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Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 13, 2021) For the first time in almost two years, Philadelphia-area drivers are now paying an average of $3 per gallon at the pump, according to AAA’s gas price site. Pennsylvania’s gas average topped $3 on March 8. The last time the Philadelphia 5-county gas price average was at $3 was on June 1, 2019.

Rising crude prices, tightening gas supplies, and increased gas demand continue to drive pump prices higher and push the lower gas prices drivers saw last year in the rear view mirror,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.”

Since January 1, the gas price average in the Philadelphia 5-county area is up by 42 cents and is 51 cents more than a year ago. Philly gas prices are 25 cents over from the 2020 high price of $2.77 (Jan. 10, 2020). The average price of gas in Pennsylvania is up 47 cents since the beginning of the year and up 51 cents compared to this same time last year.

AAA notes that while all area gas prices have seen increases in recent weeks, Philadelphia drivers are paying more at the pump than their neighbors in South Jersey and Delaware. Pennsylvania drivers pay the second highest gasoline tax in the country (58.7 cents per gallon), behind California (63.05 cents per gallon). New Jersey is fourth highest in the country (50.7 cents) while Delaware ranks 41st with drivers paying 13 cents per gallon in gasoline tax.


Today’s Gas Average

One Month Ago

One Year Ago

2020 High Price






Philadelphia 5-county





New Jersey





South Jersey















How Did We Get to $3?

  • Increased crude oil prices - Pump prices are increasing because crude oil prices (WTI) have surged by more than $7 since the beginning of 2021. Market optimism about crude demand recovery continues to push crude prices higher. As vaccines continue to rollout and optimism grows, the market is likely to continue seeing higher crude prices
  • Refinery issues – Following the massive winter storms that battered refineries along the Gulf Coast in February, refinery utilization had been at an all-time low. As a result, gas prices were pushed higher for multiple weeks.
  • Increased demand – With the winter season behind us, motorists are coming out of hibernation (so to speak) and returning to the roads. Vaccine availability is also playing into increased demand as drivers make plans to venture out.

AAA Tips to Maximize Fuel Economy

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
  • Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
  • Brake and accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
  • Keep luggage off the roof - heading out on a road trip this season? A loaded roof rack affects the vehicle aerodynamics and creates extra drag that reduces fuel economy.
  • Keep up-to-date on vehicle maintenance - be sure to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, and do not ignore vehicle warning lights that indicate something is wrong. Warning lights can signal problems that will greatly decrease a car’s fuel efficiency.

AAA Gas Price Saving Resources

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than 3.2 million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile appss for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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