So often, car buyers are shopping for a payment. However, they often forget that the monthly outlay for a vehicle is so much more than paying on the note: insurance, gas, maintenance all add up in a hurry, and where you live can double some of those numbers, according to a new study.
The most expensive place and the cheapest place to own a car are pretty surprising: Wyoming and Hawaii. Wyoming topped insurance.com’s list of priciest places to own a vehicle. Why so high? It has the highest average gas cost and to go anywhere in Wyoming requires quite a bit more driving than other states.
Residents of the Equality State spend more time behind the wheel and pay more for gas and maintenance, the website noted. In determining what places were the most and least expensive, it factored in five expenses: gas, insurance, maintenance, registration and sales tax over a five-year period.
“We looked at cost over the initial five-year ownership period because sales tax on a car’s purchase price can represent a significant expense,” said Jacqueline Leppla, the website’s editor. “Beyond the first year, average insurance cost, miles driven, gas, maintenance and other fees contributed to the cost to own a car.”
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The top five most expensive states and what it costs own a vehicle over five years are:
- Wyoming ($31,587)
- Georgia ($28,698)
- Oklahoma ($28,655)
- Michigan ($28,236)
- Montana ($27,454)
At the other end of the cost spectrum was Hawaii, where it costs basically half as much money to own and operate a vehicle as it does in Wyoming.
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“Hawaii benefits from low average insurance costs and low sales tax,” Leppla noted. “Low average number of miles driven per year leads to very low gas expenditures – all combining to put make the state the least expensive to own a car.”
The top five least expensive states and what it costs own a vehicle over five years are:
- Hawaii ($17,289)
- Ohio ($17,640)
- New York ($17,697)
- New Hampshire ($17,988)
- Vermont ($18,463)
Some might be surprised to see New York on the list of least expensive given the exorbitant costs for parking in New York City and the tolls many folks pay to get around. However, it was in the bottom third for insurance costs, vehicle registration fees and it was the cheapest of the 50 states for gas prices. Wyoming residents pay an average of $3,600 annually while Empire State residents only pay about $1,250 each year.
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Michigan residents have the highest average car insurance costs, but the lowest maintenance costs among the 50 states, despite roads dotted with thousands of potholes that emerge each spring.
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