Unfortunately, not every city and state has an extensive public transportation network, so owning and paying for a car is a necessity.
The cost of owning a car varies widely across the country, although the Midwest is more likely to be affordable while the East Coast is mostly on the more expensive end. Unfortunately, not every city and state has an extensive public transportation network, so owning and paying for a car is a necessity.
Bankrate released its annual ranking of the cost to own and drive a car. The site used 3 main criteria: repairs (data from CarMD.com), insurance (data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners), and gasoline (data from GasBuddy.com and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics).
Few states that were among the most expensive states last year remained in the top 10 this year. However, last year’s list also took into account taxes/fees, which were not included in the list this year.
This year the national average annual cost for owning and operating a car is $2,223. Meanwhile in Iowa, it only costs $1,942, which is roughly $763 less expensive than the state that landed at the top of this list.
Here are the most expensive states to own and operate a car:
The cost of repairs in Connecticut is among the most expensive in the country, behind only New Jersey ($393), Maryland ($388), Washington, DC ($392), North Carolina ($390), and tied with Georgia. The yearly cost of gasoline is the second least expensive in the top 10, but still far more expensive than most states.
Just 4 states have less expensive repair costs than Michigan; however, the state is still one of the most expensive overall because of the high cost of insurance and gasoline. Most states that reported insurance costs of more than $1,000 tended to end up among the most expensive states with the exception of Alaska, which has one of the cheapest gasoline costs.
While gasoline costs are among the most expensive in the country, and repairs are somewhere in the middle, insurance in Alabama is one of the least costly in the country. Despite having the second-most expensive gasoline costs, Alabama’s yearly gas cost is still more than $300 less than Wyoming.
Delaware’s cost for repairs is actually one of the least expensive in the entire country, with just 3 other states reportedly costing less. However, gasoline is on the higher end and insurance is one of the most expensive in the country.
Georgia is one of the few repeat states from last year’s top 10, so not much has change, unfortunately. The good news, though, is that Georgia was the most expensive in the entire country in the previous list. Repairs cost the same as last year, but insurance increased by 21% from $767 in 2013.
5. New Jersey
The price of gas in New Jersey is among the cheapest in the country, with just Washington, D.C. ($618), New York ($713), Alaska ($730), Nevada ($771), and Pennsylvania ($781) costing less. However, that is clearly offset by the fact that insurance in New Jersey is the third most expensive in the country and its repairs are the most expensive.
Gasoline costs in Mississippi are the third-most expensive in the country behind only Wyoming ($1,588) and Alabama ($1,237). Plus, insurance is more expensive, although it is less than $1,000, unlike many of the states that are the costliest to own and drive a car.
Florida’s costs are high across the board, topping $1,000 in 2 categories, plus if something should happen to go wrong and needs fixing, Florida has one of the most expensive repair costs in the country.
Louisiana’s insurance is the most expensive in the country, which contributes largely to its high spot on the ranking. In fact, insurance is typically the deciding factor, with states that are cheaper overall typically having some of the lowest insurance costs and vice versa.
Grand Teton National Park
The most expensive state to own a car actually fairly cheap except for one thing: gas. By pure virtue of Wyoming’s geography and the fact that residents have to drive a lot farther to get around in such an large and open state, the yearly cost of gas in Wyoming is far more than any other state.
Last year, Wyoming landed at spot 3, but its insurance increased from $630 even as the yearly cost of gasoline decreased from $1,643 in 2013.