By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan:  Is the cost of owning a car driving you into the poor house?  Well just be thankful that you don’t live in Georgia ( any Georgia residents reading this have my sympathy ).  Georgia is the most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle.  On the flip side, Oregon is the cheapest.   That is according to a new report.

Bankrate factored in the costs of gasoline, insurance, repairs, taxes and fees. In Georgia, a typical driver spends $4,233 per year to operate his or her vehicle. That is almost double the cost in Oregon ($2,204). The national average is $3,201.

Fortunately this is one report where the Delaware Valley falls closer to the bottom.   In our region New Jersey comes in around the midway mark at #23,  in the Garden State the average driver spends $3257 per year.  Delaware ranks #38 at $2846 and Pennsylvania is way down at #44, drivers spending around $2764 per year.

So what makes Georgia so expensive?  Georgians spend a lot of time in their cars thanks in part to Atlanta’s sprawling communities and a lack of public transportation. Those long commutes lead to above-average gasoline costs and insurance rates. And Georgia has the highest state automobile taxes and fees in the nation.   While Oregonians benefit from the absence of a state sales tax as well as relatively low car insurance costs. Plus, the typical Beaver State resident drives 16% fewer miles than the national average.

California ($3,966), Wyoming ($3,938), Rhode Island ($3,913) and Nevada ($3,886) round out the five most expensive states.

Alaska ($2,227), South Dakota ($2,343), Montana ($2,660) and Indiana ($2,698) join Oregon among the five cheapest states.

To see where your state ranks in the report click below: