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Cost of gas the year you started driving

  • David Falconer // Wikicommons
    1/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    Cost of gas the year you started driving

    Since the introduction of Henry Ford’s Model T in the early 20th-century, cars and driving have become synonymous with American industry and culture. With over 800 cars on the road for every 1,000 Americans, our wheels have become more than just a way to get from A to B, but a way to shape and define our identity. But for nearly every mile driven, American consumers find themselves inextricably linked to a complex global commodity that can have major impact on the cost of crusing—that being fuel. While gasoline prices have been relatively reasonable as of late, it wasn’t long ago that Americans were trading in their H2 Hummers to avoid paying exorbitantly high gas prices, let alone waiting in line for hours at the pump in times of severe shortages.

    So how has the price of gas changed throughout the years? To see when fuel was dirt cheap, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gas throughout the last 82 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976-2018 along with the CPI for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937-1976, including both the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

    Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

  • Rob // Flickr
    2/ Rob // Flickr

    1937

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.22 (#10 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • dok1 // Flickr
    3/ dok1 // Flickr

    1938

    Absolute gas price: $0.18

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.18 (#13 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Missouri State Archives // Flickr
    4/ Missouri State Archives // Flickr

    1939

    Absolute gas price: $0.17

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.95 (#16 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Orange County Archives // Flickr
    5/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1940

    Absolute gas price: $0.16

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.69 (#29 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Kulsea, Bill; Shawver, Tom // Wikicommons
    6/ Kulsea, Bill; Shawver, Tom // Wikicommons

    1941

    Absolute gas price: $0.17

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.67 (#30 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Klaus Nahr // Wikicommons
    7/ Klaus Nahr // Wikicommons

    1942

    Absolute gas price: $0.18

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.66 (#31 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The U.S. National Archives
    8/ The U.S. National Archives

    1943

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.54 (#48 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane // Flickr
    9/ Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane // Flickr

    1944

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.42 (#56 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The U.S. National Archives
    10/ The U.S. National Archives

    1945

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.29 (#60 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Jet Lowe // Wikicommons
    11/ Jet Lowe // Wikicommons

    1946

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.22 (#64 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons
    12/ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons

    1947

    Absolute gas price: $0.21

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.39 (#57 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Rob // Flickr
    13/ Rob // Flickr

    1948

    Absolute gas price: $0.24

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.54 (#49 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Bureau of Public Roads // Wikicommons
    14/ Bureau of Public Roads // Wikicommons

    1949

    Absolute gas price: $0.25

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.63 (#36 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Bruce Robinson // Wikicommons
    15/ Bruce Robinson // Wikicommons

    1950

    Absolute gas price: $0.25

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.57 (#44 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Wystan // Flickr
    16/ Wystan // Flickr

    1951

    Absolute gas price: $0.26

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.45 (#55 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • NRMA Motoring and Services // Wikicommons
    17/ NRMA Motoring and Services // Wikicommons

    1952

    Absolute gas price: $0.26

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.46 (#53 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Francisco Diez // Wikicommons
    18/ Francisco Diez // Wikicommons

    1953

    Absolute gas price: $0.28

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.60 (#39 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Los Angeles Daily News // Wikicommons
    19/ Los Angeles Daily News // Wikicommons

    1954

    Absolute gas price: $0.28

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.63 (#35 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Ronnie // Wikicommons
    20/ Ronnie // Wikicommons

    1955

    Absolute gas price: $0.29

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.70 (#26 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • army.arch // Flickr
    21/ army.arch // Flickr

    1956

    Absolute gas price: $0.30

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.75 (#22 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • SMU Central University Libraries // Wikicommons
    22/ SMU Central University Libraries // Wikicommons

    1957

    Absolute gas price: $0.31

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.76 (#21 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Toronto History // Wikicommons
    23/ Toronto History // Wikicommons

    1958

    Absolute gas price: $0.31

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.65 (#33 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • San Francisco Municipal Railway // Wikicommons
    24/ San Francisco Municipal Railway // Wikicommons

