By on October 21, 2013

car-ownership-costs

One thousand, nine hundred, and fifty two dollars.

That is how much the average Georgian is supposed to pay in tax, title, and registration fees every year according to Bankrate.com.

When I read that factoid, my eyebrows almost flew off my head. The amount had no cents, and the statement made no sense because I happen to be the guy who collects the taxes from my customers and sends them to the state. Only a $28,000+ car purchase every single year would make this possible, and Georgia is a notoriously poor state. Out of a population of nearly 10 million, our state registered fewer than 300,000 new vehicle sales in 2012.

I quickly concluded that Bankrate.com had done little homework except to launched a PR campaign, under the guise of a study, that was heavy on the numbers and light on the facts.

I also decided to read through the list since 49 other states were also given their daily dose of tax calculations. Immediately, I saw enough red flags to warrant a bit more detail.

 

New Jersey, my former high tax home with potholes aplenty and the infamous New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly had less than half the taxes of Georgia ($915 vs. $1952).

Really??? What else? Well, the 0% sales tax and emission-free owners in Wyoming apparently paid more in vehicle taxes and fees ($1643) than the People’s Republic of New York ($1146).

The only word that came to my mind when I want down the list of states was, “Fugheddaboudit!” As a car dealer and former auto auction owner who did business with customers in all of these states over the last 10 years, none of these findings made any sense to me. So after about 400 mainstream media outlets, from Fox to CNN, publicized the study without so much as a blink of forethought over the next 24 hours, I decided to go about the process of finding out the truth of the matter.

Little did I know that when it comes to calculating taxes, no government makes it easy.

The first step was contacting a government official who could provide me with a clear compass as to where to go.

tim

Tim Echols, a Commissioner for the Georgia Public Service Commission, turned out to be that guy. Back when I started in the auto auction business as a ringman, two of Tim’s brothers worked with me as auctioneers. Tim grew up selling popcorn and peanuts at his family’s auto auction and when it came time to ask for help, I received guidance from him within minutes.

“A lot of it is public. Google “office of planning and budget” and “georgia.” If it has to do with vehicles, the other route is asking the Dept of Revenue Commissione…. to assist.”

The Google search yielded this site and this report. It just so happened that I began my career as a financial analyst and soon, I had a short list of line items that would make for a first draft of what would become a surprisingly intricate study.

Since New Jersey was my former home with a similar sized population to Georgia, I decided to use that state as a baseline comparison. Gas taxes and government insurance fees were already calculated in the “gas” and “insurance” columns at Bankrate.com. This freed me to focus on the taxes and fees related to buying and keeping the car. Within about 30 minutes, I created a very basic spreadsheet which summarized the sales taxes, tag fees, title transfers, and annual registration costs between the two states.

New Jersey Georgia
Sales and/or Title Tax 7% 6.5%
Registration Renewal $35 to $85 $20
Emissions $20 $20
One-Time Tag Fee $0 $20
One-Time Title Processing Fee $60 to $85 $18
Tolls The NJ Turnpike Minimal to None

The chance of New Jersey having less than half the tax burden of Georgia when it came to vehicle ownership, was about the same chance of the New York Giants making it to the playoffs this year. Or in auto enthusiast terms, the same chance of Chevy retiring the Corvette nameplate and re-introducing the model as an Aveo.

At this point I had many of the right ingredients for a solid rebuttal, and it was time to gauge interest with a few media outlets.

Marty Padgett, a long-time automotive journalist and Editorial Director at High Gear Media, was interested. So was Justin Hyde, the editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Autos. After a pitch and a couple of brief Facebook conversations, I had the means to invest the time and the further analysis that this type of study would quickly require.

I decided to keep my findings open to all parties, at all times. It was the fair thing to do. I shared my work with heads of government agencies, deputy directors, and special assistants who are constantly immersed in managing the never-ending labyrinth of government data. When a certain statistic was unavailable, such as the average cost of vehicles purchased in the two states, I was either able to eventually find the right contact, or find the right data that would let me generate those numbers.

All of this research was familiar territory for me. When I helped take companies public back in my earlier days as a financial analyst, I had to do the same exact thing in the private sector. Collect data within a company and find the truth of how they were actually using those resources. This takes time and a thorough auditing of your numbers. Once the numbers were confirmed from a variety of sources, I constructed a ‘fail-safe’ simulation for the average vehicle owner. A spreadsheet that reflected the average vehicle age (11.5 years), purchase price ($8500 average in Georgia), and ownership period (6 years in Georgia).

