There is an easy way to tell gas prices are rising

A gas pump shows gas and diesel prices in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (AP Photo / Steve Helber)

(NEXSTAR) – As gas prices remain high – and expected to increase further – you may be looking for ways to save money at the pump. How do you know if you should refuel now or wait for prices to drop in a few days?

It’s pretty easy to predict when gas prices are about to rise, said GasBuddy’s leading oil analyst Patrick De Haan. All you have to do is keep an eye on the oil price.

“It’s a good indicator of where prices may go in the coming days … simply because oil is the main ingredient in gas,” De Haan said.

If the price of a barrel of crude oil starts to rise, you can expect to see the price of gas follow suit. But the impact is not immediate, De Haan said, so you have time to react and fill up your SUV or minivan before prices rise. How much time you have varies, but it is usually about three to five days before changes in oil prices are reflected in gas prices.

“If the price of oil were to jump $ 20 a barrel today, [gas] stations may seem to forward it as quickly as possible because it is so important, ”he explained. “But in general it takes a few days for oil prices to get going. Gas stations are unlikely to be able to pass successfully. [oil price increases] for at least one day. ”

Other ways to save money at the pump include making sure you are fill up on the cheapest days of the week and to shop around. Comparing prices between gas stations in your neighborhood can save you money in the long run.

β€œPrices can vary significantly from block to block,” De Haan said. “You can save $ 100 or even $ 200 to $ 300 during the year if you pay attention.”

The average gas price nationwide is around $ 3.30 per gallon. gallon, according to AAA. California has the highest prices in the country with an average of $ 4.66.

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