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The 5 cheapest states to own a car

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Owning a car on the cheap

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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

5. Wisconsin

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Average cost annually: $2,018

Wisconsin drivers shell out more for gas than the average American. But cheaper repair and insurance ease the costs of operation for the state's drivers, Jones said.

4. Idaho

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Average cost annually: $2,001

Like Wisconsin, Idaho's drivers fall below the national average for both repair and insurance costs.

3. Illinois

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Average cost annually: $1,999

Illinois is the only state among the five most affordable where drivers pay more for insurance than the national average, Jones said.

2. Ohio

Average cost annually: $1,973

Ohio's low costs stem from cheap insurance and affordable repairs, Jones said.

1. Iowa

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Average cost annually: $1,942

The lowest car insurance rates in the country ($630 per year) drive costs of ownership down in Iowa. Relatively low repair expenses, at $315 per year, also help the state's drivers.