Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 22, 2020

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City Stats - Houston, Texas
City StatsDetails
Population2,304,388

Population Density3,977 people/square mile
Average Annual Cost of Insurance$7,206.52
Cheapest Car Insurance CompanyUSAA
Road ConditionsPoor share: 24%
Mediocre share: 28%
Fair share: 11%
Good share: 38%
Vehicle Operating Costs: $610
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Are you looking for the best car insurance in Houston, TX? Or maybe just the cheapest car insurance?

Were here to review Houston, TX car insurance companies.

When you shop for car insurance, you want to make sure you get the best rate for your situation.

Not everyone has a lot of money to spend, so it’s wise to look for the best insurance coverage you can afford. And it can be tough if you can’t cover the costs.

One of the perks of modern life is that you have freedom of choice — a variety of options are available. And we’ve made your research easier.

We’ve found the best Houston, TX car insurance rates and offer useful advice on a number of factors that affect car insurance coverage to help your decision-making.

We’re going to take a look at car insurance rate by a number of different factors like age, gender, and location. We’ll even dig into specifics like Esurance E-star shops and the average cost of car insurance in Houston, TX.

Let’s get started if you need low cost car insurance in Houston, Texas.

Read on to find the average costs of car insurance in Houston, and how those rates compare based on your needs.

Before you buy Houston, TX car insurance, enter your zip code in our free online tool above to start shopping for Texas car insurance.

We can help you find affordable Houston, TX car insurance quotes.

Table of Contents

Male vs. Female vs. Age Car Insurance Rates

As you’ll see below, your age and gender influence insurers’ rates. The youngest drivers usually pay more than older, more experienced drivers, and the rates tend to decrease with age.

The median age in Houston is 33, meaning that most Houston drivers won’t face high premiums.

The cheapest age for insurance in Houston is 60 years old, and the cheapest rate is $2,791.00 per year.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age
Driver AgeAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
60$2,876.24
35$3,018.83
25$3,794.62
17$9,393.23
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Married 60-year-old males and females have the best rates, as shown below.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Gender & Marital Status
Driver Age, Gender, and Marital StatusAverage Annual Caro Insurance Rates
Married 60-year old female$2,791.00
Married 60-year old male$2,961.47
Married 35-year old female$2,969.61
Married 35-year old male$3,068.06
Single 25-year old female$3,683.32
Single 25-year old male$3,905.93
Single 17-year old female$8,559.72
Single 17-year old male$10,226.74
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For males and females, the insurance rates start to decrease quite a bit after age 17.

The best solution, of course, regardless of your age and gender, is to find a provider with the best rates, regardless of those factors.

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Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Codes in Houston, TX

Where you live can impact finding cheap car insurance in Texas.

Insurance rates can vary in the same city based on crime rates, natural disasters, and other factors. These are some of the lowest rates for Houston ZIP codes.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in 25 Cheapest Houston, TX ZIP Codes
ZIP CodesAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
77059$6,254.85
77062$6,263.54
77058$6,308.38
77339$6,351.62
77079$6,441.61
77005$6,459.12
77094$6,513.47
77598$6,523.91
77336$6,538.79
77006$6,550.05
77098$6,594.26
77069$6,608.68
77046$6,623.26
77070$6,655.34
77025$6,664.14
77089$6,714.46
77007$6,724.72
77027$6,740.78
77056$6,743.45
77030$6,751.63
77024$6,766.97
77018$6,787.86
77489$6,794.35
77064$6,795.54
77068$6,797.24
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In comparison, the table below shows the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in Houston.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in 25 Most Expensive Houston, TX ZIP Codes
ZIP CodeAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
77023$7,399.43
77014$7,408.80
77045$7,420.16
77017$7,427.19
77090$7,441.20
77086$7,471.65
77061$7,479.15
77048$7,486.87
77051$7,489.43
77201$7,492.29
77204$7,496.11
77004$7,497.22
77050$7,505.14
77020$7,514.53
77026$7,553.90
77038$7,567.20
77028$7,579.76
77093$7,592.70
77099$7,600.09
77039$7,601.85
77022$7,605.82
77081$7,609.75
77088$7,612.47
77067$7,613.31
77016$7,629.02
77091$7,644.01
77060$7,664.73
77037$7,670.41
77083$7,670.98
77076$7,684.94
77078$7,700.94
77053$7,747.72
77033$7,840.97
77072$7,909.04
77036$8,150.71
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What’s the Best Car Insurance Company in Houston, TX?

