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Cost of gas the year you started driving

  • Cost of gas the year you started driving
    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.

  • 1937
    2/ Rob // Flickr

    1937

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

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

  • 1938
    3/ dok1 // Flickr

    1938

    Absolute gas price: $0.18

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

  • 1939
    4/ Missouri State Archives // Flickr

    1939

    Absolute gas price: $0.17

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

  • 1940
    5/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1940

    Absolute gas price: $0.16

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

  • 1941
    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)

  • 1942
    7/ Klaus Nahr // Wikicommons

    1942

    Absolute gas price: $0.18

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

  • 1943
    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)

  • 1944
    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)

  • 1945
    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)

  • 1946
    11/ Jet Lowe // Wikicommons

    1946

    Absolute gas price: $0.19

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

  • 1947
    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)

  • 1948
    13/ Rob // Flickr

    1948

    Absolute gas price: $0.24

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

  • 1949
    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)

  • 1950
    15/ Bruce Robinson // Wikicommons

    1950

    Absolute gas price: $0.25

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

  • 1951
    16/ Wystan // Flickr

    1951

    Absolute gas price: $0.26

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

  • 1952
    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)

  • 1953
    18/ Francisco Diez // Wikicommons

    1953

    Absolute gas price: $0.28

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

  • 1954
    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)

  • 1955
    20/ Ronnie // Wikicommons

    1955

    Absolute gas price: $0.29

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

  • 1956
    21/ army.arch // Flickr

    1956

    Absolute gas price: $0.30

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

  • 1957
    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)

  • 1958
    23/ Toronto History // Wikicommons

    1958

    Absolute gas price: $0.31

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

  • 1959
    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)

  • 1960
    25/ Unknown // Wikicommons

    1960

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

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

  • 1961
    26/ Alexandra Studio // Wikicommons

    1961

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

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

  • 1962
    27/ White House Archives

    1962

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

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

  • 1963
    28/ CZmarlin // Wikicommons

    1963

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

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

  • 1964
    29/ Craig Howell // Flickr

    1964

    Absolute gas price: $0.32

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

  • 1965
    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)

  • 1966
    31/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1966

    Absolute gas price: $0.34

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

  • 1967
    32/ manhhai // Flickr

    1967

    Absolute gas price: $0.35

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

  • 1968
    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)

  • 1969
    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)

  • 1970
    35/ Keystone Features/Getty Images

    1970

    Absolute gas price: $0.36

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

  • 1971
    36/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1971

    Absolute gas price: $0.37

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

  • 1972
    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)

  • 1973
    38/ Orange County Archives // Flickr

    1973

    Absolute gas price: $0.41

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

  • 1974
    39/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1974

    Absolute gas price: $0.55

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

  • 1975
    40/ Lyntha Scott Eiler // Wikicommons

    1975

    Absolute gas price: $0.59

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

  • 1976
    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)

  • 1977
    42/ David Falconer // Wikicommons

    1977

    Absolute gas price: $0.66

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

  • 1978
    43/ Unknown // Wikicommons

    1978

    Absolute gas price: $0.67

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

  • 1979
    44/ Warren K. Leffler // Wikicommons

    1979

    Absolute gas price: $0.90

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

  • 1980
    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)

  • 1981
    46/ Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons

    1981

    Absolute gas price: $1.38

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

  • 1982
    47/ Enar Nordvik // Wikicommons

    1982

    Absolute gas price: $1.30

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

  • 1983
    48/ Steven C. Price // Wikicommons

    1983

    Absolute gas price: $1.24

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

  • 1984
    49/ Ben Brooksbank // Wikicommons

    1984

    Absolute gas price: $1.21

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

  • 1985
    50/ Corley Services

    1985

    Absolute gas price: $1.20

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

  • 1986
    51/ Phillip Pessar // Flickr

    1986

    Absolute gas price: $0.93

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

  • 1987
    52/ Eric Chan // Wikicommons

    1987

    Absolute gas price: $0.95

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

  • 1988
    53/ Dirtyharry667 // Wikicommons

    1988

    Absolute gas price: $0.95

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

  • 1989
    54/ Joehawkins // Wikicommons

    1989

    Absolute gas price: $1.02

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

  • 1990
    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)

  • 1991
    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)

  • 1992
    57/ Ed Schipul // Flickr

    1992

    Absolute gas price: $1.13

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

  • 1993
    58/ Fuel Forecourt

    1993

    Absolute gas price: $1.11

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

  • 1994
    59/ Anthony Inswasty // Wikicommons

    1994

    Absolute gas price: $1.11

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

  • 1995
    60/ Wikicommons

    1995

    Absolute gas price: $1.15

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

  • 1996
    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)

  • 1997
    62/ TheJosh // Wikicommons

    1997

    Absolute gas price: $1.23

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

  • 1998
    63/ Coolcaesar // Wikicommons

    1998

    Absolute gas price: $1.06

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

  • 1999
    64/ Tyndall.af

    1999

    Absolute gas price: $1.17

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

  • 2000
    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)

  • 2001
    66/ 127driver // Wikicommons

    2001

    Absolute gas price: $1.46

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

  • 2002
    67/ Franco Folini // Flickr

    2002

    Absolute gas price: $1.36

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

  • 2003
    68/ Lunarsurface // Wikicommons

    2003

    Absolute gas price: $1.59

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

  • 2004
    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)

  • 2005
    70/ Pxhere

    2005

    Absolute gas price: $2.30

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

  • 2006
    71/ Coolcaesar // Wikicommons

    2006

    Absolute gas price: $2.59

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

  • 2007
    72/ Carolyn Coles

    2007

    Absolute gas price: $2.80

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

  • 2008
    73/ Wikicommons

    2008

    Absolute gas price: $3.27

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

  • 2009
    74/ Edwards.af

    2009

    Absolute gas price: $2.35

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

  • 2010
    75/ Naotake Murayama // Wikicommons

    2010

    Absolute gas price: $2.79

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

  • 2011
    76/ Daniel Christensen // Wikicommons

    2011

    Absolute gas price: $3.53

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

  • 2012
    77/ Anthony92931 // Wikicommons

    2012

    Absolute gas price: $3.64

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

  • 2013
    78/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2013

    Absolute gas price: $3.53

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

  • 2014
    79/ Richard Hurd // Flickr

    2014

    Absolute gas price: $3.37

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

  • 2015
    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)

  • 2016
    81/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2016

    Absolute gas price: $2.14

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

  • 2017
    82/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    2017

    Absolute gas price: $2.41

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

  • 2018
    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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