When the numbers were in, the Bankrate.com estimate of $1,952 in annual taxes for the average Georgian turned out to be as far off as Mercury is from Pluto.

The real cost was about $115 a year in Georgia before taking into account gas taxes, state fees for insurance and other minor costs that weren’t part of Bankrate.com’s “tax” calculation. To me all those state collected revenues are nothing more than hidden taxes.  A tax is a tax in my world. But to keep this comparison consistent, I used Bankrate.com’s methodology for allocating certain taxes to other categories.

To add value for my audience,  I also reported on other hidden costs of ownership that are rarely included in these studies: emission related repairs, toll roads from private companies, road construction and maintenance, and police speed traps that to varying degrees are also part of the hidden cost of car ownership.

My findings were published at Yahoo (click it!) and covered at High Gear Media as well. However, one of the lessons I learned early on in this business is that most media outlets rarely, if ever, correct their findings if the information came directly from a third-party source. The New York Times, CNN, and hundreds of other media outlets have to deal with countless studies that are often done more for shock value than for ethics and integrity. In fact, the later are notable exceptions to the rule.

All it often takes to get a “study” out there, is good PR. Honesty is optional.

So when you read about some sensationalized statistic that is blathered about in the mainstream media, remember the age old words of Mark Twain. “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” That is why part of our hard work at The Truth About Cars includes a special on focus on, what I would kindly call, the lies about cars. People lie to us because there is money in doing so. There is an amazing amount of PR fed bullshit to contend with in our business that is never called out as such, and even the most brilliant and gifted writers often find themselves with muck on their shoes and sweet talkers in their ears and email boxes. So, in light of that,  if you want to bring some unique facts and experiences to the table, please don’t shy about it. Feel free to contact us.

Oh, and share how much in taxes you paid for your rides during the course of this year. I’m willing to bet that unless you bought a new car, it was nowhere near one thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two dollars…. and zero sense.

 

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57 Comments on “Hammer Time: Bankrate.com And The Economics Of Car Ownership...”


  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    That kind of research makes coming to this site worthwhile!

    Big value add Steve. EDIT: Did you look at each state? I see on yahoo only the GA NJ comparison.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I don’t know much, but I do know that the annual renewal in Nevada on my ’05 Scion xB was $33 for the registration, and an additional $66 for taxes.

    I’m no math wiz, but I figure this amounts to a 200% tax.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Whiteman

      Bzzt! No so fast.

      Let’s use my ’75 MGB in Washington, which required me to replace my plate this year.
      * $30 registration (a tax)
      * $3 Filing fee (a tax)
      * $10 weight fee (a tax)
      * $0.75 License service fee (a tax)
      * $5 subagent fee (I registered at a private business, due to my own lazyness. hey! not a tax!)
      * $24 replacement plate fee (mostly tax, that plate might have cost $10 to make and ship)

      So my registration was $10 in goods (a new plate), $5 to the private entity that performed the registration, and $67.75 in tax. If I didn’t need a new plate (thanks for nothing WSP), it would have been $43.75 in tax and $0 nontax (I would have registered by mail and skipped the subagent fee).

  • avatar
    Neb

    Neat. I’d love to do a similar analysis on markets in Canada…

    Also, CNN doesn’t do corrections. I’m not sure you can call an outfit that has twitter as a primary research tool a news organization.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Figures don’t lie, but liars sure can figure!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I will share that after an ellipsis there is no additional period.

    “Dept of Revenue Commissione…. to assist.”
    “nine hundred and fifty-two dollars…. and zero sense.”

  • avatar
    brettc

    Maine’s amount seems to be pretty accurate if you’re driving a new car. When you register your car every year in Maine, you pay excise tax based on your town/city’s current mill rate on the original MSRP. For example in 2012 my new Sportwagen TDI with DSG (no sunroof) ended up costing just over $700 to register. This year it was $535.11. The minimum excise tax is about $100 once the car gets old enough. Yearly state inspections are required as well, which essentially forces people to eventually replace their crappy old cars with something newer to collect more excise taxes. (and the tax circle is complete!)

