Sticker shock: Gas prices surpass summer of 2008 record

The 2008 prices only lasted a few weeks. AAA says things might be different this time around.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The gas prices continue to climb across the Philadelphia region.

Experts say the situation is only going to get worse.

On Thursday at the Gulf at 22nd and Spring Garden streets, it was $4.59 a gallon. One customer was shocked when $30 only got him six gallons of gas.

For the most part, drivers say they are spending roughly $20 more than what they're used to.

As much as they'd like to cut back on their driving, they can't because it's necessary for their jobs.

"Gas prices are very high, especially with me, I drive around all day for work. So I'm really getting hit in the pocket," said Keta Ligon of West Philly.

According to AAA, numbers are changing on a daily basis. In the five-county Philadelphia area, prices are averaging $4.49 a gallon. That's up four cents overnight and 57 cents in the past week.

There's really no way to predict the best day to fill up your car. A big contributing factor is crude oil.

"Crude oil being as volatile as it is. That is the key driver that's pushing gas prices right now," said AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell.

If we take a look at the last time prices were this high, it brings us back to the summer of 2008.

"So it's been 14 years since we've seen gas prices at the $4 per gallon level here in this area," Tidwell said.

The highest our area saw in 2008, according to AAA, was an average of $4.08.

If you compare that price with the cost of inflation today, we'd be paying $5.26.

While we haven't reached that yet, we're about a dollar shy of it.

Those prices in 2008 only lasted a few weeks though. AAA says things might be different this time around.

"We may be looking at $4 plus gasoline for longer than a few week. It might be into a few months as we knock on the door of the summer driving season," Tidwell explained.

Typically during the winter months, demand for gas drops. AAA says that didn't happen this year, which pushed prices up earlier than normal.

Tidwell says every penny counts and there are some ways you can save.

AAA suggests drivers avoid speeding, consolidate trips and consider carpooling. You can find more ways to save here.
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