Seattleites get creative with gas prices on the rise

Sep 29, 2022, 4:19 PM | Updated: 5:05 pm
(Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)

After seeing “lower” gas prices over the summer — though still much higher than Pacific Northwest residents are used to — those prices are creeping back up again, increasing by an average of 50 cents in Washington just over the past week.

Just last night, gas prices went up 10 cents.

The increase has had Seattlites feeling the pressure on their finances. KIRO Newsradio caught up with some drivers at a gas station in Kirkland, where fuel currently costs $5.50 per gallon.

“It went up quite a bit,” said one woman who was looking at an $80 gas bill. “It used to be down to ‘$71,’ and I say that in air quotes, even though it really used to be ‘$58.'”

Gas prices in Washington state hit record high, up $2 from last year

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in this state a week ago was $4.62. By Monday, a gallon of regular cost $4.92. Then overnight, it climbed to more than $5 a gallon once again.

Drivers who spoke with KIRO Newsradio were paying anywhere from $75 to $150 to fill up their trucks and SUVs. They reported coming up with a variety of solutions, such as working from home more, carpooling, and trying to combine trips to save money. They also are using tricks like only getting the bare minimum at a more expensive station along their route, and then driving to another station later that is cheaper to fill up the rest of their tank.

With the war in Ukraine, Hurricane Ian in Florida, and the ever-rising inflation that has been hurting people’s wallets, some are worried that prices will continue to increase.

“Oil companies raise prices when literally anything happens, especially when areas like Florida see these huge impacts,” one man commented skeptically.

KIRO 7 spoke to Seattle University marketing professor Mathew Isaac about the sharp rise and if we could expect the trend to continue.

“The next couple of weeks, we might see some jumps or some increases,” Issac said. “But I don’t expect it to go up to the levels we were seeing last year.”

Washington holds the fifth-highest average for gas prices among states, with only Nevada ($5.134), Hawaii ($5.148), Oregon ($5.223), and California ($6.022) coming in higher, according to GasBuddy.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here.

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Seattleites get creative with gas prices on the rise