Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Drivers Know Too Well Why It's Called the Golden State

June 19, 2002|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If there was any doubt, here's more data supporting the complaint that Californians have to spend more to own a car than residents of any other state.

Edmunds.com, the auto Web site and buying service, has collated information from new-car dealers, motor vehicle departments, insurers and other automotive sources in all 50 states and found that for the 2002 model year, there's a 20% difference in new-car ownership costs between South Carolina (the least expensive state) and California (the most expensive).

Jose Luis Munoz, data coordinator for Santa Monica-based Edmunds, said that although gasoline, insurance and even purchase prices all are a bit higher in California than in most other states, the real culprits are motor vehicle registration fees and sales taxes.

The average price of a 2002 model sold new in South Carolina was $25,624. After all the ownership costs for a five-year period are factored in--including maintenance and repairs--the true cost of ownership there is $35,776, Munoz said.

That contrasts with an average selling price of $25,810 in California and a true cost of $42,927.

Although selling prices in California are only marginally greater than those in South Carolina, our motor vehicle fees averaged $1,428, versus just $77 in the Palmetto State. And South Carolina's average $300 sales tax on a new vehicle paled by comparison with California's $2,187, Munoz found.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|