Traveling for Memorial Day? Here’s how much you’ll pay for gas across Arizona

According to AAA Arizona, the average price in Phoenix is higher than the national average at $4.81.
According to AAA Arizona, the average price in Phoenix is higher than the national average at $4.81.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 12:31 PM MST|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 8:32 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Are you flying or driving this Memorial Day weekend? You’re not alone. AAA Arizona predicts about 890,000 Arizonans will either drive or fly this holiday weekend. That’s up about 7% from last year.

How much will a gallon of gas cost you this holiday weekend across Arizona? Here are the latest averages from AAA Arizona:

  • Scottsdale: $5.05
  • Phoenix: $4.80
  • Flagstaff: $4.29
  • Prescott: $4.21
  • Lake Havasu $4.01

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is about $4.89 and San Diego is $4.86. Arizona’s Family spoke with Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy about why Phoenix prices are so high.

“Part of the problem is number one, Arizona has it’s own regulations on the type of gasoline required,” said De Haan. “Number two, pipelines have not expanded as the population has so there’s only a finite amount of room to bring that gasoline into the market.”

Millions are expected to travel for the holiday weekend even amid high gas prices, flight costs and inflation.

“Refineries that feed into Arizona from the eastern area, Texas and New Mexico, they had been doing maintenance. Supply challenges, regulations all make it particularly bad in Arizona,” he added. “Those refineries will be going online in the next couple of weeks and supply is slowly starting to go up.”

The good news is De Haan predicts prices will go down, barring any serious threats like refinery outages, hurricanes, and pipeline issues. “By July 4th, prices could be 35 to 65 cents lower than where they are today,” De Haan said. “That’s if nothing new happens. So I am cautiously optimistic that we should see the worst that we see for the year in Phoenix.”

If you are looking to save money, De Haan suggests slowing down, shopping around, and signing up for free loyalty programs. “Most cars the sweet spot is between 60 and 65 MPH,” he told Arizona’s Family this week. “I’ve tried it. It’s not fun going a little slower, but your fuel efficiency can increase 15 to 25%.”