High gas prices expected to stick around in Virginia, AAA shares ways to save

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re feeling some pain at the pump, you’re not alone. Gas prices are surging across the country, causing drivers to dig deeper into their pockets.

Derric Skinner said with gas prices currently at their highest in eight years, it costs a lot more to fill up his sedan these days. He said his wallet has been taking a beating.

“Probably about a year ago it cost me about $29 or $30 to fill up this tank. Now it costs me $42,” Skinner said.

With prices at the pump jumping eight cents in Virginia in just the past week, the rapidly rising gas prices are cutting into Uber driver Hunter Strong’s bottom line, and his future plans.

“Like at least $50-$60 dollars at tank, that’s a lot. It’s not super helpful for me because I am saving up for college,” Strong said.

Average gas prices per gallon in the Richmond region have increased almost a dollar in a year, with prices currently at $3.36 per gallon compared to $2.43 per gallon this time last year.

“We really have seen them climb sharply,” said Morgan Dean AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson.

Dean said the high price of crude oil is to blame, as it makes up the price of over 50% of what consumers pay at the pump.

According to Dean, tension between Russia and Ukraine combined with optimism due to a drop in omicron cases is driving up the cost of crude oil. These factors are fueling an increased demand for gas, while the supply is tight.

So what can drivers do to save? Dean said for starters, lose the extra baggage.

“Taking weight out of the vehicle will improve your miles per gallon.”

Other ways to save include:

  • Shopping around for the best prices: AAA has an app that can help.
  • Avoid idling: Letting your vehicle idle for over ten seconds uses more gas than shutting it off and restarting.
  • Lastly, drive gently: Aggressive driving and braking wastes gas.

Experts said that there doesn’t appear to be much relief down the road. As long as crude oil prices remain above $90 dollars per barrel, prices will stay high. In addition, gas prices normally surge during spring break and the summer season as demand drives on.

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