Who are the best Texas car insurance companies?

That’s an interesting question and one that we’ll help you answer, based on your needs and budget, with the data we received from our partner Quadrant below.

So, let’s dive in.

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company in Houston, TX

These are the cheapest car insurance providers by age and demographics in Houston.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age and Gender
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a Married 60-Year Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 60-Year Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year Old MaleAverage
USAA$1,788.73$1,764.79$2,474.00$2,628.93$1,861.20$1,862.59$5,316.68$5,756.42$2,931.67
State Farm$2,150.86$2,150.86$2,624.53$2,699.21$2,409.57$2,409.57$5,837.21$7,446.90$3,466.09
Nationwide$2,414.89$2,556.62$3,231.22$3,497.33$2,737.94$2,781.67$7,905.73$10,151.58$4,409.62
Progressive$2,470.71$2,516.22$3,311.60$3,372.89$2,780.15$2,646.22$11,780.27$13,178.71$5,257.10
GEICO$2,838.28$3,271.55$3,158.48$3,120.96$2,912.28$3,169.25$6,541.74$6,741.68$3,969.28
American Family$3,710.26$4,306.92$5,781.26$6,621.66$3,868.87$4,362.69$11,317.80$14,803.09$6,846.57
Allstate$4,163.30$4,163.30$5,202.14$5,400.52$4,217.27$4,244.40$11,218.58$13,508.79$6,514.79
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On average, USAA, State Farm, and Geico have the lowest rates for all age groups and genders; this information can help determine company rates based on your demographic rather than the lowest prices overall.

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Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates in Houston, TX

Besides your age and gender, another crucial factor in your insurance rates is your regular commute; the longer it is, the more you can tend to pay.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Commute
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a
10 Miles Commute
6,000 Annual Mileage
Average Annual Rates for a
25 Miles Commute
12,000 Annual Mileage
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates
USAA$2,471.80$2,535.03$2,503.42
State Farm$3,111.91$3,111.91$3,111.91
GEICO$3,417.61$3,543.16$3,480.39
Nationwide$3,421.67$3,421.67$3,421.67
Progressive$4,343.44$4,343.44$4,343.44
American Family$4,769.79$4,769.79$4,769.79
Allstate$5,360.96$5,632.01$5,496.49
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The average miles driven in the state of Texas are 17,099,340; it’s the second largest U.S. state, so there are lots of roads to travel. As the table above shows, USAA and State Farm have the best rates for distance traveled, and there’s not much, if any difference, between the rates for 10-mile and 25-mile commutes.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates in Houston, TX

As the chart below shows, there’s not much difference in the costs among low, medium, and high insurance rates, so you have a variety of options to find the best price for you.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for High CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates
USAA$3,063.36$2,814.10$2,917.54$2,931.67
State Farm$3,675.87$3,268.93$3,453.47$3,466.09
Nationwide$4,269.74$4,739.31$4,219.83$4,409.63
GEICO$4,275.87$3,723.01$3,908.95$3,969.28
Progressive$5,526.99$5,009.56$5,234.74$5,257.10
Allstate$6,747.80$6,345.48$6,451.07$6,514.78
American Family$7,693.82$6,295.82$6,550.06$6,846.57
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At companies like State Farm, the increase from low to high coverage is only about $300 a year, or an extra $25 a month. If the best coverage is still too expensive, medium coverage is a good alternative for budget and your overall safety.

Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates in Houston, TX

Your credit score can make your rates go up or down. Let’s see how.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Credit History
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with Good CreditAverage Annual Rates with Fair CreditAverage Annual Rates with Poor CreditAverage Annual Rates
USAA$2,013.20$2,496.22$4,285.58$2,931.67
Geico$2,293.67$3,462.39$6,151.78$3,969.28
State Farm$2,439.19$3,057.10$4,901.97$3,466.09
Nationwide$3,684.52$4,248.38$5,295.97$4,409.62
Progressive$4,736.52$5,113.92$5,920.85$5,257.10
Allstate$5,193.73$6,064.69$8,285.94$6,514.79
American Family$5,253.86$6,015.71$9,270.13$6,846.57
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The cost difference between poor and good credit can vary as much as $3,000 to $4,000 at some companies. At American Family, a premium for a driver with poor credit can cost over $9,000 a year.

Before you buy Houston, TX car insurance, be sure to compare rates from multiple companies.

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Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates in Houston, TX

A poor driving record is another contributor to your overall insurance rates. Like your credit, the better your track record, the better your rates.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving History
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One accidentAverage Annual Rates with One DUIAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding ViolationAverage Annual Rates
USAA$2,174.69$3,238.80$3,814.31$2,498.87$3,075.93
State Farm$3,071.33$3,533.51$4,188.19$3,071.33$3,597.68
GEICO$3,360.70$4,480.89$3,696.17$4,339.34$3,845.92
Nationwide$3,820.09$3,820.09$5,678.74$4,319.57$4,439.64
Progressive$4,576.28$5,935.65$5,356.54$5,159.92$5,289.49
Allstate$5,026.59$7,838.42$8,167.54$5,026.59$7,010.85
American Family$6,204.20$7,997.66$6,980.21$6,204.20$7,060.69
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As shown, among offenses, the most costly are accidents and DUIs, which can raise your rates $1,000 or more, depending on the insurer.

Car Insurance Factors in Houston, TX

Many aspects of city life factor into local car insurance coverage and rates. This data can affect how much you can pay for car insurance.

Growth & Prosperity

Metro Monitor statistics show that from 2005 to 2015, the Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land areas ranked second for growth, third in prosperity, and 12th for inclusion.

Houston has historically been among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States; according to Census estimates, it gained 156,371 residents from 2013 to 2014.

Greater Houston is the fifth-most populated metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the nation, encompassing nine counties along the Gulf Coast in southeastern Texas. With a 2018 estimated population of 6,997,384, it’s the second metroplex in Texas after Dallas–Fort Worth.

Growth

Growth indicators measure the change in the size of an urban area’s economy and its level of entrepreneurial activity. Growth and entrepreneurship create new opportunities for individuals and can help a metro economy become more efficient. These figures measure growth in gross metropolitan product, the number of jobs, and the amount of jobs at young firms.

Here’s how the Greater Houston area grew from 2005 to 2015:

  • Jobs: +25.7 percent (3rd of 100)
  • Gross metropolitan product (GMP): +47.4 percent (3rd of 100)
  • Jobs at young firms: +12.7 percent (4th of 100)

The expected job growth in the area was 9.2 percent higher than the national average, whereas the actual job growth was 26 percent, and the difference between real and expected job growth hovered around 17 percent.

The industries with the most growth included wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers, management of scientific and technical consulting services, and managers of companies and enterprises.

Prosperity

Prosperity captures changes in the average wealth and income an economy produces. When worker productivity contributes to a metropolitan area’s growth, through innovation or training, for example, the value of those workers’ labor rises.

As the value of labor rises, so can wages. Increases in productivity and wages are what ultimately improve living standards for workers and families and the competitiveness of metropolitan economies.

This is how Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land increased in prosperity from 2005 to 2015:

  • Productivity: +17.2 percent (4th of 100)
  • Standard of living: +15.9 percent (4th of 100)
  • Average annual wage: +18.4 percent (4th of 100)

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Median Household Income in Houston, TX

It helps to compare how much you earn versus how much you pay for car insurance annually. 

The average Houstonian’s household income is $50,896 per year, which is lower than the state average and neighboring counties, and $10,000 less than the average U.S. income.

