BERRYVILLE, VA- When heading to the gas station this week, many were left wondering,"What happened to the lower prices?"
"I think it's really ridiculous how much they've gone up in the last couple weeks," say Scott Travis.
"It's like $3.69," says Connie Tanner. "Each day you see it going up and up and up. I can't afford it," Tanner adds.
In the last week, gas across the four-state region has gone up nearly 20 cents. Many people are driving across the region to Virginia to buy gas. Some have come to the 7 Eleven on Route 7, where at $3.39 a gallon, they sell some of the cheapest gas in the area.
"I drive up here from West Virginia, and I was looking around to see who had the best prices," Travis says.
"I always stop in Virginia to get my gas," says Tanner. "I live in Charles Town and gas just keeps going up and up out there. It's just ridiculous."
AAA Mid-Atlantic says factors such as, violence in North African oil-producing countries and oil refinery problems in the U.S. have contributed to the spike.
"Crude oiler prices have increased significantly since mid-December," says Christine Delise, Public Affairs Specialist with AAA Mid-Atlantic. "We were trading around the $95 and $96 barrel rate. It's increased 14-percent since that time," she says. "For the past few days, we've even been in the $97 range."
AAA says an upswing in the U.S. economy has also led to higher prices.
"Anytime there is positive economic news, there's the assumption that the demand for fuel will increase," Delise says.
Meanwhile, commuters like Jay Lombard say the gas is guzzling away their money.
"Every week it gets worse, says Lombard. "I fill up three times a week because I travel to D.C. everyday. So I feel it quickly."
These drivers say they'll continue looking for the lowest prices, as they prepare for more increases this Spring and Summer.
AAA says many companies will be switching over to the summer-blend gasoline, which is more environmentally friendly, but also more expensive.