How Cities in Texas Ranked Based on Auto Insurance Costs

How Cities in Texas Ranked Based on Auto Insurance Costs

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Many things can impact the cost of insuring your car in Texas, such as where you live and park it. We analyzed rates using a 30-year-old man as the benchmark motorist across multiple insurers in nearly 300 cities to evaluate the impact of location on costs.

We found that our sample driver's quotes ranged by as much as 67% between Houston and Memphis, which translated into a $372 difference in annual premium for him. Houston ranked as the most expensive city while Memphis was the least expensive for our driver.

Least expensive places

The five cities we identified as the most affordable location all have something in common: lower population density as well as lower average travel time to work in comparison with the most expensive cities. Geographically speaking, they are all situated northwest of Dallas and Austin. For our sample motorist, just living in any one of these cities would make his rates $100+ lower than his average cost ($677) in Texas. The average rate we obtained in our study for these places ranged between $550 and $560.

Cities with Lowest Car Insurance Rates in Texas

#1 Memphis

Among the cities we featured in the study, Memphis had the lowest total population and the second lowest population density. Rates here (around $558) were 18% lower than the Texas state average for our sample driver. It is the county seat of Hall County and is located at the junction of US Highway 287 and State Highway 256. The average time people take to get to work here is around 16 minutes.

#2 Ballinger

The county seat of Runnels County, Ballinger, had the second lowest annual costs in our study. For our sample 30-year-old, quotes here were 17% lower than the Texas state average costs and totaled around $561 for a 12-month policy. The average commute time here is around 18 minutes.

#3 Childress & Denver City

Just fractionally more expensive than Ballinger, Childress and Denver City tied as our third least expensive places for insurance coverage. Again using our benchmark motorist, quotes in Childress and Denver City were around $563 to insure a car for a year. In comparison with the state average, costs in these two cities were 17% less costly compared to the typical spot in Texas.

#5 Spearman

Rounding out our study's five least expensive Texas cities is Spearman, the county seat of Hansford County. It is situated at the northernmost tip of Texas, just 27 miles south of the Texas-Oklahoma state border. Our motorist’s average annual insurance rates here were around $564. The average time to travel to work in Spearman is around 17 minutes.

Most expensive places

Our sample driver found his most expensive quotes in these five cities, which are all located southeast of the state capital. We found his average annual auto insurance rates in these cities to be $200 to $300 higher than the state average costs. In other words, all things equal, costs for the same coverage on the same car was 32% higher than the Texas mean. Overall, these five cities have a much higher population density and average commute time than the least expensive places.

Cities in Texas with the highest car insurance rates

#1 Houston

The most populous city in Texas, Houston, is where our sample driver found his insurance to be the most expensive out of 293 locations. Our benchmark 30-year-old driver's rates were $930 for a 12-month policy and 37% higher than the state average. As much as 72% of its 2 million residents drive alone to work, with an average commute time of 26 minutes — the longest among our 10 featured cities.

#2 McAllen

Lower than Houston but also in the $900 range, the average cost in McAllen was around $915 for our profiled motorist, which placed it as the second most expensive on our list. Our sample driver’s quotes here were 35% higher than the state’s average. McAllen’s population numbers around 135,000, and its population density is the second highest among our featured cities, at 2,776 residents per square mile. The average commute time here is around 20 minutes.

#3 Mission

Also a part of Hidalgo County, Mission ranked the third most expensive city to insure our driver's Toyota Camry in Texas, with average annual rates 31% higher than the state’s average. Our benchmark driver’s quotes were around $890 here for a 12-month policy. The average travel time to work in Mission is 24 minutes.

#4 Dallas

The only other major Texas city among our 10 featured cities, Dallas’s average annual costs were the 4th most expensive for our sample driver. Costs here averaged 29% higher than the state average; the annual cost for the example driver in our study was $873 for 12 months of coverage. The average commute time here is the second highest among the featured cities: 25 minutes.

#5 Richmond

Roughly 40 minutes away from Houston is our 5th most expensive city in our insurance study. Our motorist’s quotes here were around $871, nearly $200, or 19%, higher than the state’s average. With a resident count just below 12,000, its population density is higher than that of Mission at around 2,750 per square mile. The average commute time here rounded up to 24 minutes.

How costs differ in Texas by place

We sampled a total of 293 cities and towns in Texas and found the Texas average annual insurance rate to be $677 for our sample motorist. While the incremental difference between cities can be as little as $1, overall there is a $372 difference between the most expensive and least expensive Texas city. Here is a table that lists all 293 cities with their respective average annual rate, ranked from the lowest to the highest.

Rank

City
Average Annual Rate
% Difference from State Average

1

Memphis$558-18%

2

Ballinger561-17%

3

Childress563-17%

4

Denver City563-17%

5

Spearman564-17%

6

Booker565-16%

7

Munday566-16%

8

Coleman566-16%

9

Haskell567-16%

10

Perryton568-16%

11

Snyder570-16%

12

Shamrock570-16%
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Lake","715","6%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E214","Kyle","715","6%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E215","Wharton","718","6%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E216","Joshua","720","6%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E217","Newton","720","6%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E218","Quinlan","721","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E219","Garrison","723","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E220","Trinity","723","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E221","Livingston","725","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E222","Hemphill","726","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E223","Nacogdoches","727","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E224","Victoria","728","7%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E225","Navasota","729","8%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E226","Round 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City","757","12%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E245","Palacios","758","12%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E246","Tyler","763","13%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E247","Longview","764","13%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E248","Zapata","768","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E249","Van Vleck","769","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E250","Lake Jackson","772","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E251","Alice","773","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E252","McKinney","775","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E253","Fort Worth","775","14%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E254","Conroe","775","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E255","Kaufman","776","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E256","Eagle Pass","776","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E257","North Richland Hills","777","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E258","Austin","780","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E259","Hempstead","781","15%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E260","Allen","786","16%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E261","Ferris","787","16%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E262","Arlington","788","16%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E263","Plano","790","17%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E264","Rockwall","795","17%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E265","Sarita","798","18%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E266","Pearland","800","18%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E267","Guerra","803","19%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E268","Silsbee","807","19%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E269","Carrollton","814","20%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E270","Raymondville","814","20%"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E271","San 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How we conducted the Study and Texas minimum coverage requirements

The rates used in this study were obtained from Texas Department of Insurance data. The rates included estimated premiums from 28 auto insurance companies licensed in Texas, for a male driver in his 30s living in each of the 314 zip codes that spread across 293 cities.

For the purpose of the study — to see how cities in Texas ranked based on auto insurance costs — we kept the driver profile as well as policy coverage consistent, changing only the location where the cost was obtained. The coverage amount used is just above the Texas state minimum insurance requirements. The comparison is listed in the following table:

Coverage Type

TX Min. Limits
Study Limits

Bodily Injury

$30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident

Property Damage

$25,000 per accident$50,000 per accident
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Sources:

  • Census Population and Commute Time: http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/
  • Texas Department of Insurance: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.