Ariz. gas prices reach 6-month high



Posted on March 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 10:05 AM

PHOENIX -- Prices at the pump in Arizona have hit a six-month high, according to research by AAA.

The statewide average rose 1.3 cents from the previous week to about $3.38 per gallon, the highest average since September 2013.

The national average climbed by 2.4 cents during the same time period, reaching about $3.53 per gallon.

AAA anticipates prices will continue to rise but they aren't expected to hit last year's high of $3.75 per gallon.

"Over the last couple of years, we have seen prices peak in March," said AAA spokeswoman Michelle Donati. "We do believe that this year, they will be peaking over the next month, so sometime perhaps in April."

AAA says that last year, the statewide average peaked at $3.75 on March 4, which is the earliest peak price on record. The peak price in 2012 also occurred in March.

Some Valley drivers said they have no choice but to accept the increase in price.

"It's kind of a pain, but what else are you going to do?" Michelle Patrick said while buying gas. "You've got to drive, you've got to get to work, you've got to go to your activities, so you have to pay the price."

Other drivers see a silver lining in higher prices.

"The resale value on my Mini Cooper would go up if gas prices were higher," Charles Blonkenfeld said. "So they don't bother me."

Tucson has the lowest average for Arizona at about $3.29 per gallon, while Flagstaff has the highest at about $3.54.

South Carolina has the lowest average among the lower 48 states at about $3.24 per gallon and California has the highest at $3.97.