Maintaining a car can be a very expensive venture if you are not careful. From annual inspection and periodic upkeep to keeping the car fueled and insured, owning a car can easily deplete your bank account and leave you strapped for cash. One major cost associated with owning a car is paying for car insurance. Depending on where you live in the United States, car insurance could either be a small expense or take a dramatic toll on your budget. Here is a look at five of the most expensive cities in America for car insurance.

According to an article released by Yahoo! in January 2012, Detroit, Mich. has the highest car insurance premiums on average in the U.S. The Motor City's insurance rates are most unfriendly to cash-strapped car owners. According to Runzheimer International, the average car insurance premium in Detroit was $5,941 in 2011. That's nearly $2,000 more than the runner-up. The Motor City is filled to the brim with automobiles, and as a result of the high population of citizens and cars, along with a no-fault insurance system, its insurance premiums have stayed among the highest in the country.

Philadelphia, Pa. is another city that is hit hard by high car insurance costs. Coming in just behind Detroit, the City of Brotherly Love is not feeling the love in regards to its high premium costs. In 2011, the average car insurance policy cost drivers $4,076, according to Runzheimer International. The cost is not nearly as high as Detroit's astronomical average premium of $5,941, but is considerably higher than the approximate $1,199 national average that reported for December 2011. Due to Philadelphia's overcrowded streets and high population of vehicles, insurance rates have continued to climb.

New Orleans
Another American city that definitely gets the short end of the stick when it comes to saving on auto insurance is New Orleans, La. The Big Easy has one of the most expensive car insurance premiums in the U.S. According to a Runzheimer International study performed in 2011, New Orleans had an average car insurance premium rate of $3,599 in 2011. New Orleans' high premiums are not due to overcrowding but because of judicial ruling. In Louisiana, only claims totaling over $50,000 actually make it to a jury case. Claims less than that benchmark are settled out of court.
Miami, Fla. is another U.S. city that was unable to escape high auto insurance premium rates. The Runzheimer International study performed in 2011 marked the average car insurance premium in Miami at a hefty $3,388. Due to the city's no-fault auto insurance rule and an influx of fraudulent claims, Miami has experienced a significant premium hike in recent years.

Newark, N.J.
Last but certainly not least, Newark, N.J. has one of the highest car insurance premium averages in the U.S. The city features an average auto insurance premium of $2,867. Newark's residents certainly have quite a hefty expense in order to keep their vehicles insured. Similar to Miami and Detroit, New Jersey has a no-fault insurance rule, and costs have risen as a result.

The Bottom Line
Car insurance premiums vary substantially depending upon where you live. States with no-fault laws and higher populations are prone to have higher average auto insurance premiums due to the higher amount of accidents and collisions that occur. The numbers presented are based off studies, and it is possible to find less expensive auto insurance. Many factors apply when determining what your auto insurance rate is, including driver safety, your zip code and your age. Shop carefully when buying car insurance, and make sure you are getting the best rate possible.

Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Social Security COLA in 2016? Not Likely

    A cost of living increase for Social Security doesn't look likely in 2016. Here's what retirees should know and what they can do about it.
  2. Economics

    Explaining Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

    The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is just what it describes – the price manufacturers recommend that retailers charge for their goods.
  3. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  4. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  5. Insurance

    How Car Insurance Companies Value Cars

    Learn the methodology used by car insurance companies to value cars, and understand why the amount they give you may not cover the cost of a similar vehicle.
  6. Insurance

    Life vs. Health Insurance: Choosing What to Buy

    When you only buy the coverage you truly need, the debate over medical insurance vs. life insurance might just be one you can avoid.
  7. Stock Analysis

    2 Reasons PepsiCo's Snacks Division is Crucial to Its Growth

    Understand the recent trends in the North American snacks market. Learn about the top two reasons why PepsiCo's snack division is crucial to its growth.
  8. Personal Finance

    Your Heirloom Jewelry: How Much Is It Worth?

    You grandma's diamonds are now yours. Whether you plan to keep them or not, you first need an honest appraisal. Here's how to get one.
  9. Personal Finance

    Alpaca vs. Cashmere: Which Luxe Wool Is the Best?

    Winter is coming. Which of these luxury threads is most worth the price (and how to distinguish true luxe from cheap imitations).
  10. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  1. Can your life insurance company sue you?

    A life insurance company generally cannot sue you, but it can sue your estate. The company may do this in order to recover ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can insurance companies find out about DUIs and DWIs?

    An insurance company can find out about driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges against ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can your insurance company cancel your policy without notice?

    In most states, an insurance company must give a policyholder written notice of at least 30 days before canceling a policy. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does your car insurance company report accidents to the DMV?

    Your car insurance company does not generally report accidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, depending ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can your insurance company drop you after an accident?

    It is possible, but highly unlikely, for an insurer to cancel a policy after one accident. If the accident results in a suspended ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can your car insurance company check your driving record?

    While your auto insurance company cannot pull your full motor vehicle report, or MVR, it does pull a record summary that ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!