SEATTLE - Washington state reached its highest recorded average price for regular unleaded gasoline ever on Monday at $4.449 per gallon.
According to AAA, the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area also set a record reaching $4.630 per gallon on average.
Tacoma set a record at $4.534 per gallon for regular unleaded as did Olympia at $4.468, Bremerton at $4.447, Longview at $4.464, and Vancouver at $4.503.
The previous highest-recorded average prices came in the summer of 2008.
AAA has some valuable fuel saving tips for drivers like consolidating trips as much as possible, parking in the shade during hot weather, removing heavy items from inside your car, and minimizing the use of roof racks and special carriers that are not aerodynamic.
Drivers at one Shell station in Parkland paid about 50 cents more than the state’s current fuel average. Regular grade was $4.49 per gallon, and premium grade was almost $6.
"I just put 80 bucks in yesterday and I didn’t realize it was $5.19. Now it’s $5.79! It happened overnight. So, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Soon, I might even get me a bicycle," laughed Archie Boles while filling up his gas tank.
Making sacrifices and hard decisions in order to afford fuel will be reality for many drivers.
"People are trying to pay rent, they’re trying to put food on the table for their children. And now people that live out this way that work in Seattle it’s going to be a double whammy hit for them," said Betty Argyle as she put $25 worth of gas in her pickup truck.
"I’m struggling as it is and my girlfriend works too. We have a child on the way. I just hope in six months when he comes, my child, I hope it’s not like this," said Jeffrey Snyder while fueling up.
US national average likely to hit highest ever recorded
Gas is now a nickel shy of the highest-ever recorded average price, which was set on July 17, 2008, at $4.10 per gallon.
On Monday, California had the highest average price per gallon among U.S. states at $5.34, while Missouri had the lowest at $3.627, according to AAA. Twenty U.S. states and Washington, D.C. were all charging over $4 per gallon for regular gas.
The current prices are expected to keep climbing amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine and related supply disruptions, combined with heading into the warmer seasons when road travel and demand for gas spikes. Experts anticipate the U.S. will break the national average record this week.
"The increase in gas demand and a reduction in total supply contribute to rising pump prices," AAA said. "But, increasing oil prices play a leading role in pushing gas prices higher. Consumers can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb."
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum and analysis at fuel-savings app GasBuddy, said Monday that the national average jumped 48.3 cents per gallon over the past week. It’s also likely that the national average will jump to its highest-ever, seven-day average, topping what was recorded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (49 cents per gallon increase).
"It has been absolutely staggering to reach the pace of increases," De Haan said. But he noted that such a spike "wasn’t exactly surprising" given the recent jump in oil prices and Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The FOX TV Digital Team contributed to this report.