Don’t bother asking the gas station attendant if the increased fuel prices on April 1 are a cruel April Fools’ Day joke.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service announced this week that fuel prices will increase between 10 cents and 18 cents a gallon effective April 1.

On average, the price for regular-grade unleaded gas will increase by 11.7 cents per gallon. A gallon of midgrade unleaded will go up by 11.5 cents, and a gallon of premium unleaded will cost 10.9 cents more. Diesel is set to jump by 18.6 cents a gallon.

April marks at least the second consecutive month in which AAFES gas prices have increased by 10 cents or more a gallon.

The rising prices mean that Staff Sgt. Melvin Spriggs of the 723rd Air Mobility Squadron will pay about $1.65 more to put 15 gallons of super-plus unleaded gasoline in his BMW.

“It’s not a whole lot of money, but prices should be going down, not up,” said Spriggs while filling his tank at the AAFES gas station near the entrance to Pulaski Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany. “We’re already fighting the euro. Now, we’re fighting gas prices.”

The increase is based on a four-week Department of Energy average of gasoline and diesel prices in the United States, according to AAFES officials. Gas prices have spiked recently around the United States. The average cost for a gallon of gas stateside this week is $2.10, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“There was not as much of an increase as we expected considering what we’ve seen happen in States,” said Debbie Byerly, an AAFES-Europe spokeswoman.

As of April 1 at AAFES stations in Germany, regular unleaded fuel will be $2.19 a gallon, super unleaded moves to $2.28 a gallon and super-plus unleaded rises to $2.37 a gallon. Diesel increases to roughly $2.35 per gallon.

In the United Kingdom, the prices for a gallon of super unleaded fuel will be about $2.22 a gallon, and diesel goes to $2.28 a gallon.

In the Netherlands, a gallon of AAFES super unleaded will cost $2.46 per gallon. Super-plus unleaded hops to about $2.74 a gallon, and diesel climbs to roughly $2.72 a gallon.

Byerly noted that filling up the gas tank at an AAFES station is still cheaper than doing it on the economy. To fill a 20-gallon tank at the AAFES gas station at Mainz-Kastel, Germany, cost $41.46 on March 23, according to an AAFES press release. The cost for 20 gallons of fuel at the nearby Esso station would cost $116.19, according to the press release.

Although not happy about the coming increase, Maj. Paul D. Heinlein, deputy provost marshal with the 21st Theater Support Command, knows the benefit of buying fuel at AAFES prices.

“It’s more money out of my pocket, but being here in Germany, there’s not much we can do about it,” he said. “It’s still cheaper than buying gas on the economy.”

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