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Most expensive states to operate a car

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 6: Traffic backs up on the US Route 101 South after a Boeing 777 airplane crashed landed at San Francisco International Airport July 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California. A passenger aircraft from Asiana Airlines coming from Seoul, South Korea crashed landed on the runway. No word so far on injuries or deaths. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images) Sarah Rice

(MoneyWatch) The most expensive states to operate a vehicle largely won their top slots as the result of high state taxes and fees, and sometimes because of lengthy average commute times that caused gasoline expenses to soar, according to's just released survey of the annual cost of operating a vehicle.

See which states are most expensive for drivers.

Most expensive states to operate a car


1. Georgia

Auto repair costs in Georgia are a relatively reasonable $385 annually, but taxes and fees slam state residents with an average cost of $1,952 -- more than 10 times the cost of taxes and fees in Oregon, the least costly state to operate a car, where taxes and fees are a paltry $157. Lengthy average commutes also set Georgia residents back with gasoline costs, spending an average of $1,129 at the pump and about $767 for auto insurance. Total cost to operate a car: $4,233 annually.

Most expensive states to operate a car

Malibu, Calif., a great place to vacation but don't drive there Kathy Kristof

2. California

It probably comes as no surprise that the Golden State ranks as the nation's second most expensive to operate a car. But it's not the cost of idling in traffic that earns California this dubious distinction; it's mainly because of the cost of taxes and fees, according to The state's residents pay an average of $390 for repairs, $1,809 for taxes and fees, $980 for gasoline; $786 for insurance for a grand total of $3,966. On the bright side, according to GoBankingRates, you can finance your vehicle for a mere 0.99 percent if you happen to be a member of Burbank Federal Credit Union in Southern California.

Most expensive states to operate a car

American Bison (also known as Buffalo) join the morning commute on Highway 89 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on June 1, 2011. In the early 1800's, an estimated 65 million bison roamed throughout the continent of North America but hunting and poaching had a devastating effect on their population and by 1890, fewer than 1,000 remained. Today there are an estimated 4000 bison in Yellowstone National Park. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) MARK RALSTON

3. Wyoming

Wide open spaces may be the draw for those who want to live in Wyoming, but they also make for long commutes for those working in the Cowboy State. Wyoming residents spend more on gasoline than residents of any other state -- a whopping $1,643 on average. Other costs of car ownership include $324 for repairs; $1,341 for taxes and fees and $630 for insurance for a total of $3,938.

Most expensive states to operate a car

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 30: Traffic heading south along Interstate 95 into Providence runs smooth ahead of a possible closure March 30, 2010 in Providence, Rhode Island. The second major rain storm of March doused the Northeast today, causing flooding and evacuations. National Guard troops were activated in Massachusetts and Rhode Island where a state of emergency was declared. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) Darren McCollester

4. Rhode Island

Like California, the main reason Rhode Island makes the list of most expensive states to operate a car is because of the taxes and fees imposed on drivers, which amount to a whopping $1,717. Rhode Island residents pay an average of $371 for repairs, $826 for gasoline, but a relatively pricey $999 on average for insurance. Total: $3,913.

Most expensive states to operate a car

The Las Vegas Strip, including the Bellagio, the Stratosphere, the Mirage, Wynn, Las Vegas Hilton and Trump Towers, is seen from the air aboard Air Force One as US President George W. Bush departs from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, 31 January 2008. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) SAUL LOEB

5. Nevada

Taxes and fees also account for the bulk of car ownership costs in Nevada, where repairs run about $364 annually, taxes and fees levy a $1,741 bite, gasoline costs about $811 and insurance $970 for an annual cost of ownership of $3,886.

To see where your state ranks in BankRate's 50-state survey, click here.

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