(ABC4) – National gas prices have reached a record high two days in a row, increasing three cents overnight and hitting an average of $4.40 per gallon today. According to AAA, the average price of gas in Utah continues to be even higher than this at $4.49. Utah families say they’re really feeling that pain at the pump.

“We had been paying $600-$800 a month in gas, which is quite a bit to begin with, but March and April is up over $1000 a month in gas,” said Keith Castleton, a father of ten, who says he and his family own multiple cars, including a ten passenger Ford Transit.

“Some activities we may not do, or maybe we won’t go out to dinner or those kinds of things,” he said.
This march, Utah broke the previous record of $4.22 in 2008, and gas prices continue going up into May.

Experts say there are multiple reasons for this increase.

“The increase in demand, people are travelling more than they were a year ago, that’s a big part of it. But larger than anything else, it’s going to be the supply chain fears and bottlenecks that we’re seeing coming out of Europe right now, with sanctions on Russia and reluctance to buy from them, that’s pushing up global prices,” said Jeremy Blair, Vice President of Finance with Mountain America Credit Union. 

And for Utahns that have larger vehicles, they could be feeling that strain even more.

“It’s gonna hit your pocketbook more than it’s going to hit other people’s. Some of us have a choice in that. We can downsize to a smaller vehicle, others of us, we have large families, we have businesses that require larger vehicles,” said Blair.

Tami Varner says, in their family, they avoid driving their twelve-passenger van because it costs around $80 at the pump. She says gas prices have been especially hard on her teenage son.

“He has a really small budget with his high school stuff, so him having to pay for gas is always really hard so he ends up not going out with his friends so much,” she said.

Going forward, experts say that with a higher demand for gas in the summer and uncertainty about what the war in Ukraine will look like going forward, it’s likely we won’t be seeing relief soon.

“We can control what we can and recognize that many of these higher prices reflect even worse conditions throughout the world that are worth remaining sensitive to,” said Dr. Christian vom Lehn, an Assistant Professor of Economics at BYU.

Although we can’t control gas prices, there are a few things we can do to decrease what we pay. Experts recommend comparing gas prices, carpooling, using public transit and staying on top of car maintenance.