    There are also turnpike tolls which are hard to avoid in Southern Maine unless you don’t mind driving everywhere on low speed roads, but that can be offset some with an EZ-Pass. The insurance amount is about right for Maine, I pay about $600 for a 2000 Jetta and a 2012 Jetta Sportwagen.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @Brettc

      There is no minimum on excise tax, and AFAIK, all municipalities collect at the same rate, which is set by the state. It is a set percentage of whatever MSRP was, with no regard whatsoever for present value. It starts at 2.4% for a new car and goes down annually to .4% for a 6yo or older vehicle. My ’01 Range Rover was over $300 just in excise tax on a vehicle I only paid $5500 for (plus 5.5% sales tax on the $5500). And it will be that much every year for as long as I own it. My 2yo FIAT Abarth will be only a few bucks more when it comes up on year 2 in March, and be cheaper from year 3 on. My ’11 BMW will be cheaper starting in year 5, since it only cost 2/3s as much as the Rover new. Crazy.

      What I wonder is do you still pay excise tax if you live in an unincorporated territory in Maine? Of which we have quite a lot. I assume it just gets paid to the state, but I don’t know that. Makes me want to build a cabin up in T5 R4. :-)

      Other than the excise tax, which is only really an issue if you like driving luxury cars, Maine is a pretty reasonable place to keep cars. I am all for the safety inspection, keeps the heaps off the road. And tolls are good too – fleece those tourists!

  • avatar
    sparc

    I don’t think any of the states in this Bankrate article were accurate. I did the math for a couple others and they seemed as far off as Georgia.

    I think the fine print in the bankrate article is the problem. It says “taxes and fees from Kelley Blue Book.” They probably took the information as factual without any due diligence on their own.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the other columns are full of inaccuracies too as it’s probably sourced from other poorly researched information.

    Media fail…

  • avatar
    ash78

    Well done. However, as an Alabamian, I’m surprised GA doesn’t have ad valorem tax on car registrations. A new car buyer here can expect to pay $500-$1000/year for the first few years, depending on purchase price. For my 15-year-old sedan, I’ve bottomed out at $33 or so (the tag fee, plus a couple bucks’ tax for the $2500 assessed value of the car).

    Meanwhile, my folks live in MD and pay $40 every FOUR YEARS, no tax. But once you figure in emissions (and its related repairs/upkeep) and tolls — neither of which we have — it usually comes out far higher.

    I’m a total states’ rights advocate, but state-to-state comparison with anything related to home prices or tax structures (property vs sales vs income) are very difficult to make.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      $40 for 4 years? It hasn’t been $10 a year since before I was old enough to drive, probably before I was born at all. Keeping a vehicle registered in Maryland currently costs $187 every two years.

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        Dan, this would have been less than 10 years ago. I remember because I bought a car from my folks and kept it registered up there to save several hundred bucks a year. Might be county-by-county adjustments or someting, but I remember that being a shocker to me.

        • 0 avatar
          aristurtle

          Is the car at least 20 years old? They’re probably tagging it “historic”. In theory you aren’t supposed to use it for “general daily driving” with historic plates; in practice there is no way to enforce this. Historic vehicles are also exempt from safety inspections, if I recall correctly.

          If I had a dollar for every time I saw one of Maryland’s, uh, “self-employed professional metal scavenging and recycling technicians” driving a beat-up old crapcan of a pickup truck tagged with “historic” plates, I’d be able to buy a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Maryland’s biannual registration fees are fairly low (though not $40, unless you’re pulling “put historic plates on your beater” shenanigans) but the initial registration can be high depending on purchase price.

      Inspections aren’t yearly but they do need to be done every time the title changes hands. They’re a bit more thorough than the ones in (yearly inspection state) NY, at least in my own experience.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbobjoe

      Actually I though that GA *did* have an ad valorem. Maybe only in some jurisdictions?

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        Georgia no longer has annual ad valorem tax. You do pay a one-time Title Ad Valorem Tax when purchasing a vehicle, and $20 a year to renew your registration.

        At the moment, the TAVT is 6.5% which is lower than the 7% sales tax rate that was common before the new title tax came into effect. At the moment, you pay less in taxes if you keep your vehicle over the long haul instead of trading every few years or so.

  • avatar

    Steve,

    I can see you as a character in a movie. There’d be a little of Guy Noir in you but I can’t say off the top of my head who the rest of the characters in the composite would be, probably because you’re undoubtedly unique…

    but

    The NJtpk is famous, not infamous. It is the most famous road in the US, if not the world

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/10497/the-great-big-shouldered-road.html

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Hey hey that is my POS road every Am for my lovely drive into NY do not mock it we pay toll collectors more the six figures to take our money, my ez pass bill was almost $500 last month for the joy of driving this road.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      David, my life is a walking cartoon.

