• Aug 12, 2014
The average cost to operate a vehicle in America is $2,... The average cost to operate a vehicle in America is $2,223 (Shutterstock).
Wyoming, the Cowboy State, is the most expensive state to own a car, according to a new report from Bankrate.com. Iowa is the cheapest.

The study compared gas prices, insurance costs and maintenance bills to create a state-by-state analysis of car ownership costs. Bankrate.com found the average cost to operate a vehicle in America to be $2,223, but there were highs and lows across the country.

The most expensive state was Wyoming. The state had below average insurance and maintenance costs, but those wide open spaces in the second-least populated state hit drivers hard in the gas costs column. In fact, because of these long stretches, drivers in Wyoming were found to travel 68 percent more than the average American. The average Wyoming resident spent $2,705 per year on their car, with more than half of those costs going towards filling up -- a whopping $1,588 per year.

Wyoming was an outlier on the most expensive list. The most expensive states after Wyoming were all coastal states with high insurance. Louisiana was number two in overall costs, and number one in insurance costs. Florida, Mississippi and New Jersey rounded out the top five most expensive states.

The cheapest states tended to be in the middle of the country. Iowa was the overall least-expensive place to own a car, in part due to low insurance costs and inexpensive maintenance. The state had the lowest insurance rates in the country, with drivers paying an average of $630 per year. Car owners in Iowa also paid just $990 for gas per year. Total ownership costs for Iowans were found to be just $1,942. The state was joined by Ohio, Illinois, Idaho and Wisconsin as the most affordable places.



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  • 15 Comments
      johnny
      • 4 Months Ago
      Well I'm amazed California didn't make the top of the list, smog laws alone make it very costly to keep an older car on the road here. How many times your tolled that it's probably a small vacume leak after flunking the test, that who knows how much it will cost to locate. I Keep thinking Calif. will eventually figure in a brick thrown threw the windshield test to increase It's revenue in this half baked state of confusion.
        kcarthey
        • 4 Months Ago
        @johnny
        Lived in CA and TX with the same two cars, one 20 years old. Overall, the costs were identical and The Bay Area had mass transportation which in TX is defined as three people riding a horse to church.
      Marie
      • 4 Months Ago
      At least we dont live in Singapore where it costs about $30K for a certificate JUST to have the RIGHT TO OWN a car...and then another $120K for an average vehicle purchase, think FORD
      buglebob
      • 4 Months Ago
      Owning a car and driving it a lot are not mutually inclusive. The amount of driving one does has nothing to do with car ownership costs. It simply relates to how much one needs a car to begin with to satisfy his or her driving needs. Stupid to include driving distances and milage used. Why not deduct a lot of $ for driving long distances. After all your not at Macy's buying a lot of expensive stuff or eating at an expensive res.
      James
      • 4 Months Ago
      I have long since discovered this as an issue. You buy a vehicle on time...the note can be extraordinary in itself, but tack on Insurance, Drivers licenses, car tags, state inspection sticker, and gasoline. Not to mention tires, oil changes, fluid distribution and any extra mechanical issues. And you are paying a bundle to " drive " not own, a vehicle. Financing a vehicle does not allow you to claim ownership except by abstract entitlement. But the finance companies are off the hook. They own the car.....you get left with all the over head and maintenance. And when citizens complain to the President about high fuel costs, He says, there's no silver bullet for gas prices. I purchased a KIA RIO, its small, but economical. I have had it for three years, it only has 15,700 miles on it. I do not lose my warranty when I keep my vehicles under low mileage. The KIA warranty is five years or 60,000 miles. So I can potentially drive the vehicle 5 years under factory warranty and any break downs will be covered without me paying. I pay 247 a month and the vehicle gets 40 miles to the gallon on hwy's, and 31 in the city. I can fill up on twenty dollars because the fuel tank capacity is only 11 gallons. It's range is 400 miles to a tank of gas. The tags cost 65.00 annually, inspection is 15.00 annually, and my Insurance through Geico is 67.87 a month. Roughly I pay about 3491.00 annually to drive my vehicle. I am retired so this fits my budget very comfortably..Thank God....
      chuckpitboss
      • 4 Months Ago
      James you said your warranty on your Kia is for 5 years. Is that correct? Kia and Hyundai have been advertising 10 year warranties for some time now. Of course, people can lease a car (you'll never own it) and depending on the lease maintenance may be included. This article mention a total gas price of $990 for an entire year. What is the price per gallon? Also maintenance costs will vary based on the miles driven and the car involved. For example a Cadillac's maintenance costs will most assuredly be higher than a Fiat or a Smart car. Insuring costs will vary on the driving history of the owner and the name of the company that does the insurance. Last but by no means least the article mentions a total cost for owning a car with no breakdown of the costs involved. This is a very poorly written article. It raises more questions than it answers.
      wal5we
      • 4 Months Ago
      In Florida three years ago we were told in a massive media campaign we would save $100-$300 a year if the legislature passed PIP "reform". The republican legislature and governor, who are rubber stamps for the insurance industry, passed the law overwhelmingly. Guess what.....we never saw any savings and in fact our rates went UP, mine nearly $200 this year alone(no tickets or accidents and a perfect driving record). Lesson ? NEVER vote GOP!
        aktopguntx
        • 12 Days Ago
        @wal5we
        There is a lot more things than just driving record figured into insurance rates. One of the absolute largest is, believe it or not, your credit score. They pull your score every time you renew your policy and that can make a huge difference in your rates. Miss a payment or pay late and you not only get hit with a late payment fee...your insurance rates go up too. It is so bogus but that is the way it works. Bankruptcy can make your rates skyrocket for up to 10 years.
        nomad0343
        • 4 Months Ago
        @wal5we
        Geez my HEALTH INSURANCE WENT UP $482.00 Thanks to the DemocRATS "Affordable Health Care" Lesson...NEVER VOTE FOR Communist Democrats and their LIES !!!
        Art
        • 4 Months Ago
        @wal5we
        Try another INS company and wait for your health ins to go up.
      gjterranov
      • 4 Months Ago
      So where is MYstate n the listings? Like so many others 0n here, a very poor article!
      James
      • 4 Months Ago
      I have long since discovered this as an issue. You buy a vehicle on time...the note can be extraordinary in itself, but tack on Insurance, Drivers licenses, car tags, state inspection sticker, and gasoline. Not to mention tires, oil changes, fluid distribution and any extra mechanical issues. And you are paying a bundle to " drive " not own, a vehicle. Financing a vehicle does not allow you to claim ownership except by abstract entitlement. But the finance companies are off the hook. They own the car.....you get left with all the over head and maintenance. And when citizens complain to the President about high fuel costs, He says, there's no silver bullet for gas prices. I purchased a KIA RIO, its small, but economical. I have had it for three years, it only has 15,700 miles on it. I do not lose my warranty when I keep my vehicles under low mileage. The KIA warranty is five years or 60,000 miles. So I can potentially drive the vehicle 5 years under factory warranty and any break downs will be covered without me paying. I pay 247 a month and the vehicle gets 40 miles to the gallon on hwy's, and 31 in the city. I can fill up on twenty dollars because the fuel tank capacity is only 11 gallons. It's range is 400 miles to a tank of gas. The tags cost 65.00 annually, inspection is 15.00 annually, and my Insurance through Geico is 67.87 a month. Roughly I pay about 3491.00 annually to drive my vehicle. I am retired so this fits my budget very comfortably..Thank God....
        aktopguntx
        • 12 Days Ago
        @James
        And I would bet you are one of those people who complain about jobs being outsourced overseas. Every time a person buys a foreign made car THEY are the ones creating jobs overseas rather than here in the US. Then they complain about the price of American cars. What a catch 22. If more people bought domestically the prices would fall and make us more competitive with other countries. Sometimes you just have to look at the bigger picture.
      gmustain
      • 4 Months Ago
      This "Article" is flawed in a multitude of ways. Maintenance costs are different for every vehicle, it is alot more expensive to maintain an Audi than it is a Ford. It did not include registration and licensing fees which vary greatly across the country. I pay $24 a year in SE Tenn. my Sister-in-law pays over $600 in Southern Ca. And I find it VERY hard to believe that Illinois was among the cheapest as they have one of the highest gas taxes in the country. I lived there for 30+ years, I would drive across the river to Mo. to fill my tank as gas was 25-30 cents cheaper a gallon.
      Al Mallozzi
      • 4 Months Ago
      gterranov is correct. You guys give a headline & then do not follow up with a story. Your garbage is far as I'm concerned. Al Mallozzi
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