A surge in gas prices this Saturday will drive Army and Air Force Exchange Service regular unleaded gasoline to a six-month high.
U.S. prices, to which AAFES prices are pegged, have jumped 12.7 cents on average in the last two weeks, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy.
The new increases in AAFES prices in Europe range from 3.8 cents to 18.9 cents per gallon. Those increases, paired with last week’s price jump, will wipe out a previous six-week slide in prices for nearly all grades of fuel in all European locations.
Regular gas, sold only in Germany, jumps 7.5 cents to $3.293 a gallon — the highest price since June 2007.
Mid-grade unleaded gas jumps 3.8 cents a gallon in Germany to $3.369, while in the United Kingdom the same grade jumps 7.6 cents to $3.331 a gallon. The news is worse in the Netherlands, where mid-grade gas spikes 15.1 cents a gallon to $3.899.
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts prices will continue to rise, according to a report released Tuesday. The department expects U.S. prices to peak at around $3.50 for a gallon of regular gas sometime this spring and doesn’t expect prices to start coming down significantly until at least the end of the year.
In the Netherlands, where fuel prices are always higher than the rest of Europe, AAFES fuel customers are feeling the rise in prices more acutely than elsewhere.
“We kind of feel like we’re getting hammered, especially now that we can’t buy the coupons in Germany," said Dave Buchholz, who works for Joint Force Command Brunssum in Brunssum, Netherlands.
When prices change Saturday, a 100-liter book of mid-grade fuel coupons will be $14 more expensive in the Netherlands than in Germany, and $15 more expensive than in the United Kingdom.
Buchholtz, who drives a Chevrolet Tahoe pickup, said he pays about $75 to fill his tank every week and a half.
Jennifer Brooks, a military spouse, said the high price AAFES customers pay in the Netherlands compared to U.S. prices irritates her, but because there’s no alternative, “I just close my eyes and pay it,” she said.