      As someone who ended up paying over $10 in tolls when going through the Turnpike, and paid zero when traveling through the six or seven states that got me there, I would say that it has definitely earned a bit of infamy. At least my wallet thinks so.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Given that the tax/fee data comes from Kelley Blue Book, I would presume that the information includes doc fees that are typically charged by dealerships when a car is sold. According to TrueCar, Georgia has some of the highest doc fees in the country.

    http://blog.truecar.com/2011/07/26/which-additional-fees-should-i-pay-at-the-dealership-what-is-the-doc-fee/

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      While doc fees can be substantial, they should only hit the car once per owner.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It’s not clear what Bankrate’s assumptions are. However, it’s fair to presume that the “annual cost of ownership” is based upon a new car purchase, with an assumed average holding period thereafter. Up front costs such as sales taxes and doc fees would be amortized across the holding period.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Excellent point. Most states require you to pay a sales tax on the vehicle when you first register it in the state, so even a used vehicle gets hit with a sales tax on the value. Spread that cost out over 6~10 years (however long a person owns a given car on average), and these numbers do have a good chance of bumping up.

          I’m sure the other thing that alters these numbers is the average transaction price of a new car. They probably used the new car transaction price average rather than an average over all vehicle transactions in that state. A good way to calculate an apples to apples comparison would be picking a midsize sedan that sells for $25k and running those numbers in a state over 5 years. If you are driving a 10 year old car and looking to move to one of two states, you can pretty well assume that the costs will be negligibly different from state to state.

          • 0 avatar
            Steven Lang

            I took new and used car purchases into account for my auditing of this study.

            I am not in front of my spreadsheets at the moment. But I do remember that the average transaction price for a vehicle in the state of Georgia in 2012 turned out to be $8477. I had to calculate backwards from the state sales tax rate at the time, and the automotive sales tax collection figures from the state for FY 2012 to get to that number.

            Hope this helps…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “But I do remember that the average transaction price for a vehicle in the state of Georgia in 2012 turned out to be $8477.”

            Again, I would presume that Bankrate, which used KBB data to make it calculations, based its assumptions on buying new cars and holding those new cars for an assumed holding period. That figure would be a lot higher than $8477.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          The numbers appear to be calculated from median new vehicle prices and average CAFE fuel-economy per state. The Georgia number is probably caused by a misunderstanding the Georgia’s vehicle property tax. The old system adjusted for FMV so drivers paid less each year, the new system is one-time, IIRC, during the purchasing process. Perhaps someone confused the new vehicle property tax with the old recurring birthday tax?

          Regardless, I’m not sure why Steven is complaining. He twice pitched tax increases on his fellow Georgians for his own commercial benefit. Perhaps the bankrate numbers are incorrect, but they do inadvertently call attention to Georgia’s tax increases and tax front-loading, which were passed to inflate the treasury balance and protect car dealers at the expense of the citizenry.

          Someone else once used TTAC as a platform to protect entrenched commercial interests.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Given that the tax/fee data comes from Kelley Blue Book, I would presume that the information includes doc fees…”

      Of course they did.

      Don’t you know that dealer fees BY LAW can’t be negotiated, waived, or reduced? And it’s pre-printed on your order. That’s makes it ultra-super-duper official.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Wow, I can’t believe just how high the average charge in some states is. I guess I’m lucky to live in a state with such a low cap and the fact that it like the rest of the transaction (other than taxes) is negotiable. In fact dealers must tell you in their ads when they are quoting payment amounts that the “price includes a negotiable $xxx [usually the maximum} dealer documentary service fee” if they do charge a fee.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    WV looks to be accurate other than fuel costs being a little on the low side. We get nailed with personal property taxes yearly. So, while I was able to get reductions on the insurance rates of the 4Runner and MINI thanks to driving them <3000 miles a year, I still get nailed with a $600ish (slowly decreasing) personal property tax each year on those two vehicles. Personal property taxes are levied by the county here and rates do vary. I happen to live in the county with the highest personal property taxes… and we are also the "most republican" county in the state. I'd say a majority of our repair costs are related to deductibles after hitting deer.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Rhode Island may not be too far off. Gas costs are lower because we don’t drive far. My daily commute is 25 miles round trip and by RI standards that is maybe a little low for those who do car commute. Insurance costs vary as widely and wildly as elsewhere.

