Pain At The Pump: Gasoline Up 129% Diesel Up 142% In Hamilton Township; AAA Travel Survey 70% Saying To Travel As Much Or More This Summer

June 9, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday marked one year and seven months since a photo was taken at the Wawa on Route 33 in Hamilton Township, Mercer County showing gasoline prices. On November 8, 2020, a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.17 and now on June 7, 2022, $4.97 with a 129% increase over time. Even worse is Diesel fuel with a with a 142% increase on November 8, 2020, diesel fuel was $2.43 per gallon and now $5.89 per gallon.

There is no end in sight for relief of gasoline or diesel fuel prices as crude oil is trading higher.

Crude Oil is currently trading at $121.51 per barrel compared to $37.14 per barrel in November of 2020. Some experts predict that crude oil will trade between $140 and $150 per barrel soon. Prices trade higher as supply decreases as demand increases.

A new poll by AAA Travel finds travelers making big plans to get away this summer despite the highest gas prices in years. In fact, 70% of residents polled across twelve states and the District of Columbia say they are planning to travel as much – or MORE – this summer than last summer, and many say it will be their first significant summer travel since before the pandemic.

“The results of this new AAA Travel poll indicate that COVID concerns have eased dramatically and the majority residents are making plans to get away despite gas prices,” says AAA Travel spokesperson Amy Short. “While domestic travel will dominate, it is interesting to note the number of people making plans to travel internationally as well. That’s something we have not seen since 2019.”

About 60 percent of those surveyed say they are planning at least one trip – with more than 40 percent saying they are planning multiple trips.

By the Numbers

  • About 60% of those surveyed say they are planning at least one summer trip of 50 miles or more
  • About 35% of those surveyed say they are planning to travel MORE than last summer
  • About 20% of those surveyed say they are planning their first significant summer travel since before the pandemic
  • More than 40% of those surveyed say they are planning multiple trips
  • Of those traveling, more than 20% are planning international travel

Gas Prices

More than 40% of those surveyed say gas prices were not even a consideration in their travel planning but:

  • More than 40% of those surveyed say they are taking fewer or shorter trips because of gas prices
  • More than 15% of those surveyed say they will adjust their budget for lodging or dining out because of gas prices

Of those who say they are staying home or are unsure about their summer travel plans, more than 40 percent cite gas prices as the biggest factor influencing that decision.

COVID Concerns

Of the significant number of residents planning to travel more this summer than last:

  • About 40% say it is because their personal COVID concerns have eased
  • Almost 25% say it is because travel concerns have eased at their destinations

With gas prices increasing to near record highs, AAA is warning motorists that gasoline theft may be on the rise at well – and it could cost vehicle owners far more than the expense of replacing stolen fuel. That’s because, on newer cars, thieves are unable to simply siphon the gas from the fuel tank, so they opt for drilling a hole in the fuel tank instead.

“Newer vehicles have a ‘roll-over’ valve between the fuel tank and filler neck intended to prevent gas from spilling out, to lessen the chance of a fire, in the event of a rollover. But that same valve also makes siphoning gas much more difficult,” says Jim Lardear, Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA. “So, thieves seeking the path of least resistance now access the fuel by drilling directly into the tank.”

And, a small hole in your fuel tank can mean a much larger hole in your wallet. Fuel tank repairs can cost as much as $1,000 to replace.

Damage to the fuel tank may – or may not – be covered by insurance, depending on your policy.

“For those who have comprehensive coverage, the damage would qualify as vandalism,” says Sonia Medina, spokesperson for AAA Insurance. “But, of course, not everyone has comprehensive coverage.”

AAA encourages vehicle owners to talk to their insurance advisors to ensure they have adequate coverage.

AAA offers the following tips to protect against gasoline theft:

  1. Park in the garage at your home if you have one.
  2. When out in public, park in a well-lit area with high traffic. If possible, park in a secure location like a fenced-in lot or parking garage.
  3. When parking in a garage, find a spot near the exit or elevator as those have the most visibility and foot traffic
  4. If parking on the street, when possible, park with your gas tank on the street side.

AAA recommends looking for the following signs if you suspect gas theft:

  1. The smell of gas as you approach your vehicle.
  2. Puddle underneath your vehicle near the location of the fuel tank.
  3. The vehicle does not start.
  4. The vehicle starts but the fuel gauge shows lower than it was when you last drove.
  5. The check engine light (yellow) is illuminated.

AAA recommends victims of gas theft that may have damaged the vehicle:

  1. Contact the police to file a report.
  2. Reach out to your insurance company to see if your policy covers related repairs.
  3. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility as soon as possible.