The arrival of spring break means that gas prices are likely on the rise. Prices increased around 3% last week to $3.46 per gallon of regular gas nationwide, according to AAA.
Across Texas, the average price increased 13 cents to $3.06 this week, but Texas still ranks as the state with the third cheapest gas in the country, according to AAA.
In the DFW area, gas prices rose 20 cents to $3.14 last week.
AAA spokesperson Daniel Armbruster is expecting a surge in travel in the coming weeks.
“There are lots of people heading out for spring break and lots of people wanting to travel,” Armbruster told WFAA. “Also, the switch to a summer blend of gasoline is taking place, and that’s much more expensive to refine.”
“The national average rose last week as the transition to summer gasoline has now started across the entire country. The higher cost of these various blends is being passed along to motorists, as we see every year ahead of the summer driving season,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, per The Courier Express.
“Some regions are moving to the required summer gasoline in different steps than others, and the fragmentation of required blends absolutely plays a role in these price increases. Logistical challenges in making the transition during a time when refiners are also doing maintenance work can create hotspots and lead to noticeable jumps in prices during the spring,” De Haan said.
Texas gas prices are well below the national average, and prices are considerably lower than this time last year when it was at $3.98 per gallon, according to WFAA.
But one analyst predicts that gas prices could once again reach the high levels we have seen in the past few years.
“While we may not see weekly increases, the overall trend will remain upward through much of the spring,” said De Haan. “By Memorial Day, most of the nation will be transitioned to their respective required blend of fuel, and gas prices could ease, but a $4 per gallon national average remains possible by then.”
Americans have become more conscious of gas price fluctuations in recent years, says Gas Buddy.
“Often, filling your tank is an afterthought, which robs you of hundreds of dollars per year. Motorists should get in the habit of picking a price, not picking a station,” De Haan said.