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Summer driving season ahead: Will gas prices increase and if so, by how much?

Summer driving season and gas prices
Summer driving season and gas prices 02:31

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Remember when gas prices were $2.50/gallon? 

That was only two years ago but will we ever see that kind of price again - it seems unlikely we'll get that low again but prices have been going down as of late. 

This begs this question, will it last as we head toward the summer vacation driving season? 

Well, there's good and bad news, so let's start with the good. 

"Average gas prices in Pittsburgh have fallen about three cents per gallon in the last week, the average now about $3.70," said GasBuddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick DeHaan. "Price is about 60 cents below where they were a year ago. So, a lot of progress when you look at last year compared to this year." 

DeHaan said that the dream of even $3.00/gallon is just a dream for now. 

"A lot of the reason why we are still above average is not only because of COVID-19 shutting down refineries back in 2020, but because there is a war still going on in Ukraine and that's not solved, either," he said.

DeHaan said that if the war ends and the embargo on Russian oil are lifted, it will help bring prices back down to normal. 

However, wishes don't power our cars, so let's get back to reality, and the reality is that summer fuel is coming. 

"With all things equal, and without any refinery issues, it seems like 10-20 cents per gallon more," he said. "Especially at a refinery that produces your blend and other blends, there can be a cascading effect that pushes prices up even more." 

So DeHaan cautions that as you plan your summer vacation budget, set aside around $4.25 per gallon and hopefully you won't have to spend it all.

He does think that we will be stable for the next couple of weeks and then things will start to go up. 

That doesn't necessarily mean you need to fill up today, he called this a "50-50 time" meaning if you fill up today, you've got a 50-percent chance it will go up and you'll have saved or a 50-percent chance the price will drop and you'll be kicking yourself. 

So...just flip a coin. 

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