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NJ ranks 5th in cost to own, operate cars

A new measure of the cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle in the United States finds New Jersey’s price tag is fifth-highest in the nation.

Car Dealership
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

The analysis by Bankrate.com shows insurance and repairs are the main drivers for the cost of running a car in the Garden State.

“In New Jersey, the average driver is going to spend about $2,420 a year,” said Stacy Jones, data journalist for Bankrate. The national operating average is just above $2,200.

With average car repairs as well as parts and labor costing around $393 annually, New Jersey tops the list for repairs. That figure is about 11 percent higher than the national average. Vermont has the cheapest car repairs in the country, $269 a year on average.

As far as the cost of car insurance goes, the average in New Jersey is about $1200 per year, third-highest in the country. Iowa had the cheapest average car insurance, at $630 annually.

Believe it or not, Wyoming came in as the most expensive place to own a car. That’s because, according to Jones, everything out there is so spread out.

The study also measured some other statistics.

“The average is about 10,000 miles,” Jones said when asked about Americans’ annual driving distances. “New Jerseyans are putting about 8,000 miles on their cars.”

She said the day-to-day routine — things that we need to do in New Jersey — is a tighter squeeze here because this is a more densely populated state.

And although New Jerseyans gripe about gas prices, they’re almost 4 percent cheaper here, on average.

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