Where Does Auto Ownership Cost the Most?

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  • These days, many consumers may be paying quite a bit to simply own and operate their cars every year between the high cost of gas, regular maintenance, and auto insurance bills, which can add up to thousands of dollars. For this reason, rising insurance bills might feel particularly onerous to many drivers across the country and, as a consequence, insurance agents might have to do a bit more to highlight all the benefits of having such coverage, as well as helping them find discounts when possible.

    In almost every state in the country, the average driver pays at least $2,000 per year to drive their cars when accounting for fuel, repairs, and insurance coverage (not including any auto payments they face), and in many cases, insurance costs make up nearly half of that number all by themselves, according to a new report from Bankrate. In all, residents of 13 states pay at least $1,000 per year for their auto insurance.

    Who pays the most overall, though?
    Meanwhile, only three states (Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois) saw residents pay less than $2,000 for all aspects of auto ownership, on average, the report said. At the same time, though, all three paid between $1,942 and $1,999, meaning that even in states best positioned to help consumers save money on driving, there was still often a hefty cost for doing so. At the same time, Florida, Louisiana, and Wyoming paid at least $2,500 annually. They were the only states to reach that mark, and Wyoming actually far exceeds it, at $2,705. However, it should be noted that well over half of that sum is actually spent on fuel, not repairs or insurance coverage.

    These days, insurance agents may be focused largely on trying to help consumers find as many discounts as possible so that they will stick with their current company, or be attracted to a new one. However, data shows that consumers actually value the ability to obtain high-quality customer service more so than simply being able to drop their premium costs by 5 percent or so. For this reason, the agents who can strike the best balance between finding more affordable coverage options for consumers when they need it, and providing responsive customer service going forward will likely be those who have the most success in the industry overall.

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