Study finds NJ driving is fraught with costly expenses
A new Wallethub analysis of the state-by-state perils of driving finds New Jersey is sub-par for issues such as traffic congestion, auto repairs and road quality.
The report from the personal finance website rated New Jersey 40th for rush-hour traffic congestion, with 25th being average.
Tracy Noble of AAA Mid-Atlantic didn't find the result surprising because New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states, translating to congestion.
"And then add to the fact that we've got people that commute daily, that maybe used to take transit and relied on transit, but due to some challenges over the past couple of years, have found themselves back on the roadways," she said.
The Wallethub report also finds Jersey 42nd for auto maintenance costs and 32nd for average annual car insurance premiums.
"People are in their cars. They're constantly moving. And that, of course, adds to the cost," Noble said.
The analysis rated Jersey 46th for road quality and 31st for gas prices.
"For several years we saw that New Jersey had some of the cheapest gas prices in the nation. But then, once the gas tax came online and came more in line with the rest of the states, we're now coming in in 31st place," Noble said.
She says that late last year, AAA released a study that found out that the cost of owning and operating a vehicle increased 24% in 2019 and that the average cost for people to own and operate a vehicle is more than $9,000, or about $775 a month.
Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5