CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Overnight, gasoline prices in the Richmond metropolitan area jumped at least 20 cents and experts say it could get worse.

GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan told 8News that the current high prices could continue to climb as high as $4 per gallon.

He said the Tuesday spike in wholesale gas and oil prices is one reason for such high numbers at the pump. DeHaan said the spike, combined with the situation between Russia and Ukraine, means those prices could jump another 10 to 20 cents in the coming days.

DeHaan said the prices could stay high- unless the situation between Russia and Ukraine changes anytime soon.

The prices are hurting the pockets of folks like restaurant worker Roshad Harvey, Jr., who has to use premium gas in his vehicle.

“For this little car, it’s almost $60 to be filled up,” he said. “For that price, that’s like somebody with like a construction job making a lot of money or something.”

Several gas stations around Chesterfield are selling gas for around $3.55, above the Richmond-area average AAA reports at $3.47 for regular unleaded.

Joseph Sauer owns S&K Technology, Inc. in Richmond, and said the prices are outrageously hurting small businesses like his. “It’s going to run us out of business.”

“I’ve never seen it so bad,” he said. “By the time we pay taxes, with the increase of taxes and food and everything else, sending guys everywhere, it’s costing a fortune.”

He attributes the high gas prices to a reason why his profit margins are down to 30%.

“If we lose our small business in America, we lose the foundation of what it was built on,” he said.

Several apps can be used to save money on gas including GasBuddy, Gas Guru, Waze, Dash and MapQuest Gas Prices. DeHaan recommends signing up for Pay with GasBuddy, a discount program gas card that allows customers to save up to 25 cents per gallon on gas.

To save money, AAA recommends:

  • Performing regular car maintenance checks
  • Keeping tires properly inflated
  • Not purchasing mid-grade or premium gas unless your owner’s manual recommends it
  • Avoiding idling
  • Observing the speed limit
  • Consolidating trips