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Utah motorists on average pay less in annual vehicle operation costs than their peers nationwide: $3,101 compared with $3,201, according to Bankrate.com (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
Study: Utahns pay less to operate vehicles than much of the nation
Study » Beehive state ranks 30th — spending $3,101 a year on average.
First Published Aug 21 2013 08:37 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:32 pm

Utah motorists pay less than U.S. peers to operate their vehicles, spending $3,101 a year on average, compared with $3,201 nationwide, a new report shows.

The state’s average cost ranks it 30th in the nation, according to the Bankrate.com report, which factored in gasoline costs, insurance, repairs, taxes and fees in each state to come up with the ranking.

At a glance

Car costs

Utah is 30th most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle at $3,101 annually.

Most expensive states (gas, insurance, repairs, taxes, fees):

Georgia » $4,233

California » $3,966

Wyoming » $3,938

Rhode Island » $3,913

Nevada » $3,886

Least expensive states:

Indiana » $2,698

Montana » $2,660

South Dakota » $2,343

Alaska » $2,227

Oregon » $2,204

Source: Bankrate.com

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The report shows Utahns pay an annual average of $371 for repairs, $1,073 for taxes and fees, $950 for gasoline and $708 for insurance. Each of these costs are about average when compared to other states, said Claes Bell, senior analyst with Bankrate.com.

"Utah has some wide open spaces, but how a state is organized and where people live relative to where they work makes a difference in vehicle operating costs," he said. "People get upset when the price of gasoline increases, but a key factor is how many miles you drive."

Georgia residents pay the most to operate their vehicles, an average of $4,233, according to the report.

"Georgians spend a lot of time in their cars thanks in part to Atlanta’s sprawling communities and a lack of public transportation," Bankrate.com said in a news release. "Those long commutes lead to above-average gasoline costs and insurance rates."

In addition, Georgia has the highest state automobile taxes and fees in the nation, the reports says.

Average annual vehicle operation costs are lowest in Oregon, at $2,204 per year.

The report says Oregonians pay no state sales tax and benefit from comparatively low automobile insurance rates.

"Plus, the typical Beaver State resident drives 16 percent fewer miles than the national average," according to the release.

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Other states in the top five include California ($3,966), Wyoming ($3,938), Rhode Island ($3,913) and Nevada ($3,886).

The other four states with the nation’s lowest average annual vehicle operation costs are Alaska ($2,227), South Dakota ($2,343), Montana ($2,660) and Indiana ($2,698), according to the report.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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