Motorists rejoice: Tuscaloosa County on average has the cheapest gas prices in West Alabama.

According to GasBuddy.com, motorists pay $1.87 per gallon on average for regular gas in Tuscaloosa County. That's four cents cheaper than in neighboring Hale, Greene and Pickens Counties.

"There's a lot that goes into it," said Patrick Dehaan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.com. "There could be a higher per capita amount of stations in Tuscaloosa keeping prices maybe a little bit lower than surrounding areas that may be less densely populated, have fewer stations and a lower level of competition,"

While these prices look appealing to commuters right now, they are not the norm. The average price for regular gas in Alabama is around $0.30 cheaper than they were last year. Dehaan said that the coronavirus pandemic left many commuters homebound.

"That's the reason that prices went down -- initially they plunged close to $1 because demand was significantly off year-ago levels, at some point by 30 to 50 percent, but now it's come back to about under 15 percent, compared to last year," Dehaan said. "There was a 15 percent deficit or so on year-to-date demand, compared to last year and that's what's keeping gas prices under $2 in Alabama."

Back in April, crude oil stock prices fell below $0 a barrel due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to CNN, stock prices for crude oil fell as low as $-37.83 per barrel, the lowest price in over 18 years.

As gas prices recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Dehaan said that there are options for commuters to still save at the pump.

"There's so many different ways now to not pay retail prices," Dehaan said. "Credit Card programs, stations offer loyalty programs, even GasBuddy has a free payments card that reduces the price on retail by several cents a gallon."

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