Michiana gas prices a constant roller coaster experts say - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana gas prices a constant roller coaster experts say

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Summer gas prices have been a roller coaster ride for all of us this year.

One day gas is $3.35 and the next day you're paying close to $4.00. According to gas experts, the Midwest saw some of the craziest swings in prices.

"A fluctuation. Just up and down and up and down," said Freida Miller, while she filled up her tank.

Freida Miller pulled her car into the gas station in Lakeville as soon as she saw gas was only $3.36 a gallon. She said it's because she didn't want to wait to see prices go up again based on the see-saw pricing she's noticed lately.

"Sometimes you can go in the morning and you can fill up and then by the afternoon it's 10-20 cents more," said Miller.

Miller isn't the only one who's noticed the roller coaster pricing this summer. Experts from GasBuddy.com say the average of the three highest single-day price spikes in the South Bend area was 22 cents; double the national average of 11 cents.

However, Michiana, also has seen nearly twice as many price drops as the rest of the country.

"Prices jump around the most significant of any area in the country here in the great lakes," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com. "Prices also decrease among the fastest in the country so it really is a roller-coaster."

Dennis Glander says he's become a regular at $ave Gas Station in Lakeville because they always seem to have the best prices. He says he sticks to filling up at just one station because it helps him avoid the headache of dealing with all the fluctuating prices around town.

"We can be $3.36 one day and then all of sudden its $3.59 or $3.49 the next day, and really it can change in a matter of hours," said Glander.

The experts from GasBuddy say part of the reason prices change so much in Michiana is because of how competitive the local market is.

"A lot of competitors follow each other up and down and when one raises prices significantly everybody tends to follow," said DeHaan.

No one expects the ride in prices to stop anytime soon. Some drivers say the best thing is to fill up whenever you know the price is right.

"When I see it below $3.40 I don't want to wait any longer. I go ahead and fill it up," said Gary Beever, who bought gas for $3.36/gallon Tuesday.

Of course predicting the prices also becomes an issue for experts when they are dealing with daily changes around the area. Experts said they think gas prices will be where they are now Labor Day Weekend, but they wouldn't be surprised if there was an unexpected spike.

"Its tough getting the timing right even just two weeks out we really don't know what trends will develop on the market," said DeHaan.

To check out the best prices in your area visit the FOX28 Gas Buddy page.

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