East Tenn. drivers to pay more at the pump this Memorial Day weekend

Local News

A heads up for drivers: if you’re taking a road trip this holiday weekend, it’s going to cost more to fill up.

This Memorial Day, we’ll be seeing the most expensive gas prices since 2014 according to AAA. Four years ago Tennesseans were paying $3.45 a gallon.

Thursday’s average was around $2.62 but it is still about a 50 cent hike compared to 2017.

AAA says Thursday and Friday, ahead of Memorial Day weekend, will be the worst traffic days. Travelers and commuters will be out around the same time, slowing things down.

More than 727,000 Tennesseans will be driving this Memorial Day weekend according to AAA.

“We love to go to the mountains,” said Pat Miller from Blount County.

Getting from point A to point B is pricier.

“We have noticed gas prices have gone up quite a bit. So that will keep us from going too far away,” added Miller. 

AAA explained why we’re seeing a spike in gas prices.

“Gas prices are typically pretty volatile in the spring time because maintenance that’s going on at hte refineries and the refineries are also switching over to the more expensive summer-blended gasolines,” said Stephanie Milani from AAA.

That’s the bad news. Milani says the good news is that car rentals are the cheapest they’ve been in about four years. 

“Hotel rates are also lower this year than they were last year,” she said.

If you’re traveling this Memorial Day weekend, there are some things you can do to essentially get the most from your gas tank.

“Make sure your tires are properly inflated. If they’re under-inflated, it creates more friction between the rubber and the road, so it puts more drag on your car and you’re losing those miles per gallon. You also want to make sure that the engine and the batter are well taken care of,” said Milani.

Travelers should also pack light because the more weight on your car, the less fuel efficient it is.

While we may be paying more in fuel, Milani says they’re not expecting gas to come anywhere near 2014 prices.

“We just go with the flow and go with the gas prices and go on,” said Miller.

When it comes to fuel efficiency and running air conditioning, Milani says newer cars are built for comfort and to be fuel efficient, so it’s best to do your usual summertime driving habits.

If you want to save every penny on gas, AAA suggests turning off your car and going inside a restaurant, instead of waiting in the drive-thru line.

Research shows driving around 55 to 60 mph is the most fuel efficient; accelerating or stopping quickly burns up gasoline.

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