The top 10:
Annual cost: $4,021
Why it's so bad: No Michigander will be even the least bit surprised to top the list here. To run away with it by $700 from the next-closest state, though, is insult to injury. It's not the gas prices doing the heavy lifting, either. Michigan's insurance rates tower above the rest of the nation's for a variety of reasons, some of which are controversial, and well-laid out by Michigan's NPR station. Unlike other states, there's no requirement for insurance companies to disclose how much profit they're making from those high premiums. Michigan is also a no-fault state, which tends to drive the cost up a little bit, since it requires adequate medical coverage for all drivers. The widespread poverty in areas of Detroit and Flint also impact the average, since insurance companies take credit scores into account when assessing premiums.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of reasons that factor into making Michigan the most expensive place to own a car, and almost all of them have to do with insurance.
Annual cost: $3,322
Why it's so bad: While Maryland has some of the cheapest gas in the nation, the fifth-most densely populated state exhibits some of the worst fuel economy. That makes sense given Maryland's city-dominant landscape, but it also leads to higher insurance rates. Not Michigan high, but high enough.
Annual cost: $3,216
Why it's so bad: While average fuel economy in California isn't horrible, especially considering its legendary traffic problems, it's not great, either. Combine that with some of the most expensive gas prices in the nation and above-average insurance, and California's third step on the podium of shame seems kinda obvious.
Annual cost: $3,097
Why it's so bad: Montana's insurance rates only look good if you've moved there from Michigan. Were they even on par with the national average, Montana would be one of the top 10 cheapest states to own a car, thanks to the ridiculously low $800-per-year cost of gasoline.
5. New Jersey
Annual cost: $3,068
Why it's so bad: This is actually more a question of why New Jersey isn't worse. Take all the demographic factors that work against Maryland and magnify them -- insurance is actually higher at $1,905 a year, New Jersey is the most densely populated state, and its overall fuel economy is straight outta 1992. But... the average driver in NJ doesn't go all that far, and when he or she needs to fill up, NJ has some of the cheapest gas in the country, thanks almost entirely to the lowest state gas tax (10 cents).
Annual cost: $3,027
Why it's so bad: It's not that there's any one section that's bad here, it's that none of them is particularly good. The fuel economy is only slightly below average, and the cost of gas is actually on the low side, but that's offset by the extra miles Louisiana drivers incur.
Annual cost: $2,970
Why it's so bad: Cheap gas and fantastic fuel economy generally point to a trend of more miles driven, and Oklahoma comes in about 15% above the 12,000-mile annual rule of thumb. With a gaggle of states tightly bunched between the sixth and 13th slots, that mileage is enough to get Oklahoma into the top 10. Let's face it, though, this isn't the first time Oklahomans will be disappointed with a top 10 finish.
Annual cost: $2,947
Why it's so bad: The average driver in Mississippi drives over 18,000 miles each year. That's more than 50% above the national average, so even though Mississippi is one of the cheaper place to insure your car, all that saved money's going straight to the pump.
Annual cost: $2,940
Why it's so bad: The price of gas, at $2.29, isn't all that great, especially since Georgians drive just over 14,000 miles on average. The insurance rates aren't much better here, either.
Annual cost: $2,861
Why it's so bad: The short answer? It's Florida. Seriously, though, Florida's insurance rates are on the high side, as is the average miles driven. The gas itself is on the cheaper side of things, and the fuel economy is better than average, but neither is quite good enough to offset the insurance and the need to drive further.