GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Gas prices have set new record highs ahead of summer.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas is $4.19 in North Carolina, according to GasBuddy. Premium and diesel are much higher.

“We have no choice but to get gas,” said Alaysia Wright, who filled up in Greensboro. 

Head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy Patrick De Haan told FOX8 that one reason we’re seeing these higher prices is summer travel. The demand for oil rises this time of year. 

De Haan said prices at the pump are up 22-cents since last week and 35-cents since last month.

Where you stop will determine what you pay. 

“I never thought I’d be putting $80 in my tank to fill up for gas,” said Sage Hancock, who filled up in Greensboro. “I normally take two or three trips to the beach in the summer, and I’ve only planned one because of gas prices.” 

FOX8 spotted a Shell gas station on Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro charging $4.49 for a gallon of regular gas on Wednesday. Another station less than half a mile away was charging $4.09 a gallon.   

The pain at the pump has forced some drivers to scale back summer plans. 

“I normally take two or three trips to the beach in the summer, and I’ve only planned one because of gas prices,” Hancock said.  

De Haan said to prepare for the prices to stay put for a while.  

“We’ve lost about a million barrels a day of refining capacity over the last three years,” he said. “Some of it due to a fire. Some because of COVID and because of hurricane Ida last year.” 

De Haan told FOX8 that the United States has tapped into oil reserves to help stabilize costs while stopping Russian oil imports during the war in Ukraine.  

“Over the next six months, the U.S. had committed to releasing 180 million barrels,” he said. “Over the same time, Russia could have the capability to produce 1.8 billion barrels, so it really pales in comparison.”

While refineries are working overtime, gas station owners are trying to keep up.  

“Stations have seen that incredible volatility, and they don’t want to lower prices one day only to have to raise them right back up,” De Haan said. “That’s going to make a lot of really frustrated people.” 

De Haan told FOX8 it’s difficult to estimate when prices could drop with the war in Eastern Europe and hurricane season weeks away. 

His best advice is to shop around and slow down to save money.