As drivers hit the highways for the Easter Weekend, North Carolina’s gas prices will continue to increase. But some good news for road warriors, fueling up this weekend will cost you less compared to Easter last year.

While gasoline prices have climbed 36 cents a gallon since Christmas, they are still 5.6 cents a gallon less on average than a year ago, according to AAA of the Carolinas.

The state-wide average now is $3.59 a gallon compared to about $3.67 last Easter holiday.

Prices are expected to continue to inch upwards over the next few weeks but should remain slightly lower this year overall.

Currently, North Carolina’s average gas price is the 25th most expensive in the nation and Georgia is 24th; South Carolina’s is 4th lowest nationally and Virginia 7th.

The Wilmington area has the second highest-priced gasoline in North Carolina at about $3.62; Winston-Salem the second cheapest at about $3.53.

Motorists looking for ways to conserve gasoline while traveling should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Monitor driving behavior, follow the speed limit and avoid accelerating or decelerating quickly. For every five miles per hour over 65 mph, gasoline efficiency decreases 10 pecent.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated to maximize fuel economy. See your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.
  • Keep vehicles properly maintained, including scheduled oil changes and air filter replacements.
  • Avoid excess weight in your vehicle. When vacationing, try to avoid strapping luggage on the roof where it causes drag and reduces fuel economy.
  • Whenever possible, consolidate trips.