RALEIGH -- For the first time this summer North Carolina drivers are paying more for a gallon of gas than they did on the same day a year ago. AAA of the Carolinas says the average price for a gallon of unleaded was $3.63 Wednesday. That's two cents more than it was on Aug. 15 last year.
“The outlook for the next few weeks is grim,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas in a news release. “In prior years this was a time when prices started downward, but speculation in oil futures is driving the price up every day. The outlook for a fall price decline is bleak at this time.”
The price of a gallon fell to a year-low $3.18 on July 4 but the average cost of a gallon of gas in North Carolina has climbed 45 cents to $3.63. It was $3.61 this time, last year.
"There's so many external factors, whether it be what's going on in the Middle East, or speculation buying or predictions of weather," said Neil Doroshenko, the travel branch manager at AAA of the Carolinas.
One of the factors driving up the cost has been the drought in Midwest, which has driven the cost of crude oil up.
Currently, North Carolina’s gas price is the 27th most expensive in the contiguous United States.
Experts said regular maintenance on your car, like changing the oil and checking your tire inflation, is the best way to get the most out of a gallon of gas.