New Hampshire is a fiercely independent state that has always gone its own way. It is the only one of the 50 states that doesn’t require drivers to carry car insurance. However, most New Hampshire drivers still do.
This page will show you which types and amounts of coverage are legally required in New Hampshire if you do elect to carry car insurance, ways to prove financial responsibility other than car insurance, information about the cost of driving including average rates, and some insights about insurance risk to help you protect yourself and your family.
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Last year, 9,971 people used QuoteWizard to compare car insurance quotes in New Hampshire from top companies and find the cheapest rates.
These are the 10 most common vehicles owned by New Hampshire drivers requesting car insurance quotes through QuoteWizard in the past year.
Last year, these were the 10 most common car insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in the state of New Hampshire. Out of the 9,971 New Hampshire drivers that used QuoteWizard to request insurance quotes last year, 1,612 had no car insurance.
New Hampshire is unique. It's the only state in America that does not require all drivers to have car insurance. Although car insurance isn’t required, the state of New Hampshire does require drivers to meet their financial obligations when they’re involved in an accident. For drivers who do use car insurance to prove their financial responsibility, all policies in New Hampshire must include the minimum coverage below:
Liability coverage is meant to help pay for other peoples’ medical and repair bills if you're found at fault in a car accident. Medical payments coverage is intended to pay for your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Remember, you can purchase more inclusive plans that cover more, but if you want the bare minimum required to keep you legal on the road, make sure your policy has the above protection plan.
Unlike every other state, New Hampshire does not require drivers to carry car insurance unless they have a history of major vehicular offenses (like a DWI, or leaving the scene of an accident). However, New Hampshire does require drivers to be able to pay for damage that they cause in an at fault accident. Any New Hampshire driver that doesn’t have insurance must deposit cash or securities with the state Treasurer in the amount of $75,000. As a result, most drivers purchase car insurance even though it’s not mandatory.
New Hampshire residents that have had their driver’s license suspended due to drunk driving convictions or other violations must provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR-22 form. “SR” stands for safety responsibility and it certifies that a driver is financially responsible, and able to pay for damage caused in an car accident.
New Hampshire law requires that an SR-22 be carried for 36 consecutive months. If a driver fails to renew their policy 15 days before expiration, a letter is sent to the state resulting in suspension of their license. Once renewed, the license will be reinstated, but this can be a time-consuming process.
New Hampshire law forbids driving while using a handheld cell phone, or similar mobile device, effective July 2015. Novice drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. All drivers are forbidden to send or receive text messages while driving in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s Implied Consent law requires that any driver submit to testing to determine the alcohol or drug content of their blood, breath, or urine when arrested by law enforcement for suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Refuse the test and you’ll face the following penalties in addition to the penalties for a DWI:
If you drive or operate a motor vehicle in New Hampshire with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you are guilty of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
The penalties for a first offense DWI conviction are:
The penalties for a second offense DWI conviction are more severe:
After a third DWI conviction the penalties increase to:
If you're arrested for a DWI in New Hampshire and any of the following apply, you may be charged with an Aggravated DWI which could result in additional jail time, fines, and penalties:
New Hampshire law requires that children ride in an appropriate child safety seat until they are 7 years old or measure 57 inches tall, whichever comes first. The maximum fine for failing to properly restrain a child is $50 for a first offense.
Proper use of child safety seats reduces fatalities by 71%
New Hampshire is unusual among states, in that it doesn’t issue a learner’s permit. Drivers can begin practicing driving at age 15 ½ without a permit or license, but they must be supervised by a parent or guardian with a valid New Hampshire driver’s license. Drivers can apply for a New Hampshire driver’s license once they turn 16, complete an approved New Hampshire driver’s education program, and log at least 40 additional hours of supervised driving. Once the new driver passes a written test, vision test and road test, a youth operator license is issued.
Drivers under age 18 face several driving restrictions. They cannot drive between 1:00 am and 4:00 am until they turn 18. For their first 6 months holding a license, drivers under 18 are not allowed to drive with more than one passenger under the age of 25 who is not a family member, unless the driver has a parent or guardian in the car.
All New Hampshire drivers are required to renew their driver’s license every 5 years. If you are 75 or older, you will need to retake the road test.
In New Hampshire, everyone under the age of 18 must be properly secured with a seat belt or a child safety seat. Unlike most states, adults age 18 and over are not required to wear seat belts while in a moving vehicle.
When you drive a vehicle in New Hampshire that is required to be registered in another state, you must have the type of insurance required by that state. You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement upon request.
The average cost of car insurance in New Hampshire in 2013, the most recent year for which data was available, was $733.02 compared to a national average of $841.23. New Hampshire is the 31st most expensive state for car insurance.
The state of New Hampshire taxes gasoline and diesel fuel at 23.83 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the Federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline, and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. The total tax on regular gasoline in New Hampshire is 42.23 cents per gallon, and the total tax on diesel fuel is 48.23 cents per gallon.
In 2014, there were 95 traffic fatalities in New Hampshire, a 29% decrease over the state’s 135 traffic fatalities in 2013.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee archives some historical crash data on this website: http://www.nh.gov/hsafety/data/
New Hampshire had 857 vehicle thefts reported in 2014, an 9.2% decrease compared to 2013. In 2014, the vehicle theft rate was 64.6 per 100,000, a decrease of 9.5% from the 2013 rate of 71.4 per 100,000.
The vehicle theft rate in the state of New Hampshire is far below the overall US vehicle theft rate, which was 216.2 per 100,000 in 2014.
Some cars are more prone to theft than others, so be sure to check the list below to see if your car is a target on the streets.
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau - Hot Wheels Report 2014
The percentage of New Hampshire residents estimated to be driving without insurance is 9.3%. That ranks New Hampshire as #34 among US states and the District of Columbia. That’s better than the national average despite the fact that New Hampshire residents aren’t legally required to purchase car insurance.
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