Top and Most Expensive States To Buy And Run A Car

Top and Most Expensive States To Buy And Run A Car

Buying a car is always a costly affair. Still, it is costlier to buy and own a car in some states of
the USA. When buying this asset, most of us would like to calculate the car’s value to match it with our budget. Aside from paying a lump sum to the retailer, it is also essential that we pay for the car registration fee among other costs. However, the overall amount to be paid by the automobile owner differs in every state in the USA. So, which is the most expensive state to buy a car?


The average annual ownership costs for car owners can be around US$6,545. The average tax is about US$1,000, while auto insurance premiums can cost US$1,780. In California, you need to pay a high amount for fuel and gas. While the auto insurance price rate is high, you have the privilege of driving the car on the roads of the Golden State. Visitors need to pay gas tax, which is 66.98 cents per gallon.


Michigan car owners need to pay the highest insurance premiums when compared to other states in the USA. Insurance agencies are not bound to disclose the amount of profit they gain from premiums. As Michigan is a no-fault state, drivers need to buy insurance with significant medical coverage.

Insurance agencies pay attention to credit scores, and that’s why it becomes a problem for the poverty-affected regions of Flint and Detroit. There are several other reasons why Michigan is one of the costliest states to own a car.


Car owners in Nevada need to pay about US$6,366 for running the vehicle. The average insurance cost can be about US$1,674. The standard fuel cost for running the car is US$1,249. You may have heard that several Americans move to Nevada to avoid high taxes. However, the car ownership cost in this state is very high. Drivers also pay a considerable amount for gasoline.


The per capita gasoline price is not higher than the typical costs in other states. But, the costliest factor in Louisiana is automobile insurance. The reason behind is it is that there is an increased number of uninsured drivers.


The one-time cost for purchasing the car is around US$2,027, while the usage costs and the annual ownership costs can be about US$2,817. Idaho drivers have to pay a bit higher amount when buying the vehicle. They pay about 6 per cent car sales tax. The one-time cost is US$290 higher than the average annual cost in the nation. The car title transfer fee in Idaho is US$14, and you should also pay a fee for a VIN inspection. During the title transfer process, you need to deal with Idaho bill of sale. However, the best fact is that the insurance cost in this state is below US$1,000 annually. 

New Jersey

Owning a vehicle for a year in New Jersey can be US$527 more than the national average. Thus, the ownership cost for three years is US$2,258. The cost of paying the insurance premium is US$1,905. The average vehicle maintenance cost is about US$422.


It is one of the states where the cost of owning a car is high. The average cost for buying and owning a vehicle for three years is US$13,000. When compared to the national average, the insurance premium cost in Florida is US$329 higher.


The car ownership cost is very high in Washington. Drivers who reside in this state pay US$1,386 more than the average amount in the nation to own a vehicle for three years. The major reason behind it is the costly sales tax (8.9 per cent). Although the car insurance premium is affordable, the price for car fuel is high.

Rhode Island

Drivers in this state need to pay a high amount for driving cars. The average car maintenance cost is US$412, while the sales tax is 7 per cent. When compared to the national average cost, it is US$1,669 higher.

Which are the most expensive states to register a car?

While buying a car, you need to pay a lot more than the price tag attached to the vehicle. Thus, when you create a budget for purchasing a car, you must not overlook monthly payments, down payments, registration fees, and insurance gas costs. As these costs vary considerably between different states, it is more affordable to purchase cars in a few states.

A license plate, also known as the vehicle registration plate, is needed for every automobile for identification. That is why you need to pay a license plate fee for this documentation. A car title is one of the legal documents that you need as proof of ownership. Title fees involve a one-time investment when the owner buys the automobile for the first time. You need to pay the license plate fee annually, which is different in every state. The way to assess registration charges varies on a number of factors.

For instance, the registration fee in Colorado is based on your vehicle weight and age. Michigan and other states calculate this fee according to the MSRP of the automobile. Similarly, registration charges in Utah vary with the weight of the automobile. In some states, you have to pay an additional amount for registering hybrid and electrical cars.

The vehicle registration fee is the highest in Oregon, varying from US$268.50 to US$636.50 (for new cars). The two-year renewal charge is US$122 to US$306. Florida charges US$225 for registering new vehicles. A separate amount is to be paid according to your automobile’s weight. To enjoy the lowest registration charge (US$8), you can go to Arizona. However, an additional US$32 will be paid as the public safety fee.

Final Thoughts

You can now easily compare the car buying and ownership costs in different states in the USA. But, these costs may vary as the market is dynamic, and thus, you have to check the latest price rates before buying a vehicle.

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