Hawaii’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit a nation-leading $4.46 on Thursday, 28 cents higher than second-place California.
The state’s average on Thursday was 12 cents higher than a week ago, 44 cents more than a month ago and 91 cents more than last year, according to AAA data.
It is just 5 cents below the all-time record of $4.51 set on July 31, 2008.
The most expensive gas in Hawaii was on the island of Maui, where the average price was $4.77, down a penny after hitting a record of $4.78 on Wednesday. The previous Wailuku record was $4.75 in August 2008.
The average price for a gallon of regular in Honolulu was $4.36, just five cents below the record high for Honolulu of $4.39 set on July 29, 2008
As most states brace for gas to climb to $4, Hawaii was the first to reach that mark a month ago. Now three other states share that distinction: Alaska, California and Illinois.
The national average reached $3.81 Thursday. Wyoming was the cheapest in the country at $3.53.
"There’s no doubt that across the country the pain is being felt, but more acutely in Hawaii," said Marie Montgomery, spokeswoman for Automobile Club of Southern California, which covers Hawaii.
Eighteen percent of Hawaii motorists polled by AAA last month said $5 is the breaking price point that would make them drastically reduce driving.
"There is a bit more tolerance for a higher price just because Hawaii has been paying more for longer," Montgomery said. "The people who are paying $3.80 a gallon in other states are outraged about it. It’s all relative."