As cars burn up fuel, drivers are finding themselves burning more cash. "I'm going to have to start using the bus or catching a bike or something. Two days ago I could have sworn it was $3.85, now it just went up to $4.09," said Kitta Keophongsavan of Fresno. Soaring prices are pushing drivers to cut back on expenses. "No more fast food, no more chips, no more soda. It's a definite cutback because my job is important and I need gas to get back and forth," said Gabrielle Garcia of Fresno.
And the high prices have customers taking out their frustrations on gas store clerks. "A lot of people, they just get mad. They think we are behind that and we are increasing the gas prices, which is not true. Every time the gas prices go up, our [profit] margin shrinks because we have to work on a very tight margin," said Vikram Vohra, a gas store owner. He said he's actually losing money because customers are not buying snacks or getting car washes at his shop.
"If our competition is going up, we have to go up. If our competition is going down, we have to go down too. But of course if we have all gas, we try to sell it at the cheaper price as possible. So when we get the new delivery, if it is 15 cents higher, then we have no choice. We have to go up 15 cents," said Vohra.
As gas prices spike, drivers like Craig Todd are using motorcycles that get better mileage. "Run around town, probably so, if I don't have to put anything in my truck or anything like that, sure. Like right now I'm going to the bank so I might as well use it," said Todd.
And drivers will continue to change their habits as they fear prices only going up from here. "How are we going to do it then? I mean it's hard enough as it is now and then if it gets to that price, it's going to be like gas every three times a week," said Garcia.