Christmas holiday drivers: Gas prices you should expect at the pump

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The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is estimated to fall to $3.25 per gallon on Christmas, according to GasBuddy. 

Since Thanksgiving, prices at the pump have already fallen 10 cents, offering a bit of hope for the tens of millions of holiday drivers expected to hit the road, according to GasBuddy. 

Currently, the national average is $3.312, according to AAA.  

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"We got a Christmas gift that few should complain about: falling gas prices at a time of year when millions of Americans are spending their hard earned dollars on gifts for their loved ones," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said. "The last thing they should have to worry about is expensive gasoline."

It's also the time of year when droves of Americans normally hit the road for holiday gatherings. 

According to AAA, more than 109 million people plan to travel at least 50 miles between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, which is 92% of 2019 levels. A majority of those travelers, about 100 million, plan to travel by car. 

The fuel nozzle in a car at a gasoline pump at the Citgo gas station on Lancaster Ave in Reading, PA. (Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images / Getty Images)

While the drop in price is seen as good news, prices are still relatively high and may even surpass the priciest Christmas on record.  

In 2013, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $3.26, which is just a penny off from GasBuddy's projection for 2021. 

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"While we might scrape by a razor under 2013’s tally of $3.25/gal on Christmas, the good news is prices should continue to moderate heading into the last moments of 2021," De Haan said. 

Earlier this week, De Haan noted that prices at the pump have already been declining in nearly every city nationwide. 

"With the price of crude oil remaining some $13 per barrel below its 2021 peak, we have continued to see gas prices decline in nearly every city coast to coast, a trend that will likely continue into yet another week," said De Haan. 

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