 

What are the average car insurance rates in Houston, TX? Take a look at the table below. 

Houston, TX Insurance as a Percentage of Income
Average Annual Car
Insurance Rates
Average Annual
Income
Car Insurance as a Percentage of Income
$7,206.52$50,896.0014.16%
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CalculatorPro

Homeownership in Houston, TX

Homeownership can keep your insurance rates low. For instance, some companies offer discounts if you insure your car and your home through them.

In Greater Houston, about 43 percent of residents are homeowners, which is below the national average of 64 percent. It’s also lower than the average in Texas and of neighboring counties.

 

The value of most Houston homeowners’ properties in 2017 averaged $173,600. Though it’s $20,000 lower than the national average, it is higher than the average in Texas, which was $151,500, but it’s lower than most areas nearby.

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Education in Houston, TX

The largest local universities are the University of Houston (9,524 degrees awarded in 2016), Houston Community College (8,129 degrees), and the University of Houston-Downtown (2,882 degrees).

 

The Houston Community College System (HCCS) operates schools in Houston, Missouri City, Greater Katy, and Stafford, Texas.

It’s known for recruiting actively internationally and for the high amount of international students enrolled, which was over 5,700 in 2015. Its open enrollment policies don’t require fluency in English, but students can take a full-time 18-month English proficiency program and remedial courses.

Wage by Race and Ethnicity for Common Jobs in Houston, TX

 

In 2017, the highest paid race/ethnicity of Houston workers was Asian. They earned 1.26 times more than white workers, who made the second highest salary of any race/ethnicity. Managers of all races and ethnicities earned more than those in the other four most common full-time occupations in Houston.

How does this affect your car insurance premiums? Below you’ll see how much the top-earning races and ethnicities’ incomes go to car insurance.

Houston, TX Average Annual Wage by Race
RaceAverage Annual Car
Insurance Rates
Average Annual
Income
Car Insurance Rates as a Percentage of Income
American Indian$7,206.52$111,1596.48%
Asian$7,206.52$106,5796.76%
White$7,206.52$103,1166.99%
Two or More Races$7,206.52$86,4318.34%
Black$7,206.52$69,17210.42%
Other$7,206.52$62,09811.61%
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Wage by Gender for Common Jobs in Houston, TX

There’s still a gender gap in wages, with males still earning more than females in Houston. But for some jobs, such as cashiers and school teachers, that gap is closing.

 

  • Houston Female Average Salary — $47,183
  • Houston Male Average Salary — $65,834

Overall, males in Houston earned 1.4 times more — or $22,000 higher —  than their female counterparts.

Poverty by Age and Gender in Houston, TX

Gender and age also affect poverty rates.

 

According to Data USA, 473,000 of Greater Houston residents, or 21 percent, live below the poverty line. That rate is higher than the national average of 13 percent. Most of those living in poverty are females ages 25-44 and boys ages 6-11.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in Houston, TX

The number of Hispanics and whites who live below the poverty line in the Houston area is almost even (36 versus 34 percent). Half or fewer than half of blacks and other races and ethnicities live in poverty.

Employment by Occupations in Houston, TX

As shown in the chart below, from 2016 to 2017, employment in Houston declined at a rate of -1.48 percent from 1.12-1.11 million employees.

 

Below are the top three most common job groups:

  1. Other Management Occupations Except Farmers, Ranchers, & Other Agricultural Managers — 60,011 people
  2. Building Cleaning & Pest Control Workers — 49,970 thousand people
  3. Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers — 31,598 people

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Driving in Houston, TX

Driving in cities as large as Houston, with heavy, congested traffic, can be frustrating.

Need to find the best routes along Houston’s highways and by-ways? We’ve collected everything you need below, so keep reading to chart the best course for your journey.

This video will give you an idea of what it’s like to drive in Houston:

Roads in Houston, TX

Texas has 25 active interstates, which take up 3,501 miles of roadway and spread in different directions like spokes on a wheel.

