Record-breaking gas prices highlight reasons for price disparities

Climbing gas prices are bringing attention to price disparities at gas stations even along the same street.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Climbing gas prices are bringing attention to price disparities at gas stations, even along the same street.

Wednesday, Virginia’s average climbed to $4.41 a gallon for regular gas.

“I try to squeeze every little penny out,” Nathan Fuller said. He usually pays $40 to fill up his tank, but lately, it’s more like $75.

“I mean, I’m changing up what I do. I normally do Uber on the side, but I’m cutting back from that. Other than that, I’m just going to work and coming straight home,” Fuller said.

Keeping a close eye on the climbing numbers may pose the question: Why are some gas prices higher than others?

Morgan Dean with AAA sites several reasons behind the disparity. He said local versus corporate ownership makes a difference, and some stations rely heavily on gas sales, whereas others can make up the difference in food purchases. Dean adds chain stores may get gas at a discounted price compared to locally-owned stores.

The price of crude oil overseas is still to blame for the skyrocketing high prices in the U.S., Dean said.

“Crude oil is sitting at like $110 a barrel right now. Because it’s not retreating very much, there’s not a lot of space for gas prices to come down off of those prices,” he said.

Driving around for a deal on gas AAA warns may be a waste of time.

“They want to get the cheapest price on gas, but with it climbing so dramatically, we may get to a point where gas is just selling at a very high level at a lot of places, and it’s just very hard to find a lot of deals out there,” Dean said.

Dean said gas prices are expected to climb even more with summer demand fast approaching, and the switch from winter to summer oil blend is expected to hit the pumps soon.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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