Most, Least Expensive States to Own a Car

August 21, 2013

Georgia is the most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle and Oregon is the cheapest, according to a Bankrate.com report that considers the costs of gasoline, insurance, repairs, taxes and fees.

In Georgia, a typical driver spends $4,233 per year to operate his or her vehicle. That is almost double the cost in Oregon ($2,204). The national average is $3,201.

Georgians spend a lot of time in their cars thanks in part to Atlanta’s sprawling communities and a lack of public transportation. Those long commutes lead to above-average gasoline costs and insurance rates. Georgia also has the highest state automobile taxes and fees in the nation.

Oregonians benefit from the absence of a state sales tax as well as relatively low car insurance costs. Plus, the typical Beaver State resident drives 16 percent fewer miles than the national average.

California ($3,966), Wyoming ($3,938), Rhode Island ($3,913) and Nevada ($3,886) round out the five most expensive states.

Alaska ($2,227), South Dakota ($2,343), Montana ($2,660) and Indiana ($2,698) join Oregon among the five cheapest states.

For every state, Bankrate determined total car-ownership costs using median insurance premiums provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, average repair costs from CarMD.com and average automobile taxes and fees from Kelley Blue Book. Bankrate estimated average gasoline spending using average pump prices from GasBuddy.com.

The Bankrate.com findings from all 50 states:

Estimated annual cost of car ownership

Rank State Repairs Taxes/fees Gasoline Insurance Total
1 Georgia $385 $1,952 $1,129 $767 $4,233
2 California $390 $1,809 $980 $786 $3,966
3 Wyoming $324 $1,341 $1,643 $630 $3,938
4 Rhode Island $371 $1,717 $826 $999 $3,913
5 Nevada $364 $1,741 $811 $970 $3,886
6 Arizona $362 $1,724 $937 $862 $3,886
7 Kentucky $367 $1,443 $1,100 $716 $3,626
8 Massachusetts $358 $1,475 $856 $936 $3,625
9 Virginia $382 $1,568 $1,002 $670 $3,622
10 Nebraska $347 $1,575 $1,069 $580 $3,571
11 Louisiana $354 $1,123 $967 $1,103 $3,547
12 Missouri $353 $1,384 $1,123 $667 $3,527
13 Maine $328 $1,425 $1,144 $605 $3,502
14 Connecticut $385 $1,177 $960 $963 $3,485
15 Mississippi $356 $1,045 $1,279 $749 $3,428
16 Florida $377 $949 $1,043 $,1042 $3,413
17 Colorado $385 $1,335 $916 $745 $3,381
18 Washington $375 $1,256 $913 $832 $3,377
19 Arkansas $361 $1,198 $1,098 $663 $3,321
20 New York $365 $1,146 $743 $1,062 $3,315
21 West Virginia $310 $1,092 $1,070 $820 $3,293
22 Minnesota $346 $1,174 $1,060 $711 $3,291
23 New Jersey $393 $915 $830 $1,119 $3,257
24 Michigan $317 $976 $1,025 $921 $3,240
25 Oklahoma $338 $998 $1,215 $669 $3,221
26 South Carolina $368 $1,106 $997 $749 $3,219
27 North Carolina $390 $1,135 $1,070 $599 $3,193
28 New Mexico $345 $923 $1,192 $725 $3,186
29 Maryland $388 $851 $980 $939 $3,158
30 Utah $371 $1,073 $950 $708 $3,101
31 Texas $364 $980 $895 $838 $3,078
32 Tennessee $353 $1,012 $1,058 $644 $3,067
33 Iowa $315 $1,186 $1,015 $530 $3,046
34 Alabama $352 $662 $1,284 $667 $2,965
35 Vermont $270 $814 $1,215 $656 $2,954
36 North Dakota $344 $800 $1,246 $517 $2,907
37 Kansas $352 $861 $1,019 $619 $2,852
38 Delaware $314 $511 $1,002 $1,019 $2,846
39 Illinois $343 $889 $872 $728 $2,832
40 New Hampshire $328 $751 $1,008 $739 $2,826
41 Ohio $328 $879 $975 $627 $2,810
42 Idaho $349 $867 $1,015 $561 $2,792
43 Wisconsin $329 $796 $1,063 $591 $2,779
44 Pennsylvania $364 $769 $813 $818 $2,764
45 Hawaii $370 $636 $887 $812 $2,705
46 Indiana $329 $558 $1,190 $621 $2,698
47 Montana $360 $521 $1,118 $661 $2,660
48 South Dakota $312 $415 $1,092 $524 $2,343
49 Alaska $341 $202 $771 $914 $2,227
50 Oregon $380 $157 $942 $724 $3,201
Average $353 $1,058 $1,028 $762 $3,201

Source: Bankrate.com. For every state, Bankrate determined total car-ownership costs using median insurance premiums provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, for 2006 to 2010; average 2012 repair costs from CarMD.com; and taxes and fees from Kelley Blue Book. Gasoline spending was estimated after analyzing government statistics and 2012 prices from GasBuddy.com using average pump prices. Bankrate said it didn’t include data on vehicle depreciation in its analysis, since geography isn’t a major factor in determining that cost.

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Latest Comments

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm
    James says:
    who pays over 1000 annually for car insurance in NY? i pay less than half that (345/year from 4autoinsuancequote) and i know people who even pay less than that do they even sh... read more
  • August 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    perplexed says:
    Skeptical, I think you are over-simplifying here by focusing on the price per gallon only. Total cost of gas is a function of the number of miles driven, fuel efficiency, and ... read more
  • August 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    Insguy says:
    Definitely some issues with the chart. The Oregon total is the same as the average, $3201 (making it appear it should be #25) when in fact the sum of the columns is $2203. Tha... read more
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