AAA: Motorists Paying More For Gas

AAA: Motorists paying almost $70/month more for gas this summer compared to 2017
Paying at the pump is taking up more of Kansans’ paychecks, but summer road trips are still on
TOPEKA, Kan. – June 13, 2018 – Consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill-up compared to last summer. According to AAA, gasoline expenses are accounting, on average, for seven percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a one and half percent increase since summer of 2017. With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, AAA Kansas says motorists can expect little relief at the pump with the Kansas gas price average ranging between $2.65 – $2.85 through Labor Day.
The current average price for a gallon of regular gas in Kansas is about $2.73, which is 58 cents per gallon higher than one year ago. The good news for Sunflower State drivers is that our gas price is 10th lowest in America and 19 cents lower than the current national average.
“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season compared to last summer, but that won’t stop them from traveling. Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation, and we are not going to see Kansans giving up this pastime this year,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance. Others may pinch pennies by eating out less or finding more free family-fun activities while on vacation.”
According to a AAA survey of Midwestern motorists conducted earlier this year, just more than one in three (36 percent) respondents said they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3, while half (50 percent) say $3.50 would be the game changer for their summer plans.
Then and Now Price Points: June 2017 vs. June 2018
As vacationers hit the road, they will find a quarter (25 percent) of all gas stations across the country are selling gas for more than $3/gallon. That is a stark difference from one year ago when only 5 percent of stations touted the $3 or more mark. Fortunately for Kansas drivers, there are currently no stations in the state with gas prices at $3 or more.
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.
The Outliers
Gas prices have shown some positive downward movement at the start of the month, but it is too early to determine if this is a trend. AAA has identified the following outliers that have the ability to drive gas prices – up or down – in the coming months.