ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For all the drivers taking to the roads in Florida, you might have seen an increase in gas prices recently.
AAA reports gas prices took an unexpected turn higher within the last week. The state average went up by 16 cents per gallon over the course of four days, which is the largest weekly increase since June.
"The jump at the pump came as a surprise, as this time a week ago, it appeared that the state’s gas tax holiday would pressure prices lower," said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins in a statement. "However, things changed quickly after OPEC and its allies announced plans to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day.
"This sent oil and gasoline futures prices back to 5-week highs. As a result, the price for retailers to purchase gasoline jumped more than 30 cents, erasing any of the downward progress created by the 25 cent sales tax holiday."
Altogether, the prices of oil in the U.S. rose 17 percent last week. Friday's closing price of $92.64 per barrel was $13 more than the week before.
Drivers in Florida are now paying an average price of $3.33 per gallon, which is seven cents more than the average price last Sunday.
AAA reports regional prices as the following:
- Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.50), Fort Lauderdale ($3.36), Miami ($3.36)
- Least expensive metro markets – Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.17), Pensacola ($3.18), Panama City ($3.21)
The good news in Florida, at least for the time being, is that any price hike can be partially offset by the current gas tax holiday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a one-month fuel tax holiday for the entire month of October, ahead of the election the following month. Floridians could save $200 million by lowering the price of gas by 25.3 cents per gallon.
The nonprofit also lays out ways drivers can save on gas, including:
- Combine errands to limit driving time.
- Shop around for the best gas prices in your community.
- Pay with cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.
- Remove excess weight in your vehicle. Every 100 pounds taken out of the vehicle improves fuel economy by 1-2 percent.
- Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy.
10 Tampa Bay's BriShon Mitchell contributed to this report.