Gas prices expected to rise


Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Motorists across the Twin Counties and throughout North Carolina should expect to see gas prices rise again before the summer vacation season is over, according to AAA Carolinas officials.

“We will likely see a spike at the pump before summer draws to a close,” said Tiffany Wright, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas. “Whether you are filling up to squeeze in that last vacation or gearing up for school activities to resume, expect to pay more.”

Wright said recent reports showed the demand in gasoline was near an all-time high. The boost in demand and drop in inventory drove the national gas price to $2.87, which was the most expensive gas price average seen in August since 2014.

“We’re still in the middle of the summer driving season, so the demand is still quite high,” Wright said. “You also got families trying to get in that last summer vaction by taking trips to the beach, mountains and that’s also a big contributing factor for why prices are where they are.”

In North Carolina, the highest gas price average this year was $2.80. The statewide’s average as of Tuesday was $2.70, which is up four cents on the week, three cents on the month and 53 cents on the year. 

Wright said Rocky Mount’s average gas price is $2.68, which is a lot higher than at this time a year ago, when the average price at the pump was $2.24 a gallon. According to Gasbuddy.com, the lowest gas price on Tuesday for regular unleaded in Rocky Mount was $2.54 at Sam’s Club at 300 Tarrytown Center, while the highest was $2.74 at the Citgo convenience store at 1116 Cokey Road.

In Tarboro, the lowest gas price for regular unleaded was $2.54 a gallon at both the RaceWay convenience store at 215 Western Blvd. and Murphy Express at 100 River Oaks Drive.

While in Nashville, the lowest was $2.59 at the Murphy Express at 1151 Eastern Ave. The highest gas price for regular unleaded in the Twin Counties was $2.99 a gallon at the BP convenience store at 8532 N.C. 33 in Whitakers.

“You can see that the prices are all over the place like a roller coaster,” Wright said. “You can go to one pump on one block and see a price and then go two blocks over and the price is maybe three to seven cents different. When you talk about gas prices, it’s a very competitive market because what gas stations are really trying to do is get you inside to buy the sodas and food or snacks. They will take a couple hits at the pump to be competitive and try to get you to their store.”

AAA Carolinas urges drivers to stop and pump gas at convenience stores with prices that are as inexpensive as possible.

“We want motorists to be smart consumers at the pump, and we say shop at those low prices,” Wright said. “Be a smart consumer at the pump because if you continue to buy from those gas stations that are lower than most, then that encourages other stations to bring their prices down.

“That’s the advice I would give motorists because we want to see those prices come down in the Carolinas as well.”