10 Worst States in America to Own a Car

Win McNamee/Getty Images News

Win McNamee/Getty Images News

Cars are taking their owners for a ride to the poor house as rising price tags and debt-filled tanks are only the beginning. Owning a vehicle includes ongoing financial commitments such as insurance premiums, mechanic bills, and gas. While some costs may not feel significant to your budget, they add up over time and vary across the country.

The average monthly payment for a new vehicle in the second quarter of 2015 was $483, according to a recent report from Experian. Even used vehicles averaged $361 per month. Making matters worse, Americans are extending their loan terms as a way to keep payments under their spending limits. In fact, the percentage of used vehicles financed for 73 to 84 months reached 16.1%, the highest level on record. The percentage of new vehicles financed for the same term length hit 28.8%.

To better understand the total cost of car ownership in America, Bankrate.com ranked all 50 states according to several factors: insurance premiums, repair costs, gas spending, commute times, car thefts, and even fatal crashes. “Population density has a big effect on these rankings,” explained Chris Kahn, Bankrate.com’s research and statistics analyst, in a press release. “The best states for drivers have lots of wide-open spaces, whereas the worst states tend to be filled with people and cars – a bad combination for drivers’ wallets.”

Idaho tops the list, with the second-lowest insurance costs ($656) in the nation, the fourth-lowest gasoline spending ($733), and repair costs ($379) that were slightly below the national average. Idaho was followed by Vermont, Wyoming, and Wisconsin. Let’s take a closer look at the 10 worst states in America to own a car.

10. Washington

  • Insurance premium: $903.08
  • Repairs cost per job: $413.26
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,057.96
  • Commute each way: 24.2 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 407.36
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 0.77

9. Hawaii

  • Insurance premium: $883.87
  • Repairs cost per job: $390.13
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,346.64
  • Commute each way: 25.4 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 262.38
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 1.01

8. New York

  • Insurance premium: $1,215
  • Repairs cost per job: $410
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,335
  • Commute each way: 25.5 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 78.8
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 0.90

7. Georgia

  • Insurance premium: $920
  • Repairs cost per job: $431
  • Annual gasoline spending: $964
  • Commute each way: 26.3 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 268.5
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 1.1

6. Delaware

  • Insurance premium: $1,121
  • Repairs cost per job: $451
  • Annual gasoline spending: $992
  • Commute each way: 25.1 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 143.9
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 1.1

5. New Jersey

  • Insurance premium: $1,266
  • Repairs cost per job: $447
  • Annual gasoline spending: $941
  • Commute each way: 27.7 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 154.5
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 0.70

4. Maryland

  • Insurance premium: $1,036
  • Repairs cost per job: $411
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,071
  • Commute each way: 30.3 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 226.3
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 0.80

3. Texas

  • Insurance premium: $1,014
  • Repairs cost per job: $412
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,037
  • Commute each way: 24.9 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 248.6
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 1.4

2. California

  • Insurance premium: $894
  • Repairs cost per job: $438
  • Annual gasoline spending: $961
  • Commute each way: 26.4 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 431.2
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 0.90

1. Louisiana

  • Insurance premium: $1,279
  • Repairs cost per job: $426
  • Annual gasoline spending: $1,017
  • Commute each way: 24.7 minutes
  • Car thefts per 100k people: 198
  • Fatal crashes per 100M miles driven: 1.5

Follow Eric on Twitter @Mr_Eric_WSCS

More from Culture Cheat Sheet: