Americans’ pain at the pump was at record levels last year, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report.

Gasoline expenditures in 2012 for the average U.S. household reached $2,912, or nearly 4 percent of income before taxes, according to EIA estimates. With the exception of 2008, it was the highest estimated percentage of household income spent on gasoline in nearly three decades.

However, gas expenditures as a percentage of overall household income are still low when compared with the early 1980s, when the estimated portion of household income spent on gasoline surpassed 5 percent.

The average city retail gasoline price rose 26.1 percent in 2011 and another 3.3 percent in 2012, when it reached $3.70 per gallon.