Gas price spike leaves drivers searching for deals

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The pain at the pump is getting worse each day. Gas stations in the downtown area are charging over $3.60 a gallon. (WLS)

The pain at the pump is getting worse each day. Gas stations in the downtown area are charging over $3.60 a gallon.

There is a way drivers can protect themselves against a spike in gas prices. A new service allows you to put a cap on the price at the pump, but drivers in the Chicago area can rarely take advantage of it.

If you've filled up your gas tank recently, you noticed the spike in prices. They're up because of an unplanned outage at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., which caused a decrease in production.

"I did notice it was higher, almost $4, a couple of days ago," says area commuter Kenneth Perry. "It's a big difference"

But there is a way drivers can protect themselves. A website, LoveMyGasPrice.com, lets drivers can put a cap on their monthly gas expenses.

"They have it for the electric bill and the gas bill," says Stephanie Short-Usher. "I'm locked into that, so I would definitely lock into the gas prices."

Customers can purchase a gas plan from $3.99 a month. The plan caps gas prices above the national average so if gas prices climb LoveMyGasPrice.com promises money back.

"Gas prices may stay high, may drop lower in Chicago, nobody really knows," says GP Manalac, CEO of LoveMyGasPrice.com. "Nobody knows how long this BP refinery will be offline, nobody knows how long prices will be up. They may come down equally as quickly; this is really peace of mind protection more than anything else."

However, the website bases its prices on the national average so Chicago area drivers can rarely take advantage of it.

"So if the national price goes higher than 2.75, you get money back, but in the coming months, given the interest level, I wish, I really wish I could offer a Chicago index price for a mid-continent price index," Manalac says.

Other sites like MyGallons.com allow customers to pre-purchase gas online and lock in the current price. While that is helpful if prices stay high, it could backfire if things change.

Related Topics:
automotivegas pricesChicago - South LoopCook CountyWhiting
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