Most adults know that owning a car is an expense well beyond the purchase price: Monthly car payments, insurance costs, gas, and other upkeep can make essential transportation incredibly expensive for many Americans. And this year the cost of owning and running a car has skyrocketed amid inflation rates, gas prices and supply chain bottlenecks, making new cars harder to find and more expensive to get hold of. But cars aren’t the same expensive to own and maintain in every state — and now there’s a map highlighting the most expensive states for car owners.
Insurify wanted to find out which states are the most expensive and which are the cheapest to own a car. To rank the states, the crew examined the average annual cost of vehicle insurance, gasoline, vehicle property taxes, and maintenance and repair costs in each state.
“These combined expenses make up the majority of what the typical American spends on their car each year,” explains Insurify. Their data excludes “car lease or loan payments, which are highly individualized for each vehicle and do not vary as geographically as the other factors in this study.”
The data collected came from a variety of sources, including insurance applications, AAA gas price data, and mileage estimates. All data estimates were calculated based on the 2022 Honda Accord manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $26,520.
Using the data, Insurify ranked the states from most expensive to least expensive and placed the information into an easy-to-read map. And there were some interesting food stalls.
“In the US, the average driver [will spend] $4,960 to run their vehicle in 2022,” Insurify said. There’s a lot that contributes to these huge costs—$1,705 alone accounts for the average cost of auto insurance this year.
The report found that one of the more consistent causes of charges, making some states much more expensive than others, is “above average road taxes and fares.” Not all states have a vehicle property tax, which drives up state costs, and states with lower population densities tend to have to drive farther, which also increases gasoline costs, for example.
“In the top 10 most expensive states to own a car, residents drive an average of 19% more miles per year than a typical American driver,” writes Insurify, “which spends hundreds of additional dollars on fuel and vehicle maintenance each year.”
The most expensive states to own a car, sorted from most expensive down:
- Wyoming ($6,327, up 28% from the national average)
- Nevada ($6,315, up 27% from the national average)
- Mississippi ($6,287, up 27% from the national average)
- Missouri ($5,895, up 19% from the national average)
- Michigan ($5,691, up 15% from the national average)
- Georgia ($5,661, up 14% from the national average)
- Kentucky ($5,493, up 11% from the national average)
- South Carolina ($5,447, up 10% from the national average)
- Louisiana ($5,385, up 9% from the national average)
- Virginia ($5,359, up 8% from the national average)
Cheapest states to own a car, #10 being the cheapest place:
- South Dakota ($4,187, down 16% from national average)
- Oregon ($4,164, down 16% from national average)
- Washington ($4,038, 19% below national average)
- Ohio ($3,985, down 20% from the national average)
- Illinois ($3,972, down 20% from national average)
- New Hampshire ($3,914, down 21% from national average)
- Hawaii ($3,812, 23% below national average)
- Pennsylvania ($3,785, down 24% from national average)
- Alaska ($3,663, 26% below national average)
- District of Columbia ($3,619, 27% below the national average)
For more details, including the average cost in your state, see Insurify’s full report.