HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The start of fall means gas prices have begun falling.
Even better news for Tennessee Valley drivers? Some of the lowest prices in the country can be found in Alabama and Tennessee.
AAA, the largest leisure travel organization in North America, tracks gas prices through a daily fuel gauge report. On Monday, the report showed the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Alabama was $3.01. Tennessee was at $2.99. Both were far below the national average of $3.19.
However, a number of stations are still selling gas well above the $3 mark. Clay Ingram, a spokesman for AAA Alabama, says some variation may be attributed to local tax structures. Where a large discrepancy exists in the same city or town, Ingram says it's more likely the station is trying to make a higher profit off fuel.
Ingram explains that the widespread introduction of pay-at-the pump means fewer drivers now go inside the station and pick up a snack. As convenience store profits fall, some stations have raised prices at the pump to make up the difference.
For drivers who want a good deal, though, there are plenty of deals to be found. Even with Alabama's average at $3.01, many stations in and around Huntsville were selling Monday for $2.95 and below.
Ingram says, "we've got a lot of stations out there that are below the $3 mark, and I think we'll see more and more as the weeks go by."
The time of year typically brings a decrease in prices, as demand drops and refineries switch to a winter-blend gasoline, which is less expensive to produce. Most industry analysts expect the downward trend to continue until the holidays, before leveling off.