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Auto Insurance in NYC, NY (The Complete Guide)

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Summary Overview OF New York, NY  
Population 8,622,698
Density 28,429 people per square mile
Average Cost of Insurance in New York, NY $7,489.72
Cheapest Car Insurance Company GEICO
Road Conditions Poor: 46%
Mediocre: 23%
Fair: 13%
Good: 18%

New York City is a truly global megacity and the cultural, financial, and media capital of the modern world. The city also is a global center of international diplomacy and hosts the headquarters of the United Nations.

From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, the city has many iconic structures and places, the images of which have defined our country for decades.

Did you know that NYC was the capital of our country for five years between 1785-1790?

The city has long attracted people to its shore, and now it is the most populous city in the country. The city now has amongst the highest concentration of cars in the world.

You must choose your car insurance wisely and purchase the best car insurance coverage to give you peace of mind. The decision entails you to collect required information about the various coverage types, insurance companies in NYC, cheapest rates, and the relevant rules.

We created this comprehensive insurance guide on New York City to provide you all the information required to purchase the best car insurance.

In this guide, we will cover all the factors that may influence your car insurance premium.

You can also get multiple quotes by using our FREE tool. All you need is your zip code to get started!

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in New York City

Look, we all know that car insurance is expensive in New York City. Finding the cheapest rate might be a logical thing to do.

However, your insurance rate is calculated based on many factors aside from your location. To get the most out of your budget, you have to look beyond the cheapest provider in your area.

In this section, we will talk about the different factors affecting your car insurance and the best companies to choose for each factor.

– Demographics: Male vs. Female vs. Age

Your age and gender can impact your insurance rate.

Insurance rates are calculated based on aggregated data coupled with your individual information to assess the risk of a claim.

If you pose a higher risk, insurance companies will charge a higher premium.

E.g., teens do not have a long driving record or a credit history that insurance companies can use to calculate the rate. Therefore, an insurer will charge higher for the premium, as teens (and other young drivers) are generally considered prone to unsafe driving.

A risky driving characteristic can translate to a higher risk of a claim.

Of course, this generalization does not apply to everyone. But, in the absence of the other reliable data, an insurance company will price you according to the probable driving behavior.

However, as you grow older and maintain a good driving record, you can hope to see a drastic fall in your insurance rate.

According to DataUSA, the median age of New Yorkers is 36.6 years. We can expect the insurance rate to tend toward the average around the median age.

We partnered with Quadrant Data Solutions (Quadrant), to understand the impact age has on the insurance rate.

Age 17 25 35 60
New York, NY $14,618.00 $5,541.95 $5,066.55 $4,702.01

As discussed, your insurance rate on average drops drastically — by around $9,000 as you reach age 25. It will drop by a further $500 on average as you reach the median city age.

Gender is also a factor that tends to impact insurance rates. However, some insurers tend to keep the rates balanced.

The average car insurance rate in New York City for males is $7.482, and for females, it is $7,049. Nationally, we observed the same trend where the average overall rates may be slightly higher for males.

There is a debate in the country to remove gender from impacting insurance rates. Some states, like California, have already banned insurance companies from considering your gender while calculating your rates. However, New York still allows for gender-based pricing.

Your marital status can also impact your premium rate.

Demographic Rate (Cheapest)
Married 60-year old female $4,681.38
Married 60-year old male $4,722.65
Married 35-year old male $4,988.73
Married 35-year old female $5,144.36
Single 25-year old female $5,384.78
Single 25-year old male $5,699.13
Average $7,482.13
Single 17-year old female $12,988.41
Single 17-year old male $16,247.58

On average, a single, 17-year-old male driver pays the highest for car insurance coverage, whereas the 60-year-old, married female driver tends to pay the least.

However, it is interesting to note that a married 35-year-old male pays less than a married 35-year-old female.

The difference in rates can be due to a multitude of reasons, a prime one being that insurance companies have observed that married people are generally safer drivers and therefore are less probable to file a claim.

– Cheapest Zip Codes in New York City

Where you live in New York will undoubtedly impact your car insurance rate. Your location can affect the probability of theft and accident, thereby increasing your insurance rates.

The address you provide is critical for your insurer to assess your rate correctly.

You should provide correct location information in your insurance application. Providing incorrect data can amount to insurance fraud.

