The Cost of Car Ownership
For many people, especially in the south, owning a car is not a choice. It is essential to being able to get around and do what you need to do. However, owning a car is a major expense. While you may not think about it, there are many things that go into owning a vehicle. This includes the upfront costs to buy the vehicle, fuel, maintenance, taxes, fees and interest. These costs can vary greatly across the south.
Variances in Costs
To begin with, tax rates vary from location to location. When you buy a vehicle, you have to pay tax on your purchase. This can raise the overall cost of your vehicle by thousands of dollars, making your upfront cost quite high if you live in a state with a high tax rate.
Other costs that can vary greatly from location to location are those for registering your vehicle and getting the title. Generally, these are paid in the county in which you live. Some counties may charge more for the services than others. It may also depend on which city you live in. These costs can be quite low, like under $20, or they can be on the more expensive side.
A major area where costs vary from location to location is fuel. Everyone knows gas prices go up and down. One city may have low prices, while another is much higher. Then there is the variance between gasoline and diesel fuel. If you own a diesel vehicle, expect to pay more.
Your location may also impact the costs for maintenance and repairs. Some areas may have higher rates than others due to things like demand and competition. If you own a vehicle, though, you will need to get maintenance done at some point, so this must be kept in mind.
The last cost that can affect your cost of owning a car is insurance. Insurance isn’t as dependent on location, although location will affect your prices. It is more reliant upon your personal details, such as your driving record, credit rating, age, type of vehicle and number of drivers. You have some options when it comes to local insurance to help make this more affordable. However, some areas just naturally have higher rates than others, so it is something to think about.
Costs by State
There is not one southern state where owning a car is super cheap. There are always tradeoffs when it comes to costs. For example, North Carolina has some of the lowest prices for gas, insurance and registration, but the state has high repair costs. The same is true of Virginia. On the other side of things, there is Georgia where gas is still rather cheap, but you will pay out quite a bit for repairs and insurance.
Then there is West Virginia, which has low registration fees, but everything else is rather costly, like gas and insurance. Compare this with Mississippi, a state that is lower than average on every car related cost. Mississippi may be the ideal southern state for car ownership.
When it comes to owning a car in the south, you have a lot of costs to consider. Depending on where you live, you may need to shop more smartly for a car to get a better deal or you may need to be careful about getting an insurance policy so you aren’t paying too much.