5 of the most expensive states to drive

No. 2: California
California © Andrey Bayda/

California's sprawling beaches and vineyards have made the state a road-tripper's dream. Yet high taxes and fees can be a nightmare for commuters, along with a total car ownership cost of $3,966.

Drivers in California pay an average of $1,809 per year in state taxes and fees for their cars. That's the second-highest in the country, behind Georgia, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Those sales taxes are especially tough to stomach in Northern California, since neighboring state Oregon has no statewide sales taxes. Eric Ibara, an expert on vehicle expenses with Kelley Blue Book, says California's sales taxes inflate the price of a $30,000 car by $2,500 for those buying in California instead of Oregon.

Insurance also costs drivers an average of $786 per year, which is above average. State gas prices also tend to be well above average in California, though drivers have cut gasoline costs by driving fewer miles than in many other states.

Sources:; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners;; 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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