 

Toll roads and metro lanes the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA), Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA), Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA), and Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operate appear below:

  • Westpark Tollway
  • Fort Bend Parkway & Extension
  • Grand Parkway: Fort Bend County, TxDOT
  • Hardy Toll Road
  • Hardy Airport Connector
  • Sam Houston Ship Channel
  • Sam Houston Tollway
  • SH 242
  • Tomball Tollway
  • Katy Freeway Managed lanes I-10 QuickRide and US 290
  • US-290 (Northwest Freeway) HOT Lanes
  • US-59 North (Eastex Freeway) HOT Lanes
  • US-59 South (Southwest Freeway) HOT Lanes
  • I-45 North (North Freeway) HOT Lanes
  • I-45 South (Gulf Freeway) HOT Lanes

How much you’ll pay to take them depends on your route and the tag you use. According to MoneyWise, State Highway 242 connector ramp (No. 9) near The Woodlands, Fort Bend Parkway (No. 4) and the State Highway 249 connector ramp (No. 3) in North Houston are among the most expensive toll roads in the country.

You can pay using tags such as TxTag, NTTA TollTag, HCTRA EZ Tag, EZ TAG. You can also use video tolling systems such as Pay by Mail on TxDOT roads or ZipCash on NTTA roads. TxTag works at all Texas locations that accept it; bridges on the Mexico-Texas border only accept cash. At all other places, you can use TxTag or NTTA TollTag.

Most Texas toll roads don’t have cash toll plazas. If you have a Tolltag or TxTag or another interoperable tag such as PikePass, toll plazas will scan them. If you don’t carry a TollTag, the agency will photograph your license plate and send you a bill. They will only send you a bill when you’ve accumulated a certain amount.

It’s cheaper to get a TollTag or TxTag if you drive on the toll road several times.

Popular Road Trip Sites near Houston, TX

Houston is home to the world-famous Space Center and numerous other attractions worthy of a road trip. Below are some ideas for your next adventure.

8 Absolutely Amazing Places To Visit In Houston – from the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park to the Camino Market, these are some low and no-cost stops worth a visit.

Houston Museum District a Cultural Mecca for All Ages – the extensive Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), The Holocaust Museum of Houston, and the Children’s Museum of Houston are among the many museums to visit for memorable and educational experiences.

Market Square Historic District in Houston – Dining, sightseeing, and dancing are among the things to do in this more than 150-year-old section of the city, which also features many well-preserved Victorian, Art-Deco, and Beaux Arts-style buildings.

18 Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in Houston, Texas – The National Museum of Funeral History and the Beer Can Museum are a few of the local oddities to check out for something off the beaten path.

Haunted Houston – As one of the most haunted places in the U.S., you’ll find plenty of spooky spots, such as the Rice Hotel, where President Kennedy spent his last night, and the Spaghetti Warehouse, which once housed fur pelts and pharmaceuticals. Sadly, a young pharmacist died tragically in the building and his spirit, among other lost souls, are said to call it home.

And, if that’s not enough for you, here is Expedia’s Houston Travel Guide:

Houston has many interesting, eclectic, and historic sights worth a weekend getaway. The variety of attractions throughout the fourth most populated city in Texas and the U.S. might surprise you.

Road Conditions

The following are pavement conditions and vehicle operating costs in Houston from TRIP, a national transportation research group:

Houston, Texas Road Conditions
Road ConditionsPercentage of Total Roads
Poor Share24%
Mediocre Share28%
Fair Share11%
Good Share38%
Vehicle Operating Costs (VOC)$610
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Many of the roads are in poor and mediocre rather than good shape, so the quality of the ground you cover may vary as you travel to your destination.

Does Houston use speeding or red light cameras?

Houston doesn’t use speeding or red light cameras, however, another city in the area, Sugar Land, has had red light cameras for a decade. Sugar Land officials credit the cameras for reducing the number of crashes.

Houston once had red light cameras, but voters decided to turn them off several years ago. Lone Star State Lawmakers have tried to ban them, and they plan to continue to keep this issue on the table.

This video debates the issue of whether red light cameras caused accidents in Houston:

Vehicles in Houston, TX

Houstonians are used to the safety, theft, and traffic issues involved with car ownership, and the potential headaches involved. Let’s see how your car compares in Greater Houston.

Most Popular Vehicles in Houston, TX

These are some interesting statistics from YourMechanic:

  • Most Unusually Popular Car: Ford F-250 Super Duty
  • The Hybrid Index = 0.7 percent of cars YourMechanic services in Houston are hybrids (41 out of 81 cities)
  • The Muscle Car Index = 18.5 percent of vehicles YourMechanic repairs in Houston have V8 engines; the city ranked third on their list
  • The Subaru Index = 0.5 percent of cars YourMechanic fixes there are Subarus (ranked 65th out of 81 towns)

According to these numbers, Houstonians prefer rugged vehicles with powerful engines, and the most popular, Ford F-250, meets those requirements. Overall gas mileage for the 2019 model isn’t great, at 15 miles per gallon — ten in the city and up to 20 on the highway.

Consumer Reports stated that it’s “probably among the clumsiest handling vehicle we’ve ever tested.

The F-250 practically takes a village to make it turn…That doesn’t mean the F-250 is unsafe. In our avoidance maneuver, it managed almost 47 mph, albeit with some effort due to the slow steering and low front-end grip. Pushing it further on our track revealed low cornering capabilities but nonetheless, a predictable and forgiving behavior.”

The Ford F-250 Crew Cab scored a four-star rating in NHTSA’s 5 Star Safety Rating. The test includes a front, side crash, and rollover test.

 How Many Cars Per Household?

The average Houstonian owns two cars, followed by one and three vehicles.

Households Without a Car

Below are statistics from 2015 and 2016 for Houston households that don’t own cars.

Houston Households Without Vehicles
2015 Households
Without Vehicles
2016 Households
Without Vehicles
2015 Vehicles
Per Household
2016 Vehicles
Per Household
8.30%8.10%1.581.59
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A small number, only eight percent, don’t use cars; the average number of vehicles owned matches Data USA’s figures (above).

Speed Traps in Houston, TX

The National Speed Trap Exchange reports that over the past five years, motorists have named Houston the worst Texas speed trap city.

Houston Speed Traps
Number of Speed TrapsAcknowledgement Rate*
4477%

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Houston hosts more than double the number of speed traps than Austin, ranked second on the list.

* Acknowledgement rate = the number of “Yes, this is a speed trap” votes for the city over the defined time divided by the total number of “yes” plus “no” votes.

Vehicle Theft in Houston, TX

Neighborhood Scout states 11,680 motor vehicle thefts occurred in 2017, which is an estimated five per 1,000 people out of a population of 2.3 million.

This news report reveals how Houston police caught two men who were part of a massive auto theft ring:

The safest Houston neighborhood is Dogwood Acres/Walden Woods in the north of the city.

Other safe neighborhoods that round out the top 10:

  • Westheimer Parkway / S Ferry Road
  • Clodine
  • Sandtown Circle / Sandtown Lane
  • Clodine Reddick Rd. / Beechnut Blvd.
  • Olcott
  • Porter Heights
  • River Terrace
  • Echo Mountain Dr. / Mills Branch Dr.
  • Telge Rd. / Northwest Freeway

These locations are great to keep in mind as safe neighborhoods. Overall, Houston ranks four out of 100 for safe cities (100 is the safest).

Below are stats for violent crimes in Houston:

Houston, TX Violent Crimes
Type of CrimesTotal Number of CrimesCrime Rates per 1,000 Population
Rape2690.12
Robbery1,3860.60
Assault9,8424.26
Murder14,3466.20
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Per 1,000 residents, you have a one in 89 chance of being a victim of violent crime in Houston. That’s lower than the statewide average of one in 228. But, these numbers for overall annual crimes in 2017 are startling.

As shown below, property crime in Houston is more likely than violent crime.

Houston, TX Annual Crimes
Type of CrimesNumber of CrimesCrime Rates per 1,000 Population
Violent25,84311.17
Property98,19742.46
Total124,04053.63
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Traffic in Houston, TX

Numbeo measures statistics about the traffic in major North American cities.

