Drivers and the small businesses that employ them are feeling a lot of pain at the gas pump and the Kingstowne and Rose Hill area is no exception.
According to AAA, the current national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.98. While the average for the entire state of Virginia is lower than that, gas at stations in Northern Virginia is priced higher.
The most recent spike in oil prices can be attributed to unrest in Middle Eastern countries, but as summer approaches, experts say expect prices to continue climbing. According to the U.S. Energy and Information Administration, fuel prices are up about 25 percent from 2010 and that could climb to 40 percent over last summer.
Orhan Buccino owns Buccinos, a local pizza restaurant at 6410 Landsdowne Center, that delivers. He says expensive fuel is really putting the squeeze on his employees.
“Gas prices are hurting our drivers. We’re doing free delivery now but we’re considering adding a delivery charge,” Buccino said.
What’s especially frustrating to small businesses, including Buccino’s, is that there’s no way around high gas prices.
“There’s not much we can do, it’s an expense we can’t control,” said Buccino.
He says as a business owner, his goal was to keep prices low so the community could enjoy his food. But now, the high cost of fuel has really complicated things.
“I always serve with a reasonable price, so it really hurts me and all the employees,” Buccino said.
There are a few things you can do to keep your vehicle running at peak efficiency:
- One simple measure is to make sure your tires are inflated to the optimal level. According to cars.com and the EPA, this will increase your fuel efficiency by 3-4 percent.
- Driving slower, say 40-55 miles per hour, will also save fuel.
- The same goes for cutting out engine revving acceleration.
- According to cars.com, however, the old adage about filling up in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and the gas is denser is just a myth. Because gas tanks are stored 15 to 20 feet below the surface, fuel usually stays at a temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.