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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, November 24, 2001

Alabama drivers enjoy lowest car costs in U.S.

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Cost too much to own your vehicle? Consider moving to Alabama.

Alabama folks spend $7,102 annually to own and operate a car, $1,208 less than the $8,310 spent by Hawai'i residents, according to Runzheimer & Associates, a Rochester, Wis.-based management consulting company that helps the Internal Revenue Service determine allowable tax deductions for auto-related expenses.

Hawai'i was not the most expensive state. That dubious honor went to Michigan, where it costs $8,669 annually to own and operate a vehicle. Hawai'i was No. 8 on the high-cost list behind New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Connecticut and Nevada.

"Insurance plays a large role in cost differences between cities, states and regions of the country," said David Friedlen, director of product development and research at Runzheimer.

The study looked at operating costs, which include fuel, oil, tires and maintenance, as well as fixed or ownership costs, such as insurance, depreciation, financing, taxes, and license and registration fees.

When all expenses are added up, Alabama is the budget leader for car ownership, followed by Vermont, Iowa, Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia.