Gas prices have officially hit an expensive milestone — you can't buy a gallon of gas in any state for under $4 a gallon. In Tennessee, the average price at the pump is $4.28.
When the numbers on gas station signs get this high, a lot of drivers are doing all they can to reduce their time on the road. But that doesn't work for Mark Fournier — considering where he works.
"It is a lot higher than I have seen in my lifetime," said Fournier.
Mark owns 615 Luxury Transportation, a driver service company that caters to all levels of customers.
"Movie stars, country music stars, and your normal everyday people. Everybody’s special when they get into one of our vehicles," he said.
But after holding out as long as he could, Mark says he now has no choice; he's having to charge his customers an additional 15% fuel surcharge.
"We try not to raise our prices too much to hurt the public. We’re trying to keep our prices down but not hurt our pockets," said Fournier.
It doesn't help that the roomier the vehicle, the richer the gas bill becomes.
"It’s got a 6.2-liter engine in it, and gets about 12 miles to the gallon," Fournier said, describing is GMC Yukon Denali XL. "It was about $130 to fill up. You can’t put the unleaded in it."
Mark is hopeful the surcharge will just be a special circumstance, but if the numbers on these signs get much higher, his numbers on his prices will have to follow suit.
"The more it goes up, the more the fuel surcharge has to go up," said Fournier.
The timing is tough for Mark's business. He says he's one of the few driver service companies that survived the pandemic in the Nashville area, only to see business slow down now for a different reason.
"It was good before COVID and we were starting to boom before COVID, but COVID really took a lot of them out, and we happened to survive COVID and I just don’t believe in quitting, so I’m trying to survive," he said.