You can use the following table to find the average rate in your zip code:

Zip code Average Annual Rate
10023 $5,780.61
10021 $5,783.72
10024 $5,793.64
10028 $5,819.47
10019 $5,827.81
10022 $5,828.18
10036 $5,828.18
10017 $5,830.45
10016 $5,842.83
10010 $5,847.38
10020 $5,857.14
10128 $5,924.72
10075 $5,926.57
10162 $6,002.91
10011 $6,060.67
10013 $6,073.95
10014 $6,075.96
10003 $6,103.20
10012 $6,105.24
10004 $6,132.00
10280 $6,146.59
10005 $6,150.55
10006 $6,150.55
10007 $6,152.52
10001 $6,187.75
10018 $6,187.75
10038 $6,196.78
10168 $6,221.63
10169 $6,221.63
10170 $6,221.63
10171 $6,221.63
10173 $6,221.63
10174 $6,221.63
10175 $6,221.63
10176 $6,221.63
10177 $6,221.63
10172 $6,229.49
10178 $6,229.49
10002 $6,283.05
10009 $6,283.29
10065 $6,286.05
10199 $6,305.14
10055 $6,361.03
10103 $6,361.03
10104 $6,361.03
10105 $6,361.03
10106 $6,361.03
10107 $6,361.03
10111 $6,361.03
10112 $6,361.03
10161 $6,411.66
10153 $6,437.36
10154 $6,437.36
10155 $6,437.36
10165 $6,437.36
10166 $6,437.36
10167 $6,437.36
10151 $6,444.14
10152 $6,444.14
10158 $6,445.22
10029 $6,446.14
10282 $6,455.53
10110 $6,466.71
10045 $6,466.81
10025 $6,473.98
10044 $6,480.45
10069 $6,500.22
10270 $6,503.26
10271 $6,503.26
10278 $6,503.26
10279 $6,503.26
10281 $6,524.40
10115 $6,527.29
10118 $6,584.61
10119 $6,682.43
10120 $6,682.43
10121 $6,682.43
10122 $6,682.43
10123 $6,682.43
10314 $6,849.70
10307 $6,853.41
10309 $6,854.28
10301 $6,855.12
10310 $6,857.21
10312 $6,857.96
10026 $6,864.98
10027 $6,868.58
10308 $6,875.88
10303 $6,894.63
10302 $6,897.81
10304 $6,911.15
10305 $6,911.15
10306 $6,919.58
10041 $7,094.01
10471 $7,157.51
10035 $7,184.24
10060 $7,241.16
10090 $7,241.16
10095 $7,241.16
10030 $7,277.72
10031 $7,277.72
10037 $7,283.01
10464 $7,290.57
10040 $7,300.81
10039 $7,305.06
10032 $7,308.31
10033 $7,308.65
10470 $7,318.04
10034 $7,408.79
10465 $7,634.29
11005 $7,733.02
11426 $7,743.58
10461 $7,919.58
10463 $7,921.45
10475 $7,970.78
10473 $8,001.24
10462 $8,074.44
10469 $8,113.87
10467 $8,147.36
10466 $8,166.42
10458 $8,211.09
10468 $8,243.53
10472 $8,362.38
11231 $8,495.83
11201 $8,502.16
11209 $8,556.92
10460 $8,559.68
11220 $8,604.58
11217 $8,619.43
11228 $8,659.25
11215 $8,721.63
10453 $8,812.75
10459 $8,874.35
11232 $8,910.23
11222 $8,971.90
10451 $9,062.76
11218 $9,063.14
10457 $9,076.75
11219 $9,087.62
10452 $9,097.53
11204 $9,108.90
10474 $9,115.00
10454 $9,116.81
11214 $9,154.70
10455 $9,158.51
10456 $9,211.85
11211 $9,245.06
11224 $9,252.85
11229 $9,291.58
11205 $9,308.70
11230 $9,337.21
11223 $9,358.44
11238 $9,442.09
11237 $9,531.70
11210 $9,541.90
11235 $9,567.09
11234 $9,632.57
11226 $9,746.91
11206 $9,874.39
11208 $10,055.22
11236 $10,080.76
11203 $10,096.41
11239 $10,214.05
11216 $10,296.06
11221 $10,297.30
11225 $10,297.86
11207 $10,476.23
11213 $10,499.21
11233 $10,545.72
11212 $10,576.93
10311 $6,885.39
11427 $8,046.64
11428 $8,277.79
11429 $8,485.83
11256 $9,225.79
11249 $9,226.45
11252 $9,289.60
11242 $9,303.87
11241 $9,355.34
11243 $9,355.34

– What’s the Best Car Insurance Company in New York City?

Now that you know the average premium rate in your zip, you can start thinking about which companies are best for you.

New York has a multitude of options and therefore has a very competitive environment. Insurance companies offer a variety of products and services to consumers.

You have the figure out the type and amount of coverage you need. It depends on factors such as who is covered under your policy and what car you drive. You also need to keep in mind the minimum mandatory coverage required under the law.

Depending on this information, you can decide which companies suit your requirements the best. Your daily commute and credit score will also play a role in determining your insurance rate.

Read this section to learn which companies are suitable for specific requirements.

– Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

Every insurer weighs factors differently, and therefore, offers varying rates depending on your circumstance. Look at the table below to find the rates different insurers offer to different demographics.

Group Married 35-year old female Married 35-year old male Married 60-year old female Married 60-year old male Single 17-year old female Single 17-year old male Single 25-year old female Single 25-year old male
GEICO $2,738.42 $2,636.39 $2,634.53 $2,595.91 $5,647.46 $8,724.82 $2,451.35 $2,515.94
Progressive $3,847.65 $3,447.56 $2,963.45 $3,046.47 $12,506.41 $13,481.83 $4,768.68 $4,392.90
USAA $3,387.66 $3,340.53 $3,056.96 $3,082.41 $13,589.12 $16,182.21 $4,388.41 $4,886.12
State Farm $4,423.46 $4,423.46 $3,886.98 $3,886.98 $12,906.93 $15,778.62 $4,890.11 $5,096.12
Nationwide $5,404.19 $5,404.19 $5,077.75 $5,077.75 $9,897.76 $14,953.02 $5,404.19 $7,000.89
Travelers $6,227.98 $6,008.94 $5,598.19 $5,812.03 $13,807.22 $16,070.91 $6,422.81 $6,448.54
Allstate $5,703.82 $5,227.08 $5,464.66 $5,511.16 $17,125.99 $18,077.93 $5,330.95 $5,238.83
Liberty Mutual $9,421.70 $9,421.70 $8,768.50 $8,768.50 $18,426.39 $26,711.32 $9,421.70 $10,013.66

While all major companies charge a higher premium for teen drivers, it is astonishing to know the big differences in price among companies.

Liberty Mutual charges, on average, a whopping $26,711 to a single, 17-year-old male for insurance coverage, whereas Geico charges only $8,724. The significant disparity shows the importance of shopping around for the best rate.

It is also surprising to note that companies like Liberty Mutual may drop your insurance rate by as much as $16,000. However, you would need to keep your credit and driving record clean.

– Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

The premium rates previously mentioned are average figures and may not apply to you. If you are planning to drive a lot for your commute, you may want to consider insurance companies that are lenient toward additional mileage.

As per the Federal Highway Administration, a New Yorker drives 11,421 miles on average per year. Insurance companies will use the average commute data to calculate premium rates.

We, with the help of Quadrant, tried to understand the impact commute has on your insurance rate. In the following table, you can find the average offered by different companies in New York depending on your annual commute:

Group 10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage. 25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage. Average
GEICO $3,645.84 $3,840.37 $3,743.11
Progressive $6,056.87 $6,056.87 $6,056.87
USAA $6,422.01 $6,556.34 $6,489.18
State Farm $6,649.67 $7,173.50 $6,911.59
Nationwide $7,277.47 $7,277.47 $7,277.47
Travelers $8,299.58 $8,299.58 $8,299.58
Allstate $8,337.62 $8,582.49 $8,460.06
Liberty Mutual $12,252.01 $12,986.35 $12,619.18

Progressive, Nationwide, and Travelers Insurance do not tend to increase premium rates with increasing mileage. If you are planning to drive a lot this year, you can consider seeking a quote from these companies.

– Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

The most obvious factor impacting your premium rate is the amount of coverage you are purchasing. A higher coverage level increases the risk exposure of the insurance company and therefore increases your premium.

However, as we mentioned, each insurance company prices factors differently. You can save money on your required coverage by shopping around.

Here are the rates offered by various insurers for different coverage levels:

Group High Low Medium
GEICO $4,049.19 $3,473.17 $3,706.95
Progressive $6,538.66 $5,636.33 $5,995.63
USAA $6,753.12 $6,267.22 $6,447.19
State Farm $7,304.00 $6,473.21 $6,957.54
Nationwide $7,953.69 $6,693.37 $7,185.35
Travelers $9,076.69 $7,668.66 $8,153.39
Allstate $9,666.43 $7,334.68 $8,379.06
Liberty Mutual $13,296.72 $11,975.93 $12,584.89

Most of the companies charge $1,000 or more for a high level of coverage. Allstate may charge more than $2,000 if you choose to purchase a high coverage policy.

However, Geico and USAA only charge an additional $500 on average if you are looking for a high level of coverage. Look for their quote if you want to purchase additional coverage.

You may ask, what is high and low coverage?

Your policy includes the legally required coverage and the optional coverage that you purchase according to your requirements.

According to the NY DMV, the minimum mandatory insurance required in New York is:

  • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in a crash
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

The legally required insurance is the low coverage you have to buy to drive in New York legally.

However, you should consider buying important optional (or high) coverage that can safeguard you against financial injury.

These are the optional coverages you can consider:

However, play smart and pick only the options that are relevant for you. You don’t have to buy all the options with your policy.

– Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

Insurance companies use credit scores as a predictor of risk, estimating the likelihood that you will file a claim or that you will miss a payment.

Here are the average premium rates changed for different credit levels in New York:

Group Fair Good Poor Average
GEICO $3,446.50 $3,093.37 $4,689.44 $3,743.10
Progressive $4,764.69 $3,398.72 $10,007.20 $6,056.87
USAA $5,017.27 $4,404.27 $10,045.99 $6,489.18
State Farm $6,121.40 $4,862.01 $9,751.34 $6,911.58
Nationwide $7,277.47 $7,277.47 $7,277.47 $7,277.47
Travelers $7,025.44 $5,929.64 $11,943.65 $8,299.58
Allstate $6,976.23 $5,853.98 $12,549.95 $8,460.05
Liberty Mutual $11,537.19 $8,605.28 $17,715.08 $12,619.18

Geico is consistently the cheapest for each credit level and increases rates marginally across credit levels. However, Liberty Mutual may double your insurance rate if your credit score drops from good to poor.

If you have a good credit score, you can seek quotes from Geico, Progressive, and USAA for the best price. However, if you have a bad credit score, you can look at Geico, Nationwide, and State Farm for the best quote.

– Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

Driving record is probably the most critical and direct factor impacting your insurance rate. Many companies give discounts if you have a good driving record. However, companies may also increase your insurance rates if you cause an accident or commit a DUI.

Take a look at the following table to understand the impact of driving record on your insurance rates:

Group Clean record With 1 accident With 1 DUI With 1 speeding violation
GEICO $2,883.95 $3,146.78 $6,057.73 $2,883.95
Progressive $5,875.96 $5,875.96 $6,554.29 $5,921.27
USAA $5,809.04 $5,901.27 $8,345.12 $5,901.27
State Farm $6,564.81 $6,564.81 $7,258.36 $7,258.36
Nationwide $5,462.37 $5,462.37 $12,589.36 $5,595.77
Allstate $7,089.19 $7,089.19 $10,588.15 $9,073.68
Travelers $7,045.87 $8,900.58 $9,008.64 $8,243.22
Liberty Mutual $9,912.48 $9,912.48 $20,739.30 $9,912.48

As you can see in the table, insurance companies tend to take driving records seriously.

E.g., if you commit a DUI, insurance companies will increase your premium rate by $3,800 on average. Progressive might be the most lenient, whereas Liberty Mutual might raise your rate by as high as $11,000.

– Car Insurance Factors in New York City

Factors such as your credit score, driving record, annual mileage are not city-specific in determining your car insurance rates. Whereas external factors such as zip code, economic prosperity, and income levels in New York may also impact your car insurance rates.

In this section, we will review the city-specific factors that may influence your premium rates.

– Growth & Prosperity

According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, New York City is the largest municipal economic area in the country — ahead of Los Angeles and Chicago. In 2017, the annual gross municipal product of the New York Metropolitan area was $1.7 trillion.

New York City has a diversified economy that leads the fields of finance, high technology, real estate, insurance, and health care. In finance, New York City is home to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, the world’s top two stock exchanges.

According to the Metro Monitor Report by the Brookings Institution, the New York Metro area is ranked 22nd in the country for growth and 30th for prosperity.

Growth (22nd)

Jobs: +8.2 percent (33rd of 100)

Gross metropolitan product (GMP): +12.7 percent (37th of 100)

Jobs at young firms: -0.5 percent (12th of 100)

The largest city in the country is growing at a higher-than-average rate. This growth is NYC has resulted in the all-time lowest unemployment rate.

According to the Metro monitor report, the city is also registering steady growth in standard of living and average annual wage.

Prosperity (30th)

Productivity: +4.1 percent (52nd of 100)

Standard of living: +7.3 percent (20th of 100)

Average annual wage: +7.8 percent (49th of 100)

– Median Household Income

According to DataUSA, the median household income in New York City is $60,879, whereas, for the New York metro area, the median household income is $75,368.

Median Household Income in NYC

The average annual premium in New York City is $7,489.72. If you compare it to the median income, an average resident of New York City has to spend around 12.3 percent of the annual income toward maintaining car insurance.

NYC $60,879 $7,489.00 12.30%
NY $64,894 $4,324.00 6.66%

Use our FREE calculator to calculate how much of your income is going toward car insurance.


– Homeownership in New York City

The homeownership rate is an indicator of the health of the economy. While homeownership indicates to an insurance company that you have financial stability, it won’t directly impact your auto insurance rates or ability to qualify for a plan.

However, if you own a home, you can qualify for additional discounts on your car insurance.

Property prices are very high in New York City. According to DataUSA, the median property value in NYC is $609,500, while it is only $193,500 for the country.

