Auto insurance is a large component of the overall cost of owning a car, so it’s no surprise the state with the lowest annual cost of insurance is also the state with the lowest annual cost of car ownership.
But insurance is by no means the only factor. In fact, the state with the highest annual cost of car ownership is among the cheapest 20 states with respect to estimated insurance costs, at least according to Bankrate’s 2014 Car Cost Study.
Bankrate considers three factors in its ranking: repairs, insurance and gasoline. Repair-cost figures accounted for labor and parts, with data provided by CarMD.com. Insurance costs were taken from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ statistics. For gasoline spending, Bankrate used statistics from GasBuddy.com and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
As noted by Bankrate’s Chris Kahn, who compiled the ranking, the Midwest boasts several states that are among the most affordable for car ownership. Conversely, 5 of the 10 most expensive states were in the South.
See the top 5 and bottom 5 most expensive states for car ownership on the following pages.
Least Expensive States
Iowa was ranked the cheapest for auto insurance among the 50 states and D.C., at an annual estimated cost of $630. The state was also in the bottom five for repair costs, at $315. However, Iowa runs in the top half of states for gasoline, at an annual estimated cost of $998. All told, owning a car in Iowa will cost you around $1,942 a year, not counting your actual car payments.
Ohio comes in a three-way tie for eighth-cheapest state for repair costs, at an annual estimated cost of $328. You’re paying more for your insurance than in Iowa, with an annual estimated cost of $698, but Ohio still ranks among the cheapest-10 states (seventh cheapest). Gasoline costs are more favorable than in Iowa at $947. The total estimated cost of owning a car in Ohio is $1,973, maybe the cost of one extra trip to the pump, depending on what state you’re in of course.
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Gas is cheaper in Illinois than the previous two states, ranked among the 10-cheapest states in this category at an annual estimated cost of $852. Repair costs are higher, although you’re still in the bottom 15 in this category if you’re in Illinois ($343). Insurance takes a bigger jump compared to two cheapest states, though, at an annual estimated cost of $805, although the state is by no means among the most expensive, and rather is still ranked in the bottom-half of states for this category. To own a car in Illinois, you pay about $1,999 a year.
Repair costs are slightly above Illinois at $349. Insurance is more affordable though, falling in between Ohio and cheapest state for insurance, Iowa, at an annual estimated cost of $664. So far, Idaho is looking cheap compared to Illinois, but gasoline prices at an annual estimated cost of $988 propel the state higher on the most-expensive list. Still, owning a car in Idaho costs you just $2 more than in Illinois, at an annual estimated cost of $2,001
Repair costs are about in line with Ohio’s, at an annual estimated cost $329, and insurance is the third-cheapest of all states at $658. Wisconsin, though, is 1 of 22 states with gasoline prices over the annual estimated cost of $1,000 ($1,031). That’s over half the annual estimated car ownership cost of $2,018 in the state.
Most Expensive States
#5 New Jersey
It costs more to fix your car in New Jersey than in any other state, with an annual estimated cost of $393. New Jersey is also the third-most-expensive state for auto insurance at $1,244 per year. Gas, though, is affordable, with New Jersey ranking as the sixth cheapest state in this category at $783. For owning a car in New Jersey, you pay about $2,421 per year.
Mississippi is the third-most expensive state for annual estimated gasoline costs, at $1,231. Other costs are not too outrageous: the state ranks as the 21st most expensive for insurance at $901, and repair costs come in at $356 per year. But thanks largely to those gas prices, owning a car in Mississippi comes with an annual estimated cost of $2,487.
There is no one cost that is astronomical in Florida when it comes to owning a car, but all three factors Bankrate measured were on the high side. Estimated annual repair costs are $377, 11th most-expensive among the 50 states and D.C. Insurance costs are $1,124, comfortably in the top-10 most-expensive states, and gasoline costs are $1,015. Overall, the cost of owning a car per year in Florida is about $2,516.
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Louisiana is the most expensive state (including D.C.) for estimated annual insurance costs, according to Bankrate, at $1,277, slightly ahead of Washington, D.C. Repair costs are $354 and gasoline costs an estimated $924 per year. All told, owning a car costs $2,555 per year in the state.
With relatively cheap repair and insurance rates, why is Wyoming the most expensive state to own a car? Gas prices. The state is the most expensive for annual estimated gas costs, and it’s not even close. Wyoming is over $350 more expensive per year than second-ranked Alabama. It costs about $1,588 annually to fill your car up in Wyoming. At $324, repair costs are reasonable, as is insurance at $792. In total, it costs about $2,705 per year to own a car in the most expensive state.