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Best Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in New Jersey, having patience can pay off. Rates vary significantly from one company to the next, so it’s wise to compare several quotes rather than settle for the first price you see.

To help save you time and hassle, NerdWallet analyzed rates from the nine largest car insurance companies in New Jersey. For each driver profile below we identified the cheapest insurers in the state.

Cheapest for good drivers in New Jersey

For good drivers with good credit in New Jersey, these are the cheapest companies for car insurance, and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,301 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $1,326 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,453 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,715 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,760 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in New Jersey

The cheapest companies for bare-bones auto insurance coverage in New Jersey, along with their average rates for this group, are:

  1. NJM: $644 per year.
  2. Geico: $690 per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock: $729 per year.
  4. Allstate: $921 per year.
  5. Progressive: $971 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get car insurance quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

For drivers with poor credit but clean driving histories, here are the cheapest companies we found in New Jersey, ranked by average price:

  1. NJM: $2,041 per year.
  2. Progressive: $3,042 per year.
  3. Geico: $3,101 per year.
  4. Allstate: $3,686 per year.
  5. State Farm: $3,804 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their records, but good credit, these are the cheapest insurers in New Jersey and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,301 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $1,424 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,917 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,871 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,920 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in New Jersey

These are the cheapest companies we found for drivers in New Jersey with a recent DUI on their record, along with their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,552 per year.
  2. Progressive: $2,030 per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock: $2,329 per year.
  4. Geico: $2,442 per year.
  5. Travelers: $2,728 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in New Jersey

For New Jersey drivers with a recent speeding ticket on their record, here are the cheapest auto insurance companies and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,552 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,723 per year.
  3. Progressive: $2,221 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,300 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,326 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in New Jersey

The cheapest insurance company for a family may not be the same as the cheapest one for a single driver. NerdWallet checked rates for a married couple and for a family with three drivers, including a teen. Each auto insurer considers personal information a little bit differently, so it’s important to compare quotes to see which company is cheapest for you, especially after a big life change like getting married or adding a teen driver.

Cheapest for a married couple in New Jersey

The cheapest companies and their average rates in New Jersey for a husband and wife, both 50 years old, are:

  1. NJM: $2,240 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $2,378 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,419 per year.
  4. Travelers: $2,561 per year.
  5. Allstate: $2,597 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in New Jersey

For a 50-year-old married couple plus an 18-year-old driver, these are the cheapest car insurance companies we found in New Jersey, along with their average rates:

  1. NJM: $3,211 per year.
  2. Geico: $3,605 per year.
  3. Travelers: $4,386 per year.
  4. Progressive: $4,711 per year.
  5. MetLife: $5,086 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in New Jersey

People in their 20s typically face higher car insurance rates than more experienced drivers, but each insurance company considers age differently. Compared with a more seasoned driver, a young person may get cheaper rates from a different insurer. NerdWallet looked at average rates for 25-year-old drivers in New Jersey to see which companies showed the lowest prices.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old with good credit and a clean driving history, the cheapest companies and their average rates for a full-coverage policy are:

  1. NJM: $1,591 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,676 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,753 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,899 per year.
  5. Plymouth Rock: $1,964 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with a clean driving record who stick with the minimum required auto insurance in New Jersey, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $759 per year.
  2. Geico: $765 per year.
  3. Progressive: $967 per year.
  4. Travelers: $972 per year.
  5. Plymouth Rock: $991 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

For a 25-year-old driver with blemished credit and buying New Jersey’s minimum required coverage, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,250 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,606 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,698 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,039 per year.
  5. Travelers: $2,292 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

The cheapest companies for young New Jersey drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their record, ranked by their average rates for minimum required coverage, are:

  1. NJM: $759 per year.
  2. Geico: $963 per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock: $1,069 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,538 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,591 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a 25-year-old with a recent DUI, these are the cheapest companies for New Jersey’s minimum required car insurance, ranked by their average rates:

  1. NJM: $919 per year.
  2. Progressive: $1,110 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,209 per year.
  4. Plymouth Rock: $1,292 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,456 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For young drivers in New Jersey with a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum required coverage are:

  1. Geico: $877 per year.
  2. NJM: $919 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,187 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,213 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,220 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey

  • Good drivers: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage: NJM.
  • Poor credit: NJM.
  • After an at-fault crash: NJM.
  • After a DUI: NJM.
  • After a speeding ticket: NJM.
  • Married couples: NJM.
  • Families with a teen: NJM.
  • Young good drivers: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: NJM.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Geico.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey is a no-fault state, requiring drivers to carry personal injury protection, or PIP, in addition to liability insurance. New Jersey is unique in that it offers a choice between two sets of requirements for minimum insurance coverage, in the form of a Basic Policy and a Standard Policy. The state says most drivers opt for Standard, but the Basic Policy is cheaper and has lower coverage limits.

Basic Policy:

  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection.

Bodily injury liability isn’t required for the Basic Policy, but should you choose to buy it, the minimum is $10,000 per accident.

Standard Policy:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability total per accident.
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection.

Even though these minimums will allow you to drive legally, you may want to buy more liability coverage to better guard your savings and assets against lawsuits. For example, if you total another person’s car, the damage could easily exceed a $5,000 property damage liability limit on your policy. The difference would have to come out of your pocket.

It’s also wise to consider common optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive, which keep you from paying out of pocket if, say, you skid on ice and hit a tree, or your vehicle is stolen.

Learn more about your required and optional New Jersey coverages with our guide to state car insurance requirements.

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

If DUIs, poor credit or other factors are preventing you from getting car insurance on the voluntary market, you can seek coverage through the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help finding competitive car insurance quotes in New Jersey, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

 

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

 

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