The metric we weighed most heavily in selecting these cities was the cost of car insurance, so they’re listed in order of most expensive coverage to least expensive. According to Quadrant Information Services, the national average for a full-coverage policy is $1,730 per year, while state-minimum liability insurance costs an average of $635 per year.
If you drive in any of the cities below, you can expect to pay well above average for coverage. To get average insurance premiums, we looked at 10 of the top providers in each city. We used the profile of a married 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit.
We also looked at the monthly or hourly cost of parking using SpotHero in each city, as well as average gas prices from AAA. Parking costs tend to have a wide range. But aside from Los Angeles and San Francisco, gas prices tend to hover around or slightly below the national average, which was $3.44 per gallon for regular at the time of publication.
Population figures are from U.S. Census estimates as of July 1, 2021. An interesting thing to note about the cities on this list is that most of them aren’t among the most populous in the country. In some cases, they aren’t even the biggest cities in their state. Car insurance usually costs more in cities with more extreme weather or higher rates of property crime.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $2,901 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $7,159 per year
- Parking costs: $100 to $210 per month
- Average gas price*: $3.45 per gallon
- Population: 632,464
Based on our research, the Motor City’s average rates for full coverage put it at No. 10 for the most expensive car insurance rates in the country. This is due in part to Michigan being the costliest state for both minimum- and full-coverage auto insurance.
It’s also because Detroit faces extreme weather and high levels of property crime. The city has harsh winters, which can lead to collisions when roads are slick and leave roads in disrepair. And according to police statistics reported by a local TV station, car thefts rose by 45% from 2021 to 2022.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $2,227 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $4,355 per year
- Parking costs: $149 to $1,395 per month
- Average gas price: $3.45 per gallon
- Population: 8,467,513
New York is the largest city in the country and consistently ranks as one of (if not the most) expensive U.S. cities in general. It makes sense that keeping a car in the Big Apple would be pricey.
New York City is large and dense, and finding parking is generally tough unless you live on the edges of some outer boroughs. But these neighborhoods tend to have higher rates of car theft, according to the New York Police Department. The agency’s complaint data shows auto thefts rose by 32% between 2021 and 2022.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $2,017 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $4,019 per year
- Parking costs: $75 to $95 per month
- Average gas price: $3.33 per gallon
- Population: 148,333
Bridgeport is a midsize city, so it may seem surprising that it’s one of the 10 most expensive cities to own a car. However, Connecticut has an affluent population and plenty of upscale vehicles. Its median household income is 21% higher than the U.S. median, and car-buying website iSeeCars reports that nearly 25% of the state’s auto sales are for luxury vehicles.
Connecticut drivers pay some of the country’s highest taxes for car sales: 6.35% for purchases under $50,000 and 7.75% for purchases above that amount. And many of Bridgeport’s residents commute to New York for work, which adds up to a lot of driving for people who opt not to take trains.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $1,782 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $3,676 per year
- Parking costs: $95 to $205 per month
- Average gas price: $3.43 per gallon
- Population: 439,890
Like Michigan, Florida is one of the most expensive states for car insurance — it’s No. 3 for full coverage and No. 4 for minimum coverage. Miami is the second most populous city in Florida, and it sits in Miami-Dade County, one of the most expensive places in the Sunshine State.
Miami is known to have very bad traffic, expensive parking, high rates of car theft and limited public transportation. There’s also Florida’s hot weather, which can damage vehicle parts like batteries and tires. All of this adds up to make Miami an expensive place to own a car.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $1,252 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $3,829 per year
- Parking costs: $110 to $282 per month
- Average gas price: $3.08 per gallon
- Population: 376,971
When researching the most expensive states for car insurance, we found Louisiana to be the fifth most expensive state for full coverage. Among the factors that contribute to its high cost of car insurance coverage are its number of uninsured drivers and the hurricanes and flooding the state experiences.
While Louisiana has passed legislation to try to combat auto lawsuit abuse, cases related to car accidents have helped make insurance premiums high. In New Orleans, the rate of car thefts has skyrocketed in recent years, increasing by about 35% in 2022 compared to 2021.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $1,579 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $3,383 per year
- Parking costs: $10 to $36 per hour
- Average gas price: $3.44 per gallon
- Population: 387,050
Tampa, situated on Florida’s west coast, gives Miami a run for its money when it comes to the expense of owning a car. Florida has more thunderstorms per year than anywhere else in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. These storms and the hurricanes that blow through the Gulf of Mexico make Tampa vulnerable to flooding, which can total a car in many cases.
More than 20% of Florida drivers were uninsured in 2019, according to the most recent data from the Insurance Research Council. So a good number of Floridians could be stuck with out-of-pocket costs after car accidents even if they aren’t at fault.
Miami Beach, Fla.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $1,403 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $3,367 per year
- Parking costs: $134 to $400 per month
- Average gas price: $3.43 per gallon
- Population: 80,671
Miami Beach is a small island city connected to mainland Miami via bridges. It’s only about 7 square miles in size, and it’s densely built up. This means parking is at a premium.
Like its mainland counterpart, Miami Beach is highly susceptible to hurricanes. Most of the city lies in or near areas the Federal Emergency Management Agency considers high risk for flooding. High water can easily damage a vehicle’s components, leaving the owner to pay the repair bills or risk a rate hike for filing an insurance claim.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $935 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $2,972 per year
- Parking costs: $125 to $695 per month
- Average gas price: $3.29 per gallon
- Population: 654,776
Boston, the most populous city in Massachusetts, often finds itself on lists of the most expensive American cities. The high cost of living in Boston means auto repair costs are higher than in other parts of the country. It’s an old and densely populated city, so space — especially for parking — can be hard to come by.
Boston doesn’t have a significantly high rate of car theft, as it comes in at No. 11 in the state based on data from the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy. But Massachusetts’ Division of Insurance reports that the state has some of the highest numbers of property damage and bodily injury claims per vehicle in the country. That leads insurers to charge more for coverage.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $806 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $2,656 per year
- Parking costs: $65 to $500 per month
- Average gas price: $4.86 per gallon
- Population: 3,849,297
Los Angeles is a city made for driving. With 23,000 lane miles of road, L.A. has the largest street system in the nation. It’s densely populated and has tons of cars, so its drivers endure some of the worst traffic in North America.
The City of Angels also has a very high rate of car theft, which its police department says accounts for about 18% of the crime there. AAA data shows California routinely has the most expensive gas in the nation, second only to Hawaii. If you drive a car in L.A., you likely have to budget a hefty amount for it.
- Average state-minimum insurance: $627 per year
- Average full-coverage insurance: $2,262 per year
- Parking costs: $250 to $750 per month
- Average gas price: $4.98 per gallon
- Population: 815,201
San Francisco is another place that’s frequently on lists of the most expensive cities in the U.S. For drivers who live there, this includes higher gas, parking and car insurance costs than much of the country sees.
Covering about one-tenth the amount of land L.A. does, San Francisco has limited — and expensive — parking spots. Adding to the cost of car ownership in the city is the fact that the San Francisco Bay area accounted for about 18% of California’s auto thefts in 2021. With high rates of car theft come rising car insurance premiums.