With gas prices steadily climbing in the U.S. and abroad, despite the weekly price decline registered Monday in the U.S., many drivers are learning how much extra it costs of late to fill their vehicles’ tanks.
Gas prices across the nation started rising before Russia invaded Ukraine. But the escalation into war pushed them even higher, and then came the global wave of sanctions against the Kremlin. As of March 17, the average price of a gallon of gas hit $4.29 nationwide, according to AAA. The average a year ago was $2.89, pointing to an average retail-price increase of $1.41 a gallon.
Let’s take a deeper look at how spiking gas prices affect the average American’s wallet.
What will higher gas prices cost drivers?
A $1 increase in the price of a gallon of gas costs the average American driver an additional $56 a month, according to Kelley Blue Book research from 5-year Cost to Own data. At the federal minimum wage ($7.25), unchanged since 2009, it would take an additional 8 hours of work per month to cover that added expense.
The research considers estimates of the total vehicle-related costs an owner pays during the first five years of vehicle ownership. This includes out-of-pocket expenses like fuel, car insurance and lost value to vehicle depreciation.
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Looking at operating costs by vehicle segment and a car owner who drives 15,000 miles a year, the research shows the average fuel costs per month, based on average fuel costs over the past five years (roughly $3 a gallon). Then, the Kelley Blue Book data analysts calculated the additional cost for every $1 increase in a gallon of gas.
The chart below also shows the additional monthly cost now that the price of gasoline, on average, has increased by nearly $1.50 from March 2021.
The bottom line: Owners of less efficient vehicles are feeling it the most.
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Which vehicles cost you more to operate
The driver of a full-size SUV pays about $110 more each month to operate that vehicle. A full-size pickup now costs $100 more a month to drive than a year ago.
The price rises are impacting nearly all households. Drivers of subcompact and compact cars are paying $54 and $60 more a month than a year ago, respectively. Drivers of hybrid cars are affected, with monthly gas costs for that group increasing by nearly $40 a month, the research shows. Even urban dwellers without cars may see higher prices for goods as retailers and others pass along fuel costs and as ride-sharing companies enact temporary surcharges.
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Calculating your additional costs
The chart below assumes the average driver puts 15,000 miles a year on a vehicle, 55% of it at city speeds and 45% at highway speeds.
See the estimates below to find out how your vehicle type stacks up.
Additional cost per month when gas price is:
Monthly Gas Cost at 5-Year Average Price
Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car
Luxury Subcompact SUV/Crossover
Entry-Level Luxury Car
Sporty Compact Car
Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover
Luxury Sports Car
High-End Luxury Car
Luxury Midsize SUV/Crossover
Midsize Pickup Truck
Luxury High-Performance Car
Full-Size Pickup Truck
Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover
Source: Kelley Blue Book
This story originally ran on KBB.com.