Michigan Gas Prices Near Yearly High, AAA Reports

As Michigan welcomes warmer weather, the increase in temperatures is bringing with it a surge in road trips and leisurely drives. With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, residents are more inclined to take advantage of the sunny days by hitting the roads for both long-distance travel and local joyrides. This seasonal trend typically leads to higher fuel demand, which can further influence gas prices. AAA notes that the annual spike in travel during this time could exacerbate the already rising fuel costs.

Reminiscent of past spikes, Michigan’s gas prices are nearing the record high for the year, with the current average standing at $3.69 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel. This figure is just one cent shy of the peak price of $3.70 recorded earlier this year, according to a recent announcement by AAA-The Auto Club Group.

The price of gas has surged by 15 cents over the past week, and it is now 19 cents higher than it was last month. However, it remains slightly cheaper than the rates drivers were paying at this time last year, by about 2 cents.

The rising costs mean that filling up a standard 15-gallon tank now sets Michigan motorists back approximately $55, representing a significant impact on their budgets.

Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson for AAA, highlighted the concerning trend in a statement on Monday. “Michigan motorists are seeing higher pump prices, with the state average setting a new 2024-high,” she said. Woodland also warned that if the current conditions persist—specifically if crude oil prices continue their upward trajectory amid tight supply—the cost of gasoline is expected to rise accordingly.

The current scenario contrasts starkly with the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when fears of contamination and soaring gas prices—once nearing $5 per gallon—deterred many from frequenting gas stations. The apprehension of high-contact surfaces and close quarters at fueling stations significantly reduced non-essential travel. Now, as health concerns subside and restrictions have lifted, Michiganders are gradually resuming their travel habits, albeit facing the financial strain of increased gas prices, which continues to affect travel planning and frequency.

While the state average hovers around $3.69, prices vary across different regions. Metro Detroit reports slightly lower figures at $3.65 per gallon, which is nevertheless an increase of 9 cents from last week, and only a cent cheaper than last year’s prices at the same time.

The highest gas prices in Michigan are currently found in Marquette at $3.83 per gallon, followed closely by Jackson at $3.76 and Lansing at $3.75. Conversely, the least expensive averages are in Traverse City at $3.61, Metro Detroit at $3.65, and Grand Rapids at $3.71.

As Michigan motorists grapple with these rising costs, the broader economic implications are also being closely monitored, with further increases potentially on the horizon if market conditions do not improve.

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