AAA: Gas prices up to begin new year

Highest at year’s start since 2018

Ohio motorists are seeing higher prices at the pump as 2018 begins. The current average for regular gas in Ohio is $2.49, up 10 cents from last week and up 17 cents from this time a year ago, according to AAA.

At $2.55, Toledo is above the national gas price average of $2.49, which is the most expensive seen at the start of a new year since 2014, when gas prices were more than $3 per gallon. High travel volumes over the holidays drove gas prices up five cents on the week. At the start of 2018, motorists in the Northeast, South and the upper Midwest are seeing pump prices as much as 13 cents more expensive than one week ago.

“Although prices at the pump shot up over the holidays, now that the holiday season in the rearview mirror, motorists can expect gas prices to trend cheaper this month as we are likely to see a significant drop in gasoline demand,” said AAA Public Affairs Manager, Cindy Antrican.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures gasoline demand at a strong 9.5 million b/d, which is typical of the holiday season. However, historical data shows that in early January demand typically drops and stays below the 9 million mark for the first few months of the year.

Despite the higher gas prices, AAA encourages motorists to make sure their gas tanks are full due to the extreme cold temperatures.

“AAA has seen significant call volume today from motorists with battery and tire issues due to the cold weather,” said Antrican on Tuesday. “It is critical that motorists take every precaution, plan and prepare for the possibility of a roadside emergency.”

Great Lakes and Central

Across the region, gas prices have increased as much as 10 cents on the week with four states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the largest increases: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Kansas (+6 cents). At $2.69, Michigan is selling the most expensive gas in the region, followed by Illinois ($2.63) and Indiana ($2.61). Missouri ($2.21) is selling the cheapest gas not only in the Great Lakes and Central states, but in the whole country.

Compared to beginning of December, Indiana (+24 cents), Michigan (+23 cents), Ohio (+15 cents) and Illinois (+12 cents) are the only states where gas prices have increased more than 10 cents on the month.

Highest at year’s start since 2018