The Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car

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A new Bankrate study says owning a car in the Midwest is cheap, compared with many other states.

You could be a car mechanic and live in a state with cheap gas, and it might still cost you more to own a vehicle there than in other states across the U.S., especially the Midwestern states.

That’s among the findings of a Bankrate study on the least and most expensive states to own a car. The study ranks the states according to spending on gasoline, vehicle repairs and car insurance.

As you’re probably aware, gas prices differ across the country, but the variance in price and the amount of gas people use may surprise you. On average, New York vehicle owners spend about $713 per year on gas. Wyoming drivers spend more than double that amount, mainly because they put an average of 16,948 miles on their vehicle in a year.

According to Forbes:

Motorists tend to clock 68 percent more miles behind the wheel in Wyoming than the norm, which results in higher than average fuel expenditures at a punishing $1,588 per year. Meanwhile, Iowa residents enjoy both the cheapest insurance rates in the nation at an average $630 annually, and below-average repair costs at just $630 a year.

“The number of accidents, severity of those accidents, litigation costs, medical costs and repair costs would cause insurance to be more expensive in one state than another,” Jeanne Salvatore, spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, told Bankrate. While Iowa drivers spend about $630 on insurance, Louisiana drivers don’t get off anywhere near that cheap, spending a whopping $1,277 on average for insurance each year.

Car repair costs vary as well, depending on the price of car parts and labor. Car repairs are cheap in Vermont ($270) and a little pricier in New Jersey ($393), according to Bankrate.

When it comes to the overall cost of owning a car, the average costs break down as follows: Gas is 45 percent, auto insurance is 39 percent, and repairs are 16 percent, said The Washington Post.

The Bankrate study found the five most expensive states to own a car are:

  1. Wyoming — $2,705 on average per year.
  2. Louisiana $2,555.
  3. Florida  $2,516.
  4. Mississippi $2,487.
  5. New Jersey $2,421.

The five cheapest states to own a car are:

  1. Iowa $1,942 on average per year.
  2. Ohio $1,973.
  3. Illinois $1,999.
  4. Idaho $2,001.
  5. Wisconsin  $2,018.

How does your state rate when it comes to the expense of owning a car? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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