    Assume you just bought a $30K new new.
    Here’s what the known costs look like:

    State sales tax – $2100
    Registration – $71 for two years
    Biannual inspection – $45 (I think)

    and the variable costs:

    Property tax – Providence – $1800 (where I used to live and never garaged a decent car)
    – Jamestown – $420 (where I live now)
    Insurance – figure Providence will be much higher for any driver rating
    – I pay about $1000 per year per car in Jamestown for high limits coverage

    I can’t believe those gas numbers. I get about 20-22mpg for 10k miles a year and their number doesn’t work – off by factor of 2.
    The property tax should go down and does, albeit much more slowly than real world depreciation would suggest.
    Rhode Island isn’t CA or IL, but they are desperate for tax revenue all the same and it reflects in business and personal taxes. Which is why I’ll be making my FL house my primary residence and selling my RI house in the next 1 1/2 years. There’s a regular checklist to escape the clutches of the local revenuers – high tax states like to consider long-time residents as tax serfs.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    What, no depeciation. That’s usually cited as the biggest expense of owning a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Bankrate didn’t include data on vehicle depreciation in its analysis, since geography isn’t a major factor in determining that cost.”

      http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/car-ownership-costs-by-state.aspx

  • avatar
    afflo

    What do they mean when they speak of taxes? Are they including sales tax, or just annual taxes (and for states that charge it, personal property tax or similar license fees).

    My car is registered in Florida, so it has just the annual $50 or so. California and Nebraska had much higher annual taxes – California had a vehicle license fee that was based on the value, and Nebraska charged a separate personal property tax. I live in Texas, and while they don’t charge either, they do have annual inspections – these are a hassle, so I just kept my Florida plates. Also, I like having whatever front plate I choose.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I just renewed my registration for my ’03 Buick last month here in Colorado – $85.

    Agreed, things like gas taxes and tolls should be included in the “tax” cost of running a car, but they’re case-by-case and are very hard to quantify. In my case, given 10,000 miles a year driven, my car’s 22 mpg average, and our state’s gas tax of $.2325/gallon, I pay about $105 a year in gas taxes. Not outrageous.

  • avatar
    Onus

    My costs here in CT for my old 1990 f250 truck. Does georgia have property tax on cars. Here each town sets a mill rate, which is charged to the market value / assessment of your vehicle. You can get it reduced if you get it appraised if you really want too. “early american” plates for cars 20+ years and older caps the assessment at $1000, or in my town $20 of property tax.

    Fuel: ~$3000 year
    Registration: $140 ( split in half since it is for two years, charge based on gvwr for pickup trucks )
    town property Tax: ~$40
    emissions test: $20
    Repairs this year: ~$60
    maintenance: ~120
    insurance: $960 (I’m 21 and this is cheap compared to previous )

  • avatar
    cartoon

    Aren’t these “Taxes/Fees” in the BankRate comparison mainly annual Personal Property taxes? In Virginia, for example, we pay about $4.00 per $100 of book value on vehicles each year. Seems to me the $1,500 – $1,900 per year isn’t too far off by the time this, initial sales tax, registration fees, etc are considered.

  • avatar
    David Walton

    Fortunately the state of Georgia believes my 18 year old, 105k mile 911 is worth about $4 grand.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Excise tax? Mill rates? Personal property taxes?

    Totally foreign to me as a Canadian. Once you buy a car here in NS, the registration fee is about $90 per year, and safety inspections are $30 every two years. That’s it.

    Sure, we have sales tax at 15% at time of purchase (combined fed and prov), which over 10 years would be $450 per year on a $30K car. But when you trade the car in, 15% tax is only on the difference.

    If the governments charged property tax on anything but a house, there would be a revolution. You buy it, it’s yours at no further tax cost, annual or otherwise. Jeez, I’m beginning to think that living in the States is a ripoff!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d like to see a revolution on the fact there is still a property tax on real estate in my country as those date from the beginning of the nation. Once the additional and highly unconstitutional income type taxes came into effect, property taxes should have been abolished. Not trolling, not looking for debate, just how I feel.

    • 0 avatar
      cartoon

      Yes, the States is a rip-off. They would like you to think taxes are lower, but that’s just in the “published” rates. All the subliminal taxes have us paying 55% or so of income. In reality, it’s not so different from Canadian or Euro rates which are well publicised and up front–ours are just buried in the fine print.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Ultimately, you are going to pay to run the place one way or another.

