In many cities, owning a car is the key to freedom. In others, the cost of ownership is reason enough to ride the bus.
Apart from the price of gas and an occasional bill from the mechanic, insurance premiums are often the biggest expense drivers have to factor into their budgets. Though many variables can affect the cost of insurance—a driver's age, the severity and number of dings on their record, and the make and model of the car itself—where a person lives can be the biggest deciding factor of all.
"Insurers know you are statistically more likely to make a claim if you live in certain areas," said Laura Adams, an analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. "These areas tend to have higher population density, more congestion [and] more traffic. Some of them also have more expensive cars on the road, which often means higher theft and more vandalism."
In a new study by InsuranceQuotes.com, the online price comparison tool plugged in various customer profiles across the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. It then averaged the results to determine where car insurance premiums cost drivers the most.
Click ahead to see the most and least expensive states for car insurance.
—By CNBC's Robert Ferris
Posted 11 Sept. 2014
Comparisons are based off data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which found that on average, people across the U.S. pay $797 a year for insurance.