Search Budgets in the United States
Chris Teague December 6, 2018

Interactive Search Budgets Map

The wonderful world of data.  It’s so easy sometimes to fall down a black hole of numbers, trying to make sense of what we’re seeing and how those data points should drive what we do.  The linked Tableau map you see above is what happens when a car nerd turned data analyst digs into the search data at AutoTempest.  We thought it’d interesting to see the average max budget numbers from each state, and with a little help from Tableau we were able to create this cool interactive map.

The Numbers

State Average Maximum Budget
Alaska $13,937
Alabama $12,212
Arkansas $12,224
Arizona $13,887
California $15,036
Colorado $14,770
Connecticut $12,984
Delaware $13,254
Florida $13,818
Georgia $12,958
Hawaii $12,563
Iowa $11,879
Idaho $13,017
Illinois $14,399
Indiana $12,135
Kansas $11,652
Kentucky $12,855
Louisiana $13,622
Massachusetts $14,003
Maryland $13,632
Maine $12,141
Michigan $12,704
Minnesota $15,047
Missouri $12,914
Mississippi $11,019
Montana $12,756
North Carolina $12,815
North Dakota $14,129
Nebraska $11,245
New Hampshire $14,401
New Jersey $12,581
New Mexico $12,163
Nevada $13,185
New York $13,508
Ohio $12,382
Oklahoma $12,735
Oregon $15,056
Pennsylvania $11,615
Rhode Island $11,652
South Carolina $13,132
South Dakota $13,010
Tennessee $12,460
Texas $13,379
Utah $14,324
Virginia $14,157
Vermont $14,142
Washington $15,998
Washington D.C. $20,245
Wisconsin $13,047
West Virginia $9,738
Wyoming $11,643


What Do They Mean?

The trap is set!  What do the numbers mean?  That’s a dangerous question to ask, because it would be easiest to assume that the states with higher median household incomes would be searching for more expensive vehicles.  To a degree, that holds true, especially for the west coast states, Colorado, and Minnesota.

That being said, Mid-Atlantic states with some of the highest household incomes in the country like New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. fall much closer to the middle of our max search price spectrum than they do to the top. This could be for any number of reasons, none of which become apparent from looking at the data. Perhaps the used vehicles in places with challenging winter weather like New England end up in less desirable condition than those with no snow. Road salt can wreak havoc on even the newest vehicles. Overall inventory may also be an issue in some places, with more supply and less demand for certain vehicles, driving down their prices.

It is true though, that states with the most people search for more vehicles, with California, Texas, Florida, and New York taking the top spots in that order.

Where does your state fall on the spectrum?  Did you think that the map would look like it does?  Let us know your thoughts!

Chris Teague

Chris Teague covers a variety of automotive topics from new car reviews to industry trends. With a background in business and finance, Chris’ writing is aimed at helping consumers make informed choices about what they drive and growing an understanding of the companies that make those vehicles. You can find more of Chris' work at