Best Cities for Custom and Exotic Cars (2021)
The best cities for custom and exotic cars are those where theft rates are low, which can help keep insurance rates lower. Custom and exotic cars require specialty care, so the top places to own one have a lot of shops for repairs, maintenance, and custom upgrades. From Texas to New York, the best cities for custom and exotic car owners also offer a community of car lovers to share your passion.
UPDATED: Jul 13, 2021
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- The best cities for owning custom and exotic cars are those with easy access to shops and parts
- Custom and exotic cars have higher-than-average insurance rates, so you can expect to pay more than the general city average
- A lower theft rate makes a city a better place to own the type of car that attracts attention
Custom and exotic car owners have a particular investment in their cars — both a financial one and one of time, energy, and even sentiment. Between finding the right auto insurance for custom cars, hunting down parts, and even finding someone that can do repairs and maintenance, there’s a lot involved in owning a special set of wheels.
Some cities are just better places to own and enjoy your unusual vehicle, and we’ve done the legwork to find out where they are. The best cities for custom and exotic cars offer lower insurance rates, less risk of theft, and also have a community of other custom and exotic car owners where you can find like-minded people.
While you might not move just to enjoy a great place for exotic cars, you might be surprised by which cities make the list. You might even find you already live in one of the top places to be a custom car owner.
Top Cities for Owning Custom and Exotic Cars
Whether you have a rare import or you’ve had specialty modifications done to make your wheels one of a kind, owning an unusual car has a lot of rewards. It also has some challenges.
Unusual cars can be targets for thieves due to their high value. They are also difficult to repair and maintain, thanks to the scarcity of parts and a lack of shops that specialize in custom or exotic cars. All those things can also add up to sky-high rates on auto insurance for exotic cars and those with custom parts.
Some cities make it a little easier on owners of rare vehicles. We’ve gathered the data to find out which are the best car cities for customs and exotics in the U.S.
The 10 Best Cities for Custom and Exotic Car Owners
Which cities are the best places to live if you own a rare vehicle? We compared insurance rates, theft rates, and the community surrounding custom and exotic cars to narrow it down.
Read on to find out which city lands in the number one spot.
#10 – College Station, TX
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $285
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 167
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 30
Texas is known more for its love of custom cars than for the exotics; you’re more likely to run into a low rider than a Maserati. That said, if you’re into customs and exotics, College Station is the Texas city to call home.
The average cost of insurance is low here, so even though custom and exotic cars can be expensive to insure, Texas auto insurance rates overall will be lower than elsewhere. You also have 30 different shops catering to custom and exotic car owners to choose from.
#9 – Dalton, GA
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $400
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 117
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 33
Georgia is well known for its car culture, with cars and coffee meets that are famous across the nation and draw a wide variety of car lovers. Customs and exotics are not uncommon appearances among the classics at the state’s many meets, and Dalton is the best place in the state for them to be.
Atlanta is known as one of the U.S. cities with the best car culture, but don’t overlook Dalton. With a low auto theft rate and a large number of shops dedicated to serving custom and exotic car owners, Dalton offers a place to live that’s smaller than Atlanta with all the perks of a big city, at least when it comes to taking care of your wheels. And Dalton auto insurance rates are likely to be lower than Atlanta as well.
#8 – Dover, DE
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $444
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 122
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 36
For a small city in a small state, Dover, Delaware is big on options for custom and exotic car owners. There are 36 custom and exotic car shops here, and there are also a good number of car clubs covering a wide range of vehicles.
Delaware auto insurance rates aren’t the cheapest on this list, but shopping around can save you some money. And with the ease of access to shops that can work on your car, you might save some money in other areas.
#7 – Hagerstown, MD
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $315
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 90
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 37
With a low rate of car thefts and a low average cost of auto insurance, Hagerstown, Maryland lands at the number 7 spot on our list. This city offers 37 custom and exotic car-focused shops so that you can get the service you need for your wheels.
This city is also home to plenty of car shows and cruise nights if you want the opportunity to show off your car.
#6 – Springfield, MA
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $336
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 145
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 40
Springfield, MA welcomes custom and exotic car owners with a number of popular car shows and events as well as local car clubs to create a community. The city has 40 different shops serving the needs of custom and exotic car owners.
The theft rate here is on the high side for our list, but average Springfield, Massachusetts auto insurance rates don’t reflect it. They’re reasonably low, which means even expensive custom car insurance will be more affordable.
