Filling up a tank of gas is getting to be a pricier task in the Charlotte region as it is nationwide, though prices at the pump remain considerably cheaper now than at this time last year.
As of early Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte metro area was $2.38, up about 5 cents from a week ago but still below last year’s $3.63, according to auto group AAA.
North Carolina’s gas costs $2.42 a gallon, which is up 6 cents from one week ago though still well below last year’s level of $3.65 a gallon. Nationwide, gas is $2.55 a gallon, up more than 8 cents from one week ago and below the year-ago level of $3.70.
South Carolina’s gas continues to be the cheapest in the U.S. at $2.28 a gallon.
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The nearly two-week straight increase in gas prices nationwide has been driven by rising global crude oil prices, the seasonal switch to summer-blend gas and regional refinery issues, particularly on the West Coast, AAA said in a report Monday.
The deadline for terminals to switch to summer-grade gas is May 1, and after the transition and as U.S. refineries complete seasonal maintenance, average U.S. gas prices may return to below $2.50 a gallon, AAA said, though prices will still fluctuate with the price of oil.