By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does the cost of owning a car have you on the road to the poor house? The high price of gas, the cost of repairs…it all adds up and can take a big bite out of your budget.

But it could be worse. As 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, drivers in the Delaware Valley are actually getting off cheap.

When the number crunchers at Bankrate recently took a look at the costs involved in operating a vehicle, they found it can vary widely depending on the state in which you live. After all, your annual costs involve a lot more than just your monthly car payment.

Bankrate Research and Statistics Editor Chris Kahn says, “We looked at a few major categories. First was repairs, insurance costs, gasoline spending of course — and that’s not just the gas price, but the amount that you drive the car — and then taxes and fees, and that was a big one.”

Bankrate’s Car Cost Index found Georgia to be the most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle. Oregon is the cheapest.

According to Kahn, “Where ever you buy a car in the United States, you’re probably going to pay about the same price for it. Prices vary, but not that much. But the cost of actually driving and owning that car, we’re finding all sorts of different prices.”

In our region, New Jersey ranked #23 in Bankrate’s Car Cost Index. The average New Jersey driver is spending $3,257 to operate a vehicle each year. Delaware drivers faired even better, coming in at #38 on the index and spending around $2,846 per year. But Pennsylvania was way down on the list at #44. The average Pennsylvania driver is spending just $2,764 annually.

To check out Bankrate’s Car Cost Index ranking all 50 states, visit:

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