Edmunds.com, an auto Web site where you can figure out how much your car’s worth, just announced which states cost owners the most and least to own a car. The company tracked costs including depreciation, financing, taxes, insurance, fuel and maintenance, then added them all up. Hawaii ranks as the most expensive U.S. state for car ownership. After all’s said and done, the true cost to own a car is $59,457 over five years. California came in second because it costs $59,347 there. Alaska, Nevada and West Virginia rounded out the top five. New Hampshire wins for being the cheapest state in the Union to own a car. After five years, those in the Live Free or Die state will have spent $47,499. That’s on top of no state sales tax or state income tax. Maybe the tradeoff is the weather? South Dakota, South Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin were the other four cheapest places to own a car. Note the survey assumed that car owners financed their new cars for five years. It also assumed 15,000 miles per year and does not include leases. So next time you’re out car shopping, don’t forget to add in all the extra costs beyond the sticker price. They can really add up.

Feb. 6 2008