I was shocked by the high fuel prices even if you didn’t drive
Being able to get around without a car felt pretty good when prices at the pump jumped to over $5 a gallon on average nationwide.
But it’s not just drivers who feel the pain at the pump.
Companies see their costs increase as well, and at least some, if not all, of them are passed on to consumers, either as fuel surcharges or a price increase.
At this point, it is almost impossible to avoid the impact of rising gas prices.
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine sent crude oil prices soaring while fuel demand soared, making the oil market increasingly tight and pushing gas prices to new highs.
Although the national average gallon of regular gasoline fell to $4.68 Monday after the record $5,016 set in June, prices are still well above $3.14 one year ago, according to data from AAA.
Fuel surcharges are back in a big way
Already, Uber and Lyft have imposed temporary surcharges on trips, while airlines are raising fares to cover fuel costs.
Grocers and delivery services, such as Instacart and FreshDirect, charge additional fees, as do shippers such as UPS and FedEx, based on the average gallon price of diesel — one of their biggest single costs.
Even Amazon jumped on the shopping cart last April and began for the first time to charge sellers a 5% surcharge on fuel and inflation, which could mean higher costs for consumers as companies try to pass on some of those additional expenses.
In fact, the price of any commodity that is transported on a truck, train or ship can be affected.
“Anything that is transported long distances, at the end of the day, someone is going to have to pay for it,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “Often, the consumer pays the bill.
“One way or another, we’re seeing costs rise as a result of higher gas prices,” Rossman said.
Gas prices are rising fast but falling slowly
Grace Carey | moment | Getty Images
“I don’t expect the surcharges to go away any time soon,” said Patrick de Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“For things like transportation, pizza delivery, groceries, airline tickets, packages, home building, vehicles, everything is affected by rising fuel costs, especially as we’re breaking records,” de Haan said.
There is a reason gas prices will rise quickly but fall slowly, mostly due to available supply and the need to hedge against future volatility, but it also means that even so-called temporary surcharges can run for a while.
How high prices factor into your budget
Otherwise, consider making trade-offs, such as delaying the purchase of a large ticket or switching to a less expensive alternative.
Add money-saving apps or browser extensions like Rakuten to get more cashback offers or Cently, which automatically applies coupon codes to your online orders.
“I will pull some of these levers to reduce the sting even if I get stuck paying higher prices,” Rossman said.
How do rising gas prices and other costs affect your family? Here’s how to calculate your personal inflation rate.
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