The most expensive state for drivers isn’t what you’d expect. While conventional wisdom suggests that it costs more to be a driver in densely populated northeastern states with large, densely populated cities and bad winters, the truth is that states like New York and New Jersey don’t even crack the top five.
It turns out, in the state with the highest spending – rural Wyoming – gas accounts for 70% of drivers’ costs. In North Dakota, the No. 3 most expensive state for drivers, 69% of expenses are due to gas costs.
This color-coded graphic illustrates how much each state spends, while also breaking down the ratio between gas and insurance:
Meanwhile, states that have lower overall costs for drivers tend to have below average insurance and gasoline prices. But there does not appear to be a trend between a state’s overall cost to drivers and the size of the state’s population.
In some instances, the differences in costs between neighboring states make little sense. For example, North Dakota has one of the highest overall cost to drivers at $2,251, while nearby South Dakota is on the lower end of the spectrum at $1,883.
Based on an average of all 50 states, the national average insurance cost is around $887 per year and the national average gasoline spending is around $1,127 per year, for an average total driver spending cost of $2,014.