Category Archives: Chicago gas prices
While Chicago area gas prices are still significantly higher than last year, local gas prices dropped nearly a quarter a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline in April, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“Prices are starting to stabilize a little from the price increases we saw due to the switch over to the summer blend of gasoline,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
It was the end of March when Chicago gas prices reached a record high price of $4.68 per gallon in the city proper and $4.50 per gallon for the Chicago metro area according to AAA.
The statewide average for March had the average price of unleaded gasoline in Illinois selling at a record $4.10 a gallon, 44 cents per gallon higher than last year according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
While pump pain was even more pronounced in Chicago as the city gas stations also averaged a record of $4.68 per gallon–the highest gas price in the nation for March.
Both state and city prices were up a breathtaking 52 cents a gallon during March and a whopping 86 cents a gallon since the start of the year.
“The seasonal switch over to a summer blend of gasoline, combined with high prices for oil and especially high prices for the reformulated blend of gasoline used in Chicago left consumers altering daily commute plans and family budgets this month,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
Fuel Saving Tips To Deal With Record Breaking Area Gas Prices
ChicagoGasPrices.com has the average price of regular unleaded gasoline at $4.56 per gallon, 4 cents above the previous record set last year.
While AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report has city prices 2 cents higher than last year’s record at $4.67 per gallon and Chicago area prices (including the suburbs) are at a record $4.50 per gallon.
So, with local gas prices ranked as the most expensive in the nation, and more pain at the pump on the horizon with some experts expecting $5 a gallon gas soon as gas stations start selling the more expensive summer blend, The Expired Meter has some tips to maximize your mileage.
Drive Like Grandma
“Since when is Chicago supposed to be the king of gas prices?,” asks GasBuddy’s Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “That’s usually reserved for Los Angeles or San Francisco. We’ve blown everyone else out of the water.”
But the bad news is, there doesn’t seem to be any short term relief in sight.
Normally, Chicago gas prices don’t peak until sometime between Memorial Day and the 4th of July as local refineries and gas stations begin selling the more expensive EPA mandated summer blend.
But Chicago’s gas prices are approximately 70 cents higher than last year, with the price rising approximately 80 cents per gallon in the last month, and have either exceeded or are flirting with all time records.
“This is an increase we’ve never seen before,” said DeHaan. “It is the fastest increase we’ve ever seen.”
Chicago area gas reached historic high prices for February with the price of unleaded gasoline averaging $4.01 a gallon, 36 cents higher than last year according to ChicagoGasPrices.com.
“We are seeing record prices,” said GasBuddy.com‘s Gregg Laskoski who says 2012 began the year in record territory. “Each day we’ve seen higher prices that we’ve ever seen before.”
Similarly, AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report had the pegged the average cost of area gas at $3.57 per gallon for the month of February, which is $.27 higher per gallon than last year.
Chicagoland Drivers See 10 Cent Increase In 24 Hours
While gas prices across the U.S. have gone through the roof and setting records the past few weeks, fuel prices around Chicago and the Midwest were actually falling.
But over the past week and in particular the last 24 hours, local gas prices have risen dramatically.
According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has risen 10 cents in the past 24 hours alone at gas stations around the Chicagoland area and 12 cents over the past week.
ChicagoGasPrices.com, is reporting similar price bumps of 5 cents a gallon since yesterday in the past 24 hours, and 20 cents a gallon in the last week.
Nationally, pump prices have only risen 10 cents a gallon in the past week.
Increases in statewide gas prices have been equally dramatic, leaping 9 cents in the past 24 hours according to IllinoisGasPrices.com, while AAA is reporting a 7 cent average price increase across Illinois.
Chicago Escaping High Fuel Prices…For Now
According to fuel price tracking website, GasBuddy.com, the national average for unleaded gasoline is $3.53 per gallon, 37 cents a gallon higher than last year.
But AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report paints a slightly bleaker picture with unleaded coming in at $3.56 per gallon, or 40 cents a gallon more expensive than last February.
There are lots of reasons being given, including tensions in Iran forcing the middle east nation to cut the flow of oil, dropping international supply, alleged increase demand for oil and gas around the globe as well as creeping inflation.
The fear is, if gas prices are this high so early in the year, what will happen when fuel prices hit their normal peak in late spring or early summer?
Believe it or don’t.
According to a report from CBS 2 News, while gasoline prices in the rest of the nation are rising, the price at the pump is falling locally.
While nationally gas has gone up nearly 13 cents a gallon, around Chicago average prices have dropped 9 cents from the month before according to Chicago Gas Prices.com.
Record Prices Predicted For City Gas Pumps This Spring
Chicago gas prices ended the month at $3.60 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for Janaury according to ChicagoGasPrices.com. That’s 27 cents higher than January 2011 and an all time high for the month according Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst for the gas price tracking website’s parent site, GasBuddy.com. Nationally, gas prices are 32 cents per gallon higher than last year.
“Gas prices are higher than they’ve ever been before for this time of year,” says DeHaan. “Last year we had a record January too. But this year we’re blowing the record out of the water.”
AAA, which also tracks gas prices, is saying the same thing, with their Fuel Gauge Report reporting an average gas price of $3.69 per gallon of regular unleaded for the month of January.
That’s how much the average American family will have spent filling up their motor vehicles in 2011–a record amount according to The Blaze.
That number also accounts for 8.4% of the median income of the average U.S. family, the highest percentage of income for gasoline since 1981 when it was 8.8% of total family income.
For context, over the past decade gasoline purchases was a pretty constant 5.3% of average total family income.
These record breaking numbers have a lot to do with the high cost of gasoline. Nationally, the price of gas averaged over $3.50 per gallon for regular unleaded, and much more in the Chicagoland area which at some points during the year boasted the highest gas prices in the nation