The Most (and Least) Expensive States to Drive

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15. Connecticut
> Total operating cost:
$3,228
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 798 (8th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.90 (10th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,367 (16th highest)

The cost of gasoline in Connecticut is higher than it is in the majority of states. This is in part due to the state’s relatively high 37.9 cent a gallon gas tax. However, because state residents tend to drive less, they pay slightly less on gasoline a year than the national average of $1,451 per car.

Goods and services are generally more expensive in the state, which likely contributes to Connecticut’s relatively high repair costs. Insurance costs are also above average in the state.

14. Nevada
> Total operating cost:
$3,234
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 811 (13th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $3.26 (4th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,221 (24th lowest)

Gasoline in Nevada is among the most expensive in the nation. Nevada buys most of its fuel from California, where certain environmental regulations make gas costlier to produce. Cars in Nevada are also among the least fuel efficient in the country. Drivers end up spending $1,613 on fuel per car annually, more than the $1,452 national average.

Only 1.4% of Nevada roads are in poor condition, the smallest share nationwide. The well kept road infrastructure may prevent wear and tear on tires and ultimately limit the need for tire replacements. For some other automobile expenses, Nevadans pay similar amounts to most Americans. The average cost of insurance, a year’s worth of fuel, and getting a check engine light fixed amounts to $3,234 per car, slightly more than the national figure.

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13. West Virginia
> Total operating cost:
$3,283
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 838 (18th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.76 (13th highest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,456 (13th highest)

West Virginia is one of the most rural states in the county, and residents may need to drive more than most Americans. Just 7.3% of workers in the state commute by means other than driving, about half the national share. The average car is driven 12,309 miles a year, about 700 more than the national average. Drivers, however, end up spending the same as the average American on fuel at $1,452 per car a year.

There are 142 motor vehicle deaths per million miles traveled in West Virginia, among the most of any state. The high frequency of accidents in the state may inflate insurance prices. The average car insurance premium in West Virginia is $1,456, more than the $1,325 national figure.

12. South Carolina
> Total operating cost:
$3,385
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 850 (20th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.46 (the lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,353 (17th highest)

South Carolina is fairly rural, and as a consequence residents may have more need to drive than most Americans. The average car in the state consumes 668 gallons of gas a year, nearly the most in the country. Despite having the cheapest gas of any state, South Carolina drivers end up spending $1,643 on fuel per car annually, the fifth most of any state.

There are 165 motor vehicle deaths per million miles traveled in South Carolina, the highest accident fatality rate in the country. While the likelihood of an accident is higher in South Carolina than it is nationwide, car insurance costs about the same. The average premium in South Carolina is $1,353 a year, similar to the $1,325 national figure.

11. Georgia
> Total operating cost:
$3,503
> No. of vehicles per 1,000 people: 823 (16th lowest)
> Avg. price of gas: $2.67 (21st lowest)
> Avg. insurance premium: $1,559 (11th highest)

Georgians drive more than most Americans. The average vehicle in the state travels 13,677 miles a year, the fourth most nationwide. Motorists end up spending $1,534 on gas per car annually, among the most of any state.

Georgians also tend to spend more on car repairs and insurance. The average cost of having a check engine light fixed is $410, and the average car insurance premium is $1,559, both among the highest in the country. Together, the average cost of owning and operating a car in the state comes to $3,503, about $300 more than the average cost a typical American driver pays.