DURHAM, N.C (WNCN) — If you’re filling up your tank at a gas station in Durham, chances are you’re paying more for fuel than someone else is paying at a gas station in Raleigh.
According to the American Automobile Association, the average price for a regular gallon of gas on Wednesday in Durham and Chapel Hill was $3.92. That’s 26 cents higher than the average price for a regular gallon of gas in Raleigh, which was $3.66.
“My friends and I are always talking about ‘why are gas prices so much higher in Durham,’” said Fritz Hinz, a resident of Durham. “You go to Mebane, there it’s 20 cents or 30 cents cheaper. You go to Raleigh, there it’s $3.35 a gallon.”
Raykell Lawson said she and her mother have cut down on the number of trips they take to the grocery store in Durham.
“The prices need to come down,” Lawson said. “It’s too high. It’s hard for people to get around, and people have to work.”
Michael Walden is a professor and economist at North Carolina State University. He said there are several factors that can play into why gas is more expensive in Durham and Chapel Hill than in Raleigh.
He said one factor is the average income of the area.
“Chapel Hill clearly has the highest income out of those three towns,” Walden said. “If you’re in a town or area that has higher income, that tends to mean that people will buy more gas and will also be less reactive to higher prices.”
As far as why gas is cheaper in Raleigh, he said its easier for suppliers to get to Raleigh, which can lead to lower prices.
In addition, he said Raleigh has a lot more gas stations than Durham does.
“That puts those stations in competition with each other and that tends to depress prices a little bit,” Walden said.
Drivers in Durham said they just want to see the prices come down.
“We’ve got seniors out here who are trying to live, and it’s pretty tight, their budget is tight,” Lawson said. “They need to lower the prices.”