What Is the Cheapest State to Buy A Car?

You're probably not going to move across the country to save a few bucks when buying a car, but it sure would be interesting to know if your state makes the list, and why.

These rankings are based on a March 2020 survey by GoBankingRates.

10 Most Expensive States for Used Cars

These are the 10 most expensive states for used cars.

10 Most Expensive States for Used Cars
Rank State Key Reasons for Worst Prices
10 Colorado Cost of ownership is above the national average, with taxes and repair costs being particular highlights.
9 Arizona Higher than national average sales and vehicle property taxes.
8 Alabama Higher than national average sales tax. Gas and maintenance are also above the national average.
7 Kansas Higher than average sales and vehicle property taxes.
6 Arkansas Apart from low title and registration fees, the cost of ownership is above the national average.
5 Nevada Higher than national average sales tax and insurance premiums.
4 Mississippi Higher than national average average vehicle property tax, sales tax, gas and maintenance costs. The title and registration costs are below the national average.
3 Rhode Island The cost of gas in Rhode Island is below the national average. Insurance premiums are higher than the national average.
2 Louisiana Apart from the cost of gas, ownership costs are above the national average.
1 California The cost of living is skyrocketing, so people are holding on to their used cars for longer. It’s the most expensive state for sales tax and gas too.

10 Best States to Buy Used Cars

These are the 10 best states to buy used cars.

10 Best States for Used Cars
Rank State Key Reasons for Best Prices
10 Montana No sales tax on purchases.
9 Alaska Lower than national average initial fees.
8 Virgina Gas prices and insurance premiums lower than national average. Registration and title fees are less than most states too.
7 Ohio Low sales tax and low insurance premiums. Ohio has the second-lowest auto insurance costs in the country.
6 Wisconsin Lower than national average insurance premiums, maintenance costs and gas prices. Low ownership fees as well.
5 North Carolina Lower than national average sales tax and auto insurance premiums.
4 Missouri Lower than national average gas prices. Residents pay lower title and registration fees too.
3 New Hampshire The average cost of owning a car, including gas and auto insurance is among the lowest in the country. There is also no sales tax on purchases.
2 Oregon No sales tax on purchases.
1 Florida Used vehicles are almost 10% less in Florida than the national average. Florida is also a buyer’s market and the cars are often in excellent condition owing to the weather. No road salt in Florida!

Cheapest State to Buy A Car

Traffic in southern Florida on a cloudy day, USA
Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock
What city and state is best to get a good deal on a car?

Prices vary between states owing to a variety of factors including car sales taxes, gas taxes, insurance premiums and registration and documentation fees. The difference in the sticker price of the car will also vary based on availability of inventory, which can change from state to state owing to shipping costs and consumer demand.

What City and State Is the Best to Get A Good Deal on A Car?

Please note the following lists do not take every used car dealer, new car dealership and independent seller into account.

The results are a reflection of the average listing price rather than the sale price. The numbers are percentages points that each location compares to the national average.

Best Cities for Used Cars

These are the top 10 best cities to buy a used car.

10 Best States for Used Cars
Rank City State % Difference from Nat. Avg.
10 Springfield Massachusetts -3.9%
9 Detroit Michigan -3.9%
8 Providence Rhode Island -4.2%
7 Sarasota Florida -4.6%
6 Tampa Florida -5.2%
5 Orlando Florida -5.4%
4 Cleveland Ohio --5.9%
3 New York New York -6.2%
2 Stamford Connecticut -6.8%
1 Miami Florida -11.1%

Worst Cities for Used Cars

These are the top 10 worst cities to buy a used car.

10 Best States for Used Cars
Rank City State % Difference from Natl. Avg.
10 Portland Oregon +7.9%
9 Knoxville Tennessee +8.0%
8 Seattle Washington +8.0%
7 Jackson Mississippi +8.2%
6 Shreveport Louisiana +8.4%
5 Bakersfield California +8.8%
4 Albuquerque New Mexico +10.1%
3 Fresno California +12.0%
2 Reno Nevada +12.2%
1 El Passo Texas +12.3%

About the Author

Alex Denholm

Alex Denholm

Freelance Contributor

Alex Denholm is a freelance contributor to MoneyWise.

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