This can prevent cash on the pump when gasoline costs rise
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You may have already noticed that you are spending more to fill your car’s gas tank.
Don’t be surprised if the price continues to rise.
According to GasBuddy, the national average cost of a gallon of gas has increased by about 18 cents in the past two weeks, due to decreased oil refining capacity during Texas’s extreme cold. Now, increasing demand due to lower oil production and increased crude oil prices – which account for more than half the price of gas – will make a big contribution.
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The current national average for a gallon of regular unleaded product is $ 2.74. That’s $ 1 more than $ 1.74 in April 2020 when the pandemic first hit and demand plummeted, GasBuddy data shows. States with the lowest median prices include Mississippi ($ 2.35), Louisiana ($ 2.37), and Texas ($ 2.39), while the states with the highest median prices include California ($ 3.67), Hawaii (3 , $ 41) and Washington ($ 3.08).
The cost per gallon also tends to rise in the spring when demand increases and stations switch to cleaner, greener gas for the summer.
There are ways to save gas – beyond sticking to the speed limit and avoiding aggressive driving – which could translate into hundreds of dollars a year.
Shop to start with. Depending on where you live, there can be strong price fluctuations between gas stations. And even if the price difference per gallon is only a few cents, it still adds up.
“Too many drivers just drive to the next pump and end up paying too much,” said Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.
There can also be large price differences from one state to the next. For example, a gas station in Arizona is $ 1 less than a competitor on the California state line, De Haan said. (California’s tax per gallon is 82 cents and Arizona’s 37 cents.)
Additionally, there are apps – including GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and AAA TripTik – that can help you find the best prices on your route.
It is also worth looking into loyalty programs that many large chains have. They’re generally free and can offer penny-per-gallon discounts, De Haan said.
However, credit cards that offer discounts on gas purchases may not be the best option unless you routinely pay off the balance on the card.
“If you don’t pay your bill, you end up giving the bank more money than the discount is worth,” said De Haan. “The cards work when you cash them out, but not when you carry the balance with you from month to month.”