Even with no gas tax increase, the American Automobile Association forecasts the national gas price average could be as much as $2.70 a gallon this spring. Americans have not paid that much for gas since summer 2015, when prices hit $2.81. Already, they are paying a quarter more than at the same time last year.
“There is tremendous volatility in the oil and gasoline market,” said AAA spokeswomen Jeanette Casselano. “This spring, consumers may have to make decisions on where they can cut costs to cover gas prices that are potentially 40 cents more per gallon than last spring.
A new AAA survey found that the vast majority of consumers would change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset higher gas prices. One in four consumers say they would start making changes at $2.75, while 40 percent say $3.00 is their tipping point. Nearly three-quarters of respondents say they would drive less, and nearly half say they would drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.
“Motorists will start to see gas prices make their spring spike in early April,” said Casselano. “That is when refinery maintenance is expected to be wrapped up and the switchover to more expensive summer-blend gasoline kicks in, along with warmer weather and typical demand increases.
“Consumers can expect prices to increase throughout April, May and into the start of summer.”Download Bulletin PDF