WELLINGTON, Fla. — As you get going on Friday, strap in for a very unwanted expense. Gas prices have hit a new record high in Florida.
AAA said the average price for a gallon of regular is $4.47, up 7 cents from Thursday, 28 cents from a week ago, nearly 50 cents from a month ago, and $1.60 from the same time last year.
WPTV drove around Wellington Friday and found a Shell station selling gas for $4.99 a gallon.
What's really catching people off guard this time around is the slower but steadier increase in prices.
At the end of February and beginning of March, we saw a sudden and dramatic spike, then some relief. But the prices started climbing again in April, and people at the pump said that this time, it hurts even more.
"Ridiculously high. I mean, when is it coming down?" asked a driver named Lilly. "Every day we have to, you know, the equipment, the cars, the trucks, everything. So it's, like, hurting everybody's pockets."
"Big difference. Big difference everywhere you go," said driver Davion Cross.
AAA said Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a contributor to the record-breaking prices, but it's not the only contributor. Gas prices were already expected to breach $4 per gallon before the conflict in Ukraine began.
Oil prices plunged when stay-at-home orders were announced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crude oil was trading at negative prices momentarily, causing suppliers like OPEC to lessen production.
Although the price of crude oil is on the rebound, suppliers have yet to bring production back to where it was pre-pandemic.
The sanctions on Russia also aren’t helping the price.
Russia is one of the largest oil exporters in the world, and although the United States received less oil from Russia than countries like Europe, it’s a trickledown effect when other countries are working to phase out one of their primary suppliers.
As for relief, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried issued an emergency rule Wednesday allowing gas stations to sell gasoline containing ethanol. Ethanol is cheaper, and it is usually only sold in the winter months. But the decision gives an indication that the prices are not expected to drop in the coming weeks.
A couple things you can do to save money: pay with cash, as it almost always knocks a few cents off. And drive conservatively and avoid accelerating quickly.
For the latest gas prices in our area, click here.