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If you’re looking for relief from rising gas prices, don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

According to a new GasBuddy report, U.S. drivers will spend $52 billion more at the pump this year compared to 2016. The national yearly average is expected to rise 36 cents to $2.49 per gallon.

The seasonal switch from “winter-blend” to “summer-blend” will lead to an increase of between 35 and 60 cents, according to GasBuddy’s 2017 Fuel Price Outlook.

That spike will begin in mid-February and peak in May, experts predict.

RELATED: Gas taxes are going up in these 7 states


Unfortunately, some cities can expect $3 a gallon gasoline to return, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. But $3 gas is possible in many other cities as well.

Here are GasBuddy’s peak daily average predictions for major U.S. cities:

  • Atlanta: $2.65 to $2.80
  • Boston: $2.80 to $2.95
  • Chicago: $3.15 to $3.50
  • Cleveland: $2.90 to $3.10
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth: $2.50 to $2.75
  • Denver: $2.75 to $2.95
  • Detroit: $2.95 to $3.15
  • Houston: $2.50 to $2.70
  • Los Angeles: $3.45 to $3.75
  • Miami: $2.90 to $3.20
  • Minneapolis: $2.90 to $3.25
  • New York City: $3.25 to $3.55
  • Orlando: $2.75 to $3.05
  • Philadelphia: $3.25 to $3.60
  • Phoenix: $2.70 to $3.05
  • Sacramento: $3.35 to $3.65
  • San Francisco: $3.50 to $3.85
  • Seattle: $3.25 to $3.50
  • St. Louis: $2.70 to $2.95
  • Tampa: $2.65 to $2.95
  • Washington, D.C.: $3.25 to $3.60

“While the return to cheap gas last year may have felt as long coming as the Cubs bringing home the pennant, low gas prices are usually don’t last as long as we’d like,” said GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Unfortunately, as OPEC as tightened their grip on oil prices, Americans will be spending over $50 billion more this year on gasoline versus last, and unlike the Cubs winning the World Series, it may be years before some of the low prices we saw in 2016 come back.”

RELATED: 3 things every driver should know before buying gas

Although there’s nothing you can do to stop rising gas prices, the best way to save money is by finding the cheapest gas in your neighborhood using free smartphone apps, including GasBuddy’s.

Here are some other common sense tips to help you save fuel in 2017:

  1. Drive the speed limit
  2. Do not accelerate
  3. Keep your tires properly inflated
  4. Use air conditioning sparingly
  5. Keep windows closed
  6. Properly maintain your vehicle
  7. Use cruise control
  8. Avoid heavy loads
  9. Avoid long idles
  10.  Drive a fuel efficient vehicle

What’s interesting is that despite the increase in gas prices, car buyers continue to gravitate toward SUVs, trucks and crossovers that aren’t known for being fuel efficient.

So if you’re in the market for a traditional car, you may be able to score an incredible deal. In fact, sedans and subcompact cars made our list of 6 things that will be less expensive in 2017.

Buying a fuel efficient car may be your best defense against these unpredictable gas prices!

Mike Timmermann, Clark.com |
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