AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to the latest report from GasBuddy, yearly national average gas prices for 2023 have been forecasted to drop nearly 50 cents per gallon from 2022.

As noted by GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook released Wednesday, 2023 could see a national yearly average gas price of around $3.49/gallon. However, a $4 average remains possible ahead of and during the summer driving season, and uncertainty with prices remains as refinery improvements bump up against environmental factors such as the war in Ukraine.

The continued uncertainty led GasBuddy experts to warn customers against having exceptional expectations.

2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, “The national average could reach $4 per gallon as early as May – and that’s something that could last through much of the summer driving season. Basically, curveballs are coming from every direction. Extreme amounts of volatility remain possible, but should become slightly more muted in the year ahead. I don’t think we’ve ever seen such an amount of volatility as we saw this year, and that will be a trend that likely continues to lead to wider uncertainty over fuel prices going into 2023.”

GasBuddy predicted that fuel prices in 2023 will reach their highest around June, with estimated peaks of up to $4.19/gallon on average. Diesel prices were forecasted to average $4.12/gallon, with peaks at the beginning of 2023 and around June.

Continued volatility has remained a theme in the High Plains for the end of 2022 as well. After weeks of reprieve over the holiday season, Amarillo gas prices rose just over 7 cents heading into the last week of December. While the average in Amarillo remained around $2.58/gallon, the national average in comparison saw a drop over nearly 5 cents.

Highlights from the GasBuddy 2023 Fuel Outlook included:

  • The national average price of gas could cool early in the year and see rises in late winter, bringing prices to the $4 per gallon range by summertime.
    • These fluctuations in price are considered seasonal and often expected. GasBuddy suggested that without “unexpected challenges,” 2023 gas prices could see “normal” seasonal trends such as rising in the spring and dropping after Labor Day.
  • While most major cities in the US may see prices peak around $4 per gallon, some areas of California could experience a price range of around $7 again in the summer of 2023.
  • Americans are predicted to spend around $470.8 billion on gasoline in 2023, down $55 billion from 2022.

As previously noted on MyHighPlains.com, gas prices for specific communities can be helped or harmed by a range of factors, including the distance between suppliers and retailers, retail competition and operating decisions, supply chain disruptions and costs, and gas formulas.

However, even as gas prices remain unpredictable, drivers can still save on gas by comparing local prices, using gas station apps or website, strategizing on when and how to buy, and adjusting driving habits, among other strategies.