Car Insurance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina [Rates + Comparison Guide]

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2020

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City Population244,605
City Density2,247 people per square mile
Average Cost of Car Insurance$2,654.84
Cheapest Car Insurance ProviderLiberty Mutual
Road ConditionsPoor Share: 12%
Mediocre Share: 25%
Fair Share: 25%
Good Share: 38%
VOC: $435

Whether you’ve come to this great city to be close to the mountains, the Atlantic coast, cheer on your favorite North Carolina sports team, or to spend your retirement, one thing is for certain: you should make the best of it.

Winston-Salem is home to 245,000 people and is our nation’s eighty-ninth-most populous city. It is well known for its vibrant downtown, and in 2017, the New York Times ranked its downtown as the second-most livable in the country.

With so many sites and things to do, we know the streets are filled with taxis, pedestrians, and all makes and models of vehicles, which, in turn, can make driving hazardous. Accidents can happen, and that can make your car insurance go up.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to show you rates, company comparisons, and other specific factors that make Winston-Salem such a great place to live.

Need car insurance? Enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool above to compare rates easily.

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in Winston-Salem

The average cost of car insurance in Winston-Salem is over $2,654 per year. Car insurance rates are based on many factors, including your age, marital status, and whether you live in Ardmore or closer to Waughtown.

We know there are ways to save money on your car insurance.

In this section, we’re going to show you specific rates on what folks pay for their car insurance in Winston-Salem based on some of these factors. Of course, these rates are average, and your rates can be higher or lower, depending upon your circumstances.

Male vs. Female vs. Age

Age plays a significant role when it comes to the cost of car insurance. Not only do people 55+ get discounts on everything from food to hotels, but they also pay less for car insurance.

Not so for young drivers, especially male teen drivers, who pay more for their car insurance than any other demographic. The good news is that Winston-Salem does not allow insurers to consider gender when calculating rates. Excluding seven states (CA, HI, MA, MT, PA, NC, and parts of MI), insurance rates differ by gender across the country.

According to Data USA, the mean age in Winston-Salem is 35.3 years.

Let’s go over the average rates charged by insurance companies in Winston-Salem for different age groups.

DemographicAverage Rate
Single 17-year old female$4,756.83
Single 17-year old male$4,751.23
Single 25-year old female$2,503.10
Single 25-year old male$2,501.35
Married 35-year old female$2,420.49
Married 35-year old male$2,414.09
Married 60-year old female$2,237.70
Married 60-year old male$2,231.55
Overall Average$2,977.04

As the data reflects, the more drivers mature, the lower their car insurance rates become. Surprisingly, rates for male and female drivers are nearly equal, unlike other states, where rates are thousands higher for male teen drivers.

 – Cheapest Zip Codes in Winston-Salem

Where you live in Winston-Salem can also impact how much you pay for car insurance. Check out the table below to see how much you pay for car insurance based on where you reside.

Zip CodeAverage Rate

Only $200 separates the cheapest zip code (27105) from the most expensive zip code (27157), so wherever you want to reside in the city, your car insurance cost shouldn’t be a factor.

 – What’s the best car insurance company in Winston-Salem?

Who is the best car insurance company in Winston-Salem? The word best can mean different things to different people. In the sections below, we’ll explain what’s considered best, in various categories, to see if it can help you save on your car insurance.

 – Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

We’re all looking for cheap car insurance, but we’re also looking for the best cheap car insurance. Most of the top providers are licensed in Winston-Salem. For your convenience, we listed those companies, and the average annual cost, in the table below.

State Farm$2,582.25
Liberty Mutual$1,937.65

Of the top providers, Liberty Mutual has the cheapest car insurance rates. So if “best” means cheap rates, they are the company for you.

Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

In North Carolina, according to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers average more than 15,375 miles driven each year. How far do you commute? Did you know your daily commute has an impact on your car insurance rate?

We partnered with Quadrant Data Solutions to understand the impact of an above-average commute on your insurance. Check out the chart below to see how your commute stacks up against what others pay.

Company10 miles commute / 6,000 annual mileage25 miles commute / 12,000 annual mileageAverage
Liberty Mutual$1,937.65$1,937.65$1,937.65
State Farm$2,574.56$2,589.95$2,582.26

State Farm is the only company among the top providers to offer a discount based on commute. And it’s only $15, so be sure and ask your provider if there are other ways to help you save on your car insurance.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

Have you thought that having the lowest minimum coverage in Winston-Salem is the best way to ensure you and your family are protected? Sometimes, that’s not necessarily the case, because the difference in low to high coverage is less than you think.

Check out the table below to see the differences in coverage.

State Farm$2,472.49$2,568.07$2,706.20$2,582.25
Liberty Mutual$1,841.97$1,924.80$2,046.19$1,937.65

If you’re a customer with Liberty Mutual, there’s only a $200 difference between low and high coverage. However, the news isn’t so good if you’re an Allstate customer, because their rates are more than $500 higher between low to high coverage.

You might ask, what is high or low coverage? Low coverage is the state-mandated minimum coverage required to drive legally in North Carolina.

The minimum auto insurance coverage needed in North Carolina is:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – $30,000 per person
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability – $60,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability – $25,000 per accident

However, you should consider adding important coverages for increased protection.

For high coverage, you can consider increasing your liability limits and opting for the following relevant coverages:

Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

Having good credit is essential if you don’t want to pay higher rates from car loans to mortgages. But did you know poor credit can also affect how much you pay for car insurance?

The following table shows how much rates can vary by credit score among the top providers.

State Farm$1,802.42$2,319.02$3,625.33$2,582.26
Liberty Mutual$1,937.65$1,937.65$1,937.65$1,937.65

The average credit score in the U.S. is 675. If your credit score is lower than this figure, you may face increased rates on car insurance. In some states, poor credit can raise your rates by thousands of dollars. If your insurance provider is Allstate and you have poor credit, your rates can be $3,500 more than someone with good credit.

 – Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

If you get a speeding ticket, have an accident, or get a DUI, your rates will probably increase in most situations.

The table below shows rates with these three violations compared to the rate for a clean record.

CompanyClean recordWith 1 speeding violationWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUIAverage
State Farm$1,374.01$1,990.38$1,990.38$4,974.24$2,779.54
Liberty Mutual$1,158.17$1,483.92$1,483.92$3,624.58$2,088.89

Having one too many can not only land you in jail, but it can cost you thousands on your car insurance. For example, a DUI will increase your rates by $8,000  if you have car insurance through Allstate. Your rates will vary, and we encourage you never to drink and drive.

 – Car Insurance Factors in Winston-Salem

Car insurance rates are not based solely on the driver-specific factors which we’ve mentioned above. Rates are also calculated on city-specific factors such as your Zip code, economic prosperity in your city, and average income levels.

In this section, we’ll discuss how these external factors influence your car insurance rates in Winston-Salem.

Growth & Prosperity

According to the Brookings Institute, Winston-Salem ranks 74th in growth and third in prosperity nationally. This means the economy in the area is healthy and thriving, and healthy economies encourage more business and bring in higher-paying jobs.


  • Jobs: +0.8 percent (74th of 100)
  • Gross metropolitan product (GMP): +4.8 percent (ninth of 100)
  • Jobs at young firms: +3.1 percent (53rd of 100)


  • Productivity: +4.0 percent (third of 100)
  • Standard of living: +3.9 percent (fourth of 100)
  • Average annual wage: +4.3 percent (second of 100)

What does a healthy economy mean to you as a car insurance consumer? It means that competition for your business is fierce among car insurance companies, which translates to better rates for you when you set out to purchase your policy.

 – Median Household Income

According to Data USA, the median household income in Winston-Salem is $42,219, whereas the national median household income is $60,336. However, in 2016, the average median income in Winston-Salem was $40,898. This means income for city residents has increased by 3.23 percent.

With an average annual car insurance premium of  $2,654, folks in Winston-Salem spend approximately 6.28 percent of their income on car insurance.

If you want to compare your insurance as a percentage of your income, use the calculator below to get started.


 – Homeownership in Winston-Salem

Owning your own home is a dream many of us have and may impact what rates you pay for insurance. Homeownership indicates the general health of the local economies, and insurers usually consider it to be a good indicator of your financial stability.

Being a homeowner won’t directly impact your auto insurance rates or your ability to qualify for a plan. But there may be additional discounts you are eligible for, so be sure and check with your provider.

In 2017, 54.5 percent of homes in the Winston-Salem area was occupied by the people who own them. This number was up from 54.1 percent from the previous year. However, this figure is well below the national average of 63.9 percent, meaning more folks are renting a residence rather than purchasing a home.

If you are thinking of buying a home in Winston-Salem, it is good to know that the median property value is around $142,200.

Education in Winston-Salem

Not only is Winston-Salem a great city to retire too, but it’s also a great city to get an education.

Check out this video from Wake Forest:

There are many colleges and universities around the Winston-Salem area that offer a varied assortment of programs and degrees.

The largest number of these by degrees awarded are from Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University. Winston-Salem State University is an HBCU, which is a historically black college and university and one of the most prestigious in the country. WSSU was founded in 1892 by Dr. Simon Green Atkins, the oldest child of former slaves Allen and Eliza Atkins.

Other large schools in the area are the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Salem College, and Piedmont International University.

If a four-year degree isn’t something you’re searching for, then community colleges, which offer two-year degrees as well as technical certificates and diplomas, might be a better option.

Forsyth Technical Community College is a technical school in Winston-Salem, quickly growing to meet the industrial needs of the growing Piedmont region. In 2016, Forsyth Tech awarded 1,691 degrees in programs like Business, Engineering, and Health-related technologies.

Poverty by Age & Gender

In Winston-Salem, 23.3 percent of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, whereas the national average is 13.4 percent.

Females aged 25 – 34 are the largest demographic living below the poverty line, while males in the same age group face similar challenges.

Poverty by Race & Ethnicity

Take a look at the following table to understand how poverty is affecting people across age groups, ethnicity, and gender:

Ethnic GroupPercentage
Black34.5 percent
White33.8 percent
Hispanic22.6 percent
Other6.03 percent
Two or More1.74 percent
Asian0.837 percent
Native0.291 percent
Pacific Islander0.18 percent

The most common racial/ethnic group to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is black (34.5 percent), followed by white at 33.8 percent.

Employment by Occupations

According to website Data USA, “the most common job groups, by the number of people living in Winston-Salem, NC, are Office & Administrative Support Occupations (13,067 people), Sales & Related Occupations (10,713 people), and Management Occupations (10,360 people).”

The video below explains more about the economic outlook for North Carolina:

Driving in Winston-Salem

We’ve mentioned that your credit score, driving record, education level, and other factors contribute to the cost of car insurance. But insurance companies also base rates on the car you drive, road conditions, traffic congestion in your area, crime reports, and so much more.

 – Roads in Winston-Salem

If you have just moved or are just visiting, there are bound to be certain roads that are confusing and disorienting in Winston-Salem. Your GPS wants you to turn left. Still, somehow, you’ve managed to turn into a dead-end street, and your device goes into “recalculating mode.”

In this section, we’ll cover the highways and interstates and help you calculate which way you need to go so you’ll never make another wrong turn.

Major Highways in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem isn’t the largest city in North Carolina, but it does have several major highways that connect it to many parts of the mid-Atlantic region.

WIn-Sal highway

As the map shows, Interstates I 40 and I 74 both bisect the city and are major thoroughfares through the state.

One plus side about the city of Winston-Salem is the fact that there are no toll roads in the city.

Popular Road Trips/Sites

Winston-Salem is well-known for its history as the birthplace of the RJ Reynolds Company, but what other attractions and sites are available for tourists to discover and enjoy?

This video tells us more:

Thrillist offers a great list of Winston-Salem’s best restaurants to keep you well-fed. It also lists bars and taverns to check out when you hit the downtown scene. Also, the annual North Carolina Wine Festival takes place just outside Winston-Salem every May.

Road Conditions in Winston-Salem

According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, here are the road conditions in Winston-Salem:

  • Poor Condition:  29 percent
  • Mediocre Condition:  31 percent
  • Fair Condition:  11 percent
  • Good Condition:  29 percent

The average vehicle operating costs for Winston-Salem residents, according to TRIP, is about $435 a year.

Does Winston-Salem use speeding or red-light cameras?

There are no speeding or red-light cameras in the city. Fortunately for residents, the city has recently installed wireless traffic signals, so drivers won’t waste time sitting at lights when no oncoming traffic is detected.

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Vehicles in Winston-Salem

Your insurance rate is also dependent on various factors, such as what car you drive and if it’s on the theft list. In this section, we’ll cover these topics and more.

 – Most Popular Vehicles Owned

Although Winston-Salem didn’t make the list for most popular vehicle owned, neighboring cities Charlotte and Durham-Chapel Hill did, with Cadillac DeVille and Honda Odyssey listed, respectively.

How Many Cars Per Household

In Winston-Salem, the average household has two cars.

Winston-Salem doesn’t have an extensive mass transit system, so most residents of the city have a car. Furthermore, in 2017, less than 5 percent of households in the city didn’t have a personal vehicle.

Not owning a car doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a car insurance policy. Many car insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance for people who drive on occasions, even if they don’t personally own a vehicle.

Speed traps in Winston-Salem

According to the website, residents report that Winston-Salem has numerous speed traps throughout the city.

The following video explains more:

Hopefully, getting caught in a speed trap isn’t something you have to worry about, because you always obey posted speed limit signs when driving. One of the ways to keep your car insurance premiums low is not to get a speeding ticket.

Vehicle Theft in Winston-Salem

According to the FBI,  15 vehicle thefts occurred in Winston-Salem in 2017. When considering your next car purchase, one thing to consider is that certain vehicles are stolen more frequently and may have higher insurance rates.

Winston-Salem has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The crime index is seven out of 100, which means that only 7 percent of other cities in the nation are safer than Winston-Salem.

According to Neighborhoodscout, here are the safest neighborhoods:

The chart below tells more about specific crimes in the city:

Number of Crimes1,4929,310

Crime Rate (per 1,000 Residents)6.10



Whether you live in a neighborhood that isn’t safe or in one where there are no issues, it’s always a good idea to have extra coverage on your vehicles to protect your investment.

Traffic in Winston-Salem

Waiting. Stressing. Aggravation. We’ve all been there.

Traffic. It’s the worst.

Traffic Congestion

Fortunately for drivers in Winston-Salem, there isn’t much of a traffic issue. According to TomTom, Winston-Salem had an overall congestion level of 10 percent in 2018. The city’s highways were less congested, at only 4 percent, and its non-highways were 16 percent on average.

They also report that folks in Winston-Salem spent an extra four minutes for their morning commute and eight additional minutes for their evening commute because of traffic congestion during peak driving hours.

– Transportation

According to Data USA, residents of Winston-Salem also enjoy a significantly lower commute time at 19.6 minutes each way. The national average is 25.1 minutes. Additionally, 1.85 percent of the workforce in Winston-Salem has “super commutes” of over 90 minutes.

Data USA  also reports that:

In 2017, the most common method of travel for workers in Winston-Salem was Drove Alone (82.9 percent), followed by those who Carpooled (7.48 percent) and those who Worked At Home (4.61 percent).

Busiest Highways

According to, the busiest roadway in Winston-Salem is University Parkway and North Point Boulevard, which sees a total of 70,000 cars per day.

How safe are Winston-Salem streets & roads?

Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t track city-specific roadway safety statistics, they do provide countywide statistics for Forsyth County, of which Winston-Salem is the largest city and the county seat.

In 2017, 42 fatalities were recorded on the county’s streets. The table below provides the number of fatalities in Forsyth County by crash type from 2013 – 2017.

Crash Type20132014201520162017
All Crashes2734404242
Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)812101812
Involving a Single Vehicle2120171723
Involving a Large Truck14663
Involving Speeding1112101411
Involving a Roadway Departure1522202521
Involving an Intersection241096

The majority of fatalities in Winston-Salem are car passengers, although pedestrians and cyclists are also at risk, especially in a college town. The table below provides the number of fatalities in Forsyth County for car passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists from 2013 – 2017.

Person Type20132014201520162017
Car Passenger817131817

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

In 2019, Allstate created a list of the top cities where drivers are least likely to get into a car accident. Winston-Salem drivers are doing great, ranking 28th out of 200 cities.

Needless to say, more accidents equals more insurance claims, driving up premiums.

An average driver in Winston-Salem spends 11.1 years between claims, whereas the national average is 10.6 years.


According to RideGuru, the following rideshare services are available in Winston-Salem:

  • Blacklane
  • Lyft
  • Traditional taxis
  • Uber

Lyft, Uber, and traditional taxis are available to pick you up from or take you to both Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) and Smith Reynolds Airport (INT).

E-star Repair Shops

Has your car broken down, and you’re not sure where to take it? Esurance created an E-star repair shop network that provides a list of reputable and top-quality repair shops near your location.

Winston-Salem has one E-star Repair Shop: Carolinas Collision Center at North Point. You can call them at (336) 759-2993 and find them at 7600 Phoenix Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

Weather in Winston-Salem

The weather. Everyone’s favorite topic. What’s the weather like in Winston-Salem, you may be wondering?

  • Annual high temperature:  69.7 F
  • Annual low temperature:  49.4 F
  • Average temperature:  59.55 F
  • Average annual precipitation: 46.93 inches

Winston-Salem is unique in the fact that it can be involved in multiple types of natural disasters. The city is equal to the national average of 13 natural disasters, which included hurricanes, snow, ice, and tornadoes.

Public Transit in Winston-Salem

While most people choose to drive personal vehicles in the Winston-Salem area, there are other options besides ridesharing, such as the Winston-Salem Transit Authority. The transit system offers comprehensive bus routes for the city’s residents, especially to and from the city’s several institutions of higher education.

WSTA Fares are affordable, too. Adults pay $1.00 per bus trip (transfers are free) and can buy a 30-day pass for $30. They also offer services for the elderly and disabled.

Cost of Alternate Transportation in Winston-Salem

Electric scooters and bicycles were outlawed in the city because companies didn’t procure proper operating procedures from the city. However, after further study about micromobility devices, the Winston-Salem Journal reports the city has recently given operating licenses to two electric scooter companies, Zagster and VeoRide.

Additionally, a company called Slidr will be putting out 200 dockless bicycles for residents to utilize in the near future.

Parking in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem provides and maintains all city-owned parking facilities in downtown Winston-Salem. Options include park and shuttle, hourly, and monthly options.

The city also operates 800 metered parking spots. Single-space meters only take quarters, but Winston-Salem has been installing more parking stations that accept both cash and credit cards.

This video explains how it works:

You want to make sure you are in a designated space and have paid the required fee because parking tickets start at $15 and go up depending on the infraction.

Air Quality in Winston-Salem

The more cars on the road, the higher the chances of pollution being in the area, which leads to poor air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Winston-Salem area enjoyed consistently good weather between 2016 – 2018.

The table below shows the number of days in Winston-Salem with each EPA designation for the years 2016 – 2018.


If you’re looking for a city with fresh air and less smog, Winston-Salem is a good choice.


Many insurance companies offer additional discounts to active duty military personnel, their extended families, and veterans. In this section, we will discuss the rates and discounts that the men and women in uniform can expect from insurance companies operating in Winston-Salem.

In Winston-Salem, the majority of military personnel and veterans have served in Vietnam and the Second Gulf War.

If you are a veteran or in the military, the following providers offer military discounts:

  • Allstate
  • Esurance
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • Liberty Mutual
  • MetLife
  • SafeAuto
  • State Farm
  • The General
  • USAA

USAA consistently ranks as one of the best auto insurance companies, and they insure only military personnel, active or retired, and their immediate family members.

To all who have served, we thank you for your service.

Unique City Laws

If you’re new to Winston-Salem, there may be some laws you are unfamiliar with, including this unique Winston-Salem law: It’s illegal for children under age seven to go to college.

Here are some other laws that may help you navigate around the city:

– Hands-Free Laws

Residents of North Carolina are still allowed to use handheld devices while driving, as a bill on the subject has been held up in the state legislature. The Winston-Salem Journal reports House Bill 144 passed the state House and was sent to the Senate for further consideration. As of November 2019, Hands Free NC, as its known, is still under consideration.

– Food Trucks

Food trucks are popular in Winston-Salem. The video below shows how the city is embracing the food truck scene:

– Tiny Homes

Tiny homes are gaining popularity across the country, and cities like Winston-Salem have had to address the topic so constraints could be put into place. The most significant question officials are addressing is whether a tiny home is the same as a recreational vehicle. Presently, living full-time in an RV isn’t allowed.

– Parking Restrictions & Laws

Most of us know when we need a place to park our car, we look for a clearly marked area to do so. Sometimes, if we’re in a hurry or dark outside, we may miss a “no parking” sign. Here is everything you need to know about parking in Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Car Insurance FAQs

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this comprehensive guide to car insurance in Winston-Salem, but you may still have some questions. Our last section looks at some commonly asked questions about the great city of Winston-Salem.

– Who handles the utilities in Winston-Salem?

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County provides water, waste, and recycling services to residents through their public utility co-op. Duke Energy provides the area with gas and electric services.

– What are the state minimums for car insurance in North Carolina?

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the minimum car insurance coverage that you must carry to comply with state laws is:

  • ​Bodily injury per person: $30,000
  • ​Total bodily injury per accident: ​$60,000
  • ​Property damage: ​$25,000

– What time is it in Winston-Salem, NC?

Winston-Salem is in the Eastern Standard Time zone. This means that if you are not in the same time zone, you will need to add or subtract hours from your day to determine what time it is in the city, or you can use‘s convenient tool. Enter a city or time zone and hit the go button.

– How far away is the beach?

Wilmington, North Carolina, is an easy three-hour drive east on I-40. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are close enough to spend a holiday weekend.

– How far away are the mountains?

You have the best of both worlds if you live in Winston-Salem: the mountains and the beach. Asheville and the Great Smokey Mountains are less than 150 miles from Winston-Salem.

Where is the post office?

Post OfficeAddressPhone Number
Center City Post Office200 Town Run Ln, Winston Salem, NC 27101336-668-1375
Hanes Mall Post Office3320 Silas Creek Pkwy Ste 500, Winston Salem, NC 27103336-668-1375
Manor Post Office3331 Healy Dr, Winston Salem, NC 27103336-668-1375
North Point Post Office7840 N Point Blvd Ste 110, Winston Salem, NC 27106336-931-9320
Waughtown Post Office1995 Pleasant St, Winston Salem, NC 27107336-668-1375
Winston Salem Post Office1500 N Patterson Ave, Winston Salem, NC 27105336-668-1375

What else is there to do in Winston-Salem?

Just ask these two:


What else do I need to know about Winston-Salem?

That’s a good question. It’s a growing city with a vibrant downtown. It’s centrally located in North Carolina with easy access to the mountains and the beach. We don’t know the answers to all of the questions you may have, but we do know how to help you find a great deal on car insurance.

What part of this guide was the most helpful? Was there something we could explain better so that you can make a better-informed car insurance decision?

To get started on finding the best car insurance rates in Winston-Salem for you and your family, enter your Zip code below to get started.



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