Gas Prices Breach $4 Per Gallon

To the surprise of virtually no one, the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline topped $4 per gallon over the weekend. That is the highest price we have seen since 2008 and it shows no signs of easing.

This morning, gas prices bumped up to $4.065 per gallon as recorded by AAA. In one week, prices surged by 40 cents as the impact of the Ukraine War continued. At the same time, the U.S. continues to purchase fuel from Russia, Ukraine’s aggressor. Pressure to drop Russian oil for American crude continues, but the Biden Administration has refused thus far.

gas pumps

Gas Prices: Results Vary

Fuel prices, though, vary widely by region. The highest prices are found on the west coast, Hawaii, Alaska, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. The lowest prices are in the middle of the country, from the Dakotas to Texas.

Besides regular-grade gasoline, AAA tracks other fuel options as well. For consumers who choose midgrade, the average is $4.362 per gallon, while the premium grade is at $4,644 per gallon. Choose E85, which is an ethanol blend, and the average is $3,503 per gallon. However, ethanol is not as efficient as straight gasoline, thus the price difference is erased.

Diesel and an Approaching Record

Diesel remains the highest-cost fuel in the land after premium-grade gasoline. Today’s average is $4.614 per gallon. However, diesel has risen the fastest, surging by more than 60 cents in the past week.

The highest price ever recorded for regular unleaded gasoline was $4.114 on July 17, 2008. On that same date, diesel hit its record too, averaging $4.845 per gallon. Likely, both records will fall with gasoline hitting its highest level first followed by diesel. Analysts predict gasoline will average $5 per gallon in short order. Therefore, diesel fuel may soon approach $6 per gallon.

Saving Fuel

Not everyone can trade in their present ride for a more efficient model right now. For one, availability is limited because of the ongoing semi-conductor chip shortage. Further, the prices of new cars are in record territory as well, therefore many Americans are priced out of the market.

For those planning to hold onto their current rides, there are a few things to consider to save gasoline. We have outlined them as follows.

Choose regular grade.

In most cases, gas-powered cars can run on regular unleaded. The higher grades are required for some models, but optional elsewhere. In some vehicles, a slight loss of horsepower results from choosing a lower grade. Still, the 50 cents or more in savings may translate to $20 or more saved for each fill-up.

Avoid jackrabbit starts.

Inasmuch as it is fun to floor it, this is where fuel efficiency takes a hit. The occasional pedal to the metal is one thing, but if it becomes a habit, those $120 fill-ups will become commonplace. That is no way to help a budget!

Use cruise control.

Steady driving is one way to keep from using too much fuel. On the highway is where most vehicles can achieve the best fuel economy. Depending on the vehicle, a 5 to 10 mpg difference is possible. You can assure the upper end by using cruise control to keep your speed constant. When activated, your engine and transmission do not labor as much. Under full throttle and through various up and down rpm movements, efficiency is lost.

Go light.

If you use your trunk or cargo compartment for storage, that added weight will reduce fuel efficiency. Further, if you have a roof rack, including one that is utilized, expect your fuel economy to drop. High-profile vehicles, huge side mirrors, trucks with caps on the back, and vehicles towing lose out the most.

Fuel Trends

As long as war remains in Europe and if our national fuel policy doesn’t change, consumers can expect to pay high prices for their fuel. That does not bode well for this summer as high prices may hamper vacation plans for millions of Americans.

See AlsoFamily Road Trips: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Image source, Pixabay.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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