      If Maine did not have excise tax on cars, then the property tax on my house would be a LOT higher – those two taxes are the primary funding of local government here. I pay $4K annually on a $200K house, and that is a high rate in this state (varies widely by town). In NH, where there is no sales or income tax, you could multiply that property tax bill by 2 or 3 or more. Our state sales tax is only 5.5%, and it is MUCH harder to avoid that. You can avoid most excise tax by driving nothing but 7yo Corollas or some such – cheap as chips. Our actual registration fee is only ~$30. If you want to drive something nice, you are going to pay for the privilege.

      My only complaint on excise tax is that it should be based on current retail value, not MSRP. A $5500 Range Rover should attract the same tax as a $5500 Toyota. There was referendum on this a few years back that failed – people see the high tax on older luxury cars as sticking it to the rich, and of course reality is that cheap old cars would have to go up some to make up for the expensive cars going down a lot. Oh well, insurance is so cheap here I don’t really care ($1800/yr total for full coverage for 5 cars), and excise tax is a Schedule A deduction on income tax so I effectively get a ~40% discount on it anyway. It all evens out.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      A mil rate is just an alternative expression for the tax rate.

      An excise tax is sort of like a targeted sales tax. Unlike Canada, there is no federal sales tax, but the feds do tax certain things such as phone service.

      Annual vehicle fees in the US are often a combination of registration fees and ad valorem (based upon value) property tax. In some places, these are combined while in others, they are paid separately. State personal property taxes are tax deductible on federal income tax returns, so it’s actually preferable to classify them as personal property taxes, as that will reduce federal tax liability.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      wmba,
      I live in PA and work in NJ. We have the same fee structure as you. In PA, you pay a onetime 6% sales tax on a new or used car, and $36 per year registration fee. Similar case in NJ except the sales tax is 7%.

  • avatar
    prabirmehta

    Thanks for the analysis Steve! I live in Georgia and was a little surprised when I read the Bankrate article but did not research the issue due to lack of time. Glad you’re back at TTAC!

  • avatar

    Excellent article. The insurance rates are dead wrong, too. I live in Michigan, our most updated 2013 rate average is $2520, not $921 as the Bankrate article claimed. We have the second highest car insurance rates in the country. Source:

    http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-rates.html

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I don’t beleive those rates either. I live 2 miles from Detroit, have two newish cars (2011 and 2013), and I pay just over $2500 a year for both. I also have higher coverages.

      All that list shows is that if the 750 car models that go into that matrix were sold in each state (the 10 zip codes they surveyed), Michigan would have the second highest insurance. It doesn’t take into acccount what people actually buy or what coverages they elect. A Mercedes S550 counts the same as a Ford Edge in those numbers. I see a lot of new cars on their lowest to insure list during my daily travels in the Detroit area (Edge, Grand Cherokee, Explorer, Equinox). I also wonder what zip codes they surveyed. Some of the Detroit zip codes, with low car ownership rates, could really skew a 10 zip code sample size.

      I’m not saying that insurance is as low as it should be here, but insurance companies try to blame all the recents hikes on the personal injury protection limits we have here in Michigan. Nevermind that my homeowners insurance and auto insurance in Arizona has gone up too.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, I wonder if the source for that survey has put those numbers together with ulterior motives. I know there is a push in Michigan to get rid of “no fault” insurance?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          If they are using any of the Detroit zip codes, especially on the east side, full coverage can be $300+ a month on a new car. No one at 7 mile and Gratiot is rolling in a new car because it will get jacked. Hell, an old hooptie will get jacked over there.

          Add all the people around here getting insurance for one day. They can register the car at the SOS, and then cancel the coverage. Leeches.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    The $157 in taxes and fees for Oregon is way off since it doesn’t account for Oregon’s multi-year registration and may be applying plate and title cost annually. So I dd the math myself.
    The DMV fees page http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/pages/fees/vehicle.aspx lists a $172 4 year charge for new cars plus $77 for a title and $24 for standard plates for a total of $273. The worst case scenario is if you live in Multnomah county (Portland) and get hit with the $19 a year county fee plus $21 every 2 years for emissions testing for a grand total of $391 for 4 years or $97.75 a year.
    For an older car it gets even cheaper, registration renewals are $86 for 2 years plus DEQ where needed. This means that the rock bottom annual registration fee for a car with existing plates is $43 a year since Oregon plates are normally used for the lifetime of the vehicle.
    That said, Oregon is already rated the cheapest place to own a car due to mid pack insurance and repair costs and not too horrible gas prices.


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