Island drivers say there’s not much they can do but pay the price at the pump as the cost of a gallon of gas set a record in Honolulu and statewide yesterday.
The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Hawaii hit $4.512 a gallon, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. That is 2 cents higher than Tuesday and 0.2 cents higher than the previous state record of $4.51 set on July 24, 2008.
For premium gas, the average price per gallon was $4.675 a gallon, compared with $3.827 a year ago,
Honolulu set a new high with an average price of $4.40 a gallon for regular, beating the old record of $4.39 set on July 28, 2008, and 94 cents higher than a year ago.
Adjusted for inflation, $4.39 in 2008 is worth $4.56 today.
"There’s not much a consumer can do," said Jerrold Takata, a Honolulu electrician. "If you have a family, you need your car. You can’t buy a new car."
Takata and Boyce Abellira were filling up their company truck yesterday morning in Makiki.
Gas at the Chevron station at the corner of Piikoi and King streets ranged from $4.44 a gallon for regular to $4.64 for supreme.
"It’s going to cost anywhere from $70 to $75," Takata added as he watched the numbers climb. Two weeks ago, he paid $4.30 a gallon. "The consumer is going to pick up the rising cost. When gas goes up, everything else goes up."
Takata’s personal vehicle is a truck that he drives only on weekends. But it costs nearly $100 to fill up every month, he said.
Yong Park said she no longer fills up her van’s 20-gallon tank. "It’s just too expensive."
Instead, Park and several other motorists gassing up in the Makiki area yesterday said they buy only a set amount. Park said her limit is $60.
She and her family of four also have made other concessions. "We do a lot more walking, especially to do marketing," Park said. "It also means we go to the market less often."
AAA does not calculate average prices for Kauai, Molokai or Lanai, but a spot check by the Star-Advertiser showed that gas prices are already above $5 a gallon for regular on Molokai and that prices for premium topped $6 in Hana, Maui.
On Molokai, the price of regular gas jumped 35 cents to $5.16 a gallon at Kaunakakai’s two gas stations Tuesday.
"Although our customers were surprised, we were expecting it," said Kat Kai, office manager for Hayaku Go on Ala Malama Avenue in Kaunakakai. "We kinda knew, since prices have been going up every three months."