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Don’t be surprised if filling your car’s fuel tank at the pump is eating up an increasing portion of your budget.
Amid already rising gasoline prices, the average price you pay per gallon could climb over the next several weeks, according to GasBuddy.com.
In addition to high crude oil prices – which is more than half the price of gas – as demand recovers from a pandemic-induced decline and production remains lower, millions of barrels of refining capacity are now offline due to extreme cold in the half of the US
“Much of the expected increase in gas prices is likely to occur in the coming days,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
The current national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $ 2.58 and could reach between $ 2.65 and $ 2.75 soon. That would place it roughly $ 1 above the $ 1.74 recorded in April 2020 amid falling demand as the pandemic sets in.
Additionally, the cost per gallon also tends to increase in the spring as demand increases and stations switch to cleaner, greener gas for the summer.
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There are ways to save money on gas – beyond things like sticking to the speed limit and avoiding aggressive driving – that could translate into hundreds of dollars a year.
To get started, shop around. Depending on where you live, there can be big price fluctuations between gas stations. And while the price difference per gallon might only be a few cents, it still adds up.
“Too many motorists just walk up to the nearest pump and end up paying too much,” De Haan said.
There can also be marked price differences from state to state. For example, a gas station in Arizona costs $ 1 less than a competitor across the California state line, De Haan said. (The California tax applied per gallon is 82 cents and the Arizona tax is 37 cents.)
Plus, there are apps – including GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and AAA TripTik – that you can use to find the best prices along your route.
It is also worth looking into the loyalty programs, which many large chains have. They’re generally free and can offer pennies per gallon discounts, De Haan said.
However, credit cards that offer discounts on gasoline purchases may not be the best option unless you regularly pay off the card balance.
“If you don’t pay your bill, you end up giving the bank more money than the rebate is worth,” De Haan said. “Cards work if you pay them off, but not if you carry the balance month-to-month.”
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