(WLNS) – It’s the unofficial start to the holiday weekend and Michigan drivers are hitting the roads and shelling out more money to do it.
Gas prices have been all over the charts in the last month. From a low of $3.64 cents up to Friday’s average of $3.85.
It’s been a bumpy ride for the prices and the latest high mark is the 17th spike of the year.
6 News Sharon Yoo has more on why.
“It has been really high actually, it’s been high for a while. I’m definitely not happy about it,” said Shan Youse, driver.
So what’s driving these price hikes?
“It’s just a pricing strategy. Prices have been like this for the past 14 years, it’s been a roller coaster ride,” said Patrick DeHann, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.com.
And a roller coaster ride it is because gas stations are just like regular retail stores. When there’s high demand the prices go up.
“As the demand goes up for a product retailers usually no longer have gasoline on sale so they’ll raise prices to start to break even, which explains the higher prices for this coming holiday weekend,” said Mark Griffin, president, Michigan Petroleum Association.
When they know customers are coming in, gas isn’t on sale at that point.
Recent high gas prices have deterred some travelers from driving very far away from town.
“Especially when they’re up over 4 dollars per gallon, a lot of the times we would stay closer to home and not travel as far,” said Sharon Schooley, driver.
But the price hikes don’t necessarily target holidays.
“It will happen every week to week and half, it doesn’t matter where you lay the holidays up.”
It all depends on demand, meaning if fewer people decided to stay home the price hikes wouldn’t be as drastic.
Officials say it is normal for prices to spike quickly and come down gradually.