If your service-drive volume dips slightly this week because of Fourth of July, don’t fret. Those ROs might jump noticeably next week and beyond.

And rental cars currently in service might be getting quite a holiday workout, too.

AAA projected 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday travel period, which is defined as the nine-day period from June 29 to July 7.

Historically, AAA pointed out, the Independence Day holiday period included only one weekend. This is the first year the Independence Day holiday travel period is a longer timeframe with two weekends included.

As a result, analysts said this year’s projected number of travelers for that stretch is expected to increase 5% compared to 2023 and 8% above 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”

AAA forecasted a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week — that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year.

This year’s prediction also surpassed 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over July 4th week.

Furthermore, AAA car rental partner Hertz said Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the cities displaying the highest rental demand during the holiday week. The busiest pick-up days were projected to be last Friday and Saturday along with the day before Fourth of July.

AAA also mentioned gas prices are lower than last year when the national average was $3.53.

“Pump prices will likely continue going down leading up to Independence Day,” AAA said. “At that point, they will likely level off and remain relatively stable until after Labor Day, similar to last year.

“An important caveat is hurricane season — underway now — which could affect gas prices should a storm negatively impact Gulf Coast oil production and refining centers,” AAA continued.

With consumers expecting to get plenty of windshield time getting to family and friends gatherings, fireworks shows and more, the activity behind the wheel might fuel the recent projections from the Auto Care Association.

The association recently reported that total U.S. light duty aftermarket sales grew by 8.6% in 2023 to $392 billion — surpassing the previous year’s projections of 8.1%.

The organization added that light vehicle growth in 2024 is expected to be at a “robust” 5.9%, with the total light-, medium- and heavy-duty automotive aftermarket now expected to become a $617.3 billion industry by 2027.