Sales of SUVs and crossovers have soared in recent years, and no one will deny that cheap gas was a factor in those purchases. Unfortunately, 2018 has been a bad year for drivers who hoped the run of low oil prices would continue.
With the cost of oil rising steadily since late 2017, gas prices in the U.S. have increased accordingly. Since the start of 2018, average prices at the pump have jumped over $0.40 per gallon, data from GasBuddy.com showed.
That’s left owners with gas-guzzling vehicles shorter on cash for most of the year. (It may also help explain the surge in electric vehicle purchases in September.) From the Midwest to California, the residents of some states have seen prices spike over $0.50 per gallon — the equivalent of a 25% increase in one year.
Here are the 15 states that saw prices at the pump increase the most in the past year, according to AAA.
- Increase: $0.44 (17%)
Average gas prices hit $3.00 across Wyoming right around the start of October. Compared to the same time a year earlier, prices were $0.44 lower. That meant state residents were paying 17% more for gas, year over year, and price hikes in the neighboring Dakotas mirrored that increase.
- Increase: $0.465 (16.5%)
Gas prices in Oregon have been over $3.00 for most of 2018, but that wasn’t case a year earlier. Residents have seen an average 46-cent increase in 12 months. That’s pushed the average over $3.25 across the state in October, making it the fifth-highest place to gas up a vehicle in America.
- Increase: $0.467 (20%)
Late in 2017, Kentucky residents enjoyed gas prices of $2.36 per gallon across the state. A year later, prices shot up $0.47, marking a 20% increase and putting the state average at $2.83 a gallon in October.
To put it another way, drivers who average 300 miles a week in vehicles that get about 20 mpg would spend an extra $7 on gas. In a month, that means an extra $28 going to gas. Over a year, it adds up $364 extra on fuel.
- Increase: $0.47 (21%)
In a single year, gas prices have shot up over 20% for Oklahoma residents — from an average of $2.26 to $2.73. This is one of the reasons manufacturing and service industry workers have seen their wages fall in 2018.
Though supporters of the tax law assured workers their paychecks would be higher following the tax cuts, inflation and higher energy costs have canceled out any benefits. Earlier this year, residents of red states reported seeing no benefit at all from the tax cuts. With gas prices continuing to rise, the story has gotten worse.
- Increase: $0.471 (19%)
Like so many other people in the Midwest, Wisconsin residents saw a major (19%) bump in gas prices since late last year. That ran a gallon of regular unleaded to $2.90, a steep uptick from the $2.42 people were paying a year before. Over the course of a month, it adds up to about $30 more to fill up a tank, though the numbers are much higher for pickup truck drivers.
- Increase: $0.475 (20%)
Minnesota residents saw even higher increases ($0.48) in a gallon of gas than neighbors in Wisconsin over the past year. That ran average prices from $2.38 to $2.86 over a 12-month period. Since September, prices went up a dime per gallon.
- Increase: $0.49 (20%)
While Arizona residents pay a bit less per gallon of gas than neighbors in Utah and California, prices in The Grand Canyon State have jumped 20% since late 2017. That ran the cost per gallon of regular to $2.90 in October 2018. In a popular vehicle like the Toyota RAV4, that means an extra $7.80 for every tank fill-up (15.9 gallons) compared to the previous year.
- Increase: $0.495 (18%)
Nevada residents saw gas prices rise to an average of $3.25 by the first week of October. For Vegas cab drivers and other folks who drive for a living, that means hundreds extra in fuel costs every month. A year ago, Vegas motorists paid a more forgiving $2.70 per gallon.
- Increase: $0.495 (20%)
Colorado residents have seen a 20% jump in fuel costs since late 2017, and that left people paying close to $3.00 per gallon in October. (In Vail, prices hit $3.24 on October 4.) Across the state, drivers are looking at about 50 cents more per gallon, or $8 extra to fill up a crossover. For frequent drivers, you’ll have to budget over $30 more per month to cover the increase.
- Increase: $0.50 (20%)
In Illinois, it’s easy to do the math on the rise in gas prices. With a 50-cent per-gallon increase since late 2017, residents are looking at $3.00 for regular unleaded and $3.71 for premium gas. If you’re filling up a Ford F-150 (23 gallons), you’re looking at an extra $11.50 every time you visit the pump.
- Increase: $0.56 (24%)
If you go by percentage, only one state had gas prices increase more than Ohio (24%) since late in 2017. Residents faced signs advertising $2.88 per gallon of regular fuel in October, which were a steep jump from the $2.32 people paid the year before.
- Increase: $0.57 (23%)
In spring 2018, Michigan residents saw gas prices shoot above $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2015. After a 20-cent increase in September, the state average once again hit an unreasonable $3.03. Overall, that represented a 23% ($0.53) spike since late in 2017.
- Increase: $0.61 (26%)
While there are higher gas prices in America, no one saw a more dramatic increase (26%) than Indiana residents have in 2018. Compared to the average of $2.36 in October 2017, prices have topped $3.00 per gallon in most of the northern part of the state. In the popular Nissan Rogue (14.5-gallon tank), that means an extra $8.85 ever time you fill up your vehicle.
- Increase: $0.69 (23%)
California’s unique gasoline standards mean cleaner fuel but higher prices for consumers in the nation’s largest economy. In the past 12 months, the rising cost of oil has sent state prices up nearly $0.70 per gallon, which equals a 23% jump. That left Californians paying $3.78 per gallon of regular in the first week of October.
- Increase: $0.71 (23%)
Whether you go by the size of the increase ($0.71 per gallon) or overall cost of gas in October 2019 ($3.82), residents of the Hawaiian islands were paying the most. That left everyone from Toyota Prius drivers (an extra $8.03 per tank) to Ford Explorer drivers (an extra $10.30) increasing their gas budgets. At this rate, $4 gas will return to Hawaii before you know it.