GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Gas prices tend to be a bit lower during the winter and fewer drivers are hitting the road. But this year, that is not the case.
According to AAA, the national average price for gas has risen by more than 9% since the end of last year, which is the biggest increase to start a year since 2009, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
For those that make their living by driving for delivery companies, the price increase is not something going unnoticed.
“I saw $4.29 somewhere yesterday down towards New Bern. That was insane. It made me do a double-take. I am not going to spend that. I will find somewhere else. I will risk running out of gas to find another gas station” Joseph Bailey, a DoorDash driver, said.
Bailey says that he has to work more hours now and be more selective about the orders as national gas prices have increased 41 cents in the past month.
Extreme weather across the United States near the end of last year caused a series of outages at refineries, which caused gas prices to surge at the beginning of the year.
North Carolina gas prices are starting to creep lower, but for those that drive more costly vehicles, the prices at the pump are cutting into daily budgeting.
“With a gas guzzler like a truck, I am spending a lot more than I used to be able to spend on this. I used to spend probably around $40.00 to fill up now it is closer to $70.00,″ Hunter Stroud said.
North Carolina’s average is currently at $3.33, which is 33 cents more than a month ago and 18 cents more than a year ago according to AAA.
Even though we are seeing daily one-to-four-cent increases slow down, AAA says that drivers won’t catch a significant break at the pump for the next week or two.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) gas demand rose slightly last week, while total domestic gasoline stocks increased. Increased gas demand and elevated oil prices have contributed to higher pump prices.