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Owning a car on the cheap

Drivers are hit with fewer costs to operate a car in the American Midwest, a new report suggests.

The average driver in the United States now pays $2,223 annually to operate a car, according to a Bankrate.com report. Among the five cheapest U.S. states, four are in the central part of the country.

The study compiled annual yearly costs for gasoline, insurance and repairs in 50 states and Washington, D.C. Common threads among the most affordable states include fewer drivers and accidents than the average state, which leads to lower insurance rates, said Stacy Jones, an analyst at Bankrate.

"It's not surprising where they're located," Jones said.

She added that four of the five cheapest states hold average insurance rates "significantly lower" than the national average. Scroll through to see the five cheapest U.S. states to operate a car.

By Jacob Pramuk, Special to CNBC.com

Published 11 August 2014

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