Coming to a Pump Near You: Gas-Price Spike 

The cost of filling up has declined in recent weeks, but AAA forecasts a change this spring.

Consumer pumping gas in Nez perce at Exxon gas station in Idaho state
Francis Dean—Corbis via Getty Images

Prices at U.S. pumps have dipped in recent weeks, but the trend is not expected to continue, with AAA forecasting costs to rise to highs not seen since 2015.

Gas prices are already expensive, with American motorists already paying a quarter more in the first quarter of 2018 than during the same period last year, AAA said Thursday.

The national average will rise to as much as $2.70 a gallon this spring, a price not seen since the summer 2015 when costs ran to $2.81, according to AAA. 

"This spring, consumers may have to make decisions on where they can cut costs to cover gas prices that are potentially 40 cents more per gallon than last spring," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

The vast majority of consumers would change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset higher prices at the pump, a new AAA survey found. One in four said they would start making changes at $2.75, while 40 percent viewed $3.00 as their tipping point. 

Seventy-three percent of those surveyed said they'd drive less in the face of higher fuel costs, while 70 percent said they'd combine errands or trips. Forty-six percent said they'd drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.