Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Gas prices top $3 a gallon

chart_gas_101222.top.gif By Charles Riley, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices crossed the milestone $3 mark Thursday for the first time since Oct. 17, 2008, as the national average compiled by motorist group AAA reached $3.013 a gallon.

Prices have risen more than 4% from $2.872 a month ago and are nearly 16% higher than the $2.585 average a year ago, according to the AAA figures.

The cost of gasoline has been climbing steadily since bottoming out at $1.616 in December 2008. However, the average price is down $1.101 -- or 26.7% -- from the record high of $4.114 reported on July 17, 2008.

"On a national average, we've never had Christmas Day with gasoline at three dollars or higher," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service, an energy trade publication based in Wall, N.J.

The rise in gas prices mirrors a rise in crude oil, which passed the $90 a barrel mark on Wednesday. Oil prices haven't settled above $90 a barrel since October of 2008.

The spike in crude has been helped along by a weak dollar, and according to some critics, the Fed's quantitative easing program.

But higher gas prices aren't going to keep motorists off the road this holiday season, according to Troy Green, a national spokesman for AAA.

He said AAA is sticking with its projection that 85.7 million people will travel by car to their holiday destinations, a 3.2% increase over last year.

Prices in Hawaii are the highest in the nation, with a gallon of gas costing $3.636. But this state is an outlier.

Californians pay the most in the lower 48, shelling out $3.275. New York follows, with an average gallon costing $3.262.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia are already paying more than $3 a gallon.

But some states pay far less. Residents of Colorado enjoy the lowest price at $2.755 per gallon.

On its Web site, AAA says the information is gathered by Oil Price Information Service and based on up to 100,000 stations nationwide.

According to a separate report issued by the Oil Price Information Service, drivers are estimated to spend $305 on gasoline in December. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
Nasdaq 5,127.53 11.38 0.22%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
Treasuries 2.23 0.01 0.27%
Data as of 8:58am ET
Company Price Change % Change
HP Inc 12.61 -0.03 -0.24%
Pfizer Inc 32.79 -0.08 -0.24%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 0.00 0.00%
Alcoa Inc 9.32 -0.09 -0.96%
Cisco Systems Inc 27.32 0.08 0.29%
Data as of Nov 27


Nearly six in ten black Americans surveyed by CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation say that they or a close friend or family member have been incarcerated -- and a majority of them come from low-income households. That leaves the many families of inmates in a precarious financial situation. More

BlackBerry says it will not comply with a Pakistani government order to hand over encrypted customer data. More

Hive, a startup funded by the UN, is tasked with getting more Americans engaged with the refugee crisis. More

Shoppers around the country braved the crowds to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. More