50 Most Expensive States to Own a Car

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Where Will It Cost the Most to Buy a New Car and Own It for a Year?

Some states are more expensive to live in than others, in terms of home ownership cost, rent, taxes, and income potential. If you are considering a move, perhaps you should also factor in how much it will cost to own a car. Of course, such a big decision shouldn’t be entirely based on your car ownership status, but at least you’ll know what you’re in for.

To come up with this ranking, we consulted Bankrate’s state-by-state overview of vehicle ownership costs, which includes estimates for insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. (The national averages for these figures are ($887, $1,127, and $392, respectively.)

Then, we factored in title and registration fees, according to AAA. Vehicle property taxes (also known as excise taxes) came from WalletHub, and sales taxes were tracked down from CarMax’s car payment calculator and the Tax Foundation. These numbers are based on the states’ tax rates for a car costing $36,113, which was the December 2017 average new vehicle transaction price according to Kelley Blue Book. The cheapest states tend to be the ones with no sales taxes.

We avoided adding inspection and emissions fees, since those can vary by city and may not apply to new vehicles.

The final piece of the puzzle is depreciation, which is the only factor that stays consistent from state to state. According to Carfax, a new vehicle depreciates an average of 20 percent during the first year of ownership. Again, using Kelley Blue Book’s figure of $36,113, each of these states’ figures includes an average depreciation cost of $7,222.

Based on this method, the following slides provide an estimate of how much it’ll cost to own a car in each state, from least to most expensive.

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