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Tips for Driving in New York City on a First Time Visit 

Last updated on September 23, 2022

New York City, otherwise known as the city that never sleeps, is an iconic representation of America and all that this great country has to offer.

Most people, upon visiting NYC for their very first time, describe the city as intense and mesmerizing, as well as electric and extremely fast-paced. Additionally, NYC is a heavily populated city, being the largest city by population in the United States with an estimated 8.8 million residents as of 2021. 

Correspondingly, with all of the people living in NYC, this makes it difficult to get around in a timely fashion, especially if you’re new to town and you don’t quite know your way around. And if you’re traveling around NYC by car, you definitely need to know a thing or two.

If you’re planning on getting out to visit the Big Apple by car, here, we’ll discuss a few essentials for making your way through town. 

Be Prepared to Search/Pay a Lot for Parking

One thing that you have to learn about traveling around NYC is that parking is scarce, and you have to pay for it nearly everywhere you go.

In fact, locations throughout Manhattan and other boroughs vary by parking rates, but some are upwards of $5 an hour, and these increase by vehicle type in certain locations. Essentially, if you have a large vehicle like a full-size truck or large SUV, parking for a few hours could cost over $50. 

This is why it’s a best practice to find the cheapest and most affordable parking facility that you can and keep your car parked sparingly unless the rates are accommodating to your wallet. 

Make Sure You’re Covered

With all of the people and vehicles fighting for space in the concrete jungle of NYC, accidents happen, and they happen frequently. In order to ensure both your personal and financial well-being, you’re going to want to have adequate insurance.

Before heading out to the Big Apple, you’re going to want to consult your auto insurance policy and ensure that you have proper coverage. If not, it’s time to compare quotes and choose a new policy

To put it into a better perspective, in 2020, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic had shut NYC down for the majority of the year, there were still an estimated 300 accidents per day. In contrast, in other years, the running average was over 600 accidents per day. 

So, it’s essential to have full coverage auto insurance when traveling to NYC.

Be Prepared to Do Some Walking

While you’ll be able to slowly drive around much of NYC, in order to explore the many places that you’d like to experience, you’re going to have to get out and walk.

Walking is the best way to view most of the attractions within the city, and while you don’t want to walk for miles to every location, you’ll at least want to park near a hub of locations and walk around for the day. 

Additionally, NYC has a phenomenal public transit system which includes subways, elevated railways, and buses. You could also opt to take a cab to places, but this would defeat the purpose of bringing your vehicle and would cost much more than with public transit options.

If you’re going to be visiting the city by car and touring many sites, it’s best to map out your itinerary beforehand and locate convenient and affordable parking areas before you get to the city and begin driving around. 

New York City is a place like no other, and you can’t plan a trip to the city for just a day and expect to see everything that you want to see or even the smallest portion of it,

This is the type of trip that needs to be well planned in advance, and ideally with at least a week or so to spend visiting the city in order to see all that NYC has to offer. 

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