Advertiser Disclosure

Best Cheap Car Insurance in New Jersey for 2019

Sept. 26, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

Compare auto insurance policies instantly

Please enter a valid zip code
powered by

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.

Cheapest for good drivers in New Jersey

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

  1. Travelers: $1,275 per year.
  2. NJM: $1,418 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,721 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,980 per year.
  5. Esurance: $2,232 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 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: $2,136 per year.
  2. Travelers: $2,890 per year.
  3. Geico: $3,613 per year.
  4. State Farm: $4,064 per year.
  5. Progressive: $4,324 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 companies in New Jersey and their average rates:

  1. NJM: $1,418 per year.
  2. Travelers: $2,183 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,230 per year.
  4. State Farm: $3,135 per year.
  5. Progressive: $4,403 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. 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 for low-mileage drivers

For New Jersey drivers who clock few annual miles, these are the cheapest auto insurance companies we found, alongside their average rates:

  1. Travelers: $1,275 per year.
  2. NJM: $1,320 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,629 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,767 per year.
  5. Esurance: $2,232 per year.
The less you drive, the less likely you are to cause a crash and file an auto insurance claim. Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Honorable mentions: Low-mileage drivers

Metromile and Milewise may be of interest to drivers who put relatively few miles on their cars. We can’t get rate estimates because these companies price policies differently from others: You’re charged a daily or monthly base rate, plus a per-mile rate each month. The less you drive, the less you pay, and a road trip here or there won’t break the bank — neither company will charge you for more than 150 miles per day.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in New Jersey

For bare-bones auto insurance coverage in New Jersey, here are the cheapest companies, ranked by their average rate for this group.

  1. NJM: $645 per year.
  2. Travelers: $770 per year.
  3. Geico: $772 per year.
  4. Esurance: $1,189 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,508 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 quotes from at least three auto insurers.

The rates here are samples only, so your rates will be as unique as you are. Each auto insurer considers driving history, credit and personal information a little bit differently — meaning it’s possible for none of these companies to be cheapest for you. Read about the companies above and others in NerdWallet’s auto insurance reviews.

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 has 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, in the following amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability isn’t included but $10,000 in coverage is available for all persons’ injuries per accident.
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection.

The Standard Policy has the following coverage limits:

  • $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 comparison tool.

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

Cheapest car insurance in New Jersey

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversTravelers
Drivers with poor creditNJM Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault crashNJM Insurance
Low-mileage driversTravelers
Minimum coverageNJM Insurance

Methodology

For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect New Jersey’s Basic Auto Insurance Policy, the minimum required coverage in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.