508 per gallon of fuel, increasing by 200.60%. Back in 2003, Arizona was the fourth most expensive state for fuel. It is now the fourteenth most expensive state. Residents of Arizona travel 15,016 lane miles per day, which is 274 miles more than the national average.
The state with the second smallest increase in gas prices is Alaska, rising from $1.236 in 2003 to $3.776 per gallon of fuel in 2023. This is an increase of 205.50%. Despite seeing a big price increase from 2003 to 2013, the price of gas increased by less than $0.50 between 2013 and 2023. In 2020, there were 64 traffic fatalities in the state of Alaska. This is a slight decrease from 67 fatalities in the previous year, with speed-related deaths decreasing from 29% in 2019 to 23% in 2020.
Montana has seen the third smallest increase in gas prices since 2003, going from $1.031 to $3.245 per gallon of fuel, with an increase of 214.74%. The state has had a smaller price increase than all four of its neighboring states. Montana currently ranks 14th for the states with the most structurally deficient bridges, sitting at 4%. Residents of the state have also increased their miles of travel by 34% since 2000.
Colorado has had the biggest increase in gas prices, going from $0.993 to $3.927 per gallon of fuel over the last 20 years, increasing quite significantly by 295.47%. The state currently has the fifth most expensive gas prices in the country. Colorado residents have increased their miles of travel by 53% since 2000, which is 27% higher than the national average. They also travel 17,702 lane miles per day, which puts the state in fourth place.
The state with the second biggest increase in gas prices is Washington, rising from $1.051 to $4.137 per gallon of fuel. This is an increase of 293.63%. Since 2003, Washington has consistently been one of the most expensive states for fuel. It is also the 12th worst state for road pavement conditions, with a figure of 5%, and ninth for the most structurally deficient bridges, sitting at 5% as well.
Following closely behind Washington is Hawaii, where gas prices have risen from $1.247 to $4.907 per gallon of fuel over the last 20 years. This has also increased by 293.50%. This comes as no surprise, as the state currently holds the title for having the highest gas prices in the country. Hawaii ranks ninth for the most congested states, with a rate of 60%, which is 13% higher than the national average.
America’s most popular vehicle is the Ford F-150 pick-up truck, a title which it has held for over 40 years. It is the most registered vehicle in 30 of the US states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio. On average, almost 2,500 Ford F-150 trucks are sold each day.
Due to its popularity, the Ford F-150 was the obvious choice to gauge how far you can travel on $50 worth of fuel in each state. A standard F-150 has a low MPG of around 22, though this can vary depending on the exact model, so they do tend to burn through fuel slightly quicker than other cars.
Due to the increase in the price of fuel, US residents are currently getting fewer gallons of fuel for their money, meaning that they aren’t able to travel as far a distance as they previously could on $50. In Texas, you can purchase 16.20 gallons of fuel for $50, which would allow you to travel approximately 356 miles in a Ford F-150. This is about 4 miles more than you would get in the state of Mississippi and 6 miles more than in Missouri.
Due to Hawaii currently having the highest gas prices, $50 will only get you 10.19 gallons of fuel, meaning that the residents of Hawaii will only be able to travel just over 224 miles in a Ford F-150 truck. This is around 14 miles less than in the state of California and approximately 41 miles less than in Washington.
Current average gas prices - we used AAA Gas Prices to discover the current average gas prices across all 50 states. Regular gas was chosen as the type of fuel to study, due to it being the most popular. All prices are accurate as of 6/2/2023.
Price increases - we used EIA to collect the historical gas prices from 2003 and 2013 for each state. Due to there being no overall average figure for the whole year of 2013 for the states of Vermont and New Hampshire, we used the December 2013 average figure and the 2012 annual figure respectively. In order to calculate how many gallons of fuel you can buy for $50 in each state, we divided 50 by the average price of fuel.
Ford F-150 - we used Fuel Economy to find out the MPG of the Ford 2WD 2.7L F-150 pick-up truck. In order to calculate how far you can travel in the Ford F-150 for $50, we multiplied the number of gallons that you could purchase for that price by the MPG of the vehicle.