WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Drivers who have visited the gas station lately to fill up their tanks know that fuel prices continue to rise in Florida.
Gas prices in the Sunshine State increased another 6 cents last week, setting a new 2022 high of $3.51 per gallon, according to numbers released Monday by the American Automobile Association (AAA).
RELATED: Check gas prices in Florida
The highest gas prices in the state are currently in Palm Beach County with an average of $3.63.
Prices in Florida right now are 90 cents more than at this time last year and the highest since July 2014.
The least expensive gas prices in the state are in the Panhandle with the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area at $3.42 and Panama City at $3.44 a gallon.
Florida's fuel prices are still slightly below the national average of $3.53.
Rudi Reid said she is only filling up her SUV a gallon or two at a time in an effort save to save some cash.
"I can't remember the last time I filled up my gas tank," Reid said. "It would be over probably $100 to fill up my gas tank."
Charles Mackey stopped at a Mobil gas station in Riviera Beach and pondered ways to save.
"You do have to do a little bit of planning," Mackey said. "Maybe I'll take my motorcycle and bike to work a couple days out of the week."
Why are gas prices rising?
Experts said the potential Russian invasion of Ukraine is putting strains on the energy market, which suffered its first week of losses last week.
After reaching a new 2022 high of $95.46 per barrel on Monday, the price for U.S. crude declined 5% by the end of the week, according to AAA.
That resulted in the equivalent of a 5-cent drop at the pump.
"It's hard to get too excited about the recent oil price drop because prices could easily rebound if Russia invades Ukraine," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. "If an invasion occurs and oil prices spike, that will most certainly drag gas prices higher too. To what degree, it's still unclear."
Other factors include the higher demand for fuel as the pandemic subsides.
"All that demand is back now, but global production is not nearly where it was back before the pandemic," Jenkins said.
Ways to Save on Gasoline
- Combine errands to limit driving time
- Shop around for the best gas prices in your community
- Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card
- Remove excess weight in your vehicle
- Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy
- Enroll in savings programs