MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Nearly 40% of drivers canceled summer travel plans due to high gas prices

Aug 12, 2023, 6:36 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2023, 9:45 am

Washington most expensive gas: A gas station sign in Poulsbo, Washington, displays a $5.09 price pe...

A gas station sign in Poulsbo, Washington, displays a $5.09 price per gallon. (Photo: Toby Scott via Getty Images)

(Photo: Toby Scott via Getty Images)

The high cost of gas has led to a large number of residents in the state of Washington to cancel their summer travel plans, according to a recently released analysis from the company QuoteWizard.

The firm, which provides an insurance comparison platform, found in its report that 39% of Washington residents have canceled their summer trips, more than the national average of 37%.

Washingtonians are changing their driving habits in general, according to the report, as they are carpooling or combining trips and using public transportation more than national average.

Washington’s carpooling average is 33%, whereas the national average is lower at 27%. The state’s residents are leaning more on public transit as well as 12% have used it, more than the nationwide average of 9%.

QuoteWizard notes that although gas prices peaked in 2021, we still are seeing prices 61% higher than in 2020.

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At the time of the publishing of the QuoteWizard report, the state of Washington’s average gas prices were the highest in the nation. But California has since retaken that title, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). As of Saturday afternoon, the average cost of a gallon of gas in Washington is $5.02. In California, it’s $5.13. Both are are well above the national average of about $3.85.

Looking closer at the state of Washington, drivers are paying an average of over $5.20 per gallon in King County. It’s a bit lower in Snohomish County ($5.07) and Pierce County ($5.05). It slips all the way down to $4.69 per gallon in Spokane County.

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QuoteWizard also reports the overall change in driving habits has led to a decrease in fuel consumption. Drivers are now using 10.5 million fewer gallons of gas daily than in 2021.

But those changes vary by state. Demand has fallen nearly 20% in Vermont and Minnesota, and nearly 10% in 12 other states. In Washington, demand has slipped just 5%.

QuoteWizard said “it analyzed Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Energy Information Administration data to compare motor-fuel use with licensed drivers and population in each state from 2019 to 2022.”

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Report: Nearly 40% of drivers canceled summer travel plans due to high gas prices