Gas prices drop; Fourth of July travel will be busy despite costs

Hannah Mackay
The Detroit News

Gas prices nationwide and in Michigan are falling from historic highs, but the Fourth of July holiday could ratchet them back up a bit.

While still above the nationwide average of $4.897, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Michigan has come down to $5.049, 11 cents less than last week, according to AAA.

On Monday, the average Michiganian was paying 50 cents more for a gallon of gas than this time last month and $1.95 more than this time last year. More than 4,200 stations in Michigan are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds, according to AAA Michigan.  

4th of July factors

In anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, AAA predicts 47.9 million people will be traveling in the United States this weekend, the most since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

AAA spokesman Howard Hughey said previous year's data indicates gas prices typically increase around the holidays, so travelers may encounter higher prices by the end of the week.

"Around the holidays we do see a slight uptick in gas prices, assuming the price of crude oil remains the same, because of the increased demand due to travel," Hughey said. 

Despite the higher prices, travel across the country is expected to break previous records as 42 million people will drive to their Fourth of July destinations. Air travel is expected to decrease, possibly due to concerns over delayed flights and cancellations

Lower prices across U.S.

The national average price of gas per gallon has also decreased by 8 cents since last week, AAA says. The price decreases are the result of lower crude oil prices, which are set by global supply and demand. Transportation of such oil to a refinery, shipment to local gas stations and federal and state taxes are also reflected in the price of gas at the pump. 

According to AAA, Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and Marquette have the most expensive gas prices in the state, between $5.11 and $5.16, while Traverse City, Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland have the lowest, between $4.94 and $4.96. 

The cheapest prices for the general public in the metro Detroit area can be found on Gas Buddy

Lowest prices

On Monday, the lowest prices in the three Metro Detroit counties were the following, according to AAA Michigan:

Macomb County: $4.77/gallon, Circle K station, 8069 22 Mile, Shelby Township.

Oakland County: $4.83/gallon, Sunoco station, 5990 Williams Lake, Waterford.

Wayne County: $4.49/gallon, Ammex Duty Free, 3400 W Fort, Detroit.