Gas prices back on the rise for spring travel

On the eve of the highly anticipated holiday weekend, the national average for a gallon of self-serve regular gas reached $2.03.

According to Consumer Affairs, the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey reported the rise in gasoline prices comes as oil refineries around the country are busy switching over to their summer-grade gasoline. During this "spring maintenance," refineries cut back on gasoline production.

The cost per gallon, now just over $2 for the first time this year, is up five cents from last week. However, it has jumped nearly 32 cents from average prices last month.

The demand in gasoline is typical for this time of year and although the prices are climbing, rates are still the lowest fuel prices motorists have seen in years. The Daily Ardmoreite reported that four years ago, prices at the pump were close to $4 per gallon at Easter.

Even 2014 Easter weekend prices had most Americans paying an average of $3.64 per gallon.

"Americans tend to travel more this time of year. In addition to celebrating Good Friday and Easter, many families also are taking road trips for spring break, if they haven't already," said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. "As they hit the road, they will still pay the cheapest prices for gasoline for this time of year since 2004. The recent uptick in the average retail price of gasoline can be attributed in part to another rite of spring: the seasonal switchover from winter-grade to summer grade gasoline."

Residents in South Carolina are paying the least at just $1.84 per gallon, reported Consumer Affairs.

Motorists on the west coast are not as lucky though. In California, the price per gallon has jumped seven cents since last week and 44 cents since last month. It is currently at $2.75, the highest in the nation.