HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — There’s a new record for gas prices in North Carolina.
On Friday, it was $4.66 per gallon. For months now, people have cringed watching the numbers roll higher and higher at gas pumps. They’re trying to get creative as they balance their budgets with the price of gas.
Gas station employees at the Pop Shoppe in High Point said they’re seeing more people choose to just put some gas in their vehicles instead of filling up their tanks all the way.
They see drivers return every few days, putting $5 to $20 worth of gas in their tanks just to get by.
“Just getting a little gas to take care of some other odds and ends,” said Albert Williams, who lives in Jamestown. “The only thing I can do for right now.”
Williams is spending lots of money and time at gas stations these days filling up his 1977 truck.
“It drinks gas like somebody’s pouring water in a tub,” he said.
With prices in the Greensboro area as high as $4.79 per gallon, Williams never fills up in one stop.
“I have to put in 10 here, 10 there,” he said. “$10 every two days, maybe three.”
The record-breaking prices have caused a lot more drivers to take this approach and squeeze the last drops out of their tanks before filling up again.
“They’re just pushing it to the limit, trying to get where they can for every penny that they’ve put in their tank,” said William Angel, manager at All Over Towing in Kernersville.
The choice has tow truck drivers like Angel responding to more stranded vehicles. He used to get less than 10 calls per week. Now, he’s averaging 20 to 30 calls for people running out of gas.
“You hate it because you know it’s a hard time right now,” he said. “I really can’t afford my gas right now so I’m trying to get where I can with what I have.”
When he and his crew are called out, they put about a gallon of gas in an empty tank to get a driver to the nearest gas station.
“It’s going to be harder for us to get to you quickly because everybody is running out of gas,” Angel said.
You could be stuck on the side of the road for 45 minutes. If you’re following Williams’ lead of filling up a little at a time, make sure to keep an eye on the gas light.
“This is just the habit I’ve fell into,” Williams said.
Tow truck drivers are also seeing people having mechanical issues with their vehicles after letting their fuel level get too low.
It’s recommended to have at least a quarter of a tank of gas at all times if you can.