RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Filling up your tank is emptying your wallet more rapidly these days because gas prices are on the rise.
And the increasing prices are coming at a time when most of us don’t expect gas prices to be going up.
This is not the busy travel season and traditionally gas prices are low.
But, gas prices have been edging up by a few cents a week for months now and drivers have taken notice.
Bob Mack, who recently moved here from California, is aware of the increases.
“They’re going up a little,” he said.
Roger Sharrett of Raleigh agreed prices at the pump are on the way up and said, “I’m glad I have a hybrid.”
According to Triple AAA, unleaded regular is averaging $2.60 a gallon nationwide compared to last year this time when the price nationwide for unleaded regular was $2.26 a gallon.
“They’ve gone up ever since I started driving 15 years ago,” said Will Carter of Wilson. “It’s never going to be like it used to be.”
And the price of gas shows no signs of dropping according to those who follow the industry.
“The price of oil is probably not going to come down quickly,” says Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com.
He predicts the price of gasoline will probably hit $3 dollars a gallon by the busy springtime travel season, with no relief in sight until June or July.
“Three bucks by spring time?” says Irving Lee of Knightdale. “You gotta pay what it is or you aren’t going anywhere.”
The increasing price at the pump puzzles Roger Sharrett.
“I’m not sure what’s causing it. I don’t know the reason,” he said.
Part of the reason is the price of crude.
“The price of oil has remained relatively strong at about 65 and a half dollars a barrel,” says Gasbuddy’s DeHaan.
A year ago, there was a glut of oil sitting in storage tanks. Now, industry analysts, say the U.S. is exporting crude oil and gasoline at record rates which is helping to keep the price of oil high.
For many drivers, the price increases are just something they’ll have to adjust to.
“Take it for what it is, and if you’re going to go somewhere, save up for it,” says Irving Lee.
You best advice, shop around because gas prices vary widely.
This link to GasBuddy is one resource you can use to help find the lowest gas prices in your area.