The Most (and Least) Expensive States to Drive

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35. Missouri
> Total operating cost:
$2,880
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 885 (25th highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.51 (4th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,056 (13th lowest)

The average vehicle in Missouri consumes 580 gallons of gas a year, about 50 gallons more than the national average. Gas in Missouri is relatively cheap, however. Despite the higher rate of fuel consumption, state drivers end up paying about $1,456 for a year’s worth of gas each, about the same as the average American.

Missouri residents do save, however, on car repairs, as well as car insurance. Car insurance costs an average of $1,056 a year, less than the $1,325 national figure.

34. Washington
> Total operating cost:
$2,890
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 928 (18th highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $3.06 (5th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,168 (20th lowest)

Gas is more expensive in Washington than it is in the vast majority of states. On average, vehicles in the state consume just 430 gallons of fuel a year each, however, about 100 less than the national figure. The average Washington motorist ends up spending $1,314 per car on fuel annually, about $140 less than the average American. That gap may thin, however, as the state’s gas tax is set to increase in July. The increase is the second installment of the state’s 11.9 cent fuel tax hike, which was instituted to help pay for improvements to the state’s transportation system. Currently, 17.8% of Washington’s roads are in poor condition, significantly more than the 10.7% national share.

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33. Arizona
> Total operating cost:
$2,897
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 852 (21st lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.75 (16th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,188 (22nd lowest)

Arizona residents spend slightly less on car repairs, insurance, and gas than the average American. The average motorist in the state spends $386 on typical repairs, $1,188 on car insurance, and $1,323 on a year’s worth of gas for each car, each slightly less than the corresponding national figures.

Arizona has numerous incentives in place to encourage hybrid and electric vehicles. While many states charge alternative-fuel vehicles extra fees, Arizona will reimburse residents up to $75 for installing an electric vehicle charging outlet in their homes. Additionally, the registration fee for alternative-fuel vehicles is low. While the license tax on a new $30,000 conventional fuel vehicle is $504 in the first year, it is $12 for a hybrid model of the same price.

32. New York
> Total operating cost:
$2,912
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 556 (the lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.89 (11th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,050 (12th lowest)

New Yorkers drive far less than the average American. More than two in five residents of the state live in New York City, where fewer than half of all households own a car. Only 60.4% of New York state residents drive to work, the smallest share of any state.

Those New Yorkers who do drive, however, pay relatively more at the pump. Gas prices in the state are among the highest in the country, at least partially because of the state’s high gas tax rates. As a result, despite the fact that they tend to drive less, New York drivers end up paying $1,474 a year in gas per vehicle, about the same as the average American.

31. Minnesota
> Total operating cost:
$2,921
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 970 (14th highest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.64 (15th lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,257 (25th lowest)

There are just 63 motor vehicle deaths per million miles traveled on Minnesota roads, nearly the least of any state. Safe driving behavior goes somewhat unrewarded, however, as the average car insurance premium in Minnesota of $1,257 is just $68 less than the national average.

Minnesota residents tend to drive more than the average American. The average state motorist drives 17,095 miles a year, far more than the 14,132 mile national figure. Gas is fairly inexpensive in the state, however, and despite driving more the typical motorist ends up spending about $170 less in fuel a year than the average American. For a year of gas, insurance, and one car repair, the average Minnesota driver spends $2,921, less than the $3,164 national average.