Gas prices on a spike up

Costco has one of the cheapest prices for gas in the Knoxville area. (Source: Kyle Grianger, WVLT)

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Gas prices have gone up 16 cents since last week, and experts say the price to fill up will continue to go up.

Experts with AAA say prices normally go up in the spring as refineries slow down production for cleaning. The refineries have to clean the pipes to switch to a cleaner burning fuel for the summer.

This year, the spike has hit much sooner and families are watching the numbers closely.

Don Lindsey, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Tennessee, says right now families who've planed spring trips will still go, but they'll adjust their plans to make up for spending more on gas.

"They might not go to as many entertainment things as they would ordinarily do," said Lindsey. "But if the trip's planned, if they're planning on doing that, they're gonna go, they just might make some adjustments."

Linsey expects prices to continue to go up in the short term, but aren't expected to reach the critical $4 a gallon that many families say will drastically change their travel plans.

"The good news, if there is any in this, is it look like this will be a temporary kind of thing and that we'll start to see this taper off after a while, if everything goes according to plan," said Lindsey.

Other issues have driven up prices. Lindsey says promising economic news in China and Europe have caused crude oil prices to go up. He says the speculators also are anticipating a rise in cost and are buying gas to cash in when the price point goes up.

In Knoxville, one of the cheapest places to get gas is the Costco. As of 6pm Monday the price was $3.13 per gallon.

Watch the raw interview above to find out more about how to save money on filling up.

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