MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida gas prices set a new 2021 high last week as 2.6 million Floridians prepare to hit the road for Thanksgiving.

The state average price for gasoline jumped 10 cents mid-week, reaching $3.36 per gallon. That’s the highest daily average price since September 2014.

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Andrew Reese was heading from Miami to Georgia to pick up his mom and bring her back to south Florida. CBS4 spoke to him at a rest stop in Pompano Beach where he was filling up.

“It’s going to cost me $150 dollars in gas.  It’s ridiculous,” he said.

Max Alvarez, the former head of the Florida Petroleum Marketers, said the spike is due to a myriad of factors.

“Refineries changing from summer to winter, speculation drives prices, weather drives prices and the shortage of truckers drives gas prices and everything else,” he said.

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Florida drivers are going to find the most expensive Thanksgiving gas prices in 8 years. The average fill-up will cost $50 for a 15-gallon tank. That’s $13 more than what Thanksgiving drivers paid pre-pandemic in 2019.

“High gas prices are not something drivers will be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The good news is gas prices should gradually decline through the holiday. Crude oil and gasoline futures dropped last week, and that should restore some downward pressure on prices at the pump.”

The U.S. price for crude oil dropped 6% last week – falling from $80.79 to $76.10 per barrel. That’s the lowest daily settlement since October 1, 2021 – back when the Florida average price for gasoline was $3.05 per gallon.

How to Combat Higher Gas Prices

While there isn’t a lot people can do about higher gas prices, there are some ways drivers can get the most for their money.

  • Pay in cash. Some gasoline retailers charge a few cents per gallon more for customers who pay with a credit card.
  • Shop around. Oftentimes retailers with the most expensive gas prices are located near airports, attractions and interstate on/off ramps.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Not only can poor vehicle maintenance lead to car trouble, it also reduces fuel economy. Tire pressure, motor oil and air filters are all things that can affect your vehicle’s fuel consumption.
  • Consider car pooling, combining errands, or driving the most fuel efficient vehicle.
  • Remove excess weight. The heavier your vehicle, the harder your engine has to work.
  • Drive conservatively. Speeding and heavy acceleration burns gasoline faster.
  • Enroll in savings programs.
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Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.49), Fort Lauderdale ($3.39), Port St. Lucie ($3.39)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.26), Pensacola ($3.27), Panama City ($3.30)

CBSMiami.com Team