Michigan Is The Most Expensive State In Nation To Own A Car, Says Study

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Michigan is number one for something that costs almost everyone in the state dearly in their wallet.

According to a new study by GOBankingRates, Michigan has the highest cost of ownership for a car in the nation. There’s a $7,216 cost difference between owning a car in Michigan and New Hampshire, the least expensive, over three years.

The study considered the costs of six key factors affecting the expenses of owning a vehicle in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. There’s more than just the purchase price and financing included in this study.

The main six factors were, according to the survey:

  • Car sales tax, based on rates provided by CarMax.com and calculated on the average car transaction amount of $33,543 in August 2015 as reported by the Kelley Blue Book.
  • Title fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • Registration fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, calculated annually.
  • Average annual car insurance premiums, sourced from Insured.com’s 2016 report on car insurance rates by state.
  • Annual gas expenses, based on an average of historical regular gas prices in each state sourced from AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. The expense was calculated based on the assumption of a driver filling up a 14-gallon tank once a week.
  • Average car maintenance and repair costs in each state, sourced from CarMD’s 2014 State Repair Cost Rankings.

In Michigan, it cost $15,214.53 for the total cost of ownership over three years. California, number two on the list, was more than $750 cheaper at $14,451.

Having the highest average insurance rates in the nation doesn’t help. Michigan drivers pay $1,413 more than the national average (premiums of $2,738 yearly, or $228 a month), and $441 more than the state with the next-highest insurance premiums, according to the study.

The top ten were rounded out by the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Rhode Island, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. New Hampshire, at the bottom of the list, was more than $1,100 cheaper than their nearest competitor, Missouri. For a complete list, check out their site here.

14 comments
  • This is horrific … and, yet the soft-brains Serving Us Up in Lansing always seem to be dreaming up more ways and means to liquidate and plunder even more of our discretionary income through increased vehicle registrations, insurance, gas taxes and other ominous costly means to satisfy their huge thirst for more and more revenue to fill Lansing’s coffers.

    • What??? Do you just come up with that of the top of your head?? The states budget is running at a defecit. Michigan is the only state to offer unlimited lifetime medical care for auto-related injuries under its no-fault auto insurance system. Legislators have tried to cap it at $50,000 but it’s a controversial issue, with the medical community and accident victims staunchly opposed to proposals to limit personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.

      • On my bill items required by State Law, i.e. unlimited lifetime medical care for auto-related injuries, is $77.00. That about 5.5% of the difference and I think a good bargain. Where does the other $1336.00 go?

        • mine is over 127 dollars per car! and the rest is the overpriced insurance in the first place because with no fault, you no longer blame the bad drivers for accidents, you blame everyone! My daughter got hit as a pedestrian at school, and my car insurance had to pay the bill…what? she was hit by an 18 yr old driver in another car…my daughter wasn’t even a licensed driver she was not on my car insurance….but my car insurance had to pay my daughters medical bill and the person who hit her, paid nothing, and nothing you could do about it…in California the situation would have been reversed and We could have sued as well. To this day her getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is on her driving record as far as insurance is concerned.

      • Is this the $95 dollar fee that I have to pay PER CAR for unlimited medical? As a single dude, why should I have to pay an additional $95 dollars PER CAR for unlimited medical? I can’t drive three cars at once. This fee should be per policy, not per automobile.

        • MCCA is $195 / year per registered motor vehicle, whether you drive it or not. That money, almost all of it, goes into a pool and almost all of it is spent on claims. MCCA claimants go in for a medical procedure and have to pay 3 times more than a standard medical insurance carrier. The “rack price”. In addition, there are many “professional” caregivers who are getting paid to take care of their patient, and most of these caregivers are family members of the victim. So not only does the insurance company pay three times the regular amount to the medical provider, they also pay out huge amounts to the victim’s family so that they can be full-time caregivers… I think the whole system needs to be reviewed, because other people in other states are coping somehow. It seems like a pretty sweet deal for a small number of unfortunates, and they are very loud at claiming how uncompassionate we would be if we decided to change the system. I pay out over $1200 a year to the MCCA fees because I have a summer car, a motorcycle, my teenager’s cars, and my wife’s car . All up, the insurance for a family of four, with no tickets or accidents runs $4800, and four of those vehicles don’t even have any collision insurance. Something needs to change.

  • I live in central new york. I pay $800 per year car insurance for my truck and 2 cars. My car inspection was $10 last month. Used to live in Michigan. Never again.

  • I moved here from AZ and was shocked when our auto insurance went through the roof. In AZ I was able to use my auto insurance to fully replace my windshield for absolutely free. In MI, I had to pay my full deductible. It’s unreal.

  • Michigan is the only state where the car insurer is responsible to cover all medical expenses from injuries sustained in an auto accident. There is no cap or limit to the amount of money that the insurance company would have to pay for your care. This covers the individual for years following the accident as well.

  • The problem is the insurance companies, the DIFS which is appointed by the governor, the state legislature and the governor. It’s all about protecting big business.
    We don’t need a state legislature.

  • There are several important factors missing here. One is the make of the car and it’s reliability. Michigan citizens are far more likely to own a US made car than any other state (my guess), whereas most of the people in New Hampshire have Subarus or the like, consistently much more reliable than US cars. Secondly, MI has no auto inspection. That means a lot of dangerous junk on the road, hence higher insurance rates.

    • I should also add that many states, especially in the NE, have yearly excise tax on vehicles, something Michigan does not have. My father-in-law moved here (ME) from MI and was appalled at how much more expensive it was to register a car here as opposed to MI. If the excise tax was figured in (doesn’t appear to be), this might even up the scores between states considerably.

  • AND the cost of repairs would need to be adjusted for the differences in labor costs from state to state. Shop rates vary quite a bit in different states, especially from South to North.

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