New York, NY Car Insurance Guide (Comprehensive)
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UPDATED: Oct 4, 2020
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|New York Statistics||Details|
|Density||28,429 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Insurance in New York, New York||$5,780.61|
|Cheapest Car Insurance Company||Geico and
|Road Conditions||46% poor
New York City (NYC) is one of the most cosmopolitan, populous, and culturally diverse cities in the world. It is also the most densely populated city in the country.
Whether you currently live in NYC, are considering moving there, or are one of the 60 million visitors to the city each year, we’ve got the information you need about insurance rates in the Big Apple.
We know finding information on car insurance coverage in New York City can be overwhelming, so we’ve done the research for you. As you read through this article, you’ll find information on insurance rates, how different demographics and variables can affect those rates in the city, statistics about the Big Apple, and more.
Read on to learn more about car insurance coverage in New York City. Get started by taking a minute to use your ZIP code to get a free quote on car insurance.
The Cost of Car Insurance in New York
We know the cost of car insurance is a major factor when shopping for coverage. Is it affordable? Does the coverage meet your needs? What coverage do you need? These are just a few of the questions you may have been asking yourself as you searched for the insurance information in New York City that brought you here.
With all the options you can choose from, we know it’s hard to figure out what the best coverage and price point is for you.
To help you out, we’ve pulled together information on average rates, factors insurance companies look at when adjusting your rates, and city-specific details that may affect your rates when you live in NYC.
Since you’ve probably already taken some time to search through the abundance of information on Google, why not take just a few minutes to read through the next few sections?
Does gender and age affect my car insurance in New York City?
You’ve probably heard at some point that men pay more for insurance than women, and if you’re under 25, insurance companies are charging you exorbitant rates. But is this true in New York City?
We’ll start with age, and then consider gender. In this table, we’ve pulled the average annual car insurance rates for residents in NYC by age.
|City||17 Years Old||25 Years Old||35 Years Old||60 Years Old||Cheapest Rate|
|New York City||$14,618.00||$5,541.95||$5,066.55||$4,702.01||$4,702.01|
The data, which we pulled from Quadrant, indicates that throughout New York, the cheapest rate for insurance is for 60-year-olds. It is also clear when you look at this data that younger drivers really do pay more for insurance coverage (likely due to the potential risks they pose on the road).
However, the median age in New York City is 36.9 years old. At this age, you won’t get the cheapest rates, but you will be able to pay the second-cheapest average rates in the Big Apple.
The next step is to take a look at gender to see if there is a rate disparity there as well. While this trend will likely eventually become a thing of the past as more and more states are making this practice illegal, it is still permitted in New York. To see if the difference is significant in New York City, we’ve listed the average insurance rates for men and women the Big Apple below:
- Average premium for men – $7,482.13
- Average premium for women – $7,049.73
As you can see, there isn’t much difference between the rates charged to men and women. In fact, while men do pay a bit more, their rates are only about 6.13 percent higher.
To look at the rate difference between men and women with a bit more granularity, we listed the average rates by gender in each of the age groups we looked at earlier.
|Married 60-year-old male||$4,722.65|
|Married 60-year-old female||$4,681.38|
|Married 35-year-old male||$4,988.73|
|Married 35-year-old female||$5,144.36|
|Single 25-year-old male||$5,699.13|
|Single 25-year-old female||$5,384.78|
The date in the above table supports what we’ve found so far. Men pay more for insurance than women, and for both men and women, 60-year-olds pay the least for insurance. The biggest gap in rates is between 17-year-old males and females, at 25 percent, but it steadily shrinks as you age, until at 60, the gap is less than one percent. =
What are the cheapest ZIP codes in New York City?
In addition to age and gender, insurance companies look at crime and accident statistics when adjusting your rates. This is because ultimately, all the factors insurance companies consider as they adjust your rate are based on risk. The higher risk you pose, the higher your rate may be.
If you live in an area with higher crime or accident rates, your insurance rates may be higher. Companies look at crime and accident rates by ZIP code to determine what rates should be. In the below table, we’ve pulled all the ZIP codes in NYC, along with the average insurance rates for each.
|City||ZIP Code||Average Annual Rate|
The most expensive ZIP code in the Big Apple is 82.97 percent higher than the least expensive ZIP code in the city. We’ve listed the most and least expensive rates below:
- Most expensive ZIP code – 11212, average rate $10,576.93
- Least expensive ZIP code – 10023, average rate $5,780.61
To better understand what these numbers mean, we did a little research on these two ZIP codes and discovered that the most affordable ZIP code for car insurance, 10023, has about average crime rates and is significantly more affluent than ZIP code 11212.
On the other hand, ZIP code 11212 has higher crime rates (which are well above the national average) and is lower-income. Based on this information, it is not surprising that insurance rates are much higher in ZIP code 10023 than in 11212.
What’s the best car insurance company in New York City?
You’ve probably asked yourself this question, but the answer is not necessarily straightforward. The best insurance company in New York may vary based on your personal situation from both the perspective of costs and needs.
In the next several sections, we’ll primarily be looking at answering this question from the perspective of price. However, only you can decide the best car insurance company based on your circumstances.
Take a look to see how different companies weigh factors like commute rates, coverage level, credit history, and driving history. Based on how different companies handle these factors, you may find one company better than another, based on you and your situation.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
We’ve already discussed the difference in rates for men and women, as well as the differences in rates for various ages ranging from 17 to 60. Now we’ll look at average rates in each of these categories from some of the major insurers in the Big Apple. Check out this table to see what we found.
|Group||Single 17-year-old Female||Single 17-year-old Male||Single 25-year-old Female||Single 25-year-old Male||Married 35-year-old Female||Married 35-year-old Male||Married 60-year-old Female||Married 60-year-old Male||Average|
As you can see, different companies weigh age and gender differently. Regardless of age, gender, or marital status, Geico has the most affordable rates for insurance coverage in New York City.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
Another factor car insurance companies often consider as they adjust your rates is commute distance. When you consider this from the risk perspective, it makes sense, because the more time you spend on the road, the higher your chances of getting in a car accident.
Take a look at this table, where we compare the average rates of car insurance companies in New York City for a 6,000-mile annual commute and a 12,000-mile annual commute.
|Group||10-miles Commute. 6,000 Annual Mileage.||25-miles Commute. 12,000 Annual Mileage.||Average|
Similar to what we found in the previous section, Geico has the most affordable rates for insurance, regardless of commute distance. Their rates are about 62 percent lower than Progressive, which is the next-most affordable rate.
Residents of New York City drive an average of nine miles per day, which is just under half the mileage of the 6,000 annual mileage (a 10-mile one-way commute means a 20-mile round-trip commute). This means for most New Yorkers, the difference in rates based on commute distance may not be a major factor for consideration.
In looking at the difference between average rates for the 6,000- and 12,000-mile commute lengths, Progressive, Nationwide, and Travelers don’t increase their rates at all. USAA and Allstate both increase their rates by between 2–3 percent. The highest increase is by State Farm, with an increase of 7.88 percent.
While the increases are fairly minor overall, and many New York residents don’t drive enough to see a rate increase based on commute, it is something to keep in mind when choosing the right insurance company for you.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
What kind of coverage do you need? High? Low? Are you worried about the possibility of something happening to your car? The more risks you face, the more coverage you may want to consider purchasing.
Coverage level is a strictly personal decision, based on your specific needs, the risks you face, and what you can afford.
Take a look at this table to see the average rates offered by insurers in New York City for low, medium, and high coverage levels.
Insurance companies in NYC consistently escalate their rates with increasingly levels of coverage. Increases range between two and 15 percent for each higher level of coverage.
Once you decide which coverage level is best for your needs, you’ll want to know which is the most affordable. With that in mind, we listed the best rates for each level of coverage below:
- High coverage – Geico and Progressive, $4,049.19 and $6,538.66 respectively
- Medium coverage – Geico and Progressive, $3,706.95 and $5,995.63 respectively
- Low coverage – Geico and Progressive, $3,473.17 and $5,636.33 respectively
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
You probably already know your credit score is important. Without it, its difficult to make large purchases, secure a loan, and even get good insurance rates. This is largely because credit score is considered a sign of whether or not you make responsible choices. The higher your credit score, the more responsible you are, and thus the lower your insurance rates may be.
We’ve collected average rates for drivers in New York City with good, fair, and poor credit, so you see how your credit score may affect your rates. Take a look.
Geico and Progressive offer the most affordable insurance rates, regardless of credit score. However, they don’t offer the smallest percent increases for increasingly poor credit. As another point of reference, we listed the ranges for good, fair, and poor credit, as defined by Experian, along with the average rate for each category:
- Good credit (670+) – $5,428.09
- Fair credit (580–669) – $6,520.77
- Poor credit (300–579) – $10,497.52
Across the board, the largest insurers in NYC increase their coverage rates by varying amounts for fair and poor credit over good credit. In one case, there is no increase, while the highest increase for good to fair is 40 percent, and the highest increase from fair to poor is 110 percent.
While it is not the cheapest insurance coverage, if you have fair or poor credit, one option is Nationwide, as they do not increase their rates at all, regardless of your credit score.
As you’re shopping for the best insurance coverage and policy for your needs and lifestyle, this is one more factor to keep in mind.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Perhaps the most obvious factor on which insurance companies base their rates is your driving record. The better your driving record, the lower your insurance rates may be. As we already discussed, all these factors insurance companies consider are focused on the risk you pose to the company in terms of your chances of filing a claim or having a claim filed against you.
So if you have a poor driving record, insurance companies see you as a riskier bet than someone with a clean driving record. How can this affect you in NYC? Take a look at this table, in which we compare average rates in the Big Apple for a clean record, with one accident, with one DUI, and with one speeding violation.
|Group||Clean Record||With One Accident||With One DUI||With One Speeding Violation||Average|
As you’ve already seen, Geico and Progressive have the lowest rates overall on average. Additionally, their increases based on driving record vary based on the offense:
- In the event of an accident, Geico’s rates increase by 9.11 and Progressive’s rates increase remain the same.
- In the event of a DUI, Geico’s rates increase by 110 and Progressive’s rates increase by 11.54 percent.
- In the event of a speeding ticket, Geico’s rates remain the same, and Progressive’s rates increase by 0.77 percent.
Overall the increases vary quite significantly across the companies, with rate increases for speeding between 0 and 27.99 percent, rates for an accident increasing between 0 and 26.32, and rates for DUI increasing between 10.56 and 130.47 percent.
For all three factors, your best options based on percent increase are:
- In the event of an accident, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual are all good options, as they do not crease their rates at all.
- In the event of a speeding ticket, Liberty Mutual and Geico may both be good options, as they do not increase their rates.
- In the event of a DUI, State Farm has the lowest increase at 10.56 percent.
What are some car insurance factors in New York City?
Beyond the factors that affect you individually, there are other factors insurance companies look at on a more macro scale. In particular, for the purposes of this article, we’ll be taking a few minutes to look at variable companies assess at the citywide level. This can include how the city is growing, average incomes in the area, education levels, and more.
Take a look at the next few sections to see how these details can affect you in NYC.
New York City Metro Report
We’ll start by taking a look at growth and prosperity data for NYC, as a method of understanding how they may affect overall population, crime rates, and local economy in your area.
Brookings Institute recently released a Metro Report with growth and prosperity data for New York (specifically the larger metro area of New York, Newark, and Jersey City) that indicates an overall increase in prosperity. Additionally,
- Productivity shows an increase of 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2017
- Standard of living shows an increase of 3.2 percent between 2016 and 2017
- Average annual wages show an increase of 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2017
This data ultimately means the standard of living is increasing. The standard of living is determined by the productivity, which is defined as an increase based on innovation or workers’ skill upgrades, and the change in wages for a particular area. Since both of these factors increased, the standard of living increased. Additionally, the overall prosperity rating for the metro area is 11 out of 100.
Growth appears to also be increasing in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area, as shown by the following indicators:
- Jobs have increased 1.6 percent between 2016 and 2017
- Gross metropolitan product (GMP) has increased 3.4 percent between 2016 and 2017
- Jobs at young firms have increased by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017
All three of these growth indicators are on the rise, which is positive for the economy, you, and your insurance rates. Growth and prosperity increases ultimately mean an increase in wages and standard of living. We can infer that this would result in a decrease in crime rates and therefore lower insurance rates.
Median Household Income in New York City
You now know that both growth and prosperity in the New York City area are increasing. Now we’ll turn our attention to household income, and how much of that income is spent on car insurance in the Big Apple.
The median household income in NYC is $63,799, as reported by DataUSA, which is 18.7 percent lower than the New York-Newark-Jersey City median income of $78,478. We make this comparison because the growth and prosperity numbers we previously examined were for the metropolitan area, as opposed to New York City alone.
The NYC median income is about 3 percent higher than the national median income of $61,937. How much of this $63,799 in median income can residents of the Big Apple expect to spend on car insurance?
|Annual Car Insurance Premium||Annual Income||Percent of Income|
Using the average insurance rates in the city and DataUSA’s median income, we can see that the average driver in NYC will spend about 9 percent of their income on their car insurance coverage.
Homeownership in New York City
We’ve already discussed the fact that insurance companies look at what they perceive as factors that indicate your responsibility as a person and as a driver. Beyond credit score, some companies consider homeownership when they assess your personal responsibility, which may affect your car insurance rates
In addition to perceived responsibility, if you combine your car and home ownership coverage with the same company, many insurers offer discounts, which ultimately may mean lower rates.
So what does homeownership look like in NYC? As of 2018, about 32.98 percent of residents owned their home or housing unit. This is an increase of 0.01 over 2017. Additionally, the median property value in NYC is $645,100. We have a few further data points for your consideration below:
- The national average for homeownership is 63.9 percent, meaning NYC’s homeownership is about 48.39 percent lower.
- The Bronx County homeownership average is 19.1 percent (with a median property value of $363,500), which is 42.09 percent less than the NYC average.
- The New York County homeownership average is 22.8 percent (with a median property value of $838,400), which is 30.87 percent less than the NYC average.
- The Queens County home ownership average is 43.6 percent, which is 32.2 percent more than the NYC average
- New York-Newark-Jersey City home ownership average is 51.7 percent (with median property value of $400,000), which is 56.76 percent more than the NYC average.
Education in New York City
While there are a few notable exceptions, in general, more education means higher wages and a better standard of living. At a high level, this means less crime, and therefore lower insurance rates. Additionally, some insurance companies consider education level similar to how they perceive credit score: as a sign of responsibility that may result in lower insurance rates.
So what does education level and opportunity look like in NYC? There were a total of 147,053 degrees awarded in the city in 2017. DataUSA lists the largest universities in the Big Apple, from the perspective of the highest number of awarded degrees. The top three are:
- New York University – 16,773 degrees awarded, or 11.41 percent of the degrees awarded in 2017
- Columbia University in the City of New York – 12,772 degrees awarded, or 8.69 percent of the degrees awarded in 2017
- CUNY Hunter College – 5,386 degrees awarded, or 3.66 percent of the degrees awarded in 2017
DataUSA also reports that some of the more in-demand majors in the city include General Business Administration and Management, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and General Psychology.
Other colleges (both public and private) in the city include the following educational institutions:
- CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
- CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
- CUNY City College
- CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Pace University-New York
- Touro College
- The New School
- Fashion Institute of Technology
- Berkeley College-New York
- Technical Career Institutes
- School of Visual Arts
- Yeshiva University
- Teachers College at Columbia University
- CUNY Graduate School and University Center
- Barnard College
- DeVry College of New York
- Marymount Manhattan College
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs in New York City
That same DataUSA report provides information on average income for some of the most common job families, from the perspective of race and ethnicity, which we’ve summarized in this table.
|Job Title||Asian||White||Two or More Races||Black||Other||American Indian|
|Elementary and Middle School Teachers||$55,198.00||$67,079.00||$58,584.00||$64,161.00||$65,200.00||-|
|Janitors and Building Cleaners||$30,828.00||$32,808.00||$28,446.00||$32,863.00||$27,944.00||$26,836.00|
Asian Americans earn the highest wages for other managers, registered nurses, and cashiers. White Americans earn the highest wages for elementary and middle school teachers and janitors and building cleaners.
Taking the data we’ve outlined above, along with the average cost of insurance rates in NYC, we’ve calculated the average annual income percentage registered nurses spend on car insurance across all the included races and ethnicities.
|Annual Car Insurance Premium||Annual Income for Registered Nurses||Percentage of Income||Race/Ethnicity|
|$5,708.61||$66,196.00||8.73%||Two or More Races|
As you might expect, the lower the annual income, the higher the percentage of that income is spent on car insurance. With this in mind, an American Indian registered nurses will end up spending 60.3 percent more income on car insurance than an Asian American registered nurse.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs in New York City
We know there is a gap in wages between men and women. This is a commonly accepted fact across the country. But what does this look like in NYC? While DataUSA does not have wage data based on gender for NYC, they do have that data for the state of New York. The average salary for men in the state is $81,735, which is 27.88 percent higher than the average salary for women of $63,914.
We used DataUSA’s information to create the below table, which compares average wages for male and female employees in some of the primary job families in New York.
|Gender||Other Managers||Registered Nurses||Elementary and Middle School Teachers||Janitors and Building Cleaners||Cashiers|
In all categories, except for cashiers, men make more than women in New York. The wage gap varies by job, with women making about 2.38 percent more than men as cashiers, but making about 27 percent less than men as janitors and building cleaners.
We’ll now compare this data to the average cost of insurance in NYC, to understand what percentage of income is spent by men and women on car insurance across the primary job families we’ve already discussed. Take a look at this table to see the details.
|Gender||Other Managers||Registered Nurses||Elementary and Middle School Teachers||Janitors and Building Cleaners||Cashiers|
As we already noted in a previous section, the higher an individual’s income, the lower the percentage of that income is spent on car insurance. So as you might expect, women spend more of their income on car insurance than men in all of the primary job categories except for cashiers, where women pay slightly less.
Poverty by Age and Gender in New York City
After looking at the disparity in wages by gender, we’ll now look at the difference between men and women (with the function of age added as well) from the perspective of poverty rates for NYC (which is available, as opposed to the wage data, which was only available by at the state level).
DataUSA reports that 19.6 percent of the population is below the poverty level, which is about 49.62 percent higher than the national poverty level of 13.1 percent.
They also break down the poverty level by gender and age categories, which we’ve summarized in this table.
Out of the 13 age categories listed, males are at a higher poverty level in five of them (<5, 5, 3–11, 12–14, and 13–17). In the remaining categories, more women live at the poverty level than men.
The largest percentage of individuals living at the poverty level is women between the ages of 25 and 34, at 8.46 percent, which is 50.27 percent higher than men in the same age category. However, the greatest disparity between men and women with regard to poverty is at 75+, where 115.98 percent more women are living in poverty than men.
Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in New York City
The same DataUSA report provides poverty data based on race and ethnicity, which we’ve included below.
|Race/Ethnicity||Percentage Living in Poverty|
|Two or More||2.49%|
More Hispanics live in poverty than any other race or ethnicity, at 28.9 percent, and the next highest percentage is whites at 22.3 percent. Recall that we’ve already discussed that the lower your income, the higher the percentage of that income is spent on car insurance.
Ultimately this means that more Hispanics and whites spend significantly higher amounts of their income on car insurance than any of the other listed races or ethnicities.
Employment by Occupations in New York City
Despite what we learned about the growth and prosperity increases in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area, in New York City, employment has declined by 2.21 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to DataUSA.
We’ve collected data from that same DataUSA report on the average percentage of employees in some of the primary job families in the Big Apple and listed them in the below table.
|Job Family||Percentage Employed|
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||10.80%|
|Sales and Related Occupations||8.99%|
|Education Instruction and Library Occupations||6.60%|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||6.20%|
|Healthcare Support Occupations||5.94%|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations||5.61%|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations||4.89%|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||4.45%|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||4.43%|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||3.97%|
|Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners and Other Technical Occupations||3.81%|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||3.21%|
|Material Moving Occupations||2.09%|
|Community and Social Service Occupations||1.82%|
|Fire Fighting and Prevention, and Other Protective Service Workers Including Supervisors||1.82%|
|Health Technologists and Technologies||1.49%|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations||1.49%|
|Architecture and Engineering Occupations||1.03%|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations||0.96%|
|Law Enforcement Workers Including Supervisors||0.96%|
This list covers about 99.9 percent of the job families in NYC. It is interesting to note that management operations is one of the largest job families in the city at 10 percent, and as we already saw, management has one of the highest average wages as well.
Registered nurses have one of the other highest average wages in the city, per the data we’ve already reviewed. Healthcare support occupations, within which registered nurses would fall, take up about 5.94 percent of the employee population, and is the sixth-largest job family in NYC.
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Driving in New York City
We’ve spent some time discussing insurance rates, how your circumstances can affect your rates, growth and prosperity in NYC, statistics on jobs and wages, and more. Now we’ll turn our attention to road information.
What does driving look like in the city? Are the road conditions good? Poor? What do traffic accidents look like in the Big Apple? These, and other questions, are important for you to know, so you can plan accordingly when you get behind the wheel, better determine the level of coverage you need, and more.
Take a look at the next several sections to learn about this and other information that can affect your driving and car insurance decisions.
What are major roads in New York City?
Ready to get out on the road in the Big Apple? What do those roads look like? Are they safe and well-maintained? Does the city make use of speed traps and red-light cameras?
Take a few minutes to review the next few sections. There you’ll find some of the important pieces of information you need when traversing the city.
New York boasts 31 active highways, which add up to a total of 1,730.34 miles of highway. The complete list of New York highways are: I-78, I-81, I-84, I-86, I-87, I-88, I-90, I-95, I-99, I-278, I-478, I-678, I-878, I-481, I-781, I-684, I-287, I-587, I-687, I-787, I-190, I-290, I-390, I-490, I-590, I-690, I-790, I-890, I-990, I-295, I-495, I-695, and I-895.
There are a number of toll roads that run through the Big Apple. These include the following:
- George Washington Bridge – part of the I-95, costs $16 when driving eastbound
- Lincoln Tunnel – part of the I-495, costs $16 inbound to NYC only
- Holland Tunnel – part of the I-78, costs $16 inbound to NYC only
- Queens Midtown Tunnel – part of the I-495, costs $9.50 each way
- Hugh L. Carey Tunnel – part of the I-478, costs $9.50 each way
- Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge – part of the I-278, costs $19 inbound to Staten Island only
- Bayonne Bridge – part of the NY-440 costs $16 inbound to Staten Island only
- Goethals Bridge – part of the I-278, costs $16 inbound to Staten Island only
- Outerbridge Crossing – part of the I-278, costs $16 inbound to Staten Island only
If you drive these roads regularly, one way to manage the inconvenience is to purchase an E-ZPass, which allows you to avoid the toll lines when paying. It can also help diffuse some of the cost, with a discount on the tolls of about 5 percent.
This map shows some of the major highways in and around New York City.
The I-278 is a little unusual for an interstate; the portion that runs through Astoria, Queen, prohibits the use of trucks. Instead, truck drivers are required to use frontage roads instead.
New York has a few different high priority corridors (which are corridors designed by the Federal Highway Administration as future interstates that will traverse the country). These include:
- High Priority Corridor 63 – the Liberty Corridor includes the portion of Interstate 78 that crosses through New Jersey toward Manhattan
- High Priority Corridor 36 – New York and Pennsylvania State Route 17 includes the portion of the I-86 that cuts through Pennsylvania and New York
- High Priority Corridor 47 – all of the I-87 is part of this high priority corridor
Popular Road Trips/Sites
Want to get behind the wheel and see some of the city? While the options for places to go in NYC is practically endless, we’ve listed just a few of the places you might consider stopping by on your road trip through the Big Apple here:
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – The museum was finished and open for visitors in 1959, after having been designed by the famed Frank Lloyd Wright. Galleries, classes, lectures, and exhibits are just a few of the things visitors can experience when entering the Guggenheim.
- Belvedere Castle – Located in Central Park, Belvedere Castle provides park-goers a view of the Great Lawn and the Ramble. Additionally, the National Weather Service uses the Castle as a location for gathering meteorological data, and has done so since 1919.
- New York City Police Museum – The museum highlights the history of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) through exhibits and collections that include artifacts from all the way back to the Dutch settlers of the NYC area.
We’ve alluded to the fact that we’ll be discussing road conditions in the Big Apple, and now we’ll take a minute to do just that. Road conditions can have an effect on both your safety as you drive and on your vehicle itself. In this table, we provide a quick overview of the percentage of roads in NYC that are poor, mediocre, fair, and good.
|Percentage of Roads||46%||23%||13%||18%|
Using the information in the above table, the National Transportation Research Nonprofit Organization calculates that you (and every other driver on the road in the city) will spend an average of an extra $719 in vehicle operating costs (VOC).
The national average of the same is $567, which means NYC drivers are spending about 26.81 percent more in VOC than drivers across the country.
Does New York City use speeding or red-light cameras?
New York City does currently make use of red-light cameras as a way to ensure drivers, passengers, and pedestrians stay safe on the city streets. They also use speed cameras in some parts of the city.
There are currently about 800 red-light cameras throughout the city, but as noted in the below video, while there are only about 200 speeding cameras in the city, the Big Apple is looking at increasing this to around 2,000 over the next few years, despite the public controversy surrounding the decision.
What type of vehicles are in New York City?
As a country, residents of the United States like the independence and freedom of owning their own vehicles. However, the percentage of vehicle owners varies from state-to-state and city-to-city.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing what drivers in NYC do and how their actions can affect their insurance rates. But, we haven’t addressed the fact that residents of the Big Apple make use of public transportation at a level that few other cities do.
How does this affect what vehicle ownership looks like in NYC?
In the next few sections, we’ll provide information on the number of cars owned per household, the most popular vehicles residents choose to drive and own, and more.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
One of the most common personally driven vehicles in NYC is a BMW 328i xDrive. This vehicle gets reasonable gas mileage, with about 25 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.
- Overall – five stars
- Front driver side (based on response to a head-on collision) – four stars
- Front passenger side (based on response to a head-on collision) – five stars
- Side barrier driver – five stars
- Side barrier rear passenger – five stars
- Side pole – five stars
- Rollover – five stars
How many cars per household?
Unlike the majority of the country, the largest percentage of households in the Big Apple owns no cars, according to DataUSA. As of 2018, 45.6 percent of households in NYC do not own a vehicle. The next highest percentage of households (33.9 percent) own one vehicle.
Nearly 80 percent of households in NYC either own no or one vehicle. However, the remaining 20 percent fall into the following categories:
- Two vehicles – 14.3 percent (compared to the national average of 40.3 percent)
- Three vehicles – 4.43 percent (compared to the national average of 21.5 percent)
- Four vehicles – 1.45 percent (compared to the national average of 9.23 percent)
- Five vehicles – 0.446 percent (compared to the national average of 4.56 percent)
Households Without a Car
We’ve already discussed the fact that the largest percentage of households in NYC owns no vehicles. According to US Census data, in 2015 and 2016, 54.5 percent of households did not own a vehicle. We’ve summarized the data in the below table:
|Year||Households Without Vehicles||Vehicles Per Household|
While in some cases, this high of a percentage might indicate higher levels of poverty, in NYC it may simply be a factor of the availability of public transportation, the cost of maintaining and storing a vehicle in the city, and the difficulty of finding parking in and around the city.
Speed Traps in New York City
We’ve already discussed the fact that NYC has a number of speed cameras (and are looking to expand this number by a significant amount). Some might term these speed cameras as speed traps, while others (like the head of transportation safety in the city) do not like the term, because they are supposed to be located based on safety, not on the best opportunity to “trap” drivers.
The website Speedtrap.org offers driver-reported data on speed traps in the city, which we’ve summarized below:
- Brooklyn – 27 speed traps
- Staten Island – 15 speed traps
- New York City – five speed traps
- Queens – five speed traps
Vehicle Theft in New York City
We’ve already talked about how your ZIP code can affect your insurance rates, based on the crime associated with that ZIP code. So what does crime look like in NYC?
The FBI reported there were a total of 5,534 vehicles stolen in New York City in 2018.
Because car theft is a factor insurance companies definitely consider (if your car is stolen, you’ll likely file an insurance claim), this may be something to think about. If you are concerned about car theft, you can speak with your insurance agent about other coverage you may be able to add to your policy.
But what about other crime statistics in the city? Neighborhood Scout is one resource for finding this information. They are a data and analytics company that specifically investigates the real estate market, and we’ve made use of their data to consider overall crime statistics in the Big Apple
If you live in the W. 218th Street and Broadway neighborhood, you’ll find yourself in the safest neighborhood in NYC.
Neighborhood Scout’s crime index indicates the Big Apple is a 23 out of 100 (keep in mind that 100 is the safest). In other words, It is safer to live in NYC (from a crime perspective) than 23 percent of the cities in the country.
NYC’s crime rate is 4.78 per 1,000 residents for violent crime and 18.64 out of 1,000 for property crime. The total crime rate (combining violent and property crime) is 23.43 out of 1,000.
The violent crime rate is 19.5 percent higher than the national median of the same, which is four per 1,000 residents; it is also 36.57 percent higher than the New York State average of 3.5 per 1,000 residents.
We can look at this from another perspective: The likelihood that you will be a victim of a violent crime in NYC is one in 209 people, as compared to the chances of one in 285 people in the state as a whole.
The property crime rate is 22.23 percent lower than the national median of the same, which is 24 per 1,000 residents; it is also 29.35 percent higher than the New York State average of 14.41 per 1,000 residents.
Put another way, you have a one in 54 chance of being the victim of property crime in NYC, while you have a one in 69 chance of the same across the state.
The last piece of data we’ll consider is that Neighborhood Scout states there are 1,698 crimes per square mile, on average, in NYC, while there are 36 per square mile in the state, and 31.1 per square mile at the national level.
How is traffic in New York City?
Ready to talk about one of the least enjoyable parts of driving, traffic? We all hate being stuck in it, whether we’re behind the wheel or riding shotgun, and we know its a fact of life we can’t change.
What is traffic like in NYC? With the population density of the Big Apple, we know it’s probably pretty high, but we’ll take a few minutes to look at specific traffic congestion data, as well as the most common ways people commute to and from work, busiest highways, and some general safety statistics.
Keep reading to learn more.
Traffic Congestion in New York
Traffic congestion in NYC is a major problem. So much so that the city has passed a law that will essentially institute a variable road tax (referred to as congestion pricing) for any vehicles entering certain portions of Manhattan, as a method of reducing traffic and congestion.
So, where are the hard facts? In the below table, we’ve summarized traffic congestion data on New York City from the Inrix 2018 Traffic Scorecard Report.
|City||Hours Lost in Congestion||Cost of Congestion Per Driver||Inner City Last Mile Speed (MPH)|
|New York City||133||$1,859||9|
In addition, driving speeds vary dramatically between free flow, off-peak, and peak traffic times:
- Peak Traffic Speed – 25.84 MPH
- Off-peak Traffic – 41.28 MPH
- Free Flow Traffic – 49.93 MPH
The report also states that NYC is the 40th most congested city in the entire world, and fourth in the United States, so if you’re a resident of the Big Apple, sadly, you’re not getting away from traffic any time soon (though as we noted, the city is trying to improve the situation).
We’ve already discussed the high percentage of residents in NYC who do not own their own vehicles, and we just finished going over traffic congestion information for the city. So how does this information translate to commute times and transportation choices?
We’ll return our attention to the same DataUSA report we’ve already referenced a number of times to find specific data on average commute times and commute types for the Big Apple.
NYC residents spend about 40.1 minutes on their daily commute to work, which is 56 percent higher than the national average of 25.7 minutes, and is 26.5 percent higher than the state average of 31.7 minutes.
For those commuters who drive themselves, this commute time means more than average wear-and-tear on your vehicle. We’ve also discussed the fact that some insurance companies consider longer commutes a reason to increase your rates because the longer time you spend on the road, the higher your chances of ending up in a car accident.
However, how many people actually drive themselves to work in NYC? With the public transportation options available in the Big Apple, it should come as no surprise that 55.9 percent of commuters make use of that public transportation.
Next is residents who drive themselves to work, which makes up about 22.5 percent of the commuting population (which is 70.63 percent less than the national average of 76.6 percent), and then an additional 9.6 percent who walk to work (as compared to the national average of 2.77 percent of commuters).
We already know the congestion in the city is extremely high, but where is it the busiest, particularly on the highways?
Three of the highways in the New Jersey-New York-Newark urban area are listed in the Department of Transportation’s list of the 43 urban highways with the most lanes in the country. These routes are:
- I-95, with 14 lanes
- I-287, with 13 lanes
- I-78, with 12 lanes
For the same urban area, we also considered data from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Mobility Report, which indicates that there are about 5.1 hours per day considered to be “rush hours,” and 23.3 percent of the lane miles on the highway are congested.
This congestion and rush hour data supports what we already know: There is a lot of traffic congestion in NYC.
How safe are New York City streets and roads?
We’ve already looked at crime statistics in NYC, but what about safety when you’re on the road? We’ll compare traffic safety statistics from the NHTSA State Crash Report for the primary five counties that fall within the Big Apple: Manhattan, Kings County, Richmond County, Bronx County, and Queens County to see how safe the roads are.
We’ll start with crash type fatality data for 2018, which we’ve summarized in the below table:
|Crash Type||Bronx County||Kings County||New York County||Queens County||Richmond County|
|All Crashes – Fatalities 2018||36||56||27||69||7|
|All Crashes – Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||2.51||2.17||1.66||3.03||1.47|
|Involving an Alcohol-impaired Driver – Fatalities 2018||11||17||7||19||3|
|Involving an Alcohol-impaired Driver – Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||0.77||0.66||0.43||0.83||0.63|
|Involving a Single Vehicle – Fatalities 2018||18||37||20||50||4|
|Involving a Single Vehicle – Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||1.26||1.43||1.23||2.19||0.84|
|Involving Speeding – Fatalities 2018||4||5||3||19||2|
|Involving Speeding – Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||0.28||0.19||0.18||0.83||0.42|
|Involving a Roadway Departure – Fatalities 2018||7||4||3||12||2|
|Involving a Roadway Departure – Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||0.49||0.15||0.18||0.53||0.42|
|Involving an Intersection – Fatalities 2018||18||34||16||47||3|
|Involving an Intersection - Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||1.26||1.32||0.98||2.06||0.63|
Across all five counties, there were a total of 195 fatalities. Kings and Queens Counties had the highest number of fatalities for 2018, at 56 and 69 respectively, adding up to more than half of the total vehicle-involved fatalities in NYC in 2018. This holds true for these two counties from 2014 all the way to 2018.
When looking at the data in this table, it becomes clear that many of the crashes were the result of more than one factor, as is noted by the fact that, for example, there were 56 total fatalities in Kings County, but there were a total of 97 crash types.
Let’s take a look at how speeding, for example, affected the total number of fatalities in these five counties.
- Bronx County – There were a total of 36 crashes, 18 of which involved speeding. This means 50 percent of the total crashes involved speeding.
- Kings County – There were a total of 56 crashes, 37 of which involved speeding. This means 66 percent of the total crashes involved speeding.
- New York County – There were a total of 27 crashes, 20 of which involved speeding. This means 74 percent of the total crashes involved speeding.
- Queens County – There were a total of 69 crashes, 50 of which involved speeding. This means 72 percent of the total crashes involved speeding.
- Richmond County – There were a total of 7 crashes, 2 of which involved speeding. This means 57 percent of the total crashes involved speeding.
Clearly, speeding is a problem in the Big Apple, though in 2018, speeding involved fatalities were the most significant in New York and Queens Counties.
The NHTSA also provides data on the different fatality types for the same five counties, which we’ve included in this table:
|Fatalitiy Type||Bronx County||Kings County||New York County||Queens County||Richmond County|
|Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities 2018||4||3||2||10||2|
|Passenger Car Occupant Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||0.28||0.12||0.12||0.44||0.42|
|Pedestrian Fatalities 2018||16||34||18||40||4|
|Pedestrian Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||1.12||1.32||1.11||1.76||0.84|
|Pedalcyclist Fatalities 2018||2||3||2||2||0|
|Pedalcyclist Fatalities Per 100K Population 2018||0.14||0.12||0.12||0.09||0|
To delve a little deeper, we also used the NHTSA Fatalities Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Encyclopedia; we collected and summarized data on the number of fatal crashes per highway type throughout New York state in 2017.
|New York Road Types||Number of Crashes|
|Freeway and Expressway||36|
|Total Fatal Crashes||889|
We’ll quickly define these roadtypes for reference.
Major and minor arterial roads typically:
- Are high traffic roads
- Support major areas of activity
- Include rural and urban interstates, freeways, and highways
- Support the highest amounts of traffic
- Include the longest trip distances
Collector arterial roads connect local streets to arterial roads
While we tend to assume the most danger is found on interstates and highways, the most dangerous roads, purely based on the data shown here, are local roads.
We’ve also collected data from the U.S Department of Transportation on vehicle-involved fatalities as the result of railroad crashes and outlined it in the below table. Not all of the five counties had data available, so only Bronx and Queens Counties are listed here.
|County||Calendar Year||Highway||Highway User Speed (MPH)||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non-Suicide Fatality||Non-Suicide Injury|
|Bronx||2016||Avenue C||10||Pick-up Truck||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|Queens||2015||Maspeth Avenue||10||Truck-trailer||Freight Train||0||1|
Regardless of where you are on the road, it’s important to maintain situational awareness and follow posted signs and warnings, particularly at railway crossings.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Every year, Allstate produces a “Best Drivers Report” so you can find out where its safest to drive. In other words, where do the safest drivers live?
They pull this data by looking at the largest 200 cities in the country. We’ve collected their information for New York City and listed it in the below table.
|Allstate Best Driver's Report Categories||Data|
|2018 Best Drivers Report Ranking||107|
|City||New York, New York|
|Average Years Between Claims||8.1|
|Relative Claim Likelihood (compared to national average)||23.20%|
|2018 Drivewise Hard-braking Events Per 1,000 Miles||32.5|
|2017 Best Drivers Report Ranking||116|
|Change in Ranking From 2017 to 2018||9|
|2018 Ranking After Controlling for Population Density||23|
|2018 Ranking After Controlling for Average Annual Precipitation||99|
As the data indicates, NYC is ranked 107 out of 200 for safest drivers, and in fact, improved by nine points from 2017 to 2018. Additionally, when adjusted based on the population density of the city, the Big Apple actually ranges 23 out of 200. The likelihood of a claim being filed, as compared to the national average, is 23.2 percent, and claims are filed on average, every 8.1 years.
Ridesharing has become more and more common over the past several years, and in some cities, even eclipsing traditional taxi options quite significantly. We used RideGuru to find out the most common ridesharing options you have in NYC, along with the taxi companies you can hire for rides.
This information, along with average fares, is listed in the below table.
|Arro (traditional taxi service)||$25|
|Carmel (traditional taxi/limo service)||$22|
|Carmel DX (traditional taxi/limo service)||$31|
|Carmel LX (traditional taxi/limo servie)||$28|
|Curb (traditional taxi)||$30|
As you might expect, the primary ridesharing services available in NYC are Uber and Lyft, along with a number of traditional taxi companies.
The average fares listed in the table were collected by choosing the same pickup and drop-off locations for all the listed companies, so we can make an equitable comparison. In this case, we chose to have the pickup at Times Square (Broadway and 7th Avenue), and the drop-off at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Avenue) on a Friday evening for a standard sedan.
As you can see, for average vehicles (standard Lyft, Uber, and taxi services), the rates are fairly comparable, with the taxis on average costing about 2.86 percent less than available ridesharing services. However, the larger, more “lux” ridesharing services are nearly double the cost.
E-star Repair Shops
E-star is a service that reviews and rates car repair shops throughout the nation. If a repair shop is designated to be an “E-star” shop, that means they are known both for high-quality work and good customer service. This enables drivers to find highly-rated, high-quality repair shops no matter where they live or where they break down.
We’ve listed the top ten E-star shops in NYC in the below table, along with the available contact information.
|Auto Car East Inc.||243 E. 94th St. |
New York, NY 10128
|email: [email protected]
P: (212) 988-1515
F: (212) 369-4657
|Barron Body Works, Inc.||381 Sagamore Ave. |
Mineola, NY 11501
|email: [email protected]
P: (516) 746-6333
F: (516) 742-8306
|Delta Collision||529 E. 84th St. |
Brooklyn, NY 11236
|email: [email protected]
P: (718) 444-7266
|Francesco Auto Body, Inc.||782 Nepperhan Ave.|
Yonkers, NY 10703
P: (914) 423-0329
F: (914) 423-0916
|Newbridge Auto Body||1353 Newbridge Rd.|
Bellmore, NY 11710
|email: [email protected]
P: (516) 781-0487
F: (516) 781-4944
|Ray Mees Auto Coach, Inc||7718 Tonnelle Ave.|
North Vergen, NJ 07047
|email: [email protected]
P: (201) 869-2286
|Russell's Auto Body||64 W. 22nd St. #66|
Bayonne, NJ 07002
|email: [email protected]
P: (201) 437-0160
F: (201) 437-8028
|S.O.S. Auto Body, Inc.||95-20 98th St.|
Ozone Park, NY 11416
|email: [email protected]
P: (718) 641-5909
F: (718) 641-3699
|Sea Breeze Autobody Repairs Inc||8729 18th Ave.|
Brooklyn, NY 11214
|email: [email protected]
P: (718) 372-5600
F: (718) 714-5327
|Sernio's Auto Body Inc||896 Comunipaw Ave.|
Jersey City, NJ 07304
|email: [email protected]
P: (201) 795-1673
F: (201) 795-4093
What is the weather like in New York City?
Weather can have a negative effect on your and other drivers’ availability to drive safety, largely because it can affect the road conditions and visibility. To see what weather averages are like in NYC, we’ve listed U.S. Climate data for the Big Apple in this table. Take a look.
|Annual High Temperature||62.3° Fahrenheit|
|Annual Low Temperature||48° Fahrenheit|
|Average Temperature||55.15° Fahrenheit|
|Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall)||46.23 inches|
|Average Annual Precipitation (snowfall)||-|
The same U.S. Climate info reports that there is an average of 121 days of precipitation per year in NYC. That’s about one-third of the year in which there will be some form of precipitation, which is a fairly significant amount. With this in mind, make sure your car maintenance is up-to-date, and you drive defensively and with care at all times.
What about natural disasters? Do they happen in NYC? Are they common? The answers to these questions can affect what kind of insurance coverage you purchase and what you may need to add to your policy.
CityData.com provides data on the number and type of natural disasters that have occurred in the area. According to their report, New York County exceeds the national average for natural disasters at 17 (national average is 13) per year. Of these, seven were declared emergencies, and 10 were declared major disasters by the president.
With the number of natural disasters averaging about 21 percent higher than the national average, for those residents who do own cars, it may be worthwhile to consider purchasing comprehensive insurance coverage to make sure your policy can handle the weather disasters you may face.
This comprehensive coverage will offer you the protection you need if your vehicle is damaged as the result of weather or a natural disaster.
Is public transit available in New York City?
Public transportation is, as we know, common in NYC. Your main options in the city are listed below.
New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) Bus System
One-way bus fare on the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) bus system costs $2.75 for standard buses and $6.50 if it’s an express bus. You can pay with your MetroCard (if you have one) or with cash. However, if you decide to pay with cash, you’ll need to make your own change because only exact change, in coins, is accepted. Weekly and monthly ride passes cost:
- Monthly, unlimited ride pass, $127
- Seven-day unlimited ride pass, $33
New York Subway
Based on the number of stations, the New York Subway is the largest subway system in the world. Using the subway system, you can access the majority of the Big Apple 24/7. You can pay the fare with either cash by purchasing a ticket or with a MetroCard.
If you purchase a ticket, you’ll pay $3, while if you purchase a MetroCard, you’ll pay $2.75 for a one-way pass. That ticket or single-fare on your MetroCard will get you as far as you’d like to go, as there is no minimum or maximum distance associated with one-way fares.
- Monthly, unlimited ride pass, $127
- Seven-day unlimited ride pass, $33
Passenger Rail Service
You can purchase tickets for passenger rail service at the train station or through an app called eTix. Train ticket prices vary depending on where you’re headed.
- Monthly, unlimited ride pass, $127
- Seven-day unlimited ride pass, $33
NYC Ferry and Staten Island Ferry
You cannot pay for a NYC Ferry or a Staten Island Ferry ticket with your metro card; you’ll need to purchase a ticket on the ferry, at the ferry station, or through the app or website. Basic one-way tickets cost $2.75, similar to the subway and bus systems. Monthly passes vary depending on whether or not you plan to take a bicycle with you:
- Adult 30-day pass, $121
- Adult 30-day pass with a bike, $141
Discounted fare rates are available for all these public transportation options if you qualify. Some of the qualifying reasons include senior discounts and discounts for riders with disabilities.
Are other alternate transportation available in New York City?
If driving yourself and public transit are not your favorite modes of transportation, you can rent a bike or scooter to get around the Big Apple instead.
Lime is a company that offers bike and scooter rentals for a reasonable cost. Typically rental is completed through an app, but they offer programs for people who do not have access to either credit cards or smartphones, so rentals are still available. They also offer discounts for those that qualify.
Pricing is based on the number of minutes you ride as well as where you’re located and the time of day. There is a set rate for “unlocking” the bike or scooter (usually about $1), and then the app logs the minutes you spend on the bike or scooter to calculate the remainder of your fare.
Currently, Lime is limited to certain areas of NYC, because Citi Bike has the primary contract for the area. If you rent a bike through them, you’ll pay the following fares:
- For a 30-minute ride, you’ll pay $3
- For an additional 30 minutes, you’ll pay another $3
- For a day pass, you’ll pay $12
- For a three-day pass, you’ll pay $24
- For a monthly membership, you’ll pay $14.95
- For a yearly pass, you’ll pay $169
Is parking easy in New York City?
One of the concerns, aside from traffic congestion, with driving yourself in NYC is finding parking. There are different options available, but space is limited, and the costs can be prohibitive.
Just what are your options, and what might they cost you?
Street parking is largely metered (though not all metered parking is considered “street parking”). In an effort to improve parking accessibility, curb access, and encourage parking turnover, the city restructured its metered parking rates at the beginning of 2019. Rates now vary based on location, parking demand, population density, and more.
Rates typically vary between $1.25 and $7.50 an hour for passenger parking and between $5.00 and $8.00 for commercial parking. Metered parking can be paid for using traditional coins, debit cards, and through the ParkNYC app. However, metered parking cost is suspended on Sundays, and you can park for free.
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) recommends drivers make use of the ParkNYC app, as it removes the need to use a physical parking meter or place a physical receipt on your vehicle’s dashboard. Additionally, the app will notify you when your parking time is running out.
The NY DOT is currently in the process of installing 100 curbside electric vehicle charging stations. However, these 100 charging stations will take the place of 100 existing parking spots, making parking potentially even more difficult than it is currently. While pricing is not currently available, the expectation is that the cost of using these charging stations will likely be equivalent to filling your gas tank.
If you’d prefer to park in a garage instead of metered parking, you can park in one of the municipal parking garages operated by the NYC DOT.
You can park there by the hour or day (though not overnight), and you also have the option to apply for long-term parking permits. You can reserve a spot in a particular garage on a first-come, first-serve basis for the following month, but you’ll still need to visit the garage to pick up your official permit physically.
Rates vary depending on location, but typically range between $1.50 to $8 for the first hour, an additional charge of between $2.25 to $6.75 for the second hour, with a maximum per-day charge of between $12 and $20. Monthly rates vary between $100 and $500, and for those that offer it, quarterly permit rates vary between $90 and $500.
Most lots allow payment with coins, card, or through the Park NYC app.
If you need to park at the airport (commonly known as satellite parking), you have a few options. If you’re headed to JFK, you can make use of their off-site long-term parking at $9 per day, or daily on-site parking at $18 per day.
Short-term on-site parking at JFK ranges between $4 and $5 for the first half-hour, $8–$10 for the first hour, $4–$5 for each additional half-hour, and daily maximum rates of between $35 and $39, depending on the lot you’re parked in.
How is the air quality in New York City?
Air quality is a serious concern with regard to residents’ health. Different areas in the country have different levels of air quality. Air pollution can be the result of both long-term and short-term effects. This includes things like forest fires on the short-term end, and vehicle pollution on the more long-term end.
We’ve pulled together air quality data from the Environment Protection Agency Air Quality Index Report for the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area to give you an idea of the air quality in your area. Take a look at this table to see what we found.
|Year||Days With AQI||Days That Were Good||Days That Were Moderate||Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||Days Unhealthy||Days Very Unhealthy|
When looking at this data, it is important to note that the air quality index (AQI) indicates the number of days the air quality was tested and logged. The 2019 data will not be finalized until May of 2020, and at the time this article was written, no active 2020 data was yet available.
