To determine the most and least expensive states to drive, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the annual average cost of car ownership based on the average cost of repair, insurance, and gasoline.
Data on the average cost of a check engine light-related car repair, including parts and labor, came from automobile software developer CarMD and is for 2020. Data on the average annual insurance costs by state came from car review website insure.com and are based on full coverage for a single, 40 year-old male with a clean record and good credit and are for the 2021 model-year versions of the 20 best-selling vehicles in the United States as of Jan. 2021. Data on average gasoline expenditure per driver was calculated using total vehicle miles traveled by state in 2019 from the Federal Highway Administration; the total number of licensed drivers in 2019, also from the FHWA; the average price of a regular gallon of gasoline by state as of July 20, 2021 from AAA; and the average fuel economy for all U.S. vehicles in 2019 from the Environmental Protection Agency. All data is for the most recent period available. Total costs assume one check engine light repair per year.
Supplemental data on the percentage of households in urban and rural areas came from the U.S. Census Bureau and are for 2010.
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