Americans drove less, spent more on gas in 2011

Hank Silverberg,

WASINGTON — Does it seem like you drove less and paid more in 2011?

Americans drove 222.3 billion miles by September of this year, almost 30 billion fewer miles more than 2010. It also cost more.

AAA says by the time the year ends next week, the average American household will have spent $4,155 on gas this year, $840 more than in 2010.

Next year could be even more expensive.

The average price for gas in the D.C. metro region for the year was $3.53 for a gallon of unleaded regular.

That’s 75 cents higher than the average in 2010 and $1.21 higher than 2009. It’s also the the highest on record for Christmas week.

The auto club is predicting prices will bottom out around Groundhog Day on Feb 2, but move to as high as $4.00 a gallon by late spring.

Despite the higher prices, two million Washington area residents are driving on holiday trips this year. That’s a 2.1 percent increase over 2010.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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