Tips, Tricks & Trends

Do You Live In The Most Expensive Used Car Market?

With all of the variables involved with the price of a car add the variable of where it is purchased. With licensing fees, insurance, and general supply and demand issues identical vehicles can vary in price from one city and state to the next. Do you live in the most expensive car market?

A great deal on anything is a great feeling. Instead of breaking the bank, you’re actually taking out less when a great deal rolls around. But buying a car in one market can cost you thousands of dollars over purchasing the same vehicle in another place. Here are some examples.

California wins as the worst state to buy a car in

Used car showroom. | Getty

With the cost of living, sales tax, and gas prices, California wins as the worst state to buy a car in. This according to GoBankingRates. High unemployment increases the price because drivers are holding onto their cars longer. That means there are fewer cars on the market at any one time. Another cost is the annual car insurance which is required to run a car on the street. It runs $1,158 which you can add to the bottom line.

Conversely, Florida is the cheapest state at 10% less than the national average because of the age of residents. With a lot of retirees come more cars being sold. This might be due to death or factors like impaired vision or physical problems. According to the US Census State Population Characteristics, some individuals are seeing ever-increasing income. With that comes more money for better, larger, faster cars. So they sell more frequently to jump to the next purchase. More cars mean lower prices.

Then there are the fees that go along with purchasing a car. These include sales tax and licensing fees. Some states have caps for these fees but more don’t. Purchasing a car in a state other than your own to save on these fees doesn’t work out. Usually, states have other fees for registering a car from out-of-state that more than make up for the difference you initially save.

Alabama charges the most fees for car buyers

Ford dealership. | Getty

RELATED: Right Now Might Not Be The Time To Buy A Used Car

But, if you’re seeing a move in the near future and it is to a state with lower fees it would be worth holding off on purchasing another car until after your move. Alabama has the distinction of charging the most fees for car buyers. On average, it costs $2,313 according to GoBankingRates. But while Alabama has those high fees it has the cheapest gasoline on average. 

Other high-fee markets include Arizona, Colorado, and Tennessee. Oregon conversely, has the lowest rates for car fees in the country. The average charges for registering a car are $115. Alaska and New Hampshire are also fairly low with average license fees at a few hundred dollars. 

The largest differential for car purchases can actually be credit scores. It might be worth taking a look at your credit score to see if there are any issues that don’t belong to you. Clearing those up doesn’t cost anything but can raise your score to save you a ton in extra monthly finance payments.