Susan Frissell

According to a new study from, where you live makes a big difference in the cost of car ownership. Everyone knows Hawaii is a very popular travel destination, but do they know it is the cheapest state in which to own a car?

Commonplace tells us that living in a big metropolitan city, or in a more upscale part of the country translates to higher everything, including car purchase and ownership. Monthly payments are just one part of car ownership. When that payment is completed, car owners are still responsible for insurance, fuel and maintenance.’s findings show that Wyoming car owners pay almost double the price of ownership ($31,587 over five years) than do those folks in Hawaii ($17,289 over five years). Hawaii benefits from low average insurance costs and low sales tax, states Jacqueline Leppla, editor for The fewer number of miles driven per year equates to low gas expenditures.

Due to the high average miles driven per year by Wyoming car owners, the cost of ownership is greater. More time behind the wheel translates to higher than average gas and maintenance costs.

Over a five-year period, analyzed five defining car ownership cost factors: gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, and sales tax. Follow the link below to get state rankings for each metric.

The methodology used by included:

Average car price: Using 2015 data, 69% of cars purchased were used, at an average cost of $18,800. New cars represented 31% of total vehicle purchases, at an average cost of $33,500. A weighted average car price was calculated at $23,407.

Gasoline: Average fuel costs times average miles driven (Data source: Federal Highway Administration)

Insurance: Average auto insurance rates by state (Data source:

Maintenance: Engine check and average repair (Data source: AAA)

Registration: Auto registration fees by state (Data source: The Tax Foundation)

Sales tax: For purchase of vehicle cost: $23,407 (Data source: The Tax Foundation

The results:

The 5 most expensive states to own a car:

Ranking State Ownership cost (5 years)

1. Wyoming $31,587
2. Georgia $28,698
3. Oklahoma $28,655
4. Michigan $28,236
5. Montana $27,454

The 5 least expensive states to own a car:

Ranking State Ownership cost (5 years)

1. Hawaii $17,289
2. Ohio $17,640
3. New York $17,697
4. New Hampshire $17,988
5. Vermont $18,463

A breakdown of the most and least expensive states by the individual metric used for the overall rankings.

Rank Highest average gas costs Highest average insurance cost Highest car registration cost Highest maintenance cost Highest sales tax rate

1. Wyoming Michigan Rhode Island California Tennessee
2. Georgia Montana Virginia Wyoming Arkansas
3. Oklahoma New Jersey Mississippi Maryland Alabama
4. Nebraska Louisiana Connecticut North Dakota Louisiana
5. Virginia Oklahoma Missouri New Jersey Washington

Rank Lowest average gas costs Lowest average insurance cost Lowest car registration cost Lowest maintenance cost Lowest sales tax rate*

1. New York Maine Louisiana Michigan Oregon
2. Rhode Island Ohio Georgia Indiana N. Hampshire
3. Hawaii Wisconsin Tennessee Ohio Montana
4. Florida Idaho Washington Wisconsin Delaware
5. Connecticut N. Hampshire Ohio Iowa Alaska

*Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, and Delaware tie for having the lowest tax rate, 0 percent. is a car insurance comparison-shopping site, providing drivers with an easy, free tool that enables them to compare car insurance. has helped drivers receive more than 11 million quotes since 2001, each customized to their needs, making it one of the largest independent auto insurance marketplaces in the U.S.

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Comparison tool – Any driver can receive personalized car insurance quotes from top carriers with one form and in 10 minutes.

Car Insurance Coverage Calculator – If you’re unsure about where to start when shopping for car insurance, you may find value in seeing what drivers like you buy to get an idea of how much auto insurance coverage you need. You may be paying too much for your car insurance because of the coverage and/or limits you have on your current car insurance policy.

Residents of Indiana can now go to AAA’s How to Drive online program. It can be used as a replacement for participating in a 30-hour classroom session. Students can log in and out as needed and save their progress for later. Those schools offering in-car-training opportunities are listed on the BMV website. Six hours must be completed for students to be credited with completing a driver-ed program.
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