ATLANTA — Newton and Georgia gas prices continued to increase at the pump today compared to recent weeks but the county's average still was lower than Metro Atlanta and the state.
The average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gas was $3.48 Monday, Feb. 28, which was up 17 cents from $3.31 on Feb. 14.
Crude oil prices surged after Russia launched its military invasion of Ukraine last week, according to AAA-The Auto Club Group.
"As the conflict escalates with more sanctions and retaliatory actions, the oil markets will likely respond by continuing to increase the price of crude oil to reflect more risk of disruption to tight global oil supplies," according to a news release from AAA-The Auto Club Group.
Newton County average prices ranged from $3.37 to $3.59, with the lowest prices found at stations scattered around the county on Dixie Road and state highways 212, 81 and 142, according to reports from motorists to gasbuddy.com.
The stations in Newton averaged lower than the Metro Atlanta and statewide averages of $3.50.
Metro Atlanta averages for other grades of gas were $3.81 for mid-grade, $4.15 for premium and $3.94 for diesel.
AAA reported today's state average was 13 cents more than a week ago, 32 cents more than last month, and 94 cents more than this time last year.
It now costs motorists an average of $52.50 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline in Georgia
“Georgians continue to feel pain at the pumps,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman. “Industry professionals warn gas prices are likely to climb even higher if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.”
Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 7 cents to $3.60. Pump prices will likely continue to rise as crude prices continue its upward trend. At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 71 cents to settle at $92.81 after climbing above $100 per barrel.
The most expensive Georgia metro markets were Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($3.61), Savannah ($3.59), and Augusta-Aiken ($3.58).
The least expensive Georgia metro markets were Rome ($3.44), Warner Robins ($3.45), and Dalton ($3.46).
AAA gave some tips for saving money on gas:
• Slow down — if on the highway, know that gas use increases as your car passes 50 mph. If you drive the speed limit, you could reduce your car's fuel consumption.
• Drive more gently — gradually brake and accelerate, rather than stomping on the gas pedal or brake pedal.
• Avoid engine idling — it can waste fuel.
• Make one trip, instead of many — make a comprehensive list of items you need to buy and then make a single trip outside of your home, rather than multiple short trips.
• Clean out the car — lighter cars use less fuel. Get the junk out of your trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments.
• Stay regular on vehicle maintenance — get your car checked out regularly and make sure your tires are filled to the correct pressure level.