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Best Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey for 2018

January 2, 2018
Auto Insurance, Insurance

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

Good drivers

Young drivers

Drivers with one at-fault crash

Drivers with poor credit

Retired drivers

Low-mileage drivers

In comparing your choices, note that New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance serves only people (and their families) employed by the state of New Jersey or one of its counties, municipalities or townships, the federal government, a New Jersey public school, or an organization in the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, or who have some other eligibility factor.

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

Alternative car insurance in New Jersey

» FIND YOUR MATCH: Who’s the cheapest carrier for you?

Cheapest for good drivers

For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.


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Price

  • $1,180/year

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price

  • $1,264/year

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Price

  • $1,533/year
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Geico was the cheapest insurer for good drivers in our analysis, with rates just shy of $100 per month. Second-place Travelers was only $7 per month more than Geico.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance was the third-cheapest option.

It’s a good idea to compare safe-driving perks among insurers before making your final decision.

Cheapest for young drivers

For drivers in their early 20s.


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Price

  • $725/year

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Price

  • $945/year
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Price

  • $1,009/year

Because drivers in their early 20s often don’t have pricey assets or families to protect, they can typically get by with less coverage than older drivers. We factored this into our analysis by gathering rates for young drivers who carry the New Jersey minimum state-required coverage.

Geico delivered the lowest average quote for this group, $725 per year, which comes to roughly $60 a month. NJM and Travelers were the next-cheapest options, respectively.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash


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Price

  • $1,533/year
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Price

  • $1,639/year

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Price

  • $2,090/year

Even drivers with an at-fault crash on their records can potentially save a lot of money by shopping around. NJM offered the best deal in our results, at $1,533 per year. This was $353 higher than the cheapest quote for drivers of the same age with clean records.

For drivers who don’t qualify for NJM, Geico was by far the most cost-effective option, with an average price tag of about $137 a month.

The highest rates in our analysis clocked in at over $6,000 annually, which proves it can really pay to shop around.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For drivers placed in the “poor credit” tier.


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Price

  • $2,156/year
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Price

  • $2,693/year

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Price

  • $2,932/year

Car insurance companies in most states use applicants’ credit histories to help predict the likelihood of future claims. New Jersey drivers who have poor credit are particularly susceptible to sky-high rates, based on our analysis.

For example, the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey for this group — $2,156 from NJM — was $976 higher than the most affordable rate for good drivers with no credit problems. And rates came in as high as $7,400 per year for the most expensive insurers we analyzed.

Cheapest for retired drivers

For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.


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Price

  • $920/year

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Price

  • $1,029/year
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Price

  • $1,266/year

Retirees can often score relatively cheap quotes thanks to their reduced time behind the wheel.

We researched rates for drivers in their 60s who travel half as many miles as most other groups. Geico notched the lowest average rate for cheap car insurance in New Jersey for retirees, at $920 per year. This was $260 less than the cheapest quote for good drivers half that age.

Motorists age 55 or older may also be able to earn a discount for completing a driver improvement course approved by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Here’s a list of approved courses from the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

For drivers who travel 5,000 miles or less per year.


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If you’re spending less time in the car than you used to — whether you work from home, commute in a carpool or mostly use public transit — consider shopping around for auto insurance.
Metromile, a San Francisco-based company, offers pay-per-mile coverage that can frequently save you big bucks if you log significantly fewer miles than the average driver. But it’s still worth checking with your current insurer to see if it, too, can offer cheaper rates.

Minimum car insurance requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey requires drivers to carry liability insurance and personal injury protection, or PIP, in the following amounts:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability 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 comparison tool.

Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey (2018)

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversGeico
Young driversGeico
Drivers with one at-fault crashNJM Insurance
Drivers with poor creditNJM Insurance
Retired driversGeico
Low-mileage driversMetromile

Methodology

For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible

We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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