The Most (and Least) Expensive States to Drive

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40. Nebraska
> Total operating cost:
$2,776
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 1,050 (9th highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.66 (17th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,188 (22nd lowest)

The average Nebraska vehicle consumes 457 gallons of gas a year, about 70 gallons less than the national average. Gas is slightly cheaper in Nebraska than in most of the country, and the average driver spends $1,215 on fuel per car annually, one of the lowest amounts in the nation.

As fuel efficiency increases, revenue from gas taxes can fall, and many states are taking action to prevent transportation budget shortfalls. Nebraska was one of the first states to institute an additional fee for hybrid and electric cars, requiring a $75 registration fee for alternative fuel vehicles. More recently, the state passed a highly contested hike on gas taxes. Gas taxes are set to gradually increase by 6 cents over the next three years, which will make the state somewhat more expensive for drivers.

39. Kansas
> Total operating cost:
$2,820
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 882 (25th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.56 (11th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,135 (17th lowest)

Kansas drivers spend less on repairs than those in most other states. Car owners in the state also spend slightly less than the average American on other major vehicle expenses as well. The average car insurance premium in the state costs $1,135, about $200 less than the corresponding national figure. Similarly, the average annual fuel expenditure in Kansas is $1,316 per car, less than the $1,452 national average. Overall, Kansas drivers spend $2,820 on average on insurance, car repairs, and a year’s worth of gas, about $350 less than the average American.

38. North Carolina
> Total operating cost:
$2,835
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 808 (12th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.64 (14th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $987 (7th lowest)

Cars in North Carolina travel 13,714 miles each year on average, the third most of any state. However, gas is slightly cheaper in the state than in most of the country, and vehicles in the state are relatively more fuel efficient. The average driver in the state ends up spending about $1,450 on fuel a year, the same as the average American driver. In 2013, North Carolina passed legislation that requires owners of electric plug-in vehicles to pay an annual $100 registration fee. State gas taxes are also scheduled to decrease from 37.5 cents a gallon to 34 cents by July of this year.

North Carolina also has some of the most affordable car insurance nationwide. The average premium is just $987, far less than the $1,325 national average.

37. Indiana
> Total operating cost:
$2,836
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 919 (22nd highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.69 (25th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,113 (16th lowest)

Car repairs are relatively inexpensive in Indiana. Drivers fixing problems triggered by check engine lights in Indiana end up paying just $356 on average, the second least of any state. Indiana residents also spend relatively little on car insurance. The average car insurance premium in Indiana is $1,113, about $200 less than the national average.

Indiana motorists also save at the pump. Although Indiana vehicles are driven about 1,600 more miles a year than the national average, drivers spend about $100 less in gas per car annually. The average Indiana driver spends $1,367 on gas per car a year, less than the $1,452 national figure.

36. Virginia
> Total operating cost:
$2,853
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 875 (23rd lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.54 (7th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,020 (9th lowest)

Virginia drivers can purchase fuel and car insurance for relatively little. The average car insurance premium is $1,020, far less than the $1,325 national figure. Also, gas in the state is among the least expensive nationwide. Virginia residents drive a typical amount and spend about $1,424 on fuel per car annually, about the same as the average American.

Car repairs, however, are somewhat costly in Virginia. Nevertheless, the total annual operating cost of driving a car in Virginia is about $300 less than the national average.