SAN ANTONIO — By this time next week, San Antonio drivers could be paying $3 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas for the first time since before Thanksgiving.
It isn't just your go-to corner station. Having bottomed out the week of Christmas at just under $2.50, gas prices in the metro have slowly risen through the holidays and the first few weeks of 2023.
The trend has perhaps resurfaced some uneasy memories of last June, when the cost of gas hit record-highs in Texas's major cities. Here in San Antonio, the price for a gallon of unleaded topped out at $4.68.
The remaining six months of 2022 brought a different story and much-awaited relief on commuters' wallets as gas prices experienced a near-continuous decline, dropping to under $4 in mid-July and under $3 in mid-November for the first time since early February.
But the trend switched course on Dec. 23, and gas prices have risen ever since. On Wednesday, a gallon of unleaded in San Antonio cost $2.94, up from $2.87 a year ago.
>Use the chart below to see how prices for unleaded, diesel, premium and E85 gas have fluctuated over the past year.
What's behind the price uptick at the pump? Daniel Armbruster, a AAA Texas spokesperson, said it largely comes down to international developments, particularly rising costs of oil exacerbated by China relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
"Uncertainty remains around... the impact that could have on global crude supplies, crude prices and in a domino effect retail gas prices," Armbruster said. "It is possible that the San Antonio average could reach $3 in the coming days."
But the trend is also not entirely unpredictable. According to Armbruster, the spring and summer months is typically when gas prices go up due to a different kind of gas and more people on the road traveling.
Despite the higher prices, gas prices in Texas are still among the lowest in the nation; the Lone Star State's average price on Wednesday ($2.97) was almost 40 cents cheaper than the U.S. average ($3.35).
Additionally, of Texas's five most-populous counties, Bexar had the second-lowest average price on Wednesday, bested only by Harris.
There are plenty of small things you can do to extend the gas in your tank and pay fewer visits to the pump, according to AAA. Here are just some of them:
- Regularly service your car.
- Keep tires properly and regularly inflated.
- Avoid driving at high speeds.
- Coast to stops rather than hard braking, and accelerate slowly.
- Minimize air conditioning.
- Park in the shade during hot weather.
- Minimize unnecessary items in your car that are weighing it down.
For more moneysaving tips from AAA, click here.
>TRENDING ON KENS 5 YOUTUBE: