How Cities in Virginia Ranked Based on Car Insurance Costs

From the shores of Chesapeake Bay to the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia is a beautiful state to drive. Depending on where Virginians live, they can pay a wide range of car insurance prices. In this study, we explored which Virginian city was the most and least expensive. We found a state wide average of $1,187 for our sample driver, with the highest being Strasburg with a yearly premium of $1,324 and the lowest being Waynesboro with a premium of $968.

Table of Contents 

Least Expensive Cities 

The least expensive cities in Virginia can be found up and down the state's I-81 highway, all along the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. These locations are generally smaller cities with around 25,000 residents. They ranged from 15% to 18% less expensive than the state average. 

Graph showing how the top five least expensive cities in Virginia for auto insurance stack up


Waynesboro is an independent city located in Shenandoah Valley. Our driver from the town of 20,000, known for its rich history involving the Civil War, was quoted a yearly premium of $968. Costs were 18% less expensive than the state average. 


Staunton is less than 15 miles away from Waynesboro, and ranks as the second least expensive city in Virginia. It's also the birthplace of our nation's 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, and is currently home to about 24,000 people. Our profiled driver was given a yearly premium of $970, only slightly less than Waynesboro.


Harrisonburg is another city from Shenandoah Valley. The city known for its biking is the largest city of the five least expensive with about 50,000 residents. Our sample driver was quoted $982 a year, 17% less expensive than the state average. 


Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Christiansburg is the fourth least expensive city on our list. Our driver from the mountain city of 20,000 was quoted a yearly premium of $1,014, which placed it in the fourth spot in our study.


Sitting at the very top of the state is Winchester, the fifth least expensive city based on our data. The popularity of the town of 28,000 is visible just taking a look at its historical sites, museums, vineyards, farmers’ markets, and tree-lined Old Town streets. Our sample driver was quoted a yearly premium of $1,015, about 15% less expensive than the state average.

Most Expensive Cities

The most expensive list is comprised of an eclectic mixture of towns and cities from around the state. They are not generalized to any one area, and include some of the state's largest cities like Richmond as well as small towns like Richlands. Almost all of the cities rest on river banks or on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Prices range from 12% to 10% more expensive than the state average. 

Graph showing how the top five most expensive cities in Virginia for auto insurance stack up


Strasburg, unlike the other cities from Shenandoah County, ranks as the most expensive in our study. Our driver from the small town of just over 6,400 residents, known for its pottery, antiques, and Civil War history, received an average yearly premium of $1,324, about 12% more than the state average. 


Norfolk is the second most populous city in Virginia and the second most expensive place in our study. With a little under 250,000 citizens, Norfolk is considered the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region. Our driver from the Chesapeake Bay city received a yearly quote of $1,321.  


At the heart of Virginia is Richmond, the state's capital and third most expensive place for insurance. "The River City" has about 200,000 residents, making its high costs unsurprising. Our driver received a yearly quote of $1,316. 


Richlands takes the fourth spot on our most expensive list. It is a small town of a little over 5,000 residents near the the Clinch River in southwestern Virginia. Our driver from the small town received an average quote of $1,306 per year for the sample policy we used as a benchmark.


Alexandria is the fifth most expensive city in our Virginia cost study. Our driver from the city of about 150,000, which rests on the western banks of the Potomac River, got a yearly quote of $1,303 - 10% more expensive than the state average. 

How Cost Differs By Place In Virginia 

In this study we analyzed 59 cities and towns across Virginia and found a statewide average of $1,187 per year--based on our sample driver. The most expensive cities generally were larger with a few exceptions, and mostly resided near bodies of water. The least expensive cities mostly came from the western part of the state near the national forests. 

RankingCityAverage PremiumPercent Difference From Average
1 Waynesboro  $968 -18%
2 Staunton  $970 -18%
3 Harrisonburg  $982 -17%
4 Christiansburg  $1,014 -15%
5 Winchester  $1,015 -14%
6 Roanoke  $1,021 -14%
7 Salem  $1,021 -14%
8 Lexington  $1,022 -14%
9 Radford  $1,023 -14%
10 Williamsburg  $1,030 -13%
11 Vinton  $1,066 -10%
12 Charlottesville  $1,071 -10%
13 Bristol  $1,097 -8%
14 Lynchburg  $1,114 -6%
15 Wytheville  $1,114 -6%
16 Ashburn $1,121 -6%
17 Leesburg  $1,128 -5%
18 Danville  $1,130 -5%
19 Crozet  $1,134 -4%
20 South Boston  $1,147 -3%
21 Marion  $1,151 -3%
22 Hillsville  $1,153 -3%
23 Martinsville  $1,153 -3%
24 Warrenton  $1,153 -3%
25 Petersburg  $1,156 -3%
26 Fredericksburg  $1,159 -2%
27 Galax  $1,159 -2%
28 Orange  $1,162 -2%
29 Smithfield  $1,175 -1%
30 Suffolk  $1,176 -1%
31 King George  $1,179 -1%
32 Hopewell  $1,184 0%
Average  $1,187 0%
33 Culpeper  $1,198 1%
34 Reston  $1,199 1%
35 Vienna  $1,204 1%
36 Chesapeake $1,206 2%
37 Franklin $1,207 2%
38 Newport News $1,208 2%
39 McLean  $1,209 2%
40 Arlington  $1,211 2%
41 Herndon  $1,217 3%
42 Farmville  $1,220 3%
43 Virginia Beach $1,221 3%
44 Manassas  $1,222 3%
45 Dale City (Woodbridge) $1,225 3%
46 Centreville  $1,235 4%
47 Burke  $1,238 4%
48 Gate City  $1,245 5%
49 Springfield  $1,250 5%
50 Great Falls  $1,256 6%
51 Fairfax  $1,266 7%
52 Hampton  $1,280 8%
53 Falls Church  $1,286 8%
54 Portsmouth $1,300 10%
55 Alexandria  $1,303 10%
56 Richlands  $1,306 10%
57 Richmond  $1,316 11%
58 Norfolk  $1,321 11%
59 Strasburg  $1,324 12%

How We Conducted This Study

We collected quotes from over 20 insurance companies across 59 towns and cities in Virginia. Our driver was a 30 year old male who drove a 2011 Toyota Camry. To obtain quotes, we kept parameters for getting coverage the same, such as that he was single, had a good credit score and a clean driving record. The only parameter that changed was the zip code where he lived. The amount of coverage we opted for gave our driver bit more than what is required of state minimums. Below you can see the state required limits as well as the coverage used in our study.

Coverage TypeVirginia MinimumStudy Limits 
Bodily Liability  $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident   $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property Damage  $25,000 per accident  $50,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident   $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property 
$25,000 per accident 
$50,000 per accident 
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) None None
Comprehensive & Collision None  $500 Deductible 

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