#5 – Vineland, NJ
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $457
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 133
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 43
Home to the (self-proclaimed) largest car show in New Jersey, Vineland also has more custom car shops than any other city in the state, with a total of 43. Car lovers of all kinds will find something to suit their needs, including everything from custom bodywork to repairs for exotic cars.
Common to all New Jersey auto insurance rates, the cost is a bit high here, but if you’re looking for the place to be in the Garden State with your custom or exotic car, Vineland is it.
#4 – Port St. Lucie, FL
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $378
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 89
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 55
The weather alone is enough to recommend Port St. Lucie, FL to custom and exotic car owners, allowing more time to take your ride out on the roads. But sunny days are not all this city has to offer. Although Florida auto insurance rates are high overall, Port St. Lucie auto insurance rates on average are low among those on our list.
There are 55 shops catering to owners of exotic and custom cars here, and a low theft rate helps to keep the cost of insurance down, even on cars that are generally very expensive to insure.
#3 – Bridgeport, CT
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $506
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 149
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 84
As we head into our top three cities for custom and exotic car owners, it’s the access to an incredible number of shops for maintenance, repair, and custom touches that put them over the top. Bridgeport, CT takes a big leap from the number 4 city with a total of 84 shops to help care for expensive exotic cars.
The higher-than-average Connecticut auto insurance rates aren’t a surprise given the higher theft rates. That said, Bridgeport has a thriving car community with a variety of cruise nights and car clubs, making it a great place to share your love of exotic wheels.
#2 – East Stroudsburg, PA
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $411
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 59
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 91
With 91 shops catering to the owners of custom and exotic vehicles and a very low rate of auto thefts, East Stroudsburg is one of the best places in the U.S. to live with a unique set of wheels. That’s the lowest rate of theft of any city on our list.
Pennsylvania auto insurance rates are the lowest of the top three cities, although you can always expect to pay more to insure a custom or exotic car. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better city to live in with a custom unless it’s our number one city.
#1 – New York, NY
Average Monthly Auto Insurance: $624
Auto Thefts (Per 100k Residents): 97
Local Custom & Exotic Car Shops: 99
It’s a common stereotype that New Yorkers don’t drive, but if you’re the owner of a custom or exotic car, this is the place to be. The Big Apple is home to nearly a hundred options for specialty car repair and maintenance, and the auto theft rate is low (possibly because it’s tough to make a quick getaway in the New York traffic).
New York City auto insurance is on the higher side, but that’s all part of the cost of living in one of the world’s best-known cities. If you own a custom or exotic car, NYC is the number one spot to live.
Full Results: Best Cities for Custom and Exotic Cars in the U.S.
Below you can see how cities across the U.S. ranked based on the data we gathered. Each is rates for insurance rates, access to exotic and custom car shops, rate of auto thefts per 100,000 population, and how close the nearest shop is to the city.
It may surprise you to see that Los Angeles did not make the top 10, in spite of the fact that California is one of the states with the most supercars, and L.A. is among the cities with the most luxury cars (when it comes to luxury car sales by state California tops the list). Cities in New England ranked better, likely due to lower theft rates.
Frequently Asked Questions: Popular Locations for Car Enthusiasts
Take a look below for answers to some common questions related to specialty vehicles.
#1 – Which city has the most exotic cars?
In spite of not making it into the top 10, Los Angeles is home to the most exotic cars in the world. Los Angeles also tops the list if you’re asking which cities have the nicest cars. The answer to which city has the most supercars, on the other hand, is London, England, although if it’s which city in the U.S. has the most supercars, that’s once again Los Angeles.
#2 – What are the best states to own a sports car?
The answer to this question can vary, but as a general rule, California tops the list thanks to good weather and a strong sports car culture.
#3 – What’s the best country to live in for car enthusiasts?
This is a difficult question to answer since it depends on what kind of cars interest you. Japan, Germany, and the U.S. all make most lists of the best countries for car lovers.
Methodology: Ranking U.S. Cities for Custom and Exotic Car Ownership
To rank the cities for custom and exotic car owners, we started with a look at which cities had the most access to shops that cater to the needs of those that own these specialty vehicles, as listed by ExoticAutoShops.com. We looked at the proximity of these shops to the city itself to ensure they were easily accessible.
We also examined the average cost of auto insurance in those cities, provided by Quadrant. Finally, we gathered the rate of auto thefts per 100,000 population for each city from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).