Property Value in New York City

The New York metro area gives slightly affordable alternatives for the residents of the tri-state area. The median property price in the New York metro area is $413,200.

Due to the expensive property prices, the homeownership rate is only 32.7 percent in New York City. If you consider the New York metro area, the rate improves to 51.9 percent.

Rent vs Own in New York City

– Education in New York City

Ever wondered why a car insurance application asks about your education level?

Insurance companies associate higher education with a lower risk profile. According to Nasdaq, New Jersey’s Department of Insurance did a comprehensive study on the detailed loss data from insurance companies. The study revealed that higher education does lead to a lower claim risk.

New York has many of the country’s leading institutions within its city limits.

The top universities in the city include the New York University, Colombia University, State University of New York, and the City University of New York. New York is the only city in the country with an extensive public university system.

The top three universities in the city are:

  • New York University (16,758 degrees awarded)
  • Columbia University in the City of New York (12,707 degrees awarded)
  • CUNY Hunter College (5,465 degrees awarded)

Various universities awarded 147,960 degrees in 2016.

Universities degrees awarded in NYC

– Wage by Race & Ethnicity in Common Jobs

According to DataUSA, people of white ethnicity are paid the most in New York.

Wage by race and ethnicity in New York

Following chart shows wages by common job types and ethnicities:

Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs

– Wage by Gender in Common Jobs

Across the country, there is a wage gap among genders that results in females getting less pay than their male counterparts. This usually means the females have to shell out a higher percentage of their income toward car insurance.

According to DataUSA, the gender wage gap is more pronounced in New York. The average salary for a male in New York is $78,550 while for a female, it is $60,672.

The following chart will highlight the average wages for males and females across different professions:

Wage by Gender in Common Jobs in NYC

– Poverty by Age & Gender

More than 19 percent of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, which is worse than the national average of 13.4 percent.

Poverty by Age and Gender in NYC

The situation is worse for females in the city. The top four demographics living below the poverty line are all females between the ages of 18 – 54.

– Poverty by Race & Ethnicity

In terms of ethnicities, Hispanics struggle the most with poverty, followed by whites and blacks.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in NYC

– Employment by Occupations

New York City currently employs 4.19 million people across different occupations. The top three professions in New York are Office & Administrative Support Occupations, Management Occupations, and Sales & Related Occupations.

The following chart shows the share of jobs across professions in New York:

Employment by Occupations in NYC

Driving in New York City

Many factors influence insurance rates, including demographics, credit history, annual commute, coverage level, education, etc.

However, insurance companies also consider the car you drive, road conditions, traffic congestion, and the likely risk of theft in your location.

In this section, we will talk about how these factors impact your insurance factor.

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– Roads in New York City

We understand that New York City, and especially Manhattan, is too congested to offer a scenic drive.

However, the city provides fantastic opportunities to head out and escape the pace for a while. Take a drive to the Palisades or the Catskill Mountains, and you will be amazed by the beauty of the city and nearby places.

In this section, we talk about some of these famous roads and their conditions.

– Major Highways

The five boroughs of New York are spread over a few islands and connected through a system of twelve bridges and tunnels. The most iconic of these is the Brooklyn Bridge, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The city has some of the most congested streets in the country. New York invented the term gridlock.”

A network of interstates and highways connects the vast city of New York. Here is the map of the network of roads connecting New York.

New York City Road Network

Some of the significant roads connecting New York include I-95, I-495, I-87, and U.S. 1. I-95 is the major road connecting the city from the South, whereas I-87 connects from the North.

Here is the list of major roads and expressways connecting New York:

Interstate Other details Length (miles)
I-78 Connects Lower Manhattan with New Jersey through the Holland Tunnel 0.9
I-87 Connects the Bronx to the Canada-US Border 183.62
I-95 New Jersey Turnpike connects through the South and extends from George Washington Bridge. 23.44
I-495 Connects Manhattan to Long Island 70.99
I-278 Connects Staten Island to the Bronx 33.85
I-295 Connects Queens and the Bronx 9.79
I-478 Interstate connects Brooklyn and Manhattan 2.41
I-678 Starts from the JFK airport and connects Queens and the Bronx. Also called the Van Wyck Expressway 14.68

Some of the major tolls in New York are:

Toll Road Fare
Bayonne Bridge $15
Bronx-Whitestone Bridge $9.50
Hugh L. Cary Tunnel (former Brooklyn Battery Tunnel) $9.50
Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge $4.75
Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Bridge (Mid-Hudson Bridge) $1.50
George Washington Bridge $15
Goethals Bridge $15
New York State Thruway $22.75
Henry Hudson Bridge $7
Holland Tunnel $15
Lincoln Tunnel $15
Marine Parkway – Gill Hodges Memorial Bridge $4.75
Outerbridge Crossing $15
Queens Midtown Tunnel $9.50
Throgs Neck Bridge $9.50
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triborough Bridge) $9.50
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge $19

– Popular Road Trips/Sites

New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world. In 2019, the city is expected to attract close to 67 million people!

The city’s allure comes from the culture, architecture, food, fashion, and shopping opportunities it has to offer to the visitor.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art attracts seven million people annually.

Here are the top five things to do in New York:

Central Park: One of the best urban parks in the world, Central Park offers New Yorkers an oasis to escape the maddening pace of the city.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: The largest art museum in the country.

Empire State Building: The limestone classic provides the best views of the city.

Statue of Liberty: Lady Liberty is one of the most iconic images of the United States and the symbol for our freedom and democracy.

Times Square: The intersection that reflects the image of NYC.

– Road Conditions

TRIP, a national transportation research group, puts 69 percent of roads in New York as either poor (46 percent) or mediocre condition.

According to TRIP, around 46 percent of roads in New York are in poor condition.

New York‐‐Newark 46% 23% 13% 18%

The high percentage of roads in poor condition results in added wear and tear. An average New Yorker spends $719 per year to operate a vehicle in the city.

To know more about the road conditions and closures, you can access the official Traffic, Travel, and transit website.

– Does Your City Use Speeding or Red-Light Cameras?

The City of New York enforces more than 2,000 red-light cameras to monitor violations. The owner of the car is responsible for the ticket issued by the red-light camera.

You will receive a notice of violation in the following format that includes the place, time, date, and photo sequence.

Red Light Violation in NYC

You can find the location of all the red-light cameras in the following map:

Location of red light cameras in NYC

Speed cameras are allowed in the State of New York. However, the City of New York has discontinued the use of speed cameras starting in August 2019.

Some residents argue that speed cameras are a gross violation of their fundamental rights, though some believe they have helped reduce the number of crashes and injuries in school zones.

According to a report published by the New York City Department of Transportation, there has been a drop in crashes and injuries after the city installed speed cameras.

Crashes Before installation After Installation
Total crashes 7,980 7,361
Crashes w/ injuries 1,833 1,556

The number of injuries was also reduced after the installation of speed cameras.

Injuries Before installation After Installation Percent drop
Motorist/Occupant 1,914 1,665 -13
Pedestrian 541 415 -23.3
Cyclist 142 132 -7
Total Injuries 2,597 2,213 -14.8

Nevertheless, the City has stopped the speed light camera program for now.

– Vehicles in New York

New Yorkers love their cars so much so the city has amongst the highest cars per capita in the world.

The city has amongst the highest per capita income in the country, and it’s reflected in the cars preferred by its residents. The motorists in New York are biased towards luxury cars and leases.

According to Your Mechanic, the most popular car in the city is the BMW 328i xDrive. The 3-series is one of the best sports sedans produced by the German manufacturer.

BMW 3-series is among the safest cars on the market. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it five stars, whereas the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave four stars.

The recent 3-series are also not only fuel-efficient, as they return around 26 mpg, but BMW has equipped the cars with the latest technology.

– Cars Per Household

Subways, buses, and taxis are readily available in the Big Apple, and therefore, commuters prefer to take public transportation. Contrary to the national average, most households in the city do not own a car. It is understandable given the congestion in the city, coupled with high insurance costs.

Car Ownership in New York City

– Speed Traps in New York City

You should drive carefully in the city. Not only are there a lot of pedestrians and cyclists to share the streets with, but there are several speed traps around the city.

Borough # of speed traps
Brooklyn 27
Staten Island 21
Manhattan 7
Queens 7

– Vehicle Theft in New York City

Unfortunately, car theft is a widespread occurrence in the Big Apple. According to the FBI, there were 5,737 cases of car theft in 2017.

According to, New York has a relatively high crime index. New York is safer than only 30 percent of the cities in the country. However, if you look at the crime rates, you are less likely to be a victim of murder and rape than the average level in the country.

NEW YORK VIOLENT CRIMES RATES per 1,000 0.03 0.26 1.56 2.91
UNITED STATES VIOLENT CRIMES RATES per 1,000 0.05 0.42 0.98 2.49

Just like any other city in the world, there are safe and less-safe neighborhoods in the large metropolis. Some of the safer neighborhoods in the city are:

  1. W 218th St / Broadway
  2. Randalls Island Park / Wards Island Park
  3. E 82nd St / 2nd Ave
  4. Madison Ave / E 50th St
  5. Madison Ave / E 96th St
  6. Main St / East Rd
  7. E 53rd St / 2nd Ave
  8. E 89th St / 1st Ave
  9. W 70th St / West End Ave
  10. Madison Ave / E 90th St

– Traffic

No one wants to spend time waiting in traffic.

