How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in New York?

Car-ownership costs are high in the Empire State.

Cars driving on a bridge heading into ManhattanAdobe Stock


New York is one of the more expensive states in the U.S. to own a car, with costs ranging from high insurance premiums to metropolitan expenses such as parking or toll fees.

Beyond the initial vehicle purchase, the costs of owning a car in New York can add up over time, leading to significant long-term expenditures. Here's what car ownership costs could look like in the Empire State and how fees for maintenance, gas, and insurance contribute to that total.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in New York State?

Insurance costs are the main reason New York can be an expensive state in which to own a motor vehicle. Yearly premiums average nearly $2,200, making New York one of the more expensive states in the country for vehicle coverage, according to The Zebra, an insurance rate aggregation company.

Fuel costs in New York, however, can be on the more affordable side, due in part to a lower tax on gas. That lower fuel cost might not mean much if you drive more than the average state resident, however. Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that the average New Yorker drives 10,167 miles a year. For a 26-mpg vehicle, this would indicate costs of about $1,500 annually for fuel, based on gas prices in October 2023.

Automotive maintenance costs may be lower in New York than in other states. The average annual cost of repairs in New York state related to a check-engine light is $387, according to automotive telematics firm CarMD's 2022 Vehicle Health Index.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in NYC?

New York City drivers spend more than $6,000 on average for gas and insurance yearly, The Zebra said. Typical gasoline prices in Manhattan specifically in 2023 were around $4.17 — about 50 cents more than the national average, according to insurer AAA. In addition, NYC has one of the highest metropolitan insurance averages in the country, with premiums at around $4,500 per year.

New York City drivers should also factor in toll costs, which average $6.94 a day for those working outside the city. Commuting five days a week, 50 weeks out of the year, would add up to about $1,700. Parking can also be a major expense for car owners in New York City. With monthly fees averaging $570 per vehicle, according to parking-reservation company SpotHero, ownership costs could go up by $6,840 a year.

Cost to Own a Car in Yonkers

Yonkers, located just an hour north of New York City in pricey Westchester County, has some of the highest car expenses outside of the Big Apple. Drivers who live in Yonkers can expect to pay an average of about $2,300 annually to insure their cars, The Zebra found. Gas prices in 2023 were around $3.92 per gallon, however, which is slightly lower than the New York City average, per AAA.

Comparing a Lower-Cost City With the Most Expensive Cities in New York

While New York City has high overall car-ownership costs, Buffalo offers a comparative look at a less expensive area of the state for car owners. The city saw gasoline prices in 2023 of around $3.80 — nearly 40 cents cheaper than in Manhattan, per AAA.

Buffalo drivers can therefore expect to spend about $1,485 yearly on gas, nearly $150 less per year than NYC drivers. Yearly insurance premium averages in Buffalo come to just $2,222, about half the average that Big Apple drivers pay for coverage, according to The Zebra.

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Aidan Keefer
Aidan Keefer is a writer and strategist focused on finance and insurance for the consumer and commercial markets, especially as those topics pertain to the automotive industry. Currently based in New York City, Aidan grew up in New Jersey — where he's navigated some of the most aggressive, unforgiving roads on the East Coast. Outside of writing about finance and insurance trends, Aidan can be found watching old movies or checking out the latest brewery opening.