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Gas prices are the highest they’ve been in 3 years. Here’s why


You may find good holiday deals in stores, but you won’t get any at the gas pump.

South Carolina’s state gas price average is currently $2.24, according to AAA, which is 30 cents higher than this time last year and also the most expensive in three years.

“While AAA does expect gas prices to decline between now and the end of the year, motorists will still pay the highest November and December gas prices since 2014,” a release states.

AAA says historically, year-end gas prices tend to be relatively cheap due to a drop-off in fall gasoline demand around Labor Day and the move to a cheaper production of winter-blend gasoline in mid-September, but this year is different.

So, why is it so pricey now?

You can thank a couple major hurricanes, consumer demand and a continued growth in gasoline exports, AAA says. The direct impacts to gasoline production and delivery from the hurricane season were felt hardest in the South and Southeast regions, which includes S.C.

Here are some tips on what to look for to protect yourself against fraud when paying at the pump.

“Although we are paying more at the pump than we have in recent years during this time, the good news is that we expect prices to decline through the end of 2017," said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright in a release. "High demand kept prices higher during the fall, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, prices should trickle down over the next several weeks."

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles