Miami-Dade County

The one thing a summer-tripping driver doesn’t want to hear

There was an unexpected spike in Florida gasoline prices last week.
There was an unexpected spike in Florida gasoline prices last week.

Gas prices across South Florida unexpectedly spiked last week as prices rose across the southern United States.

On Sunday, Miami drivers were paying an average of $2.40 per gallon, an increase of roughly 4.4 cents per gallon from last week’s prices, according to a survey of nearly 1,700 stations by fuel analyst GasBuddy. Florida had the largest price increase in the country, jumping by 10 cents per gallon from $2.25 per gallon to an average of $2.35 per gallon on Sunday.

It’s likely that prices will stay consistent for the upcoming week, said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.

“I wouldn’t expect to see anything more than an incremental increase,” Laskoski said. “I wouldn’t expect to see the sharp spike from last week.”

He said while the spike was surprising, it’s not uncommon to see some incremental increases in prices over the summer because of summer driving.

“When you have gas prices that are low for a long period of time, it’s a catalyst for leisure travel,” Laskoski said.

But it’s possible that Tropical Storm Colin may affect prices in the upcoming week, depending on where the storm goes.

“I’m hoping we don’t see that storm move toward the oil infrastructure in Texas and Louisiana,” he said.

The Gulf Coast region is home to more than 45 percent of the country’s petroleum refining capacity, according to AAA. Because Florida gas is mostly imported from those refineries, any shipment delay could cause prices to go up.

Despite the spike, prices are still much lower than they were this time last year. Average prices across the state are 36 cents less than this time last year, and $1.24 less than two years ago, according to AAA.