SAN ANTONIO – It’s enough to give drivers whiplash.
Gas prices climbed 15 cents a gallon in the past week. They’re up 59 cents a gallon since Christmas.
“I’ve never, never seen gas go up that high, not on a 24-hour basis. It’s like that fast,” said driver Nigel Bassett. “It’s crazy.”
Why the sudden surge? Analysts point to the arctic blast that crippled some refineries and China reopening after a long COVID-19 shutdown.
But buckle up. There’s more down the road.
“For now, it’s not looking great for motorists,” said Patrick De Haan, chief analyst at GasBuddy. “Late February and early March is really when we see prices accelerate.
He said $4 a gallon gas is a real possibility as refineries undergo spring maintenance and switch to cleaner summer fuels.
Last year was a rough road for drivers as factors, including the Russian invasion on Ukraine, pushed gas to an average $4.68 locally last June.
“I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as last year,” De Haan said. “But, still, we are likely to see a spring surge that — after a taste of those sub-three-dollar prices — it’s going to be a pretty sour taste.”
It’s not what Victor Carreon wants to hear.
“I’m looking for a second job,” he said. “Just with food and gas and everything going up, it’s getting real hard to do things.”
To stretch gas dollars, keep tires properly inflated. Cold weather can cause the air to condense, affecting fuel economy.
Using an app such as GasBuddy, Gas Guru, or AAA can help drivers find the lowest prices near them.
And fill up on Monday. GasBuddy’s data showed that right now in San Antonio, Monday generally is the cheapest day to fill the tank.