What drivers can expect to spend at the gas pump in 2023

This year has been a rough one at the gas pump and while drivers can expect to pay less early on in 2023, prices are expected to rise later in the winter, back to around $4 a gallon in time for the summer months.

The national average for regular gas is expected to drop to $3.49 a gallon, about 50 cents less than this year‘s average, according to GasBuddy, an online database that tracks prices throughout the U.S. The federal government has released similar predictions.

The highest daily average in D.C. for 2023 is expected to be somewhere between $4.45 and $4.90 per gallon.

Overall, the average amount spent on gas for the year will drop by an estimated $470.8 billion in 2023, down $55 billion from this year, translating to a savings of about $277 for each household.

“2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” said Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis. “Basically, curveballs are coming from every direction. Extreme amounts of volatility remain possible, but should become slightly more muted in the year ahead.”

De Haan said GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Price Outlook points to a “high level of uncertainty” in 2023, “making an accurate forecast very challenging.”

Among those challenges are COVID-19 restrictions in China, recession concerns and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“While it’s highly improbable that lightning strikes the same spot twice, the storm clouds over oil and refined markets may persist and there still could be some spikes as the market remains somewhat tight,” De Haan said.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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