Special Report

The Most And Least Expensive States To Drive

Car prices — both new and used — are surging in the United States. Rising demand, in conjunction with a limited supply of new vehicles on dealer lots, has led to a 45% increase in the consumer price index for used vehicles since June 2020. Perhaps now more than ever, car buyers should bear in mind that the cost of vehicle ownership goes well beyond the sticker price. 

Between insurance payments, fuel, and maintenance and repairs, American motorists spend about $2,807 a year on average on their car — not including car loan payments. These costs can vary substantially by state, however, and in some parts of the country, motorists can expect to spend over $2,000 more on average than in others. 

Using data from a range of sources, including the Federal Highway Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and AAA, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the most and least expensive states to drive in. Due to incomplete data, Alaska was excluded from analysis. 

It is important to note that the two largest components of this ranking of car ownership expenses — insurance and fuel — are based on averages and per capita expenditures. At an individual level, these costs can vary considerably based on driving habits, accident history, vehicle, and local gasoline prices, among other factors. Here is a look at the states with the lowest and highest gas taxes

One reason for the high costs in many of the most expensive states to drive is higher than average insurance prices. States can have higher insurance payments due to any number of factors, including high risk of severe weather events in states like Florida and Louisiana, or laws requiring a high minimum coverage threshold in places like Michigan. In states with low insurance costs, like Maine and Vermont, low population density reduces the risk of an accident. Here is a look at the most expensive cars to insure.

Click here to see the most and least expensive states to drive.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

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