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Paying At The Pump Is Taking More Of Motorists’ Paychecks

Jun 19, 2018 04:26AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Gas Prices

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by AAA Northeast.)

Consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill up this their gas tanks this summer than they did a year ago. According to AAA Northeast, gasoline expenses are accounting, on average, for seven percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a 1.5 percent increase since the summer of 2017.

Here are the highlights from AAA’s summer gasoline price report:

  • Last June, no stations in Massachusetts were selling fuel for more than $3 per gallon; today, 20 percent of the stations in the state top that mark.
  • A quarter of all stations across the country are above $3.
  • Only one in three people say they would change travel plans at $3 per gallon; nearly half say $3.50 would be the game changer for their summer plans.
  • A roundtrip drive between Boston and Hyannis would cost about $9-$10 more in gasoline, based on the difference in price between this year and 2017.

“Motorists may be spending more on gasoline this summer, but that won’t stop them from traveling,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacations and we’re not going to see Americans giving up that pastime this year.”

Don’t Let Your Tank Break Your Bank
For when you are behind the wheel this summer, AAA offers these tips to improve your driving to get better gas mileage:

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
  • Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

Gas prices have shown some recent downward movement, though it’s too early to determine if this is a trend. AAA has identified these outliers that have the ability to drive gas prices, up or down, in the coming months.

  • OPEC – There have been conflicting reports that OPEC may increase production to ease supply concerns and lower pump prices.
  • Hurricanes- There is a 75 percent chance of “near or above-normal” level of major storms this year. The mere threat of a storm could force oil and gasoline companies, especially along the Gulf Coast, to halt operations, potentially leading to spikes in gas prices and limited regional supply.
  • Demand-AAA expects high consumer demand to continue through the summer, which could push prices higher.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit member service organization with 66 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 5.7 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.

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