AAA expects Tennessee will break the all-time record this week for highest average gas price

Gas Prices
Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 07:01:42-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As of Wednesday, AAA Tennessee reports that the average cost of gasoline in the state is at $4.05 a gallon.

That's only 7 cents away from breaking the all-time record set in 2008. A record, experts believe, drivers will see a break later this week.

It's one thing to hear about rising gas prices, it's another to see it happen while you're at the pump.

"It was quite an adventure," said driver Susan Meltner.

Meltner pulled into a Gallatin gas station Wednesday morning when she saw $3.99 on the sign.

"So I ran my debit card, it authorized it, it told me to pick my fuel grade," said Meltner. "Instead of saying of $3.99, it said $4.19 so it jumped literally in five seconds or less."

Meltner would call that price gouging.

"It’s not fair, I understand rising gas prices but 20 cents in five seconds — that is crazy," she said.

But experts said that's just the way it is right now.

"Things are happening very very quickly," said Megan Cooper of AAA Tennessee.

Cooper said about half of the prices drivers see on gas station signs come from crude oil barrel prices, which have been volatile for the last several weeks.

"As long as we are seeing these higher crude oil prices, we are unfortunately are still going to be seeing those higher gas prices at our local gas pump," Cooper said.

While there is not much drivers can do about what they pay at the pump, there are some tactics they can take to save money.

"In general a more conservative driver is getting better fuel economy than an aggressive driver," Cooper said.

Drivers should also make sure their car maintenance is up to date, including oil change, tire pressure and the length of tire tread.

"I cannot afford to go anywhere extra. You really can’t take those extra trips that you used to be able to do," Meltner said.

To help cut down on her mileage, Meltner reenrolled her grandchildren to a school closer to their home.

"It was a hard decision to make, but we had to make the practical decision," she said.

It's one of the many choices she never thought she'd have to see.

"I shouldn’t have to give a left arm, right arm and a kidney too. Maybe a left arm but not both," Meltner said.