Cheap Car Insurance in NYC for 2020

The Big Apple is going to take a big bite out of your wallet if you insure a car in New York City. On average, insuring a car in New York City is going to cost you somewhere around $3,004 per year, which is considerably higher than the state average of $2,019 per year.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in New York City?

  • GEICO
  • State Farm
  • Allstate
  • New York Central Mutual Fire (NYCM)

We pulled data from a number of sources to try and figure out what insurance costs in New York City, on average, for a male driver in his 40s with a clean driving record and no accidents. Remember, this is a GUIDE to what insurance is going to cost. Your mileage is going to vary widely depending on what you drive, which of the five boroughs you call home, and a number of other factors.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.

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Who has the best cheap car insurance in New York City?

  • Best Large Insurance Carrier - Geico is the cheapest large insurance carrier in NYC.
  • Cheapest Insurance from a Smaller Carrier - New York Central Mutual Fire (NYCM) is the cheapest local carrier, but it may still be more expensive than national carriers.
  • Cheapest Insurance with One Accident - Keep it local and go with NYCM for the best deal if you’ve had an accident.
  • Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage - Those who will be putting lots of miles on their cars should consider State Farm.

How much does car insurance cost in New York City?

In our larger story on car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,341. In New York State the number is $2,019, but if you live in NYC, that number can easily jump as much as 63% compared to the rest of the state depending on the borough where you live. There are around 2 million cars registered in New York City and all those narrow, congested streets help make insurance expensive.

Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) onlineAverage (annual)Adjusted average* (annual)
GEICO$1,092 - $3,485$2,120$1,951
State Farm$1,332 - $4,447$2,925N/A
Allstate$1,752 - $3,518$2,635N/A
NYCM$1,869 - $5,414$3,642N/A
Progressive$2,247 - $4,159$2,945$2,688

(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.

What causes rates to go up in New York City?

Rates in New York City vary between the five boroughs. Manhattan and Staten Island fall low on the list with Queens and the Bronx sitting in the middle. At the very top of the list is Brooklyn. It all has to do with the amount of traffic and historical accident and theft rates in the area. Where exactly you live in NYC matters for your car insurance.

There are also the usual things that impact your rates no matter where you live. These include your overall driving record including speeding tickets, accidents, and even your credit score.

How do accidents affect rates in New York City?

If you’re in an accident in New York City, your insurance rate can go up as much as 41%. That’s a hefty increase for one accident. For that reason, driving a car with advanced safety technology like auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control can be worth the added expense to help keep you out of accidents. And it’s a good reason to get that road rage under control rather than risking an accident when someone tries to cut you off at rush hour.

Range of Rate Increases for One AccidentAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
14%, 19%, 31%, 34%, $41%28%28%

Keep in mind that this is a guide. Your actual rate increase could vary a lot, especially if you’ve enrolled in an insurer’s optional “Accident Forgiveness” program, which allows you one accident without being surcharged.

How do tickets affect rates in New York City?

Tickets might seem like they’re less expensive than accidents, but they still put points on your record. Even if you never have an accident, constantly getting speeding tickets will add points and up your car insurance rates.

Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding ViolationAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
13%, 14%, 22%, 29%20%14%

How can you get car insurance discounts in New York City?

We have an exhaustive story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available for insurers across the country, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. New York City offers a Good Student discount for younger drivers that keep their grades above a B average. Mature drivers, families with students who are away and not driving, and teens who take driver safety courses can also get discounts in NYC as well as those with a good credit rating.

What’s the minimum coverage allowed in New York City?

Insurance is required in the state of New York, which includes New York City. You must have at least coverage that includes the following minimums: Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. Property damage liability coverage: $10,000. Uninsured motorist bodily injury $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident.

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FAQ

Who has the cheapest car insurance in New York City?

Insurance rates can vary wildly, depending on where you live and on your driving record. Overall, you’ll get the best rates from Geico with an average of $1,951.

How can I get super cheap car insurance?

Insuring a car in NYC is expensive, but if you aren’t willing to move outside the city, then you can at least move to a cheaper borough. Brooklyn has some of the highest rates while Manhattan and Staten Island come in lower.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

If you don’t care about anything beyond the minimum coverage and lowest cost, then your go-to car insurance company is Geico. They offer the lowest rates around, aside from USAA, which is only open to members of the military and their families.

What’s important in a car insurance company besides the rates?

While all that matters to your wallet is the almighty dollar, what matters overall should include a company’s reputation. When you need repairs, the last thing you want is to feel like your insurance company is giving you the runaround. Pick a reputable company. If you go with a smaller, lesser known insurance company, do plenty of research on their reputation first.

Does credit score affect car insurance?

Yes. Insurance companies do look at your credit score when determining your individual insurance rate. If you want to pay less for car insurance, stay current on your monthly bills.

Is there low-income car insurance?

No. There is no low-income car insurance program that covers New York City.

Can I buy one day car insurance?

One-day, or temporary car insurance can be handy if you’re moving a car from one location to another. It’s going to be way more expensive per day than a regular insurance policy, but if you truly only need it for a day, it’s better than having your license revoked.

How can I get my insurance quote cheaper?

Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete for your business. You can also take advantage of any memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts. Make sure to ask your insurer about what types of discounts they offer so you don’t miss out on a reduced rate.

Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

In short, you live in New York City. It’s almost always more expensive for car insurance in cities, and the larger, more crowded the city the more you’ll pay. Even with a perfect driving record, car insurance in NYC is not cheap.

Is an older car cheaper to insure?

It all depends on the car. Some older cars are cheaper, but if they lack more current safety equipment, then there might not be as much of a savings. Antique cars are a whole different story and can sometimes be much more expensive to insure if the car is particularly collectible.

Why does car insurance cost so much?

The insurance company is making a risky bet when it offers you a car insurance policy. Its hope, and yours, is that you’ll never have to call, but if you do and they have to pay out, they lose. Insurance premiums are a way of hedging that bet and making sure they have the money on hand to cover claims. The riskier the bet, because of your record, your car, or where you live, the higher the premium.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.