I live in Pearl River, im a few hundred feet from Montvale, which is Bergen County NJ. Rockland county is really expensive to live in compared to bergen when id assume your looking for an apartment, we rent our 2 bedroom out on the 2nd floor for 1500/month not including any utilities. Im 10-12 mins from Allendale.
Gas is WAY cheaper in NJ
no question about it.
Insurance depends on your record, what car, what area you move to, how many cars.... all that stuff.
NY inspection is nice, you can go to any shop that does them and get it taken care of. Its a very flawed system, if you know someone who does inspections, they can pass you. I know tons of people so its never been a problem, but you only need a working CEL and no codes, and some safety stuff like lights and glass and tires. Again, none of this matters because the state doesnt control them.
On the other side, NJ now doesnt have safety inspections. You can roll up with a car not having any lights, glass or doors or anything, as long as you dont have a check engine light on, your good.
Look into apartments in both counties, rockland is a nice area where i am, nanuet, pearl river, valley cottage... Suffern and monsey are closer but have a lot of people there, and stay away from Spring Valley. In bergen, id check out Mahwah, Paramus, Ramsey, Montvale, Park Ridge. Lots of bergen have nice areas around here, sometime you can find a good deal on a place.