While gas prices remain relatively low, they’re higher now than they were last year and that has some consumers concerned about future price hikes.
A new AAA survey finds that nearly a quarter of consumers think that the price at the pump is already too high, and many are planning to change their lifestyle or driving habits in response.
Gas prices at currently at $2.29 per gallon, about 25 cents higher than last year at this time. AAA projects that the national average will go up another 40 cents this summer. Gas prices tend to rise in the spring as the industry wraps up spring maintenance and switches over to summer-blend gasoline.
To offset that price hike, more than 70 percent of consumers say that they’d make a change, including combining errands or trips; driving less; reducing shopping or dining out; delaying major purchases; and carpooling. Younger Americans are less likely to say they’ll make changes than older drivers.
Still, more than 80 percent of families said that they’d take a road trip this year, with shorter trips to national parks or theme parks representing the top destinations.
Gas prices are highest in the West, with drivers in Hawaii paying the most ($3.07 per gallon) to fill up their tanks. Drivers in California have the second-highest price per gallon ($2.98), followed by Washington ($2.84) and Alaska ($2.79).
The cheapest gas is mostly in the South, with drivers in South Carolina paying an average of $2.02 per gallon.