If you need a car, you need a car, and you probably aren't going to move just to make it a bit less expensive. But, if you're on the fence about purchasing a vehicle or sticking with public transportation, this information is crucial to the decision-making process.
Owning a car creates numerous financial duties. Not only do you have the initial cost of purchasing a car, but over the vehicle's lifetime you have to pay for repairs, insurance and gas.
The cheaper states
If you live in Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nebraska or Oregon, you're in luck. You live in one of the top 10 least expensive states for owning a car, according to Bankrate.
Iowa is the cheapest state to own a car. On average, it costs an Iowan $1,943 per year, which includes $315 for repairs, $630 for insurance and $998 for gas. Ohio is the second cheapest state with repairs averaging at $328 a year, insurance at $698 per year and gas at $947 each year, which adds up to $1,973.
The other end of the spectrum
If you happen to reside in Wyoming, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, New Jersey, Georgia, Delaware, Alabama, Michigan or Connecticut, then you live in one of the top 10 most expensive states to own a car.
Wyoming tops the list of the most expensive states to own a car and if that's where you live, you can expect to pay about $2,705 a year. That cost includes $324 for repairs, $792 for insurance and $1,588 for gas. Connecticut is the least costly of the expensive states, coming in at $2,372 a year, which breaks down to $385 for repairs, $1,058 for insurance and $929 for gas.
If you need to buy a car and you live in one of the more expensive states - don't panic. There are many ways you can save on car expenses each year. Consider investing in a hybrid or electric car. These can cut back on your gas, but may also be more expensive to repair, so weigh the pros and cons for your situation. If you're the handy type, you can save on trips to the auto shop by changing your own oil and windshield wipers - or asking an experienced friend to do it.
You can also look around for the most advantageous auto insurance rates in your area by using CoverHound to comparison shop.