Drivers digging deeper to fuel up

Photo courtesy: MGN

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) Gas is taking a bigger bite out of our summer budgets.

AAA says North Dakota drivers are spending $68 more a month to fill-up their vehicle gas tanks compared to last summer.

With the regular gasoline average through today running about 12 percent higher than one year ago, North Dakotans are spending, on average, 7.5 percent of annual income on gas, up from 6.1 percent in 2017. Nationally, the average is 7 percent.

With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, motorists can expect little relief at the pump, according to AAA. The North Dakota statewide average is expected to range between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day.

“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this summer, but that’s not expected to stop them from traveling,” says Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Summer in the upper Midwest is travel time. The higher gas prices may just encourage vacationers to shorten their driving distance, eat out less or engaging in less-expensive activities.”

According to a AAA survey conducted earlier this year, only one in three (36 percent) respondents from the Midwest said they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3, while half (50 percent) said $3.50 would be the game changer for their summer plans.