Where Do Car Repairs Cost the Most in 2024?

We calculated scores for the average cost of a check engine light repair, the median household income and the average mechanic salary in each state. We then used this data to formulate an overall State Repair Score that determined our cost rankings.

The infographic below highlights the states with the highest and lowest auto repair costs in the U.S., based on our methodology:

Map showing how expensive car repairs are on average by stateMap showing how expensive car repairs are on average by state

While we found that the high rate of inflation has influenced car repair costs across the country, other factors have helped drive up the cost of repairs in the states below.

#1 California: 9.5 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 10.0 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.5 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 7.8 out of 10.0

California is known as one of the most expensive states to live in and has the third-highest cost of living according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. This could influence general repair costs, as our research found that the Golden State has the highest average cost for a car repair in the nation.

Mechanic salaries in California are only the 14th-highest in the country, indicating that they don’t play a large part in why car repairs are so costly. In addition, a study by J.D. Power indicates that the Honda Civic is the most popular make and model in California. This vehicle has a high reliability rating and low annual repair costs according to RepairPal. Therefore, these factors point to higher household incomes and a greater cost of living as the driving forces behind California’s high auto repair costs.

#2 Hawaii: 9.2 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.4 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.5 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 8.2 out of 10.0

The Aloha State has the fifth-highest average repair cost and the sixth-highest mechanic salary score in our review. Household income is higher than average as well, ranking sixth out of all 50 states. While inflation in the cost of labor and parts is the likely culprit of high repair costs—as in other states—Hawaii’s crumbling infrastructure could also play a part.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE®) Infrastructure Report Card for Hawaii, 69% of roads are either in fair or poor condition, which is significantly higher than the national average of 43%. Consistently driving on poor roadways can lead to an increase of needed repairs due to wear and tear on your vehicle, which could see drivers in Hawaii frequenting repair shops more often than drivers in states with better roads.

#3 Maryland: 9.2 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.2 out of 10.0
Household income score: 10.0 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 8.3 out of 10.0

Maryland has the highest household income out of all states in our review, with high mechanic salary and repair cost scores to match. It also has the sixth-highest cost of living in the U.S. What other factors are driving up repair costs in the Old Line State?

We found through the ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card for Maryland that it has a higher-than-average percentage of roads that are in fair or poor condition. In addition, motor vehicle repair prices in the U.S. jumped almost 20% in the past year, representing an inflation rate five times higher than overall price increases. In Maryland, high mechanic salaries, rough roads and inflation seem to be the unfortunate recipe for expensive repair costs.

#4 New Jersey: 9.1 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.4 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.9 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 7.6 out of 10.0

New Jersey comes in as the state with the third-highest repair costs in the nation and landed at number four on our list. While its household income score is also the third-highest in our review, New Jersey’s mechanic salary sits in the middle of the pack. What, then, is driving the high repair costs in the Garden State?

The most popular car make and model in New Jersey is the Honda CR-V. According to RepairPal, these vehicles have lower-than-average repair costs and a high reliability rating. However, New Jersey has the 11th-highest cost of living in the U.S., which likely influences repair costs. Inflation and a high cost of living could be the general driving factors behind high repair costs in New Jersey.

#5 Virginia: 9.1 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.4 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.1 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 8.0 out of 10.0

Virginia has the fourth-highest repair cost score, the 10th-highest household income and the 10th-highest mechanic salary score in the country. The Old Dominion also has high employment rates for automotive service technicians and mechanics, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Although Virginia is home to more mechanics than other parts of the U.S., potentially reducing supply and demand issues, the state isn’t immune to motor vehicle repair price inflation. In addition, its cost of living index score is above the national average. In Virginia, data points to the high cost of living and inflation as the main drivers behind expensive repair rates.

#6 Colorado: 9.0 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.3 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.2 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 8.1 out of 10.0

Colorado comes in at number six on our list of top 10 most expensive states for car repairs. With the seventh-highest mechanic salary score in our study, it’s reasonable to conclude that labor costs play a part in how expensive repairs can be in the Centennial State.

In addition, Colorado’s most popular make and model is the Subaru Forester, which RepairPal found costs 21% more than the typical repair rate for compact SUVs. The fact that Colorado has a higher cost of living than most states also likely influences auto repair costs. Extreme weather could also factor into the cost of repairs, with Denver reporting almost 50 inches of snow most winters.

#7 Connecticut: 9.0 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.3 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.4 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 7.5 out of 10.0

The Constitution State ranks seventh on our list of states that have the highest car repair costs. Household income ranks eighth-highest in Connecticut as compared with the rest of the country, but its mechanic salary score is on the lower side. What could be driving the state’s high repair costs, then?

The ASCE reports that 61% of Connecticut roads are either in fair or poor condition, which is higher than the national average and likely contributes to an increase in necessary car repairs. In addition, Connecticut’s cost of living is higher than the U.S. average, adding to the burden of motor vehicle repair inflation and rough roads.

#8 Washington: 9.0 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 8.8 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.4 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 8.9 out of 10.0

Washington state comes in at number eight on our list, with a high household income and the nation’s second-highest mechanic salary score. Apart from this and general inflation in the car repair industry, our team wondered what else could be driving up prices.

The most popular make and model in Washington is the Subaru Outback, and RepairPal shows that this vehicle is more reliable but also pricier to maintain than the average midsize SUV. In addition, 58% of roads in the Evergreen State are in fair or poor condition—considerably higher than the national average.

#9 Utah: 8.8 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.2 out of 10.0
Household income score: 9.0 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 7.3 out of 10.0

Utah’s household income score ranked 11th in our study and mechanic salaries were found to be below average. Why is the state’s repair cost score so high, then? J.D. Power named Utah’s most popular make and model the Ford F-150, an auto with maintenance costs that are 21% higher than the norm, according to RepairPal.

Utah’s cost of living is also higher than the U.S. average, which doesn’t couple well with the overall rate of inflation for motor vehicle repairs. While road conditions are right on par with the national average, Utah’s high annual snowfall totals could put extra wear and tear on vehicles.

#10 Georgia: 8.7 / 10.0

Repair cost score: 9.8 out of 10.0
Household income score: 7.7 out of 10.0
Mechanic salary score: 6.4 out of 10.0

Georgia has the 12th-lowest cost of living, an average household income and the second-lowest mechanic salary score. You might think these factors would lead to low car repair costs, but that isn’t the case in the Peach State. In CarMD’s 2022 Vehicle Health Index, researchers found that the most common car repair in the South was for catalytic converter replacements, with an average cost of $1,342.

Apart from their hefty price tag, what do catalytic converters have to do with Georgia’s high auto repair costs? We found that Georgia is looking at potential legislative action to help curb rising rates of catalytic converter theft. And with the Peach State’s most popular model, the Chevrolet Silverado, ranking among the top 10 car models targeted for catalytic converter theft, Georgia’s high average repair costs could be tied to this issue.

link

Previous post 5 Best Classic Car Transport Companies in 2024
Next post Best Car Covers Review (2024 Ratings)