NYC-area gas prices top $5 ahead of Memorial Day weekend

New York motorists are already paying more than $5 per gallon in some parts of the state as surging oil prices cause more financial pain at the pump ahead of the busy Memorial Day holiday travel weekend.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas hit a record $5.05 in the New York City metro area as of Monday morning – up from a price of $3.18 on the same day one year ago, according to AAA data.

Drivers in White Plains are paying an average of $5.03 per gallon. Prices in metro area throughout the state are hovering near $4.90, with the Duchess-Putnam County area and Kingston within fractions of the $5 threshold.

New York’s statewide average is $4.933 per gallon, outpacing most the country. The national average of $4.596 is the highest ever recorded and an increase of nearly 50 cents compared to one month ago.

“Against a backdrop of gas prices that have continued to set new records ahead of Memorial Day, Americans have been resilient in their desire to hit the road, but we’re certainly seeing increased hesitancy due to rising prices at the pump,” GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan said a blog post about Memorial Day travel.

New York gas prices
Some analysts warn gas prices could hit $6 per gallon across the nation.
Christopher Sadowski

“Soaring inflation has led to uncertainty over rising costs,” De Haan added.

An estimated 34.9 million Americans are expected to make trips by car of 50 or more miles for Memorial Day weekend – an increase of 4.6% compared to last year.

New York gas prices still trail behind those experienced by motorists in California, where the statewide average has jumped above a whopping $6 per gallon. Several other West Coast states are also above $5 per gallon.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted further instability in a global energy market that was already struggling to keep pace with pandemic-era demand. Prices skyrocketed even higher in recent days as the European Union mulls a possible ban on Russian oil shipments and the market braces for increased demand from summer travelers.

Gas prices
New York gas prices are outpacing the record national average.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The US crude oil benchmark hit $111 per barrel on Monday morning. Surging fuel costs are a key factor in driving inflation that hit 8.3% in April, according to Consumer Price Index data.

JPMorgan analysts have warned the national average could hit $6 per gallon by the end of the summer unless conditions improve. American families are reportedly spending at a rate of $5,000 per year just to fill up their car tanks.