You can own a car in any state in the country, but some places are better than others when it comes to car ownership. If you’re thinking of moving shortly, you may be wondering about the best states to own a car in.
Here’s our list of the seven best states for purchasing a vehicle, ranked from lowest to highest.
The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place if you don’t mind some cold weather. Oregon, in particular, is a great place for car owners — especially if you’re purchasing a new or new-to-you car. Purchasing fees and taxes in the Beaver State are among the lowest in the country, averaging one percent and rarely exceeding $150. If you’ve got your eyes on an expensive new luxury car, this is the state for you.
If you’re going offroad, take a trip to Utah. Moab, Utah is consistently ranked as the best place in the country for driving off the beaten path. It has even been dubbed America’s Off-Road Capital. You’ll have to pick up an off-road driving permit, but they’re free whether you live in the state or not. Just make sure you pay attention to the signs — many trails are off-limits to vehicles to protect bikers and hikers.
If you like to drive, Arizona is an excellent state for car ownership. While some of the larger cities do require emissions testing, most of the state is exempt from these requirements — and there are hundreds of miles of mostly empty highway for you to explore. Arizona is also home to natural wonders like the Painted Desert, which is stunning from behind the wheel.
They say everything is bigger in the Lone Star State, but that doesn’t apply to the cost of owning a vehicle. Texas was ranked number one as the best state to drive in 2018. It has one of the lowest average gas prices in the country, and as long as you avoid the cities, some of the loveliest drives in the country. It also has the second-most car washes per capita in the entire United States, if that’s important to you.
Buying a car in the Sunflower State isn’t the best idea — the sales tax on a new or used car purchase in Kansas is nearly 9 percent, making it the second highest in the country. Other than that expense, though, almost everything associated with owning a car is cheaper in Kansas. Annual gas expenses are upwards of $177 less expensive than the national average.
The Sunshine State is one of those places where you can drive for six hours and still be in the state’s borders — and that’s perfect for anyone who loves to drive. Avoid the cities, and you’re in for some of the loveliest drives of your life.
Buying a car in Florida is slightly more expensive than some of the other places on our list, but if you’re bringing a car with you when you move, you’re in for a treat.
Sure, everything in California is a bit more expensive, but what you’re getting for that price is proximity to some of the best car shows and the friendliest car culture in the country. Plus, if you like to drive, the coastal highways of California are something you have to experience to believe.
If you hate snow, stick to southern Cali — your car’s exterior will likely stay in decent shape for longer because you don’t have to worry about road salt. Regardless of what region of California you choose to move to, an insulated garage can keep your car safe from the occasional precipitation and opportunistic thieves who might steal it or break in if you park on the street.
While every state has impressive roads and landmarks for drivers and car owners to discover, these seven states are the best places to own a car in the country.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site offthethrottle.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.