Retail gas prices have jumped $1 per gallon on average over the past year, to $2.85 a gallon, triggered by surging demand starting late last year, as more motorists hit the road, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.com.
The good news is that the biggest price increases may have already happened, DeHaan says, as oil companies have stepped up gas production. Even so, prices are likely to remain higher as the economic growth resumes.
If you’re planning a long road trip, consider that you may pay significantly more if you cross state lines to a location with higher gas taxes, says DeHaan. Make sure to check gas prices ahead of time.
If you’re shopping for a new car, take fuel efficiency into account. (For more on car shopping, see below.)