The Gas Prices That Stole Christmas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's John Schriffen spoke to drivers about the soaring gas prices. (Published Thursday, Dec 9, 2010)

    Three bucks a gallon? Yikes!

    When you drive up to the pump during holiday travel, don’t be surprised if you turn into a Grinch.

    With the holidays around the corner, travelers this year may have to spend extra cash to fill up. Just yesterday, gas reached $3 per gallon across the Washington metro area, and people aren’t too happy.

    “Never before have motorists been faced with the prospect of paying $3 for gas on Christmas Day and that possibility looms this year,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s manager of public and government affairs. “This is an unusual occurrence, where things are inverted. Typically, after Labor Day and especially well into November and December, pump prices usually drop with the temperatures, as consumer demand reaches a low point for the year. Each time they pull up to the pump, consumers are feeling the impact of the exception to the rule.”

    The increase in gas is a holiday downer, but there are some ways to save on gas.

    Here are some AAA quick tips:

    • If you own more than one car -- especially if one of your vehicles is a less fuel-efficient truck, sport utility vehicle or van -- use the energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
    • Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and keep needless miles off the odometer.
    • Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. This wastes fuel and is harder on vehicle components.

    The extra dollar for gas, this time of year, is an out of pocket expense that many can’t afford. The average metro-area motorist with a 15-gallon fuel tank will spend $45 to fill up compared to $39.60 a year ago. Current fuel prices are 37 cents more than last year, and motorists are becoming confused by the continuous increase in gas prices. There are a number of factors that contribute to the rise in fuel prices-- including crude prices, supply and demand factors, and the value of the U.S. dollar.

    Whether you're traveling for the holidays or to work each day, gas prices are sure to leave a dent in your pocket.