    1959

    Absolute gas price: $0.31

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.65 (#32 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Unknown // Wikicommons
    25/ Unknown // Wikicommons

    1960

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.69 (#28 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Alexandra Studio // Wikicommons
    26/ Alexandra Studio // Wikicommons

    1961

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.64 (#34 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • White House Archives
    27/ White House Archives

    1962

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.62 (#37 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • CZmarlin // Wikicommons
    28/ CZmarlin // Wikicommons

    1963

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.59 (#40 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Craig Howell // Flickr
    29/ Craig Howell // Flickr

    1964

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.54 (#47 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons
    30/ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons

    1965

    Absolute gas price: $0.33

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.62 (#38 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Orange County Archives // Flickr
    31/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1966

    Absolute gas price: $0.34

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.58 (#43 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • manhhai // Flickr
    32/ manhhai // Flickr

    1967

    Absolute gas price: $0.35

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.58 (#41 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The Library of Congress // Flickr
    33/ The Library of Congress // Flickr

    1968

    Absolute gas price: $0.35

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.51 (#50 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons
    34/ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration // Wikicommons

    1969

    Absolute gas price: $0.36

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.46 (#52 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Keystone Features/Getty Images
    35/ Keystone Features/Getty Images

    1970

    Absolute gas price: $0.36

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.35 (#58 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • David Falconer // Wikicommons
    36/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1971

    Absolute gas price: $0.37

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.26 (#61 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The Library of Congress // Wikicommons
    37/ The Library of Congress // Wikicommons

    1972

    Absolute gas price: $0.37

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.22 (#65 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Orange County Archives // Flickr
    38/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1973

    Absolute gas price: $0.41

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.29 (#59 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • David Falconer // Wikicommons
    39/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1974

    Absolute gas price: $0.55

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.79 (#19 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Lyntha Scott Eiler // Wikicommons
    40/ Lyntha Scott Eiler // Wikicommons

    1975

    Absolute gas price: $0.59

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.74 (#23 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County // Wikicommons
    41/ Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County // Wikicommons

    1976

    Absolute gas price: $0.61

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.69 (#27 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • David Falconer // Wikicommons
    42/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1977

    Absolute gas price: $0.66

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.70 (#25 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Unknown // Wikicommons
    43/ Unknown // Wikicommons

    1978

    Absolute gas price: $0.67

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.57 (#45 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Warren K. Leffler // Wikicommons
    44/ Warren K. Leffler // Wikicommons

    1979

    Absolute gas price: $0.90

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.10 (#15 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The Library of Congress // Wikicommons
    45/ The Library of Congress // Wikicommons

    1980

    Absolute gas price: $1.25

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.77 (#6 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons
    46/ Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons

    1981

    Absolute gas price: $1.38

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.78 (#4 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons
    47/ Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons

    1982

    Absolute gas price: $1.30

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.35 (#9 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Steven C. Price // Wikicommons
    48/ Steven C. Price // Wikicommons

    1983

    Absolute gas price: $1.24

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.11 (#14 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Ben Brooksbank // Wikicommons
    49/ Ben Brooksbank // Wikicommons

    1984

    Absolute gas price: $1.21

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.91 (#18 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Corley Services
    50/ Corley Services

    1985

    Absolute gas price: $1.20

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.79 (#20 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Phillip Pessar // Flickr
    51/ Phillip Pessar // Flickr

    1986

    Absolute gas price: $0.93

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.11 (#68 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Eric Chan // Wikicommons
    52/ Eric Chan // Wikicommons

    1987

    Absolute gas price: $0.95

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.08 (#70 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Dirtyharry667 // Wikicommons
    53/ Dirtyharry667 // Wikicommons

    1988

    Absolute gas price: $0.95

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.00 (#74 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Joehawkins // Wikicommons
    54/ Joehawkins // Wikicommons

    1989

    Absolute gas price: $1.02

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.06 (#72 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Jonas Jordan, United States Army Corps of Engineers // Wikicommons
    55/ Jonas Jordan, United States Army Corps of Engineers // Wikicommons

