Briant Breitigan, a customer at the Aberdeen Area Shoppette, fuels up before heading to work Monday. Across the country, Americans have seen an increase in prices at the pump. As of Monday, motorists at the APG Shoppette were paying $3.07, a few cents less than the national average. Gasoline prices in the United States this year could rise to about $3.50 a gallon, according to a top Toyota Motor Corp executive quoted in a Jan. 10 Reuters article. And those costs could hit $4, the highest amount since 2008, in states like California that have higher taxes and other costs. On the national news stage, experts have speculated that gas prices could rise to $5 per gallon by 2012. Although keeping a close watch, Breitigan said the rising prices haven't hurt his wallet too much, yet. "I am very glad that I have a fuel efficient car," he said. "The the next car I buy will have to be fuel efficient like this one. I am not sure if I believe the reports that gas will rise to $5, but I want to be prepared." He said gas is generally cheaper in Harford County than near his hometown in southern Chester County, Pa., where gas has risen to $3.16 per gallon.