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New Jersey 23rd Costliest to Own a Car [AUDIO]

New Jersey is the 23rd most expensive state in the nation when it comes to operating a motor vehicle.

Gas Prices
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

That’s according to a new Bankrate.com report which finds that it costs the average resident $3,257 per year to have a car in the Garden State, which is slightly higher than the national average of $3,201.

The report looked into costs of gasoline, insurance, repairs and taxes and fees in each state.

“When you think about state’s with a high cost of living, New Jersey is up there, so it’s nice to know that it’s not much more than the national average to operate a car,” said Claes Bell, senior analyst with Bankrate.com.

“Where insurance costs were concerned, New Jersey had the highest insurance costs on a yearly basis of any state that we looked at. New Jersey also had the highest repair costs, but was below average when it came to taxes and fees. New Jersey also had below average gasoline costs which helped. The Garden State also tends to be more concentrated in urban areas and many people use public transportation instead of their cars in many cases.”

As for insurance in New Jersey, the average cost per year is $1,118.88 and repair costs average $392.99 per year. That compares to the national average of $815.11 for insurance and $364.42 for repairs. “Neither was a big enough factor to cause New Jersey to rank high in our overall index,” said Bell.

“People may not think of New Jersey as a low-cost state, but really where the states distribute that tax burden is important,” said Bell. “Some states which may be considered low-tax states, like Georgia for example, were near the top of the list because of taxes and fees and they tend to distribute more of that burden onto drivers.”

According to the report, Georgia is the most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle and Oregon is the cheapest. In Georgia, the average driver spends $4,233 per year to operate his or her vehicle.

That is almost double the cost in Oregon where the average driver spends $2,204 per year.

“Georgia had high taxes and fees and people there tend to have longer commutes which brought gasoline prices up,” said Bell. “How many miles you drive on a given day and in a given year is going to affect that overall cost of gasoline a lot more than a few cents here and there on a per gallon basis.”

California, Wyoming, Rhode Island and Nevada round out the top five most expensive states. Alaska, South Dakota, Montana and Indiana join Oregon among the five cheapest states.

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