    1990

    Absolute gas price: $1.16

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.22 (#63 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Infrogmation of New Orleans // Wikicommons
    56/ Infrogmation of New Orleans // Wikicommons

    1991

    Absolute gas price: $1.14

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.09 (#69 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Ed Schipul // Flickr
    57/ Ed Schipul // Flickr

    1992

    Absolute gas price: $1.13

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.00 (#73 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Fuel Forecourt
    58/ Fuel Forecourt

    1993

    Absolute gas price: $1.11

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.91 (#77 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Anthony Inswasty // Wikicommons
    59/ Anthony Inswasty // Wikicommons

    1994

    Absolute gas price: $1.11

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.87 (#80 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Wikicommons
    60/ Wikicommons

    1995

    Absolute gas price: $1.15

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.88 (#79 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • CLAUDIO ALMARZA/AFP/Getty Images
    61/ CLAUDIO ALMARZA/AFP/Getty Images

    1996

    Absolute gas price: $1.23

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.96 (#75 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • TheJosh // Wikicommons
    62/ TheJosh // Wikicommons

    1997

    Absolute gas price: $1.23

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.92 (#76 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Coolcaesar // Wikicommons
    63/ Coolcaesar // Wikicommons

    1998

    Absolute gas price: $1.06

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.62 (#82 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Tyndall.af
    64/ Tyndall.af

    1999

    Absolute gas price: $1.17

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.75 (#81 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • The Library of Congress // Wikicommons
    65/ The Library of Congress // Wikicommons

    2000

    Absolute gas price: $1.51

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.19 (#66 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • 127driver // Wikicommons
    66/ 127driver // Wikicommons

    2001

    Absolute gas price: $1.46

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.06 (#71 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Franco Folini // Flickr
    67/ Franco Folini // Flickr

    2002

    Absolute gas price: $1.36

    Inflation-adjusted price: $1.88 (#78 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Lunarsurface // Wikicommons
    68/ Lunarsurface // Wikicommons

    2003

    Absolute gas price: $1.59

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.16 (#67 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine // Flickr
    69/ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine // Flickr

    2004

    Absolute gas price: $1.88

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.48 (#51 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Pxhere
    70/ Pxhere

    2005

    Absolute gas price: $2.30

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.93 (#17 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Coolcaesar // Wikicommons
    71/ Coolcaesar // Wikicommons

    2006

    Absolute gas price: $2.59

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.20 (#11 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Carolyn Coles
    72/ Carolyn Coles

    2007

    Absolute gas price: $2.80

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.37 (#8 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Wikicommons
    73/ Wikicommons

    2008

    Absolute gas price: $3.27

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.79 (#3 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Edwards.af
    74/ Edwards.af

    2009

    Absolute gas price: $2.35

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.73 (#24 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons
    75/ Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons

    2010

    Absolute gas price: $2.79

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.19 (#12 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Daniel Christensen // Wikicommons
    76/ Daniel Christensen // Wikicommons

    2011

    Absolute gas price: $3.53

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.91 (#2 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Anthony92931 // Wikicommons
    77/ Anthony92931 // Wikicommons

    2012

    Absolute gas price: $3.64

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.96 (#1 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    78/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2013

    Absolute gas price: $3.53

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.78 (#5 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Richard Hurd // Flickr
    79/ Richard Hurd // Flickr

    2014

    Absolute gas price: $3.37

    Inflation-adjusted price: $3.55 (#7 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine // Flickr
    80/ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine // Flickr

    2015

    Absolute gas price: $2.45

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.58 (#42 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    81/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2016

    Absolute gas price: $2.14

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.23 (#62 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Michael Rivera // Wikicommons
    82/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2017

    Absolute gas price: $2.41

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.46 (#54 most expensive year in 82-year span)

  • Chris Yarzab // Flickr
    83/ Chris Yarzab // Flickr

    2018

    Absolute gas price: $2.56

    Inflation-adjusted price: $2.56 (#46 most expensive year in 82-year span)

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