auto

5 of the cheapest states to own a car

No. 1: Oregon
Oregon © JPL Designs/Shutterstock.com

Oregon tops Bankrate's list as the cheapest place in the country to own and operate a vehicle. Drivers here pay $2,204 to own and operate a car each year. That may be a surprise in a place where gas prices have frequently jumped above $4 per gallon.

The Beaver State gives drivers a break with no state sales tax. Kelley Blue Book estimates the combined vehicle fees in the state amount to just $157 per year. That's the lowest in the country.

Oregon motorists also drive less than in most other states. That drives down what they spend on gasoline each year. The average yearly cost of gasoline in Oregon was $942 per driver in 2012, while it was $1,020 nationally.

Insurance premiums are also relatively low at $724 per year.

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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