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How Fixing Your Car Can Cost More Depending on Where You Live

Using jumper cables to start a car

Need to get your car fixed? Evidently, Wyoming is the place to go for a car repair.

A recent study from CarMD gives a state-by-state analysis of the average cost of a car repair across the country, revealing that Wyoming residents pay the least for their repairs, with an average repair cost of $309. Montana, Nebraska and Michigan came close behind, reports the Orange County Register.

The average repair costs for these states remains so much lower than other states because vehicle owners here are more likely to make small repairs as soon as they’re needed, rather than wait for the damage to escalate. In states like California, where motorists pay an average of $438 per repair, people are more likely to put off repairs until the last possible minute, resulting in major repairs that take several days of labor to complete.

“Many factors contribute to overall repair costs such as vehicle make and age, parts availability and cost, and hourly labor rates that are often beyond the car owner’s control,” David Rich, CarMD’s technical director, said in a press release. “However, something everyone can control is how quickly they address the check engine light issues when they arise.”

Rough roads are one of the top catalysts behind car repairs, with the average driver spending an extra $355 annually to repair the damage they cause. Driving over potholes can also lead to nasty damage that costs hundreds to repair.

California also remains near the top of the list for car repair costs because many of its motorists, still reeling from the recession, are driving cars that are 11 years old on average. With older cars, wear and tear builds up faster.

Golden State drivers’ car repairs are still a bargain, however, when compared to repairs for those in the District of Columbia, Delaware and New Jersey, where these costs ran as high as $467, $451 and $447, respectively.

If there’s one thing to learn from this study, it’s that you should never ignore your check engine light when it comes on.

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