May 26, 2023 - News

Memorial Day gas prices are cheaper than last year in Nashville

Data: GasBuddy; Note: Price as of the first of each month; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nashville-area drivers have paid an average of $3.22 per gallon of regular gasoline in May, compared to $4.32 a year ago.

Why it matters: Prices remain higher than pre- and mid-pandemic levels. But they're still well below last year's numbers heading into Memorial Day weekend and the travel-heavy summer season.

Zoom in: Tennessee is expected to set new records for travel during the holiday weekend, according to estimates from AAA.

By the numbers: AAA expects more than 882,000 Tennesseans will travel at least 50 miles this weekend, which exceeds pre-pandemic numbers.

  • About 751,000 of those travelers are expected to drive, an increase of 40,500 over 2022.
  • AAA spokesperson Megan Cooper said that, while gas prices may fluctuate during the busy holiday weekend, they aren't expected to be anywhere near last year's prices.

The big picture: The nationwide average price per gallon of regular gasoline has been $3.53 throughout May 2023, compared to $4.60 a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

Flashback: Gas prices set record all-time highs last year amid a broader inflation crisis, and driven in part by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which destabilized global energy markets.

Between the lines: The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency waiver last month allowing the summertime sale of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol in a bid to suppress prices.

  • So-called E15 gas is typically avoided in summer due to smog concerns.

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