SAN ANTONIO – Gas prices are zipping through the fast lane, climbing 21 cents in just the past week and approaching new record highs.
While some stations were selling fuel as high as $4.19 a gallon Monday morning, the average locally was $3.93, according to AAA.
“It’s terrible,” said Wayne Trabue. He paid about $87 to fill up his pickup, leaving his wallet running on empty.
“Most of us live paycheck to paycheck,” Trabue said. “Now, everybody is going to be working just to put gas in their vehicles.”
The nickel and dime increases add up.
Compared to last year, drivers with an average 15-gallon tank are paying about $21 more every time they fill up.
“The increase is ridiculous,” said Ed Custovio. He was topping off his Tahoe, which isn’t cheap.
“I know,” he said. “We have two. We try to run the one that’s less consuming.”
Drivers who need diesel are facing sticker shock. It’s hit a new local record of $5.29 gallon. It’s a price that will impact the cost of trucking most products that people buy.
Why the sudden surge? Analysts says it’s basic supply and demand and on a global scale.
“You’ve got a lot of countries that have sanctioned Russian oil or have proposed to not purchase Russian oil, so you’ve got a tighter supply,” said Josh Zuber with AAA Texas.
That comes as people are driving more and demand is surging.
“Anticipation for travel coming up this summer is going to be very strong,” Zuber said.
In March, local gas prices hit records hovering at the $4 mark. Now, that record could be in the rearview mirror.
“Certainly in the San Antonio area, we could be flirting with that record territory, perhaps even getting past it,” Zuber said. “It’s too early to tell.”
To maximize fuel economy, AAA reminds drivers to keep cars maintained, tires properly inflated and to take it easy on the gas pedal. Jack-rabbit starts waste fuel. Using apps to locate the best prices near you can help, as can using gas reward programs.
As for Custovio, he only put $9 worth of fuel in his SUV. That might get him about 45 miles.