Auto Briefs

The new Mini of Charleston showroom will include its own attached service department for the first time (Provided).

It may not be "on rock and roll," but guests who show up Aug. 23 at 1518 Savannah Highway can legitimately say, "We built this Mini."

Well, they can tout that for the dealership, not the car itself.

In a promotion dubbed "Mini of Charleston Building for You and With You," the outfit has invited people to be Mini construction workers for the day as crews break ground on a new showroom, shop and parts department.

"Help us do the groundbreaking and start building our new full service Mini dealership!" notes an email invite from Hendrick Imports.

According to the flier, "We'll provide you with all the tools a construction worker needs; a Mini shovel, Mini dirt container, Mini of Charleston hard hat and construction worker food and beverage - burgers, brats and hot dogs served in a brown paper bag." There's even a beverage "for those of age - a cold brewski!"

Guests can punch in on the clock between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. That's when shoveling begins as well as the ceremonial rolling out of the caution tape. They can punch out by 6 p.m.

Model owners are urged to bring a "Mini Memory. A picture of you and your Mini or perhaps a story about your Mini for our Mini Time Capsule."

Quipped organizers: "Let's turn out lots of you so we don't have to bring in the temp workers!"

Mini is moving out of its current showroom to make way for sister carmaker BMW's new hybrid models.

Our roads could use work but fuel prices can't be beat. So where's that leave the cost of operating a motor vehicle here? Almost exactly . average.

South Carolina places 24th-least expensive among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to a new survey from

The report accounted for the costs of gasoline, insurance and repairs in each state, said Caroline Farhat, publicist.

In South Carolina, the combined insurance, car repair and gas prices total $2,186 a year, just lower than the U.S average of $2,223.

"While car repair costs are slightly above-average in South Carolina, average insurance and gasoline costs still make it an affordable place to be a driver," she says.

More specifically, the Palmetto state ranks 22nd lowest in gas costs at $958 a year, 28th least for insurance rates at $860 and 36th best in car repairs at $368 annually.

Totals vary quite a bit by state. According to, Wyoming winds up as the most expensive state with a $2,705 annual bill to operate a car or truck, while Iowa is the cheapest at $1,942 a year.

Wyoming, where motorists drive 68 percent more than the typical state - gets hit with the highest fuel bill. Iowa, meanwhile, benefited from the lowest insurance rates in the country.

According to the personal finance information provider, Louisiana was second highest for motor vehicle costs at $2,555 a year, Florida placed third at $2,516, Mississippi landed fourth at $2,487 and New Jersey wound up fifth at $2,421 a year.

By contrast, Ohio finished second cheapest at $1,973 a year, Illinois third at $1,999, Idaho fourth at $2,001 and Wisconsin fifth with $2,018 a year average costs.

Bankrate said it analyzed the gas, repair and insurance costs using various sources. Insurance prices stemmed from National Association of Insurance Commissioners figures, labor and parts totals came from and fuel spending was determined via figures at and the Bureau of Transportation.

To view all the state findings, go to