Here's Why Prices on Premium Grade Fuel Won't Seem to Go Down

Nearly a dollar separates the average cost of a gallon of regular and super grade gasoline in Massachusetts, a notably larger price difference than in the past, AAA Northeast says

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's fair to say that gas prices have been on a rollercoaster ride over the past few years, but some drivers have been faced with stubbornly stagnant fuel costs that won't seem to sink beneath the four-dollar mark in Massachusetts.

While the current average cost of a regular gallon of gas in Massachusetts is $3.25, a premium gallon will set drivers back $4.16 — a much bigger gap in cost than in the past.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

AAA Northeast says the difference in prices used to be in the range of 20 to 40 cents.

"A key ingredient in making premium fuel is in shorter supply," Mark Schieldrop of AAA Northeast said. "So that means that refiners had to look to other places and use other components to make that refined product to make higher octane gas."

This travel season is expected to be the busiest since before the pandemic. If you're driving this year, you can expect a whole lot of company on the roads. 49 million people are expected to be traveling by car, despite higher gas prices, AAA predicts.

Schiedrop said more of that ingredient — called isobutane — has been used in diesel production, which saw a big increase in price in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"Making diesel meant making a lot more money," Schieldrop said. "So a lot of the gasoline production that normally would occur switched over to diesel production."

The premium price has left drivers of luxury and sports cars looking for ways to pinch pennies.

"I always try and get discounts with points from the supermarket to bring it down a little bit," Hilda Betancourt said. "Even though it's only 10 cents a gallon, it's something that helps."

OPEC announced that it would cut production by two million barrels per day starting in November, despite the fact that President Biden has called for more production.

AAA Northeast said that one place drivers shouldn't skimp out, is buying regular gas if their car calls for super.

But relief could be on the way.

"There are some fundamental signs that the situation will be balancing out a bit more and things should improve," Schieldrop said. "For folks that are driving high octane vehicles, though, you know the relief couldn't come soon enough.

Drivers can use this link for helping finding cheaper gas prices near them.

Contact Us