MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gas prices are shocking drivers across the country and here in Memphis and the Mid-South. As the cost of gas rises again, many of us are paying the highest prices in seven years.

Gas prices are hitting people in the wallet because oil prices are at a seven-year high.

“Right now, what’s pushing our gas prices higher at this point are higher crude oil prices,” said Triple A spokesperson Megan Cooper. “We’ve been seeing crude oil prices over $80 a barrel.”

The price at the pump in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi are some of the lowest in the country, averaging just over $3 a gallon.

Still, drivers are seeing the difference. Last year, it cost Michael Criddle $60 to fill up. Now, he’s shelling out $80.

“They are going up, and it doesn’t seem too much of an explanation for it other than we are relying on too much on foreign oil, in my opinion,” Criddle said.

According to Triple A, for the second week in a row, the Tennessee gas price average saw a double digit increase week-over-week. The Tennessee gas average is now $3.12, which is 22 cents more expensive than one month ago and $1.18 more than one year ago. 

“We still don’t have the most expensive gas prices in the country and especially for Memphis, you have some of the cheaper gas prices in the state at the fourth cheapest metro,” Cooper said.

Memphis’ metro gas price average is now $3.14, which is nine cents more expensive than one week ago, 20 cents more expensive than one month ago and $1.18 more expensive than one year ago.

Here are some quick facts from Triple A:

  • 25 percent of Memphis gas stations have prices below $3.00  
  • The lowest 10 percent of pump prices are $2.92 for regular unleaded  
  • The highest 10 percent of pump prices are $3.46 for regular unleaded 
  • Memphis is currently the fourth least expensive metro in the state with a metro average of $3.14 

Until prices possibly drop again, Triple A recommends several ways to save and to lessen the pain at the pump.

“Definitely price comparison shop can help,” Cooper said. “And while you’re at the station, some stations will offer a discount while you’re paying in cash versus a credit or debit, and there are multiple fuel saving programs available for consumers.”

One other tip: drivers should consider skipping getting premium gas, unless it’s required, which is indicated on the door of the gas tank. Instead, many cars list premium gas as “recommended,” which means it’s optional.