SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Crude oil prices are the highest they have been all year driving up the price you pay at the pump. While gas prices are up throughout the state, Springfield drivers are being hit the hardest.

As of Tuesday, data from AAA shows the current average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $3.85. But in places like Cape Girardeau, the average is nearly 50 cents cheaper at $3.39.

“There are several factors that go into some of those regional differences,” Missouri AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria said. “First and foremost, distance from supply comes into play. The farther that a city or metro area is from refining operations or distribution centers, the more it’s going to cost to move that finished gasoline product to your local stations. We can also talk about just retail competition, you know, in operating costs to maintain a local gas station in that area.”

During this time of year, Chabarria said gas stations usually switch their blend from summer to winter, which can also impact prices.

“What that simply means is winter blend is usually a little bit cheaper to produce than summer blends,” Chabarria said. “Whether it’s in the fall or it’s in spring, you’re going to tend to see larger disparities because not all stations will switch over at once too to the different blend, and some will have to sell through more of their former blend.”

Chabarria said drivers can expect higher prices during this switch and during the crude oil price hike.

“Last Monday, gas prices were around $3.30 a gallon,” Randy Mizner said. He recently drove to Canada. “When I come back, they’re hovering real close to $4 a gallon.”

Mizner chooses to get his gas in North Springfield.

“Northern Springfield is about as cheap as the gas is going to be,” Mizner said. “If gas fluctuates from, say, 350 a gallon to $4 a gallon, it seems like in this area right here it’s about as cheap as it’s going to get.”

Chabarria suggests using apps like GasBuddy to shop around for the cheapest option.