CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Just when Southwest Floridians started speculating whether gas prices could dip below $3 per gallon, prices suddenly jumped more than 20 cents in the last week.
Last week, the average price per gallon was $3.23 and today, the average is $3.45, according to Gas Buddy. Many drivers believe the spike is in preparation of Thanksgiving travel next week, but AAA has another reason.
"There's maintenance going on in the gulf coast refineries and this has tightened the output of oil, which of course drills down to the gas prices," said Marsha Kut, manager at Fort Myers AAA. "It was totally unexpected."
Though Kut said the price increase isn't due to the big travel week ahead, drivers aren't buying it.
"All of a sudden now it's the holidays and it goes up 20, 30 or 40 cents," said driver John Burowski.
The price spike is putting the brakes on some drivers' holiday travel plans. Emilo Tejado said he'd usually be fueling up to visit family in Miami or Tampa, but he's not this year.
"We have to stay here, we can't afford to go anywhere right now," he said.
Kut said the prices are expected to come down towards the end of next week.