However, New York is the city that invented the term “gridlock.” You tend to waste time waiting in traffic in the Big Apple.

– Traffic Congestion in New York

New York is infamous for its traffic snarls. The city also has several over-stressed drivers due to the traffic.

According to a 2018 traffic study done by INRIX (a team of traffic experts), New York is the fourth most congested city in the country. The average cost of congestion for a motorist in New York $1,859 per year.

To reduce congestion on the streets of New York, the local government will start charging a $10 congestion tax in 2021.

– Transportation

According to DataUSA, commuters in New York spend 40 minutes on their daily commute, which is considerably more than the national average of 25.5 minutes.

Commute Time in New York City

Long commutes and super commutes are sadly commonplace in New York, as more than 44 percent of commuters spend more than 45 minutes on their daily commute. The long drive is because a lot of commuters travel to Manhattan from Queens, the Bronx, and New Jersey.

A large percentage of commuters prefer to take public transportation and do not own a car. More than 55 percent of commuters prefer to take public transit to work, while only 22 percent prefer to drive.

Commuter Transportation in New York City

– Busiest Highways

According to the Federal Highway Administration, New York has some of the busiest highways in the country. The Cross Bronx Expressway is the most congested roadway in the country. New York provides official data on the busiest roads in the city on its website.

The New York Metro area has four routes with more than 12 lanes.

New York-Newark (NY-NJ-CT) I-95 14
New York-Newark (NY-NJ-CT) I-287 13
New York-Newark (NY-NJ-CT) I-78 12
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana I-110 12

– How Safe are New York’s Streets & Roads?

New York City has five boroughs and comprises five counties.

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Fatalities (All Crashes) 295 250 241 230 207
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver 83 61 55 55 66
Single Vehicle Crash Fatalities 221 183 176 180 136
Fatalities in Crashes Involving a Large Truck by County for 2017 27 28 27 32 36
Fatalities in Crashes Involving Speeding 81 60 68 48 54
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Intersection 180 141 122 132 113
Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities 49 45 53 40 40
Pedestrian Fatalities 179 126 131 137 95
Pedalcyclist Fatalities 9 20 13 19 22

In 2017, the total number of traffic fatalities in New York City was 207. Thankfully, the fatality count in the city has been steadily decreasing over the past few years.

Single-vehicle crashes were the most common reason for a traffic fatality.

New York Counties by 2017 Ranking 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1. Suffolk County 145 123 168 139 121
2. Nassau County 83 81 95 80 78
3. Queens County 99 86 78 61 59
4. Kings County 87 78 69 53 56
5. Monroe County 37 43 33 45 45
6. Erie County 57 47 44 50 43
7. Bronx County 52 35 40 49 40
8. New York County 45 39 28 48 38
9. Orange County 35 36 28 32 35
10. Onondaga County 30 25 33 27 34
Top Ten Counties 692 595 639 594 549
All Other Counties 510 446 497 447 450
All Counties 1,202 1,041 1,136 1,041 999

In terms of traffic fatalities, three counties in the New York metro area are among the 10-most-dangerous counties in the State of New York.

What about roads and highways? Which are the most dangerous in New York City?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it seems that local roads are most dangerous in the Big Apple.

Bronx 1 8 3 11 4 3 9 0 39
Kings 1 2 1 14 9 4 25 0 56
New York 1 0 3 13 3 3 15 0 38
Queens 1 6 3 17 2 2 23 0 54
Richmond 0 2 0 4 1 0 6 0 13
Total for NYC 4 18 10 59 19 12 78 0 200

To understand the basic definitions of the different types of roads, visit the NHTSA website here.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, only a few railway-related accidents were reported in the different boroughs of New York City.

City County Calendar Year Highway Highway User Type Highway User Speed Rail Equipment Type Non suicide fatality Non suicide injury
NEW YORK -QUEENS QUEENS 2015 MASPETH AVENUE Truck-trailer 10 Freight Train 0 1
NEW YORK -BRONX BRONX 2016 AVENUE C Pick-up truck 10 Light Loco(s) 0 0

– Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

According to an Allstate study on driver behavior, New York City was ranked 107 out of 200 cities in the country. An average motorist in NYC has 8.1 years between claims, whereas the national average is 9.5 years.

According to the Allstate report, an average New York motorist used hard braking 32.5 times a year, whereas the national average was 27.8.

Due to the general driver’s behavior in the city, you would be 23.3 percent more likely to file a claim compared to the national average.

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– Ridesharing

With commuters dependent on public transportation for the daily commute coupled with the huge number of tourists visiting the city, New York is bound to attract a large number of ridesharing companies.

