How much does it cost to buy a car? Is it different from the cost to drive one? Presumably, the former measures what people pay when they drive a car off the lot. Cash purchases cost less than those attached to auto loans. In addition, the loans cost more or less depending on the interest rates. The cost of driving a car is determined by insurance, fuel costs, and repairs.
24/7 Wall St. set out to find out what it costs to drive a car statewide. Here are our conclusions.
When insurance payments, fuel, maintenance and repairs are added up, American motorists spend on average about $ 2,807 per year on their cars. This does not include auto loan payments. However, these costs can vary widely from state to state. In some parts of the country, motorists can expect to spend more than $ 2,000 more on average than in others.
Using data from a variety of sources including the AAA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Highway Administration, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the most expensive state to drive. Due to incomplete data, Alaska was excluded from the analysis. . The two most important components of this car ownership expense ranking (insurance and fuel) are based on averages and per capita spending. At the individual level, these costs can vary widely, depending on driving habits, accident history, vehicle prices and local gasoline prices, among other factors.
One of the reasons for the high costs in many of the more expensive states to drive is the above average insurance price. States may have higher insurance payments due to a number of factors, including a high risk of severe weather in states like Florida and Louisiana or laws requiring a high minimum threshold of coverage in places like Michigan. In states with low insurance costs, such as Maine and Vermont, a low population density reduces the risk of accidents.
The cheapest state to drive a car is Maine. Here are the details:
- Average annual cost of owning a car: $ 1,960
- Average cost of a check engine light repair: $ 219 pieces (ninth lowest); $ 138 in labor (fourth lowest)
- Average annual insurance costs: $ 858 (lowest)
- Annual gas expenses per licensed driver: $ 745 (third lowest)
- Average gasoline price on June 20, 2021: $ 3.12 per gallon (19th highest)
Our Methodology: To determine the most expensive state to drive, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the average annual cost of owning a car based on the average cost of repairs, insurance and gas. .
Data on the average cost of an auto repair related to check engine light including parts and labor is from automotive software developer CarMD and is for 2020. Cost data for Average annual insurance by state are taken from the car valuation website Insure.com and are based on full coverage for a 40-year-old single male with a clean record and good credit and are for 2021 model year versions of 20 best-selling vehicles in the United States as of January 2021. Data on average gasoline expenditure per driver was calculated using the total number of kilometers driven by the states in 2019 by the Federal Highway Administration, which also provided data on the total number of licensed drivers in 2019. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline by state as of July 20, 2021, was from the AAA, and the average fuel economy for all American vehicles in 2019 came from the EPA. All data is for the most recent period available. Total costs assume one check engine light repair per year.
Additional data on the percentage of households in urban and rural areas is from the US Census Bureau and is as of 2010.
Click here to see the most expensive and cheapest states in which to drive a car.