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Cost of owning and operating a vehicle in Michigan to rise

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MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The cost to own and operate a vehicle in the State of Michigan is about to be even higher.

Michigan is already considered the most expensive state in the country to insure your car, and with a series of new road-funding bills taking effect in 2017, drivers are bracing themselves for even higher costs.

With 2017 fast approaching, and his plate tags getting close to their expiration date, Justin Kreager wanted to make sure he could renew his registration before having to pay any fines.

However, for Kreager and thousands of other Michigan drivers, it’s about to become even more expensive to keep their cars on the road.

“I mean they got insurance and everything,” said Kreager, “and you got to get plates and everything like that. Especially being in college, it’s really expensive, it’s really hard sometimes.”

With the start of 2017 comes an increase in the cost of owning and operating a vehicle in Michigan, including a 20 percent increase in annual vehicle registration fees, and a 7.3 cent increase in the gas tax.

It’s all part of a 1.2 billion dollar road-funding package signed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2015.

“Obviously the money that’s collected for vehicle registration fees goes to roads, and that’s used to pave roads and maintain bridges and highways across the state,” said Fred Woodhams, Michigan Secretary of State.

Michigan is already considered the most expensive state to own and operate an automobile. That’s according to a study done by 24/7 Wall Street that calculated gas expenditure, insurance premiums, and maintenance costs for drivers in each state across the country, but with a large percentage of that money going towards improving our roads, many drivers say they understand paying a little more.

“It’s a privilege to drive,” said Kreager, “so I guess the fees are okay, but it is kind of a hassle to get 100 dollars every single time, every birthday, especially in times like today.”

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