Gas price differences continue to widen between unleaded, premium fuel

If you drive, you've noticed that gas prices have increased.
 
Drivers whose vehicles require premium gas are feeling the pinch in their wallets even harder.
 
Harold Almond drives a Volkswagen and the gas instructions say "premium fuel only."
 
But Almond says he has noticed the price of midgrade and premium gas taking off.
 
"In my entire life I've always thought there was always a 10-cent difference in price between regular and midgrade and midgrade and premium, " said Almond.
 
Now, he says, there's a widening price difference.
 
However, gas prices in Arizona remain below the national average. So, are we lucky?
 
We do know that there has been a gradual increase in prices between the various grades of fuel.
 
AAA Arizona shows last year the average gas price locally was $3.43 per regular gallon and $3.66 for premium.
 
That's a 23-cent difference between regular and premium.
 
Right now, AAA shows regular gas goes for $3.50 a gallon on average in the state, and premium is at $3.76.
 
That's a 26-cent different, up three cents from last year.
 
That's an additional 45 cents for a 15-gallon tank. Now imagine how many times you fill up throughout the year.
 
Gasbuddy.com says refineries are producing less premium gas now.
 
To help save money, check with your automaker to see if premium gas is required or just recommended for your vehicle.
 
Find out which local gas stations have the lowest prices at gasbuddy.com. You can also download the GasBuddy app onto your smartphone. It will locate the lowest price of gas near you.
 
Need my  help or know of a consumer scam going on?
 
Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515 Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can leave a message anytime.
 
Send me an e-mail or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
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