Cost of car ownership in Nebraska one of nation's steepest

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:00 am

When it comes to the costs of owning a motor vehicle, Nebraska ranks as the 10th most-expensive state at $3,571 per year, according to a new Bankrate.com report.

That's higher than the national average of $3,201, and higher than the cost of owning a vehicle in Iowa, which came in at 33rd with $3,046 per year.

“The big thing driving Nebraska up the list was taxes and fees,” said Claes Bell, an analyst with Bankrate.com. The national average cost of taxes and fees associated with owning a vehicle — which includes registration fees and sales and motor vehicle taxes — is $1,058. In Nebraska, it's $1,575 and in Iowa, $1,186.

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“On the bright side, Nebraska had one of the lowest average costs for car insurance,” Bell said. The national average cost of car insurance for a year was $762 nationally, $580 in Nebraska and $530 in Iowa.

The study determined total costs for each state using median insurance premiums, average repair costs, average automobile taxes and fees and average gasoline spending, which factored in the average miles driven per year and average cost per gallon of gas.

Another report, AAA's 2013 vehicle ownership study, said it costs $9,122 per year to own and operate a new sedan, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving. For a typical SUV, it's $11,599 yearly. Bell said Bankrate.com's figures don't include the cost of vehicle depreciation and use federal records on miles driven vs. a flat rate.

In his study, Georgia was the most expensive state at $4,233 per year, driven by having the highest car taxes and fees in the country, a lack of public transportation and Atlanta's sprawling suburbs, which lead to longer commutes, a Bankrate press release said.

Oregon, at $2,204 per year, was the cheapest state, partly because it lacks a state sales tax and has relatively low car insurance rates.

At $2,343, South Dakota was the third least-expensive state.

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