Gas prices likely to hit $5 per gallon by week’s end, experts say

Pain at the pump affecting drivers and businesses that rely on fuel

Experts believe the national average will be $5 per gallon before long. Brianna Andrews joins us with more on local drivers' reactions.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. gas prices are at another all-time high, hitting $4.95 per gallon overnight.

That’s four cents higher than Tuesday.

Industry experts now say by the time most Americans head home from work Friday, the national average will be $5 per gallon.

Florida gas prices are also at an all-time high, $4.77 according to AAA, a little less than a penny more than Tuesday.

Now it costs about $70 just to fill an average 15-gallon tank. That’s about $30 more than what drivers paid last year.

The average cost of gas in Duval County is $4.74, according to AAA. In Clay County, it’s $4.75, in Nassau County it’s $4.78 and in St. Johns County it’s $4.76.

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Some drivers say enough is enough.

“I don’t even know what to think right now. It’s just so high. It’s just terrible,” driver Colena Tipps said. “That’s all I could say. It’s just terrible.”

“I was hoping it would never get to this but unfortunately it has,” driver Georgina Nagy said.

Driver Ta’von Butts said if this keeps up, employers might have to make some changes.

“If gas prices go up to like $5, I feel like everyone should pretty much get a raise in their pay cause people not getting paid that much to be paying $5 for some gas,” Butts said.

But it’s not just drivers feeling the pain at the pump. Businesses that rely on gas are hurting too as their costs continue to skyrocket.

Food truck vendors who must drive all over the region to set up their wares are taking an economic pounding with the increasing prices.

Filling up the tank can cost well over $100 -- and that fuel is burned quickly as the truck must power its grill and air conditioning, even while idling.

The owner of El Chamo Criollo said it costs around $140 to fill up their truck, and next door at 904 Food Trucks, it’s about $120 -- almost daily.

“You have to put a lot of gas in these trucks. We go everywhere like Nocatee, sometimes we go to Georgia. And then it’s hard for us,” said Celenai Castro of 904 Food Trucks.

And that doesn’t cover the gas for the generator.

Over at Chubby Burrito, Andy Ramirez said gas costs around $500 a week -- more than $2,000 a month.

“We go different places around Jacksonville, to Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, different places over there too,” Ramirez said. “It’s still a big price (keeping up with gas), and we can keep up with it, but eventually it will catch up with us.”

Experts are pointing to less domestic production coupled with the war in Ukraine and oil companies backing off investing in renewables as some causal factors for the spike in prices, but frankly no one from Washington D.C. to the average gas station attendant seems to have any idea when the price will level off.

There is some good news for people who live north of the Florida-Georgia line.

Right now, Georgia has the lowest national average but that’s because the state has suspended its gas tax.

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.