California Now Only 2nd Most Expensive State to Own a Car

California Black License Plate (Marcin Wichary / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Marcin Wichary / Flickr / CC / Cropped

California is the second-most expensive state to own a car, when adding in the purchase price, taxes, insurance premiums and maintenance costs — and Governor Jerry Brown is looking to regain the top crown.

A new study from the personal finance website “Go Banking Rates,” reveals that the average additional costs per year to buy a new car and operate it for three years can vary by as much as $2,406 a year, depending on the residence of the consumer.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price for a new car in America is about $33,543. But there are also six other factors that Kelly Blue Book evaluates to determine the true cost of owning and operating a vehicle in its first three years. Those costs include: “sales tax, title fees, registration fees, average annual insurance premiums, annual gas expenses and average maintenance and repair costs.” For a three-year period, “the average additional cost per year to owning a car in the U.S. can vary by as much as about $3,742 a year.”

California has a well-earned reputation as “Taxifornia.” Consumers in the Golden State will pay an average of $4,817 per year over the purchase price to own a car in its first three years

But Michigan is even worse than California, because the state has the highest insurance premium costs in the nation. A Michigander will pay an average of $5,105 per year over the purchase price to own a car in its first three years.

The cheapest place to own a new car in its first three years is the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, where the annual cost is about $2,699. Keeping with its moto, New Hampshire does not impose a sales tax on vehicle purchases and has some of the lowest insurance premiums, maintenance and repair costs in the nation.

Sacramento politicians will probably review this story and be appalled that they are not the national leader in cost.

But as Breitbart News reported, California Governor Brown is already claiming that the Golden State has a $59 billion backlog of maintenance needs on state highways and bridges. He has recently argued: “We’re going to have to find another way to finance the upkeep of the roads.”

There is little opportunity to raise taxes at the pump, since Californians already pay the highest gasoline tax rate in America at 70.87 cents a gallon. Consequently, Brown has set-up a 15-member commission to study replacing the gas tax with an even more expensive “road usage charge.”

Breitbart News estimates that the new roadway scheme would cost each California driver about $350 more per year. That would be more than sufficient for the state to regain its title as the most expensive state to operate a car.


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