The days of good air quality increased between 2017 and 2019, which is positive for NYC residents, and the overall number of days found to be unhealthy decreased. In fact, during the three-year span, there are only four days termed unhealthy, and only one day described as very unhealthy.
Experts state that while vehicles are a significant contributor to poor air quality, determining the exact percentage of pollution due to vehicles is difficult, but there are estimates that indicate about 33 percent of air pollution may be due to vehicles.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, who studies vehicle contributors to air pollution, reports there are six main pollutant byproducts of vehicles being driven on the road:
- Particulate matter – may include soot from vehicle exhaust, diesel exhaust, etc., which can be absorbed into your lungs
- Volatile organic compounds – when combined with nitrogen oxide and sunlight, these are transformed into ground-level ozone; this can inflame the respiratory system
- Nitrogen oxides – creates ground-level ozone and particulate matter
- Carbon monoxide – may stop oxygen from reaching your brain, heart, and organs if you inhale it
- Sulfur dioxide – usually is the result of burning diesel and coal and the consequence is breathable particulates
- Greenhouse gases – made mostly of carbon dioxide and typically linked to global warming; these are often the result of tailpipe emissions
If you do decide to go the personal vehicle route, you will need insurance coverage and that insurance coverage may end up taking a significant portion of your income (recall we already calculated that it will be an average of at least 9 percent of your annual disposable income).
If you’ve served in the U.S. military, this applies to you as well. To get a better idea of what this means for active duty members and veterans of the U.S., we’ll spend a few minutes considering the number of veterans living in the Big Apple and what their insurance rates look like.
The largest percentage of veterans currently living in NYC served in Vietnam (similar to the national average). There are currently 45,739 Vietnam veterans living in NYC, according to DataUSA.
In fact, DataUSA reports that there are 1.79 times as many Vietnam veterans in NYC as there are from any other war. But the next-highest number of veterans living in NYC are from the current Gulf War, at 25,768 individuals.
While there are four military bases in the state of New York, only one is within an hour of the Big Apple: Fort Hamilton Army Base, which is located on Long Island in Brooklyn, New York.
With the heavy veteran presence in the city, what kind of discounts do car insurance providers offer, if any, to active duty and veterans of the U.S. military?
Out of the major insurers we’ve discussed in NYC, Allstate, Geico, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm provide discounts to the military. However, USAA is specifically created for military members, veterans, and their families. In NYC, the average USAA insurance coverage annual rate is $3,761.69.
In this table, we compare USAA’s rates in New York to the average rates for the other large insurers in the area.
|Provider||Rate||Compared to USAA ($)||Compared to USAA (%)|
While the differences vary, with the exception of Geico, USAA offers lower rates than every other major provider in New York. The USAA rates are between 0.22 and 74 percent lower than the rates offered by other available insurers.
Unique City Laws
We all know there are federal and state-level laws, but did you know that many cities can enact laws that must be followed within the borders of the city itself?
The Big Apple is no exception to this, and its important to be aware of these laws, so you can understand and follow the laws that apply to you, as well as be aware of what the laws are that others should be following, should you find yourself in a situation in which that information would be useful.
Spend a few minutes reading through this section to find out more information about road, driving, and parking laws unique to the Big Apple, as well as what NYC requires of food trucks, tiny homes, and more.
The Big Apple does not currently have any distracted-driving or cellphone laws specific to the city because the state of New York’s hands-free laws take precedence. According to the state, handheld cellphone use is strictly prohibited when you’re behind the wheel. If you’re found violating this law, you can be ticketed and fined for up to $150.
Mobile food vendors, more commonly known as food trucks, are everywhere in the Big Apple. The city has a number of laws and requirements in place to control mobile food vending, including streets on which it is prohibited, as well as conditions for legal operation. These include:
- Obtaining a Mobile Food Vendor Personal License
- Obtaining a permit issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (which cannot be done without previously obtaining the personal food vendor license).
- Obtaining the approved decal associated with the permit, which is provided by the Department and must be attached to the applicable vehicle, after the Department has confirmed it passed inspection
Tiny homes are a growing trend throughout the country, including in densely-populated areas like the Big Apple. In general, tiny homes are considered mobile domiciles that are 600 square feet or less.
Land zoning and use regulations determine how a particular space can be used so if you plan to find semi-permanent parking for your tiny home, you’ll need to check the land use regulations zoning requirements. This especially important because zoning requirements often are such that tiny homes are not considered legal as full-time residences.
With regard to parking, the entire city of New York is considered a “Tow Away Zone,” according to the NYC DOT, meaning any vehicle in any location can be towed for illegal parking, improper, expired, or missing registration and inspection stickers, etc. Additionally,
- Double-parking passenger vehicles is illegal. Period.
- Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant is illegal.
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New York City Car Insurance FAQs
Now that you’ve read through this article, you know we’ve attempted to cover all the information you need to make vehicle ownership, commuting choices, and car insurance coverage decisions while living in NYC. But we know no guide is perfect. So you might still have some questions.
To try and address those answers, take a few minutes to read through our FAQ section to find the answers to some of the topics we may not have already answered.
What are the car insurance requirements in New York?
If you own a vehicle in the state of New York, you are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage of the amounts listed below:
- Bodily injury per person of $25,000
- Bodily injury per accident of $50,000
- Property damage per accident of $10,000
- No-fault personal injury protection of $50,000
Though this minimum coverage amount will keep you out of trouble if you’re stopped by law enforcement, you really should consider adding more coverage to your policy, to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Why is Staten Island not accessible through the subway?
The only form of public transportation available to get you to and from Staten Island is the Staten Island Ferry. It is not connected to the NYC subway (in fact, it is the only one of the five boroughs that are not connected by the subway).
In the early 1900s, there was a subway tunnel planned to connect Staten Island to the rest of the five boroughs; however, before it could be built, the entity in charge (the Brooklyn Rapid Transit) went bankrupt, and it was never completed.
Even today, there are still discussions about resurrecting the proposed subway connection to Staten Island, but current infrastructure and available city funding do not easily support this.
What is the logic behind the street numbering?
Even-numbered streets in NYC run east, and odd-numbered streets run west. These means traffic patterns follow the same construct. On even-numbered streets, traffic is moving east, while on odd-numbered streets, traffic is moving west.
What is the best way to get around the city?
As you saw earlier, the traffic congestion on the streets in NYC is extreme. The most efficient and affordable way to get around the city is to make use of one of the primary forms of public transit. Your best option (as it is the most complete in terms of access to the city) is the subway.
Why is New York City referred to as the “Big Apple”?
The term has been used in reference to NYC since the 1920s, and became part of the common vernacular when John Fitzgerald, a writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, used the term to describe the horse races that took place in the city as the “Big Apples” of horse racing in the country.
In this context, the term was specifically referring to the horse races as being the best, preferred, or prize of horse racing in the country. Soon after, Jazz musicians in the city picked up the term, and it began growing in popularity.
However, it was not officially termed the nickname of the city until the 1970s, when it was included as a part of a campaign put together by the city to revamp its image as a great place to visit, in a bid to increase tourism.
Now that we’ve covered your burning questions about life and driving in NYC, are you ready to get started? Use your ZIP code to get a free quote.