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What Was the Highest Gas Price in US History?

·1 min read
Ronira / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ronira / Getty Images/iStockphoto

American drivers had it rough back in 1981. The average price of gasoline spiked to $1.353 a gallon that year — up from $1.221 in 1980 and more than double the price just three years earlier. Adjusted for inflation, the average price of gas in 1981 would have equaled $2.421 a gallon in 2020.

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To which drivers in 2022 can only say: Give us that deal! If only life were like that.

As it stands, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States right now is $4.865, according to AAA. That’s a new all-time high not only on a national level but in all 50 states. The new high eclipses the previous record of $4.103 set in 2008.

Prices are continuing to move much higher because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, especially as the EU, whose consumption of Russian oil is around 40% of overall use, announced a speed up in the transition to alternative sources and fuels. As GOBankingRates previously reported, U.S. gas prices have gone up more than 45 cents per gallon since the conflict began.

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California Gas Prices Are Now Higher Than Federal Minimum Wage

Older drivers will remember a time when $5-a-gallon gas sounded like the stuff of science fiction. The average national price for a full year didn’t even push about $2 a gallon until 2005, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator website. Prior to 2021, the yearly average exceeded $3 a gallon only five times: in 2008 and from 2011 to 2014.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What Was the Highest Gas Price in US History?