All You Need to Know About Owning a Car in the Big Apple

May 5, 2023
You are currently viewing All You Need to Know About Owning a Car in the Big Apple
Sometimes hailing a cab is the best option.

New York City is iconic for some many things. From Broadway and Times Square to the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, countless aspects of the city are known to all. Another widely known fact about New York City is the fact that so many of its residents rely on public transportation, either in the form of the Subway, Taxis, or modern rideshare apps like Uber. Even so, there are still people who live in the city and actually own and drive their own car around. It can certainly be an undertaking at times, but in true New Yorker nature, they do not back down from the challenge.

Owning a car in the city that never sleeps is a rarity, but it still happens. If you find yourself considering whether or not you want to join the few car owners of the city, there are some important things you need to be aware of beforehand.


In any major metropolitan city, parking is oftentimes a nightmare, and New York is no exception. There is no street parking to be found anywhere around the city. To make matters worse, areas that are denser neighborhoods have even less parking spaces, despite having more people living there. Garage parking is not even a better alternative, as the cost of it is usually exponentially high. The New York Times reported that the average price for a single parking space in an apartment complex that has an attached parking garage is $280,000.

If you choose to have a car, decide against garage parking, and manage to find an area with street parking available, be aware of some other risks you will be facing: frequent street cleaning, common ticketing, and snow. Street cleaning happens typically once a week, but in some neighborhoods, it can happen more than that. In any situation, it hinders parking and limits the already limited spaces. Because of the issue of street cleaning, parking violations are a guarantee at some point.

In the winter, New York sees frequent snow fall. There is typically at least one big heavy storm and with street parking, your car will most likely end up buried for the duration of the season.


New York is the third most expensive state when it comes to car insurance rates. According to a report by Bankrate, New Yorkers pay an average annual rate of $1,062 for minimum coverage and $2,321 for full coverage.

Lack of Gas Stations

New York may be the land of bodegas on every street corner, but gas stations are not as frequently seen. In the city, you can never leave getting gas until the last minute, because you never know when you will next be near a station to fill up. It is important for car owners to be very aware of the status of their tank so that they do not run the risk of running out of gas in the middle of downtown. Charging stations are a bit more common, so if you must have a car, it would be better to go electric.

Driving and owning a car in New York does have some benefits. The freedom to come and go as you please without relying on train schedules or ride availability is something many can appreciate. But it also comes with just as many, if not more, downsides, such as lack of parking and gas stations and high insurance rates.

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