auto

5 of the cheapest states to own a car

No. 4: Montana
Montana © Stephen Beaumont/Shutterstock.com

Montana also is one of the cheapest states in the country to own and operate a vehicle, coming in at $2,660. But, thanks to extraordinarily long commutes in the Big Sky Country state, drivers also pay more than the national average for gasoline.

Relatively low state taxes and fees help make Montana one of the cheapest places in the country to own a car. At a combined average of $521 per year, taxes and fees in Montana are less than half the national average. Auto insurance is relatively cheap in Montana as well at an estimated $661 per year, or 13 percent below average.

The savings from lower taxes, fees and insurance premiums make up for an annual gasoline bill that's nearly $100 higher than the U.S. average.

Sources: GasBuddy.com; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; CarMD.com; Kelley Blue Book; the Oil Price Information Service; and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The information contained in our index is accurate through 2012 with the exception of insurance data, which is accurate through 2010. All data are subject to change.

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