How Cities in Pennsylvania Ranked Based on Car Insurance Costs

Each state has its own price tag when it comes to auto insurance, what you may not realize though is that each zip code also has its own price tag. Pennsylvania, a large and diverse state full of rural and densily populated urban areas has a wide-ranging cost of auto insurance in different areas. We found that the most expensive city cost 2.3x as much as the least expensive cities - a difference of $1,612 for the single man we profiled.

Table of Contents 

Least Expensive Cities

The least expensive cities for car insurance in Pennsylvania were generally small cities with small population sizes. Four of the five cities were at least 40 miles away from a major city, with Lock Haven about 95 miles from Scranton. The five cities ranged from 17% to 11% cheaper than the state mean of $1,439 per year. 

The five least expensive cities for auto insurance in Pennsylvania

State College

Home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, State College is a home rule municipality in Centre County. It is currently the largest borough in Pennsylvania with a population of over 42,000. Dominated economically and demographically by two upstanding universities, residents can rest easy knowing their city ranked as the least expensive in our study. It cost our sample driver an average of $1,195 per year, which was about 17% cheaper than the state average.

Lock Haven

The city of Lock Haven is the county seat of Clinton County, and the second cheapest location on this list. Located about 140 miles from both Pittsburg and Philadelphia, the small city has a population size of 9,000, and an average home to work commute time of 15.5 minutes. Our sample driver was quoted a yearly rate of $1,258.


Clairton of Allegheny County, is the least populated in our list of featured Pennsylvanian cities, but third least expensive in our analysis. Known as the "City of Prayer", our sample driver saw an average yearly premium of $1,265, only about 6% more expensive than State College.


Lebanon, formerly known as Steitztown, is the county seat of Lebanon County in Pennsylvania and fourth least expensive city on our list. Our sample driver had an average yearly quote of $1,266, only $1 less than Clairton despite being on opposite ends of the state. 


The White Rose City, named after the House of York, is the fifth least expensive city in our study. Located in York County, and occupied by almost 45,000 residents, the city is widely known for its historic architectural landscape. The driver profiled in our study had an average rate of $1,278, about 7% more expensive than State College and 11% cheaper than the state average.

Most Expensive Cities

The most expensive cities in this study are generally larger metropolitan and suburban cities. As opposed to the least expensive cities, these five cities are all located in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania -- and all within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia. The range for our sample driver was as high as 95% to as low as 12% more expensive than the state average.

Graph shows the five most expensive cities for auto insurance in Pennsylvania


The city of brotherly love is not so lovely when it comes to insurance -- compared to living and driving elsewhere in Pennsylvania. The largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philly is the most expensive city on our list. The addresses we tested in the city generated an average rate of $2,807 for our driver, about 2.35x as expensive as State College and 1.95x as expensive than the state average.


The city that first welcomed the state's founder, William Penn, Chester takes the 2nd most expensive title in our study. Populated by over 34,000 residents and with an average commute time of 23 minutes, our sample driver saw an annual average of $1,961 per year.


Levittown is a census-designated place and planned community in Bucks County, and the third most expensive city in our Pennsylvania study. The second of its kind after Levittown, New York, this CDP has a population of over 50,000, and is recognized as the largest suburb of Philadelphia. Our study found an average yearly rate of $1,843 for the motorist we profiled here.


Norristown, the county seat of Montgomery County, is the 4th most populous municipality in Pennsylvania, as well as the fourth most expensive in our study. 35,000 citizens hail from Norristown, where our 30 year old male driver could expect rates around $1,815 -- about 65% of the cost in Philadelphia. 


Coatesville is the first and only city in Chester County and the fifth most expensive on our list. Population hovers just above 13,000 residents, and the average home to work commute time is 26 minutes in this city of national historic landmarks. Our sample driver received an average rate of $1,615, about 43% less than had he lived in Philadelphia.

How Cost Differs in Pennsylvania by Place 

In this study we analyzed 58 cities in Pennsylvania and found the average rate for our sample driver to be $1,439 per year -- assuming good credit and no recent accidents. The biggest difference in either direction was Philadelphia, where costs were 95% more expensive than the state average.

RankCity Average Premium Percent Difference From Average 
1 State College $1,195 -17%
2 Lock Haven $1,258 -13%
3 Clairton $1,265 -12%
4 Lebanon $1,266 -12%
5 York $1,278 -11%
6 Warren $1,286 -11%
7 Williamsport $1,295 -10%
8 Johnstown $1,299 -10%
9 Lancaster $1,322 -8%
10 Bradford $1,323 -8%
11 Meadville $1,323 -8%
12 Titusville $1,324 -8%
13 Sunbury $1,324 -8%
14 St Marys $1,333 -7%
15 DuBois $1,336 -7%
16 Shamokin $1,340 -7%
17 Altoona $1,343 -7%
18 Franklin $1,356 -6%
19 Aliquippa $1,357 -6%
20 Oil CIty $1,358 -6%
21 Beaver Falls $1,360 -5%
22 Pottsville $1,371 -5%
23 Corry $1,380 -4%
24 Butler $1,382 -4%
25 Latrobe $1,383 -4%
26 Farrell $1,383 -4%
27 New Castle $1,392 -3%
28 Jeannette $1,394 -3%
29 Monessen $1,397 -3%
30 Washington $1,398 -3%
31 Harrisburg $1,405 -2%
32 New Kensington $1,405 -2%
33 Greensburg $1,407 -2%
34 Pittston $1,411 -2%
35 Sharon $1,413 -2%
36 Monongahela $1,414 -2%
37 Easton $1,420 -1%
38 Wilkes-Barre $1,425 -1%
39 Nanticoke $1,426 -1%
40 Wilkes Barre $1,430 -1%
41 Hermitage $1,431 -1%
42 Hazleton $1,431 -1%
Average  $1,439 0%
43 Connellsville $1,441 0%
44 McKeesport $1,457 1%
45 Reading $1,457 1%
46 Uniontown $1,463 2%
47 Bethlehem $1,473 2%
48 Duquesne $1,477 3%
49 Erie $1,500 4%
50 Scranton $1,509 5%
51 Pittsburgh $1,509 5%
52 Allentown $1,514 5%
53 Carbondale $1,558 8%
54 Coatesville $1,615 12%
55 Norristown $1,815 26%
56 Levittown $1,843 28%
57 Chester $1,961 36%
58 Philadelphia $2,807 95%

How We Conducted This Study

We collected quotes from 22 auto insurance companies across 58 cities and towns in Pennsylvania for a 30 year old male profile driver. To obtain quotes, we kept parameters for getting coverage the same, such as marital status, credit score, car driven and a clean driving record. The only parameter that changed was the zip code where he lived. The amount of coverage we gave the driver was also a bit better than state minimums. Below you can see the state required limits as well as the coverage used in our study.

Coverage TypePennsylvania MinimumStudy Limits 
Bodily Liability  $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident   $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property Damage  $5,000 per accident  $50,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI None  $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property 
First Party Benefits $5,000 $5,000
Comprehensive & Collision None  $500 Deductible 

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