Gas prices in Arizona have reached their highest price this year, according to AAA Arizona.

The average prices in Arizona on Thursday increased 2.6 cents from last week to $2.30 per gallon, according to AAA Arizona. This is still lower than the national average price, which AAA said is $2.41 per gallon.

In Phoenix, the average price was $2.25, a little below the state average, said AAA Arizona. Surrounding areas vary from there, with the southeast Valley at $2.23 and Scottsdale at $2.32, according to AAA Arizona.

Flagstaff has the highest average fuel prices in the state at $2.51 per gallon; the lowest is $2.19 in Tucson, AAA Arizona said.

“In addition to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and increased driving demand, this week’s price increase is being fueled by a lift in oil prices,” said Michelle Donati, spokeswoman for AAA Arizona.

Unfortunately for many Arizona residents, prices won’t be going down anytime soon.

“Given current market factors, AAA is expecting Arizona gas prices to continue to increase,” Donati said. “We are anticipating prices to peak sometime in May or June.”

Drivers consider alternatives

Tempe resident Rachel Overpeck said she drives everyday and would consider using public transportation if prices continue to increase.

“It’s a little bit of a nightmare,” said Overpeck. “It affects my wallet, my spending money. I fill up my tank usually at least once a week, so it’s about 25 dollars each time and it’s getting to be more.”

Some avoid the high prices by opting for public transportation.

Heather Curry of Tempe said she works in Phoenix and uses public transportation every day.

“I prefer it. Even if gas prices were $1.20, I would probably take the light rail just because it’s easier and I can get work done,” she said.

Others find ways to avoid the high prices. Jared Johnson of Phoenix said he drives about 300 miles a week and has to fill up his car weekly.

“I’ve been going to places that offer discounts with a Fry’s card or something like that,” Johnson said. “I filled up (Thursday) and I got 10 cents off per gallon, so it took quite a bit off.”

Nationally, AAA said California has the highest average price at $3.01 per gallon, while South Carolina has the lowest at $2.13 per gallon.

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