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Even with Prices at the Pump Down, Who Can Afford to Own a Car in New Jersey these Days?

Gas prices may be historically low these days in the Garden State. However, according to bankrate.com, New Jersey is one of the most expensive places to insure a vehicle in the entire United States. According to a recently released survey, there are several factors that go into making New Jersey the fifth most expensive place to own a car.

AAA Mid-Atlantic public affairs manager Tracy Noble said while gas prices are low, repair prices are exorbitantly high. “Unfortunately, the cost of repairs is high in New Jersey,” she said. “And we don’t have the proper funding mechanism for the (state) Transportation Trust Fund. We may have cheap fuel prices, but that translates into less road maintenance.”

She said that roads that aren’t properly maintained cause more wear and tear on cars in the way of tires, shocks, struts, etc. “So we’re paying for it one way or the other.”

She is correct. If you do get into an accident and need repairs, New Jersey doesn’t offer any bargains. In fact, repair bills are only higher in neighboring Delaware. The study showed that the average cost of a repair in New Jersey is $447.

Here are some other reasons it’s so expensive to have a car in New Jersey:

  1. Car Insurance: Have you tried to insure a car lately? The sticker shock may send you into a full panic attack. This is especially true if your driving record isn’t spotless or you are a new driver. New Jersey’s rates are second only to Louisiana’s insurance premium averages.
  2. There are two main reasons New Jersey is home to the second most expensive car insurance in the US. First, NJ’s per capita population is the absolute highest in the country. This means there are more drivers on the road per mile than anywhere else; consequently the chance of accidents is exponentially increased. Second, NJ is home to a lot of car insurance fraud. Fraud costs everyone money.
  3. Commutation factors: Do you have a long commute? You aren’t alone. New Jersey drivers report the second longest commutes in the country. Only Marylanders driver farther to earn a paycheck. New Jerseyans drive an average of 27.7 minutes one way to work while those in Maryland drive just over a half hour each way.
  4. Where’s your car? Thanks to the poor reputations of cities like Camden and Newark, New Jersey is known as the stolen-car capital of the country. However, statistics say NJ is getting a bad rap. In fact, there are one-third fewer stolen cars reported here than in the rest of the country, according to bankrate.com. The nationwide car theft figure is 220.7 cars per 100,000 people. That figure drops to 154.5 stolen vehicles for every 100,000 people in NJ.

On the upside for New Jersey, the annual cost of gasoline here is $941. That puts the Garden State in the bottom third of states in terms of annual payout at the pump. However, due to the long commutes, even the low gas prices at the pump don’t offset the annual numbers enough to give Jersey drivers the break we need.

And, as a second plus, car crash fatality statistics are low in NJ, as well, compared with the rest of the nation. In New Jersey, there are 0.7 fatal accidents per year as compared with an average of 1.1 fatal crashes in the rest of the United States. (This information is based on every 100 million miles driven.)

Regardless of what the statistics say, if you or someone you love has been in a car accident, you need to hire an experienced law firm to fight for maximum compensation in your personal injury case. Contact the law firm of Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC to schedule your free initial consultation.

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