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The 12 Cheapest – & Most Expensive – States to Own a Car

It’ll cost plenty to drive in Wyoming, but Iowa is a bargain.

by on Aug.11, 2014

Repair costs vary widely by state.

They’re only hours apart – separated by a single state in-between, but when it comes to the cost of owning and operating a car, Wyoming and Iowa might as well be on different planets.

When you factor in such annual costs as gasoline, insurance and repairs, the typical Wyoming driver will spend about $2,705. In Iowa, the figure is a far more reasonable $1.942 annually, according to a new study by the financial services website

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The results of the new study might come as a surprise, particularly with relatively sparse Wyoming landing at the top of the list – above more urban states such as New York, New Jersey and California. In fact, the Golden State wound up closer to the middle of the list of 50 states and Washington, D.C. At an annual cost of $2,237, California motorists are laying out just slightly more than the $2,223 national average, according to the Bankrate study.


Average Car Now Costs Nearly $9,000 Annually to Keep Running

But not everything is going up in price, finds new study.

by on May.04, 2012

That midsize sedan will cost you nearly $9,000 a year to keep fueled, licensed, insured and maintained.

Sure, if money is the object you’ll likely find a dealer offering a $149 lease special on some slow-selling model.  But just because you get off cheap up front doesn’t mean you’re in for a bargain the rest of the way.  The fact is, buying, owning and operating a car is expensive – and getting more so every year.

And that’s not just because of the cost of fuel, which have risen an average 14.8% over the last year.  The cost of replacement tires have jumped 4.2%, according to the 62nd annual “Your Driving Costs” survey from AAA.  And insurance has gone up an average 3.4%.

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Overall, there’s been a less extreme 1.9% increase in the cost of auto ownership since last year, reports the AAA, which works out to $8,946 per annum when you work in that monthly payment, fuel, maintenance and insurance fees.

“The average driving cost for 2012 is up due to relatively large increases in fuel and tire costs, and more moderate increases in other areas,” said John Nielsen, AAA director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Those increases were offset by a decrease in depreciation.”


New Study Names Most Affordable Cars to Own

Kia tops mainstream marques, Audi leads in luxury segment.

by on Feb.08, 2012

Kia was named best mainstream brand in terms of 5-year total ownership costs, with the Soul winning in the Compact segment.

There are plenty of bargain-priced cars, trucks and crossovers, but that doesn’t always mean they add up to a good deal.  Smart shoppers know that there are lots of ways costs can quickly get out of control when you own a car, from insurance to fuel economy to maintenance and repairs.

And that’s why a new study from Kelly Blue Book is focusing on what really matters: the total cost of ownership.  And there, the data-tracking website concludes, Kia is the clear stand-out, as the top brand among all manufacturers when the entire ownership experience is tallied up.  Audi, meanwhile, was the number one luxury brand in terms of total cost of ownership.

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“Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership,” said Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. “While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run.”