Motorists in Metro Vancouver and Victoria are among the hardest hit by an unseasonable spike in gas prices that swept across Canada this week – and has some experts forecasting record-high fuel costs in 2013.

The prices at Vancouver pumps jumped from $1.28 per litre to $1.35 per litre overnight, after months hovering in the $120 to $1.26 range.

Victoria motorists saw an even sharper spike, with prices at some gas bars shooting from $1.15 per litre to $1.34 per litre Thursday night. The jarring jump drew frenzied crowds of deal-seekers to stations that were late to adopt the new pricing.

While prices generally increase in the spring and summer, experts say this week’s spike hit early and may indicate prices will break records later this year.

“It’s higher at this time of year than it typically is. We’re starting at that higher level,” said Dustin Coupal of “I hate to always predict we may hit record prices… but certainly record prices could be hit this summer,”

But others, like former MP Dan McTeague, founder of, said the spike may have simply been caused by routine refinery maintenance and other factors.

McTeague said it’s unlikely prices will slide back down in the foreseeable future, but he doesn’t expect they’ll break records this year.

“You’re going to see basically a repeat of what you saw last summer. There may be those out there who are going to speculate that prices will shoot through the roof to $1.70. I don’t see that happening,” McTeague said.

Stations in the Fraser Valley were selling gas at an average of 10 cents less than Vancouver Friday.

Monitors said there were still some Vancouver stations selling fuel at $1.27 per litre by the afternoon, as long as drivers had the time and patience to find them.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson