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.