Cost of Transportation:

Cost of Fuel

This page discusses fuel prices. Fuel prices are a cost to firms that produce transportation services. These firms embed the costs in the price they charge businesses and households. Fuel prices also are a cost to households to operate motor vehicles for their own use.
2021 Year-in-Review
  • Fuel prices—a transportation cost—rose from 2020 to 2021. Jet fuel increased the most at 51.1 percent, followed by on-highway diesel fuel and motor gasoline (all types), which increased by 48.3 and 39.7 percent, respectively. Despite the increase, jet fuel, on-highway diesel, and motor gasoline (all types) prices remain below the peak reached in 2012, by 37 percent, 31.2 percent, and 15.2 percent, respectively.
  • 2020 to 2021 is the largest year over year increase for motor gasoline (all types) and the second largest increase for jet fuel and on-highway diesel since 1990.
  • From 2020 to 2021, states in all areas experienced an increase in motor gasoline prices (all grades and types). The U.S. average motor gasoline fuel price increased 37.3 percent, ranging from an increase of 30.5 percent on the West Coast to 43.6 percent on the Gulf Coast.

Costs to Produce Transportation Services
Sales Price of Fuel by Mode | Sales Price of Fuel by Region
Sales Price of Fuel by Mode
Fuel prices are a cost to firms that carry out their own transportation operations and industries that sell transportation services.
Prices for motor gasoline, on-highway diesel fuel (used by automobiles and trucks), jet fuel kerosene, and railroad diesel typically move together with slight variations. This reflects the underlying price of crude oil from which they are all refined.

Sales Price of Fuel by Mode | Sales Price of Fuel By Region
Sales Price of Fuel By Region
Motor gasoline prices vary substantially across the United States. Prices vary because of state and local taxes, refinery locations, fuel supplies, retail competition, and fuel regulations. The West Coast tends to have the highest gasoline prices in the country because California (one of the states in the West Coast region) requires a unique blend of gasoline to meet environmental regulations.


U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.