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UPDATED: Jan 29, 2020
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|Austin, Texas Overview||Stats|
|City Density||3,780 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Insurance||$5,248.29|
|Cheapest Car Insurance Company||USAA|
|Road Conditions||Poor -16% |
Mediocre - 32%
Fair - 8%
Good - 44%
Vehicle Operating Costs - $507
Just over 12,500.
That’s how much the city of Austin’s population increased in just one year, making it the sixth-fastest growing city in the United States. Add to that a thriving economy, a rich local culture, and its designation as U.S. News and World Report’s No. 1 Best Place to Live in the U.S.A., and it becomes obvious why more and more people are calling the Texas State Capitol “home.”
And let’s face it — with more growth, comes more drivers. And with more drivers, we’re reminded that having reliable car insurance is a must. Whether you find yourself driving on MoPac, Ben White Boulevard, or I-35, you need to be sure that you’re protected should you end up in a collision.
But if you find that you have more questions than answers, we have good news — you’re in the right place. And it’s all thanks to this comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide.
And if you want to know more about Austin’s traffic, tolls, and vehicle theft — we have that too.
We’re also going beyond cars, digging deeper into what it really means to live and work in Austin.
Bottom line? You can consider this your all-in-one guide to everything you need to know about Austin car insurance. You can begin shopping rates now by entering your zip code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool.
Cost of Car Insurance in Austin
Ask any expert about what goes into calculating your premiums, and you’ll quickly find out the answer isn’t always so simple.
Whether it’s the car you drive, your credit score, or where you live, companies look to a variety of factors when determining your rates.
What a lot of these factors boil down to is risk and how likely insurers believe you are to file a claim. Where companies see a greater risk — for instance, a newly-licensed teenage driver — higher premiums will be assessed.
Through an in-depth analysis of Quadrant data, we can begin to paint a clearer picture of how some of these factors are affecting the drivers in Austin.
Austin Rates by Gender, Age, and Marital Status
First on our list? Your age, gender, and marital status. In the eyes of car insurance companies, each of these demographics carries different levels of risk.
Rates by Age
When it comes to age, the rule of thumb is simple — the younger the driver, the higher the rates. For instance, the experts at State Farm said:
“Crash rates are higher for all drivers under age 25, especially single males. Insurance prices in most states reflect these differences”.
According to Data USA, the median age among Austin residents 33.4. This is significant when you begin to consider what Austin drivers are paying:
In looking at this data, the pattern is clear — the older the driver, the lower the rates. Where 60-year-olds are paying the lowest rates at just over $2,300, 17-year-olds are paying rates that are exponentially higher than the rest. To be specific, rates among 17-year-olds
- Are more than three times higher than the rates of 35-year-old and 60-year-old drivers.
- And, they’re almost two-and-a-half times higher than the rates of 25-year-old drivers.
Rates by Gender (Male vs. Female)
Now, on to gender. The Insurance Information Institute reports that,
“Statistically, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents (DUIs) and—most importantly—have less serious accidents than men. So all other things being equal, women often pay less for auto insurance than their male counterparts.
In determining whether this pattern holds true for Austin drivers, we looked to our data:
On average, male drivers in Austin do tend to pay more than females — by about $211.
Rates by Marital Status, Gender, and Age
And then, there’s a driver’s marital status.
When comparing rates among single drivers and married drivers, it’s married drivers who tend to pay lower rates. Why? Because they’re seen as less risky, and therefore, less likely to file claims.
We took a look at what this means for Austin drivers:
|Marital Status, Age, and Gender||Average Rate|
|Married 60-year old female||$2,286.36|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,409.80|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,438.33|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,508.58|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,992.22|
|Single 25-year old male||$3,165.31|
|Single 17-year old female||$6,940.09|
|Single 17-year old male||$8,261.71|
In averaging the rates among married and single drivers in Austin, the difference is significant — with the average rate among married drivers at $2,410.77, and the average rate among single drivers at $5,339.83.
In the end, 60-year-old females are averaging the lowest rates in this group, at $2,286.36. 17-year-old men are paying the highest rates at $8,261.71.
Cheapest Zip Codes in Austin
From East Austin to Clarksville, and from Tarrytown to Hyde Park — where you live can have a significant impact on your rates. According to Allstate,
“Urban neighborhoods typically have higher rates of accidents, theft, and vandalism than more rural areas, which means premiums may be higher.”
We’ve compiled rates for every zip code in Austin:
|Zip Code||Average Rate|
According to these numbers, the Austin zip code with the highest average rate is 78710, located on the northeast part of town outside of U.S. Route 183.
At an average rate of $7,029.64, residents in this zip code are paying $1,781.35 more than those living in the zip code with the lowest rate — which is 78728.
What’s the Best Car Insurance Company in Austin?
Let’s be honest. When it comes to naming the “best” car insurance company in Austin, answers will vary from driver to driver.
But one thing most drivers will agree on is affordability. They want to make sure their car insurance company does much more than provide good coverage, but that it also provides a good value.
With that, we’re now digging deeper into what some of the city’s largest insurance providers are charging Austin residents.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
Let’s begin with a company-to-company comparison:
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Rate|
Of the listed providers, USAA not only has the lowest average rate, but it’s the only average rate in the two-thousand-dollar range. While State Farm’s average rate is the next-lowest on the list at, it is still $608.49 higher than that of USAA.
On the flip side, Allstate has the highest average rate on this list, and the only one in the $5,000 range. At a rate of $5,496.49, this represents a nearly $3,000 increase over USAA.
Best Car Insurance Rates by Commute
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reveals that the average Texan drives approximately 15,533 miles each year. This is important because in the world of car insurance, the number of miles you put on your car can result in higher or lower premiums.
We took a look at what Austin drivers with longer and shorter commutes are paying:
|Insurance Provider||10-mile commute/ |
6,000 miles annually
12,000 miles annually
Of the seven providers on this list, four charge Austin drivers the same whether they have a 10-mile or a 25-mile commute — State Farm, Nationwide, Progressive, and American Family.
The remaining providers — USAA, Geico, and Allstate — all charge Austin drivers a higher rate for a longer commute. However, the differences in premiums vary. The difference in commute rates for USAA customers is $63.23, where the difference in commute rates for Allstate customers is $271.05.
Best Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
Drivers looking to insure their cars with higher levels of coverage will, without a doubt, pay higher rates. The question for Austin drivers is by how much?
We gathered data for drivers with low coverage, medium coverage, and high coverage:
Whether they’re insured with low, medium, or high coverage, USAA customers are paying the least in rates. The difference between high coverage and low coverage for USAA customers is $195.02.
On the other hand, drivers with Allstate are paying the highest rates across all coverage levels. The difference between the provider’s highest levels of coverage and lowest levels of coverage is $310.94.
Best Car Insurance Rates by Credit History
To the car insurance provider assessing rates, credit scores speak volumes. According to Nationwide, their use of “credit-based insurance scores” helps the company “better predict insurance losses.” Some of the key factors in credit-based scoring include:
- Payment history, including delinquencies or late payments
- Length of credit history
- Types of credit, such as credit cards and loans
With this in mind, we’re comparing the rates among Austin drivers with good, fair, and poor credit:
Once again, USAA customers are paying the lowest average rates among those of varying credit scores. Their drivers with good credit are paying the least at $1,716.97.
Conversely, drivers with poor credit are paying the highest rates with American Family and Allstate, at $6,515.91 and $6,981.26, respectively.
Best Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
While a number of factors will come into play, a serious infraction like a DUI can cause your premium to skyrocket.
We compared rates among Austin drivers with a clean record, one speeding violation, one accident, and one DUI:
|Group||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
Our analysis found that Allstate drivers who have had one DUI are not only paying the highest rates on this list (at $6,896.21), but they’re also paying the highest difference between a DUI and a clean record — a $2,654.36 difference, to be exact.
USAA drivers with a clean record are paying the lowest rates at $1,860.58.
And as for the company with the smallest difference between a DUI and a clean record? That’s Geico, with a $299.95 difference.
Car Insurance Factors in Austin
Perhaps you’ve heard of Silicon Valley — the California region home to a number of tech giants like Apple, Google, and Lockheed Martin.
But what about “Silicon Hills“?
It’s quickly becoming the new moniker for Austin, as the city is gaining more and more influence and prominence in the tech industry. Just to name a few of the companies with offices or headquarters in Austin:
- National Instruments
- Dell (in nearby Round Rock)
- Electronic Arts (EA)
Here’s a video highlighting some of the latest developments in “Silicon Hills”:
Without a doubt, Austin’s emergence as “Silicon Hills” is just one indicator of the strength of its local economy and job market. And at the end of the day, factors like jobs, wages, housing, and education can all make an impact on your rates.
Austin Growth and Prosperity
This leads us to Austin’s track record for growth and prosperity.
First, let’s talk about growth. According to the Brookings Institution,
“Growth indicators measure change in the size of a metropolitan area economy and the economy’s level of entrepreneurial activity. Growth creates new opportunities for individuals and can help a metropolitan economy become more efficient.
The good news for Austin? Brookings’ Metro Monitor Report reveals that from 2007 – 2017, the Austin-Round Rock, TX area is outpacing much of the country in growth.
- Austin ranks first for growth, out of the country’s 100 largest metro areas
- Austin also ranks first in the percent change in jobs, up 29.6 percent
- The city’s percent change in GMP is up 46.9 percent, giving the city a second-place ranking.
- Finally, the percentage change in jobs at young firms is up 34.5 percent — another first-place ranking.
As for prosperity, researchers say:
“Prosperity indicators capture changes in the average wealth and income produced by an economy. When a metropolitan area grows by increasing the productivity of its workers, through innovation or by upgrading workers’ skills, for example, the value of those workers’ labor rises.
In terms of prosperity,
- Austin ranks ninth out of 100 cities.
- The city’s percentage change in productivity is up 13.3 percent (eighth place)
- The city’s percentage change in the standard of living is up 9.5 percent (17th place)
- And, Austin’s percentage change in average annual wage s up 11.5 percent (seventh place)
Median Household Income
Data USA reports that in 2017, the median income in Austin was $67,755. This not only represents a 1.59 percent increase over the previous year’s median income, but it was also higher than the national median income of $60,336.
If we factor in the city’s average insurance rate of $5,248.29 into the median household income, we can conclude a resident is spending 7.75 percent of his or her income toward car insurance.
Want to determine just how much of your income is going toward car insurance? Just enter your information into our FREE Calculator Pro tool:
Homeownership in Austin
Believe it or not, drivers who own their homes tend to pay lower rates than drivers who rent. This leads to an important question — are more Austin residents buying or renting?
According to Data USA, Austin’s homeownership rate in 2017 was at 45 percent. This was lower than the national average of 63.9 percent. And as shown in the chart below, Austin’s homeownership rate (in orange) was also lower than most of its neighboring cities and communities.
Data USA also reveals that the median property value in Austin is on the rise — up from $308,500 in 2016 to $332,700 in 2017. The chart below illustrates the distribution of property values in Austin (in orange) compared to national averages.
Education in Austin
Your level of education and where you work can also have bearing on your premiums. For some, this can result in discounts. For others? A difference in rates.
- The University of Texas at Austin (Full-time enrollment: 45,500)
- Austin Community College District (Full-time enrollment: 25,957)
- Saint Edward’s University (Full-time enrollment: 4,308)
- Concordia University-Texas (Full-time enrollment: 2,192)
- The Art Institute of Austin (Full-time enrollment: 1,587)
From Data USA, we discover that the largest universities by enrollment are also the largest in the city by degrees awarded:
- The University of Texas at Austin 17,181 degrees awarded
- Austin Community College District 3,394 degrees awarded
- Saint Edward’s University 1,104 degrees awarded
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs
In moving from higher education to careers, we’re now taking a closer look at the workforce — specifically, what people are getting paid in common jobs by race, ethnicity, and gender. While we don’t have data specific to Austin, we do have data specific to the state of Texas.
Data USA reveals that in 2017, the highest paid race/ethnicity in the state was Asian. At an average salary of $66,972, these workers made 1.26 more than Whites, who represented the second-highest-paid group of workers.
We took a closer look at the average full-time salaries of the state’s “Miscellaneous managers,” and calculated what percentage of their incomes would go toward car insurance:
by Race or Ethnicity
|Average Salary||Percentage of Income|
Going Toward Car Insurance
|Two or More Races||$86,431.00||6.07%|
Of this group, we see that the highest-paid managers by race/ethnicity are American Indians. At an average salary of $111,159.00, they’re paying 4.72 percent of their income toward car insurance.
The lowest-paid group of workers by race/ethnicity is categorized as “other.” With an average salary of $62,098.00, they’re paying 8.45 percent of their income toward car insurance.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
When it comes to wage by gender, we’re again looking at data specific to the state. What we found is that in 2017, the average salary among males in Texas was $65,834, 1.4 times higher than that of females.
|Miscellaneous Managers by Gender||Average Salary||Percentage of Income Going Toward Car Insurance|
Poverty by Age and Gender
It’s estimated that 15.4 percent of Austin’s residents lived below the poverty line in 2017. Researchers go on to say the largest three demographic groups living in poverty were:
- Females, ages 18 – 24
- Females, ages 25 – 34
- Males, ages 18 – 24
Poverty by Race and Ethnicity
The most common racial or ethnic group living below the poverty line in Austin, TX in 2017 was White (92,067), followed by Hispanic (71,383) and Other (16,456).
Employment by Occupations
Finally, these stats remind us that employment in Austin is on the rise — increasing from 548,000 employees in 2016 to 551,000 in 2017.
The most common job groups by number are:
- Management Occupations (72,616 people)
- Sales & Related Occupations (59,951 people)
- Office & Administrative Support Occupations (57,474 people).
The image below provides a more in-depth break down of other commonly held jobs in Austin:
Driving in Austin
We get it. You want to know what driving in Austin is really like. Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time resident, understanding what happens on Austin’s roads is critical.
If you’re not sure how to begin gaining better insight into Austin’s traffic, don’t worry — you don’t have to look far. Now, we’re diving into a point-by-point analysis of what it really means to drive in Austin.
Roads in Austin
Highways, loops, state roads, and tolls. You name it, and it’s likely part of Austin’s infrastructure. At the end of the day, the key for any Austin driver is knowing how to navigate the city’s many thoroughfares.
When it comes to how many highways are in the state, we find our answer with Interstate-Guide.com:
Texas has 25 active routes, spanning 3,501.15 miles.
Of these 25 routes, just one crosses through the city, and that’s I-35. If that number seems small, don’t worry — Austin is still home to plenty of state roads, loops, and expressways.
Interstate 35 is 1,568.38 miles long with its north end in Duluth, Minnesota, and its south end in Laredo, Texas.
For the Austin driver, I-35 is a well-traveled path leading to countless destinations throughout the city. Here’s one driver’s video documentation of his journey:
Tolls in Austin
Austin is home to several tolled roads and segments, including:
- Loop 1
- SH 45 N
- SH 130 Segments 1-4
- SH 45 SE
The big question for drivers — how much do they cost?
State officials say that really depends on how far you drive, what kind of vehicle you’re driving, and whether you have a TxTag on your car. It’s important to note that drivers who don’t have a TxTag can expect to pay 33 percent more on most routes.
Popular Road Trip Sites in Austin
From live music to the arts, and from BBQ to the Hill Country. Without a doubt, Austin has no shortage of tourist attractions and day trips. Here’s a listing of just a few local favorites:
- Barton Springs Pool — The natural springs pool located in Zilker Park has average temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees year-round.
- The State Capitol — Located in the heart of downtown Austin, the State Capitol is open for tours for most days, except holidays.
- Mount Bonnell — Considered the highest point in Austin, Mount Bonell offers a breathtaking view of the city
- The University of Texas at Austin — It’s more than a higher-education institution. The University of Texas is also home to the Blanton Museum of Art, the Harry Ransom Center and the LBJ Presidential Library
- Bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge — Starting late March to early fall, onlookers can spend an evening observing “the largest urban bat colony in the world.” Check out the video below to see the bats in action:
Road Conditions in Austin
Potholes and poor roads are more than just an inconvenience. They can be pricey problems with a negative impact on your car. Add to those potholes plenty of rain, and now you have a serious problem. In fact, we found a news report detailing this very issue:
In learning more about the state of Austin’s roads, we turned to the national transportation group TRIP and its urban roads report. Here’s what we found:
- 16 percent of Austin’s roads are considered poor
- 32 percent are considered mediocre
- 8 percent are considered fair
- 44 percent are considered good
- Estimated Vehicle Operating Costs are $507
Red-Light and Speeding Cameras in Austin
As of June 2, 2019, the use of red-light cameras in the State of Texas is prohibited. That’s because Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation outlawing the use of cameras:
Vehicles in Austin
Without a doubt, Austin drivers want to know that their neighborhoods and their cars are safe. It’s why we’re breaking down the statistics that matter the most — starting with a closer look at Austin car trends and ending with crime in the city.
Most Popular Vehicle Owned
“In almost every part of this country, the most common cars are sedans from Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet.” That’s the word from YourMechanic.com, a site that publishes a list of the counry’s most popular cars.
As for the vehicle Austin residents prefer to drive? While one might assume it’s a pickup truck, that isn’t the case. It’s none other than the Honda Fit.
We checked with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and found that the 2019 Honda Fit has strong safety ratings across the board, with the exception of its headlights
We also looked into the Honda Fit’s fuel economy with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. That ranges from 31 to 36 miles per gallon combined city and highway, and with an estimated annual fuel cost $1,100 – $1,250
Cars per Household
What is the average number of cars per household in the city of Austin? According to Data USA, the largest share of homes (46.4 percent) in 2017 had two cars, followed by households with one car.
Households Without a Car
While the average number of cars in Austin remains steady, the number of households without cars is declining. That share decreased from 6.9 percent in 2015, to 6 percent in 2016.
|Year||Households without vehicles||Vehicles per household|
Speed traps in Austin
Austin drivers on the lookout for speed traps need to look no further than the National Motorists Association, which manages The National Speed Trap Exchange site.
In looking at the 10 Worst Texas Speed Trap Cities, Austin takes the No. 2 spot with 13 speed traps. We looked, and several top submissions included locations around I-35, Dean Keeton, and MoPac.
As for the Texas city claiming the top spot on this list? That would be Houston, with 45 listed speed traps.
Vehicle Theft in Austin
Here’s what you need to know about car theft in the city of Austin — according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the city ranked fifth in the state for car thefts in 2018:
- Houston 11,596
- Dallas 7,913
- San Antonio 6,864
- Fort Worth 2,706
- Austin 2,079
We dug deeper and discovered that from January to April of 2019, Austin Police reported 825 auto theft cases and 15 attempted thefts. Among the top stolen vehicles during this time period:
- Ford F150 (also the top stolen model for vehicle thefts in 2018)
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
And, among the zip codes with the most thefts:
- 78753 (94 stolen vehicles)
- 78741 (86) (also the top zip code for vehicle thefts in 2018)
- 78758 (78)
- 78744 (67)
- 78745 (57)
Safest Neighborhoods in Austin
A deeper analysis of Austin crime led us to Neighborhood Scout. According to their site, Neighborhood Scout’s Crime Risk Reports “provide an instant, objective assessment of property and violent crime risks and rates for every U.S. address and neighborhood.”
First, we begin with the site’s list of Austin’s top 10 safest neighborhoods:
- N Quinlan Park Rd / Fm 620 Rd N
- Route 290 / El Rey Blvd
- The High Rd / Encinas Rojas St
- Brushy Creek
- N Cuernavaca Dr / N River Hills Rd
- W Parmer Ln / Anderson Mill Rd
- Fm 620 Rd S / Murfin Rd
- Hudson Bend
- Shady Hollow
- Ranch Rd N / Shady Ln
Crime in Austin
Next, we’re comparing the rate of violent crime per 1,000 residents in Austin to the rest of the State. According to Neighborhood Scout, Austin has a lower violent crime rate than Texas, at 4.27 per 1,000 residents (compared to 4.39 per 1,000 residents).
What about your chances of becoming a victim of crime in Austin? Experts say that’s one in 234, compared one in 228 in the state.
And as for Austin’s Crime Index? That’s 11 out of 100. In other words,
Neighborhood Scout’s Index assess Austin to be safer than 11 percent of all U.S. cities.
Finally, here’s a look at Austin’s annual crimes, broken down by violent crimes and property crimes:
|Austin, TX Annual Crime||VIOLENT||PROPERTY||TOTAL|
|Number of Crimes||4,058||31,792||35,850|
(per 1,000 residents)
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Traffic in Austin
Bad traffic makes for frustrated and aggravated drivers.
It’s the logic behind GasBuddy’s Top 10 Cities with the Most Aggressive Drivers. And if you haven’t guessed by now, Austin landed a spot on the list — along with cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, and Detroit. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, says this:
“Frustration while driving in densely populated cities with high levels of congestion leads motorists to drive more aggressively and with more urgency.”
Traffic Congestion in Texas
The INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard analyzes congestion and mobility trends in 200+ cities all over the world. In reviewing the data, we learned that Austin not only earned a place this list, but the city has also moved up the list — meaning, traffic in Austin has gotten worse:
|INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard||Rankings and Stats|
|2018 Hours Lost||104|
|2017 Hours Lost||108|
|Cost of Congestion per Driver||$1,452|
These stats also show that drivers are losing an estimated $1,452 dollars a year from congestion.
The good news? The estimated number of hours Austin drivers are losing in traffic has gone down — from 108 hours in 2017, to 104 hours in 2014.
|INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard||Rankings and Stats|
|2018 Hours Lost||104|
|2017 Hours Lost||108|
|Cost of Congestion per Driver||$1,452|
Statistics show that the typical commute time for Austin workers in 2017 was 22.7 minutes. This figure represents a shorter commute time than that of the typical U.S. worker, who averaged 25.5 minutes.
But for some drivers, it gets worse. It is estimated 1.75 percent of Austin’s workforce had a “super commute” in excess of 90 minutes.
Statistics additionally show that Austin drivers prefer to drive alone, at a share of 74 percent. This compares to a share of just under 10 percent for those who prefer to carpool.
By now, it should come as no surprise that Austin has a lot of traffic. But just how congested are the city’s roads when compared to others in the rest of the state?
This question led us to study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, in which experts ranked the state’s 100 most congested roads. We checked and discovered several Austin road segments made the list. Among some of the highest-ranked roads were:
- I-35 from US 290 N/SS6, to Ben White Blvd/SH 71 (ranked third)
- I-35 from Ben White Blvd / SH71 to Slaughter Ln (ranked 19th)
- Mopac Expwy / SL1 from US 183 to S Capital of Texas Hwy/ SL 360 (ranked 21st)
Here’s some drone footage of I-35 at Ben White:
How Safe are Austin Streets and Roads?
By analyzing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we can get a better understanding of road fatality trends in Austin.
In looking at the number of county-wide fatalities, we see that numbers decreased from 2015 to 2016, and remained the same in 2017.
Fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC = .08+) have fluctuated from 2013 to 2017.
After a sharp increase from 2014 to 2015, single-vehicle crash fatalities have been declining.
Fatalities in crashes involving speeding have gone both up and down between 2013 and 2017.
In 2017, the fatalities in crashes involving a roadway departure increased to 56. This represents the highest number of fatalities in this time period.
Fatalities in crashes involving an intersection (or that were intersection related) increased from 2016 to 2017
Passenger car occupant fatalities have steadily decreased from 2015 to 2017
The same can be said about pedestrian fatalities in the same time period.
Finally, the number of pedalcyclist fatalities increased from 2016 to 2017. This increase marks the highest number of fatalities in this time period.
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) tracks fatalities specific to certain types of roads. Among them are:
- Arterial roads, or roads that carry large amounts of traffic.
- Minor arterials, or smaller roads that link cities, towns, and geographical areas.
- Collector roads that either “collect” local traffic to arterial roads, or serve as intra-county connections.
Here’s a look at FARS fatality statistics specific to Travis County, and in comparison to the state:
|Road Type||Fatalities in Travis County||Fatalities in Texas|
|Freeway and Expressway||14||260|
We also examined Travis County incidents involving railroads, and whether they resulted in injuries or fatalities:
|Highway User Speed||Highway||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non-Suicide Fatality||Non-Suicide Injury|
|3||7TH ST.||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||JERRY KAHLBAU-DEL RO||Automobile||E||1||3|
|0||PRIVATE (CATES RANCH||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|MLK BLVD||Pedestrian||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||STASSNEY LANE||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||1||0|
|5||KOENIG LANE||Pick-up truck||E||0||0|
America’s Best Drivers
Austin residents interested in seeing how they stack up against drivers in other parts of the country have a resource in Allstate’s annual America’s Best Drivers Report.
Of the 200 cities listed, Austin has a 160th place ranking and a 39.2 percent likelihood for drivers to get into a collision.
Unfortunately, the city’s 2019 ranking is a downgrade from the previous year’s ranking of 159:
|ALLSTATE AMERICA'S |
BEST DRIVERS REPORT® 2019
|2019 Best Drivers Report|
|Average Years Between|
|2018 Best Drivers Report|
|Change from 2018||-1|
|Relative Collision Likelihood||39.20%|
Events per 1,000 Miles
Without a doubt, ridesharing services in Austin have grown in popularity — but not without some bumps in the road.
In 2016, both Uber and Lyft temporarily halted services in Austin in light of city regulations requiring drivers to get fingerprint background checks. That law was overturned by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2017, opening the door for both Uber and Lyft to return to the city. You can say the rest is history, as the services continue to thrive in the area.
The video below outlines some of the ride-hailing regulations Abbott enacted in 2017:
According to RideGuru, the following rideshare services are available in Austin:
Prices will vary from trip to trip. Be sure to compare rates ahead of time by checking out company sites and apps.
E-Star Repair Shops
Should your car sustain damage as a result of a collision, getting into a reliable car shop will be essential.
Thanks to Esurance’s E-star Direct Repair Program, drivers have access to a database of more than 1,400 reputable repair shops. Businesses participating in the network not only provide customers with online monitoring of repairs, but they also ensure those repairs will be guaranteed.
We searched for the top 10 E-Star Repair shops in Austin:
|E-Star Repair Shop||Address||Contact|
|SERVICE KING NORTH LAMAR||6518 NORTH LAMAR|
AUSTIN TX 78752
P: (512) 454-0461
F: (512) 454-9870
|CALIBER - AUSTIN - STH LAMAR||1804 S LAMAR BLVD|
AUSTIN TX 78704
P: (512) 444-6411
F: (972) 906-7164
|CALIBER - AUSTIN - NORTH LAMAR||8735 N LAMAR BLVD|
AUSTIN TX 78753
P: (512) 836-0163
F: (972) 906-7164
|CALIBER - AUSTIN - BRAKER LANE||109 E BRAKER LN|
AUSTIN TX 78753
P: (512) 836-3970
F: (972) 906-7164
|CALIBER - AUSTIN - MANCHACA||6222 MANCHACA RD|
AUSTIN TX 78745
|P: (512) 443-4862|
F: (972) 906-7164
|SERVICE KING SOUTH AUSTIN||7501 S I-35|
AUSTIN TX 78744
P: (512) 442-0461
F: (512) 442-3387
|CALIBER - AUSTIN - HIGHWAY 620||12322 HIGHWAY RR 620 N|
AUSTIN TX 78750
P: (512) 331-8083
F: (972) 906-7164
|SERVICE KING ROUND ROCK||16604 N IH 35|
AUSTIN TX 78728
P: (512) 246-0460
|SERVICE KING LAKEWAY||1403 HWY 620|
LAKEWAY TX 78734
P: (512) 266-9846
F: (512) 266-9981
|CALIBER - ROUND ROCK - MAYS||1809 N MAYS ST|
ROUND ROCK TX 78664
P: (512) 388-3020
F: (972) 906-7164
Weather in Austin
Without a doubt, Texas is known for its hot weather. But thankfully, the city of Austin doesn’t sustain scorching temps all year round. Here’s a look at the city’s average temperature and precipitation, according to U.S Climate Data:
|Austin, TX Weather||Averages|
|Annual High Temperature||79.8°F|
|Annual Low Temperature||59°F|
|Average Annual Precipitation - Rainfall:||34.25 inches|
|Average Annual Snowfall||-|
Austin drivers, take note — the city can be prone to a lot of rainfall, as evidenced in the city’s average precipitation of 34.25 inches. This leads us to to take a closer look at the dangers associated with flooding.
Natural Disasters in Austin
Here’s what you need to know — flooding is a real concern in Central Texas. Leaders with the Austin’s Watershed Protection Department put it plainly:
“Austin lies in the heart of Flash Flood Alley, and it is critical that you be alert to the dangers of flooding both in your home and on the road”
From there, leaders go on to emphasize a startling statistic:
“About 75% of flood-related deaths in Texas occur in vehicles.”
In times of heavy rain, city officials advise the following:
- Check ATXfloods.com for known, flooded roads.
- Avoid low water crossings.
- Actively look for water over the road.
- Turn around if a road is barricaded or if water is over the road. Keep in mind that the road may be heavily damaged underneath the flood water.
- Use extreme caution if driving at night, as it may be difficult to see whether a road is flooded.
Finally, it is important to be reminded of the benefits of comprehensive car insurance coverage. Should your car sustain damage as a result of inclement weather, comprehensive coverage is what would kick in to cover costs.
Through Capital Metro, Austin residents have a number of public transit options, including:
- UT Shuttles
For a full list of public transit service options, click here
Although fares will vary by service, passenger, and program, you can begin to get a good idea of what you’ll pay by looking at Capital Metro’s local fares:
|Single Ride, Reduced||$0.60|
|Day Pass, Reduced||$1.25|
|31-Day Pass, Reduced||$20.60|
Fares can be purchased in person, online, or through the CapMetro App available on Apple, Android, and Windows. To learn more about the app, click here. And, for a more detailed list of fares, click here
In the mood to go from four wheels, to two? Lucky for you, scooter and bike rental services Bird and Lime are available in Austin. Bird has additionally has rentals available specifically to students at the University of Texas at Austin.
Renting from either company begins by downloading their respective apps, and using them to locate available scooters or bikes. From there, users are typically charged a small unlocking fee (usually $1), and then charged by the minute.
Parking in Metro Areas
Here’s the deal— parking in metropolitan areas can be frustrating. It’s why we’ve done the research, and we’re breaking down some of the “dos and don’ts” to parking in Austin.
Street Parking and Garages
According to the city’s Department of Transportation, there are about 3,000 on-street parking spaces downtown, and more than 14,000 off-street parking spaces in surface lots and garages. You can view a map of those public parking locations here.
Parking meters in the downtown area (IH-35 to Lamar Boulevard, and Lady Bird Lake to 10th Street) operate at these times:
- Monday and Tuesday – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Wednesday through Friday – 8 a.m. to 12 midnight
- Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 midnight.
Officials go on to say that on-street parking meters in the area near Barton Springs Road and South Lamar, including Toomey Road, Lee Barton Drive, and others, are enforced Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Keep in mind — rates and times of enforcement can vary based on location. For more detailed information about parking meter enforcement, click here.
Finally, when it comes to cost:
- Parking costs $1.20 per hour for city-owned, on-street, metered parking spaces located downtown (between Lamar Boulevard, I-35, Lady Bird Lake and 10th Street).
- All other City-owned, on-street, metered parking spaces cost $1 per hour.
- Drivers can pay on-site, or through the ParkATX mobile app. Learn more about the app here.
Air Quality in Austin
There’s no other way to say it — our vehicles have an impact on the environment. Take it from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
“Cars, trucks, and buses powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution—transportation emits more than half of nitrogen oxides in our air, and is a major source of global warming emissions in the US. Studies have linked pollutants from vehicle exhaust to adverse impacts on nearly every organ system in the body.”
We gathered data for the Austin-Round Rock region:
|Air Quality in Austin-|
Round Rock, TX
|Days with Air Quality Index||365||365||366|
|Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||9||4||1|
|Days Very Unhealthy||-||-||-|
Some important takeaways include:
- The number of “good” AQI days decreased from 2016 to 2018
- The number of both “moderate” and “unhealthy days for sensitive groups” increased in this same time period
- There have been no “unhealthy” or very “unhealthy days” recorded from 2016 to 2018.
Military and Veterans in Austin
When it comes to states with the most active duty and reserve members of the military, Texas is second only to California. It’s why we want to explore what discounts are available to military personnel and their families in Austin.
While searching the web for this kind information may seem tedious, remember — you don’t have to. We’ve gathered all of the need-to-know data right here.
Veterans by Service
Statistics show that the largest share of Austin’s military population (at just under 12,000) served in the Gulf War (2001 – ). The next highest share is among those who served in Vietnam, followed by those who served in the Gulf War of the 1990s.
While Austin isn’t home to a military base, the Fort Hood Army Base is roughly an hour from the city. According to the Army, the 214,968-acre installation “is the only post in the United States capable of stationing and training two armored divisions.”
What is noteworthy, however, is that Austin recently became home to the Army Futures Command (AFC) Headquarters. This proved to be a significant move, as it marked the first time the Army placed a major command within an urban setting, and not on a military base:
“We needed to immerse ourselves in an environment where innovation occurs, at speeds far faster than our current process allows,” said Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper. “We searched for a location that had the right combination of top-tier academic talent, cutting edge industry and an innovative private sector.”
Below is video footage of the announcement:
Military Discounts by Provider
We looked into which of the major car insurance companies provide discounts for military personnel in Texas. Here’s what we found in terms of who is providing them, and who the discounts are available to:
- GEICO (active or retired)
- USAA (membership exclusive to military personnel)
- Liberty Mutual (active duty)
- Met Life (based on years of service, retired or active)
Keep in mind that discounts may vary from person to person, and from even city to city. Be sure to speak with an agent or representative to learn more.
USAA Rates in Texas
Austin drivers tied to the military will undoubtedly consider USAA as an option, as the provider exclusively serves the military community. We compared USAA’s rates against other large providers in the state:
|Insurance Provider||Average Annual Premium||Higher/Lower than |
|Percentage Higher/Lower |
than State Average
It’s clear — USAA not only has the lowest average rate on this list, but it’s also the lowest when compared to the state average, by more than $1,500.
On the other hand, Allstate’s rates are the furthest from USAA’s, to the tune of nearly $3,000.
Unique City Laws
Whether you’re going from state to state, or from city to city — keeping up with the local laws that govern drivers can be difficult.
But as we wrap up our complete guide to car insurance in Austin, Texas, we’re making a point to highlight the important rules and regulations you need to know.
Click it or Ticket
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the state’s Click it or Ticket Campaign. Click it or Ticket represents a massive law enforcement push to ensure Texans are using their seatbelts at all times.
Drivers can expect officers to ramp up their enforcement efforts periodically throughout the year. Not being in compliance can result in tickets and stiff fines.
Here’s what you need to know about cell phones and driving in the state of Texas — in 2017, state lawmakers passed a law making texting and driving illegal.
- Drivers with learner’s permits cannot use handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
- Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use wireless communications devices.
- School bus operators cannot use cell phones while driving if children are present.
Now, here’s what you need to know about cell phones and driving in the city of Austin — the use of all electronic hand-held devices while driving or riding a bike is prohibited. In other words, Austin is a hands-free city with stricter ordinances than the state.
— Food Trucks in Austin
Those wishing to operate a food truck in the city of Austin or in Travis County must adhere to a set of guidelines and requirements — beginning with applying for a Mobile Food Vendor Permit and a Mobile Vending Permit.
- “All mobile vendors must obtain a Mobile Food Vendor permit before operating within the City of Austin/Travis County/Contracted municipalities.”
- The permit process will require an application review and a physical inspection of the mobile unit.
- Vendors must complete the application review and pass the physical inspection before they receive a permit.
To learn more about the process, contact the Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department’s Environmental Health Services Division at (512) 978-0300 or click here.
Tiny Homes in Austin
According to the Tiny House Society of the United States,
“Austin, Texas allows tiny houses of any size as long as they are on foundations. Tiny houses on wheels are regarded as recreational vehicles (RVs) and will be treated as such”
Should you decide to pursue a tiny home in Austin, remember to review your insurance options, and do all of your homework concerning any local codes and regulations you’ll need to comply with.
In addition to what we discussed concerning parking in metro areas, you’ll also want to keep the following rules and regulations in mind:
- The City of Austin’s Restricted Front Yard and Side Yard Parking Ordinance prohibits parking a car in the front or side yard of a residence, except in a driveway or a paved parking space.
- If a car is left on the street in violation it can be tagged immediately. Once tagged, the owner has 48 hours to fix the problem or remove the vehicle from the street.
- You cannot leave a trailer of any kind on the street unattached from a motor vehicle.
- An abandoned vehicle is defined as one that is either parked illegally, or it is mechanically inoperable.
Austin Car Insurance FAQs
Rush hour rules, car insurance requirements, and Austin speed limits. You asked, and now we have a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Is Texas a No-Fault State?
No. Texas is a “fault” state. This means that drivers must take responsibility for the accidents they cause, and they also must possess liability insurance.
What are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Austin?
All Austin drivers must comply with the minimum car insurance requirements for the state of Texas. The Texas Department of Insurance shares that the state requires 30/60/25 coverage, or:
- $30,000 in Bodily Injury liability per person
- $60,000 total Bodily Injury liability per accident
- $25,000 Property Damage liability per accident
What is the Speed Limit for Drivers in Austin?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the maximum highway speed limit is 70 miles per hour. However, the Texas Transportation Commission has the authority to increase those limits up to 85 miles per hour “if that speed is determined to be safe and reasonable after a traffic or engineering study.”
Our research found that the only Texas road with a speed limit of 85 mph is on a tolled portion of State Highway 130, which includes a stretch in Austin.
What are the Best and Worst Times to Drive in Austin?
Generally speaking, the best times to drive in Austin are any time outside of rush hour. Rush hour is considered to be from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Keep in mind, accidents, construction, and unexpected events can all lead to traffic backups and congestion at any time. Your best bet is to always check ahead with a local news station or your GPS device to see if there are any slowdowns.
— Is the Cost of Living in Austin Considered High?
According to Payscale, the cost of living in Austin is 3 percent lower than the national average. Furthermore, the site estimates that housing expenses are 2 percent higher than the national average, and the utility prices are 12 percent lower than the national average.
Keeping all of that in mind, Payscale also reports that the average salary in Austin $59,739. All things considered, it appears Austin is affordable when compared to other cities, but that will ultimately boil down to your personal decisions, including where you live, where you work, your take-home pay, and your financial obligations.
You’ve officially made it to the end of our comprehensive review of car insurance in Austin, Texas. Now is the time for you to press on with knowledge, and confidence.
You can begin shopping rates now by entering your zip code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool.