Gas Prices 101: How Growing Need for Fuel Surcharges Affects Businesses (and You)

pumping gas at station.
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Get ready to hear a lot more about fuel surcharges in the coming weeks as businesses ranging from trucking companies and airlines to rideshare services tack on extra fees to deal with surging gas prices.

See: Back to Commuting? Here Are 7 Ways To Combat Rising Gas Prices
Read: Record Gas Prices Obliterate Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Take-Home Pay

Fuel surcharges are additional costs that companies charge customers as a way of maintaining margins when gas prices go up. There’s been a lot of that lately, with regular gas prices hitting a record $4.331 a gallon last week and diesel prices hitting a record $5.135 a gallon, according to AAA.

How does this impact you? It’s simple, really: You’ll be paying extra for certain goods and services.

Uber and Lyft have both announced plans to add temporary surcharges to deal with the rise in gas prices, NPR reported. This means riders will be charged a little more than normal.

Uber customers will reportedly pay a surcharge of either $0.45 or $0.55 on each trip, while Uber Eats deliveries will include a charge of $0.35 or $0.45 on each order, depending on the location. Drivers will receive 100% of that money directly, Uber officials said.

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Lyft didn’t offer specifics on how much more riders will pay on future trips, though the company said drivers will get all of the surcharge money.

International airlines are also either considering or implementing higher fuel surcharges that will be added to ticket prices, the Washington Post reported. So far no U.S. carriers have announced new surcharges for domestic flights, though American Airlines does pass on fuel surcharges on its British Airways and Iberia flights, according to the UpgradedPoints website.

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Meanwhile, the OOIDA Foundation, an affiliate of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, recommends that owner-operator truck drivers begin implementing fuel surcharges to help them deal with high diesel prices, according to the Land Line website. These surcharges are paid by trucking customers such as retail chains, which typically pass the costs along in the form of higher prices for consumers.

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“Customers really don’t want to hear it, but fuel prices are going through the roof so we’re having to charge more,” John Migliorini, vice president of Lakeville Trucking in Rochester, N.Y., told the WaPo. “What choice do we have? I’ve never seen prices jump this high, this fast.”

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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