The Most (and Least) Expensive States to Drive

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10. Florida
> Total operating cost:
$3,509
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 801 (10th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.70 (25th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,654 (7th highest)

Florida residents tend to drive more than the average American does. The average vehicle is driven 12,966 miles a year, about 1,300 more than the national average. Drivers spend $1,468 in gas per car on average annually, similar to the $1,452 spent by the average American motorist.

Floridians are subject to some of the most expensive car insurance rates in the country. The average premium of $1,654 is about $300 more than the national average car insurance rate. Combined, owning and operating a car in the state costs $3,509 on average, one of the highest such figures nationwide.

9. Texas
> Total operating cost:
$3,531
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 800 (9th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.55 (10th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,510 (12th highest)

Texas is the nation’s leading producer of crude oil and has some of the least expensive fuel. However, because Texans drive more than the average American, they end up spending far more on fuel. The average motorist in Texas spends $1,634 on gas per car annually, the sixth most of any state.

There are 146 motor vehicle deaths for every million miles traveled on Texas roads, about 40 more than the national rate. The high likelihood of accidents may inflate car insurance rates in the state. The average insurance premium in Texas is $1,510, about $200 more than the $1,325 national average car insurance premium.

8. Oklahoma
> Total operating cost:
$3,588
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 921 (21st highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.54 (8th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,778 (5th highest)

Oklahomans drive far more than the average American. Only 7.3% workers in the state commute by means other than driving, about half the national share. The average vehicle in Oklahoma is driven 13,559 miles a year, the fifth most of any state. Oklahoma gas prices are fairly inexpensive, however, and motorists spend about $1,440 on fuel per car annually, similar to the national average.

The largest driving expense in Oklahoma is insurance. The average premium costs $1,778, about $500 more than the corresponding national figure.

7. Montana
> Total operating cost:
$3,596
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 1,576 (the highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.70 (24th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $2,297 (2nd highest)

There are 158 motor vehicle deaths per million miles traveled on Montana roads, 50 more than the corresponding national rate. According to consumer insurance website Insure.com, frequent accidents in the state likely drive up insurance rates. The average insurance premium in Montana of $2,297 is nearly $1,000 more than the national average premium and second most of any state.

Montana is one of the most rural states in the country, and residents may have more need to drive than most Americans. With 1,576 motor vehicles per 1,000 people, Montanans have the most cars per capita of any state. So while the $883 the average Montana motorist spends on a year’s worth of gas for one car is relatively low, many drivers likely face such fuel expenditures for multiple vehicles.

6. Mississippi
> Total operating cost:
$3,684
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 693 (3rd lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.48 (2nd lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,277 (23rd highest)

Car owners in Mississippi pay about the same as the average American in both annual car insurance and repairs. The typical driver, however, pays more than average for gas. Residents pay $2,000 for each car on gasoline a year, the most in the country by more than $170.
This is in part because of how much Mississippians drive. Nearly 95% of state commuters drive to work every day, more than in every state but Alabama. The average driver in Mississippi covers nearly 20,000 miles each year, well above the national average of 14,132 miles and more than in any state except for Wyoming.