Hawaii, California, Alaska, Nevada and West Virginia Are Most Expensive States to Own a Vehicle, According to Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM Study

Hawaii, California, Alaska, Nevada and West Virginia Are Most Expensive States to Own a Vehicle, According to Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM Study


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Hawaii, California, Alaska, Nevada and West Virginia Are Most Expensive States to Own a Vehicle, According to Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM Study

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — February 6, 2008 — A new study by Edmunds.com, the premier resource for automotive information, shows that owning a vehicle in California or Hawaii costs $10,000 more than it does in New Hampshire over a five-year period.

This study employs data from Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM tool, which projects model-specific, regional average vehicle ownership costs, consisting of depreciation, financing, taxes, fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs. The tool is available at no charge to Web site visitors, and provides ownership cost information for both new and used vehicles.

"Many consumers neglect to consider ownership costs when deciding which vehicle to buy," said Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor for Edmunds.com. "Every shopper should look beyond transaction price when determining how a vehicle purchase will fit into the household budget, especially since some expenses can differ dramatically for different types of vehicles. For example, luxury cars tend to have much higher maintenance costs, while sports cars often result in high insurance premiums."

The following states have the lowest average vehicle ownership costs in the country:

States with Lowest Average Five-Year Vehicle Ownership Costs*
State Taxes and Fees Depreciation Finance & Interest Insurance Fuel Costs Maintenance Repairs Total True Cost to OwnSM
New Hampshire $250 $18,208 $5,213 $6,507 $13,216 $3,276 $829 $47,499
South Dakota $1,757 $18,305 $5,929 $5,638 $13,308 $3,633 $914 $49,483
South Carolina $407 $18,037 $5,338 $8,705 $12,719 $3,454 $855 $49,515
Oregon $159 $18,316 $5,865 $7,885 $13,280 $3,781 $981 $50,268
Wisconsin $1,994 $18,282 $5,614 $5,956 $13,396 $4,115 $1,061 $50,417

The following the states have the highest average vehicle ownership costs in the country:

States with Highest Average Five-Year Vehicle Ownership Costs*
State Taxes and Fees Depreciation Finance & Interest Insurance Fuel Costs Maintenance Repairs Total True Cost to OwnSM
Hawaii $1,847 $19,152 $6,237 $12,744 $14,833 $3,705 $939 $59,457
California $3,282 $18,194 $6,467 $11,670 $14,280 $4,335 $1,120 $59,347
Alaska $538 $19,143 $5,966 $13,384 $13,846 $4,097 $1,078 $58,052
Nevada $4,036 $18,326 $6,110 $10,616 $13,406 $4,191 $1,078 $57,763
West Virginia $2,068 $18,185 $5,627 $13,031 $13,799 $3,849 $973 $57,532

"This study showed that the cost of auto insurance is the biggest differentiator between states," remarked Michelle Krebs, Editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "Despite regional fluctuations in gas prices and the public's attention to the subject, fuel costs did not play a major role in the results of this study. The average household's annual gasoline expense is just over $2,500 per car, and even a difference of a quarter per gallon simply does not add up to a tremendous amount of money over the course of a year."

*As of January 17, 2008. Updates and 50-state data are available upon request.

The True Cost to OwnSM calculations use the following assumptions:

  • Ownership expenses are for a five-year time span
  • Vehicles are driven an average of 15,000 miles per year
  • Vehicles are financed using traditional financing and not leased
  • Buyers are paying 10 percent down on the vehicle
  • Buyers are in the "Gold" credit tier for the purpose of determining the finance rate
  • The loan term is 60 months
  • Buyers represent the average demographic for insurance rates

About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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