Taking that affordable summer road trip, or just driving around town to do errands, might suddenly be a budget buster.
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hit $3.61 on Monday, according to AAA. That's up 14 cents from a week ago, and the largest price spike since February, said AAA spokesman Michael Green.
Analysts expect prices to climb further, edging up another 5 to 15 cents a gallon before the end of July.
"Crude oil prices are up 10 percent in the last three weeks, and gas prices have some catching up to do," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. "When oil prices are up, gasoline is bound to follow."
Several other factors have played a role. Crude prices have trended higher on news of minor production problems at several U.S.refineries, as well as continued violence in Egypt.
"That spooks the market," Green said. News on either issue could push prices higher, or lower if the news points to increased supply.