Owning a car poses a range of financial implications, which can vary wildly from state to state. Purchase price, fuel costs, maintenance, and registration fees are all different depending on where you are, so if you’re planning a move, or even a visit, it’s worth making yourself aware of these differences.

We’ve outlined below some of the major differences car owners in Arizona see when compared to other states in the US. Say you are buying insurance for your car in Illinois, what differences might your friend in Arizona face when doing the same? Read on to find out.

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs across the US hit an all-time high over the course of 2022, attributable in part to skyrocketing global oil prices caused by the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Arizona felt the effects too, with gas prices in the state reaching a record high of $5.39 in June, greater than the all-time national average high of $5.02 that was hit a few days previously.

Thankfully, prices have fallen since then, but they still remain significantly higher than in previous years and will no doubt be putting immense financial strain on many citizens.

When compared to other states, gas prices in Arizona sit somewhere near the middle. While you might not pay as much for gas as you would in states like Illinois, California, or Nevada, you will see higher prices than in states including Texas, Iowa, and Ohio.    


As of September 2022, the average cost for full coverage car insurance in the US was $1,771 per year, with average minimum coverage of $545 per year. While these rates can be affected by things like previous driving history, age, and gender, location plays a big part as well, with large discrepancies in insurance costs seen across state lines.

Currently, the average price for full coverage car insurance in Arizona is $1,743, which sits to the lower-middle end of the scale when looking at other states. New York is the most expensive state for auto insurance, with an eye watering average full coverage premium of $2,996, while drivers in Maine can enjoy the country’s lowest average premium of $876, 51% below the national average.

While insurance in Arizona may not be quite as cheap as Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin, where premiums are $1,548, $1,242, and $1,249 respectively, drivers in the state can be satisfied in the knowledge that they are paying below the national average.


Vehicle maintenance and repair prices make up a substantial part of the overall cost of driving. According to research conducted by CarMD in 2020, average labor costs in Arizona stood at $138.74, with average costs for parts totaling $238.35, amounting to a combined parts and labor total of $377.09.

These figures leave Arizona again in the middle range of vehicle expenses. California saw the highest combined parts and labor cost of $410.73, with Ohio the cheapest at $341.83. While drivers in Arizona may not benefit from the cheaper fees of states like Illinois, where costs amounted to $365.50, they will be pleased to avoid the extortionate prices of Connecticut and Colorado, where prices total $406.49 and $403.03 respectively.

Registration Fees

All cars in the US must be registered at the DMV, where drivers must pay a registration fee, obtain a license plate and secure the car’s title. Specific prices and requirements for registration vary state by state, with factors including the car’s make, age, weight, and type also factoring into the overall cost.

Motor vehicle registration fees, registration renewal fees, license plate fees, and vehicle title fees can all be incurred to make up an initial payment for all new cars on the road, often something of a hidden cost that can catch new drivers unaware.

Drivers in Arizona are charged a relatively standard price of $40 to register a new vehicle, with a $12 fee to transfer license plates and a $4 fee for a new title. Illinois, in comparison, forgoes a license plate fee, however it has considerably higher fees for registration and titles, $151 and $150 respectively, making it one of the most expensive states in the country.


Owning a car brings with it a whole range of costs and financial commitments. Fuel prices, repairs and regular maintenance, insurance, and registration fees, drivers can expect to invest considerable sums of money into their transport of choice.

In Arizona, the average driver is expected to spend approximately $2,575 per year on owning a car, which represents the 14th lowest annual estimate in the country, where the national average is around $2,807. This impressive result can be attributed to lower-than-average costs for full coverage car insurance in the state, as well as falling fuel costs following a national surge in prices.

Average repair costs for labor and parts in Arizona were in the middle range in a 2020 study, significantly less than in states including Utah and Georgia. Finally, registration fees in Arizona are a reasonable $40, with minimal costs for license plates and titles, all of which combined make Arizona a good place to live in terms of car ownership costs.