Here’s a representative list of ridesharing companies operating in the city:

  • Arro
  • Blacklane
  • Carmel
  • Curb
  • Flywheel
  • Kid car
  • Lyft
  • SuperShuttle
  • Taxi
  • Uber
  • Via

– E-star Repair Shops

Esurance created an E-star repair shop network that provides a list of reputable and top-quality repair shops near your location.

You can find the top 10 repair shops in Manhattan on their website.

– Weather

New York City has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cool winters. The huge skyscrapers make the city an Urban Heat Island, which results in temperatures 5 – 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer overnight than surrounding areas.

Here’s the quick summary of the New York weather:

Annual High Temperature 62.3°F
Annual Low Temperature 48°F
Average Temperature 55.15°F
Average Annual Rainfall 46.23 inches
Days per year with rainfall 121 days

The frequency of natural disasters in New York is at the national average. The most common type of disasters faced by the city include hurricanes, floods, storms, and blizzards.

– Public Transit

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) manages the public transportation system in New York City.

Under new leadership, MTA is planning to revamp the public transportation system in New York City.

The MTA system operates subways and buses. The fare for a single subway or bus ride is $2.75. You can also buy a reloadable metro card to pay for the fare.

– Alternate Transportation

It is illegal in New York to rent e-scooters and e-bikes. A new bill seeks to open the city to e-scooters and e-bikes. However, renting one in Manhattan will remain illegal.

– Parking in Metro Areas

Parking in Manhattan is quite a task, but thankfully, the availability of parking apps enable us to book parking spots ahead of time. Some of the common parking apps available in New York City are:




Parking Panda

Some applications can help you find street parking in the city.

– Air Quality in New York City

Vehicular emission, which includes particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxide, is one of the major contributors to air pollution globally.

According to the EPA, the transportation sector is responsible for:

  • Over 55 percent of NOx total emissions in the country
  • Less than 10 percent of VOCs emissions in the country
  • Less than 10 percent of PM2.5 and PM10 emissions in the country

According to the EPA’s Air Quality Index Report, the New York metro area had only two days of very unhealthy air.

  #Days with AQI #Days Good  #Days Moderate #Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Group #Days Unhealthy #Days Very Unhealthy
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 365 156 182 24 2 1

Military/Veterans in New York

Military personnel and veterans can qualify for additional discounts from certain insurers. In this section, we want to highlight the options and rates for the men and women in uniform.

In New York, the majority of military personnel and veterans have served in Vietnam and the Second Gulf War.

Veterans in NYC

Fort Hamilton Army Base is located in Brooklyn and provides support for the Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve. The second-closest base to New York City is the historic United States Military Academy at West Point.

Following insurers provide insurance discounts for military personnel and veterans:

  • Allstate
  • Esurance
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Metlife
  • StateFarm
  • The General
  • and of course, USAA
Allstate 4740.97 10.5
GEICO 2428.24 -43.4
Liberty Mutual 6540.73 52.5
StateFarm 4484.58 4.5
USAA 3761.69 -12.3

GEICO is providing a 43-percent discount to the average annual rate.

Unique City Laws

Do you know that ice cream trucks must be lawfully parked to sell ice cream in New York?

– Handheld Device Laws

It is illegal to use any hand-held cellular device in New York. You can be fined up to $150 and two points will be added to your license and driving record.

– Food Trucks

New York City is home to some mouth-watering street food. However, there are several rules and regulations that vendors have to adhere to in the Big Apple.

You can only park your vehicle in a non-metered location to sell food. However, as almost the entire city is metered, food vendors usually pay parking tickets that can go as high as $1,000.

The city also capped the number of mobile food vendor permits to 4,000; however, the total number of vendors operating in the city is more than 12,000.

– Tiny Homes

Unfortunately, tiny homes are not allowed in New York City and the surrounding areas. However, several advocacy groups are highlighting the need for tiny houses in a city that has one of the most unaffordable housing markets.

– Parking Laws

New York City has several neighborhoods that may have some unique parking laws. The most detailed account of the parking laws in the city can be found on the Department of Transportation’s website.

New York Car Insurance FAQs

What is the minimum car insurance in New York?

The minimum required coverage in the Big Apple is:

  • $10,000 for property liability coverage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in a crash
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

How much is car insurance in New York City?

The average cost of car insurance in New York City is $7,489.72.

Who offers the cheapest car insurance in the city?

Geico is the cheapest insurer in the city with an average annual premium of $2,428.

How do I get better rates?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, you can take the following steps to lower your insurance rates:

  • Shop around
  • Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs
  • Opt for higher deductibles
  • Reduce coverage on older cars
  • Bundle your homeowners and auto coverage with the same insurer
  • Maintain a good credit record
  • Maintain a good driving record

Are you ready to start comparing insurance rates? Use our FREE tool to get quotes from the leading insurance companies in New York.


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