Houston ranks sixth on their list, with a Traffic Index of 208.54. The Traffic Index is a composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, and an estimate of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption in traffic, and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.

Their Time Index shows that the average Houstonian spends 42 minutes and 21 seconds in traffic (one way). The Inefficiency Index of 242.95 is an estimate of how such inadequacies as long commute times and driving a car instead of using public transportation affect overall traffic.

Transportation in Houston, TX

Houstonians spend a lot of time in traffic. Compared to the national average of 25.3 minutes, Houston residents have a longer commute of 26.5 minutes, and two percent of the workforce has a “super commute” of more than 90 minutes.

As part of the traffic congestion, as the chart below shows, an overwhelming majority of Houston commuters drove alone, more than seven times the number of those who carpooled or used other forms of transportation.

Busiest Highways in Houston, TX

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the Houston highways with the most lanes are route 6, US-59, I-10, and I-610, all which have 12 lanes. The number of lanes represents the total number of lanes in both directions for multi-directional facilities, e.g., northbound and southbound lanes. It doesn’t include toll plazas.

Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute statistics show that the 610 Loop from I-10 to I-69 in uptown Houston is the most congested in Texas with 1.6 million wasted hours in traffic per mile.

The Southwest Freeway from the 610 Loop to Highway 288 comes in second, with annual wasted hours in traffic of 1,372,657. Texas A&M estimated the annual congestion cost (associated with fuel consumption) for Houstonians traveling on the Uptown 610 Loop at $119 million and over $146 million for the Southwest Freeway.

So, if possible, avoid those routes, especially at peak traffic times.

The video covers some of Houston’s worst commutes:

How Safe are Houston’s Streets and Roads?

Busy highways affect traffic safety, but many factors, including driver impairment and distraction, also create risks on the road.

Below are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash statistics for Harris County. First, let’s look at the total fatal crashes in 2017.

Harris County, TX Total Car Crashes by Year
YearsTotal Car Crashes
2013369
2014417
2015391
2016447
2017456
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As shown, the number of crashes has gone up and down since 2013, with most hovering around 400 per year.

Next, let’s see some sobering statistics about alcohol-impaired fatalities.

Harris County, TX Car Crash Fatalities Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC >0.08)
YearsTotal Fatal Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver
2013174
2014210
2015170
2016209
2017202
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See NHTSA data below on crash types in Harris County.

Harris County, TX Single Vehicle Crash Fatalities
YearTotal Fatal Car Crashes
2013209
2014216
2015220
2016263
2017242
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The numbers, unfortunately, have risen steadily since 2013.

Here are recent statistics for the number of Harris County crashes involving speed.

Harris County, TX Speeding Crash Fatalities
YearsTotal Speeding Crash Fatalities
2013121
2014136
2015107
2016135
2017105
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The figures have remained pretty consistent, with slight ups and downs.

Here we have the amounts of fatalities involving road departures.

Harris County, TX Road Departure Crash Fatalities
YearsTotal Fatal County Road Departure Crashes
2013155
2014177
2015166
2016175
2017173
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Like many of the prior statistics, these numbers have also climbed since 2013, but in recent years, have remained steady.

These are statistics for crashes that involved intersections or were related to them.

Harris County, TX Road Intersection Crash Fatalities
YearsTotal Fatal Intersection Crashes
201377
2014103
201589
2016102
2017115
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As time has passed, these numbers have continued to rise.

Next, let’s look at stats for occupants of cars with passengers.

Harris County, TX Passenger Car Occupant Crash Fatalities

YearsTotal Fatal Passenger Car Occupant Crashes
2013118
2014146
2015124
2016147
2017149
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Like other figures for other crashes noted above, these have continued to rise since 2013.

Now, let’s explore the numbers of pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes in recent years.

Harris County, TX Passenger Pedestrian Crash Fatalities



YearsTotal Fatal Pedestrian Crashes
201393
201490
201598
2016130
2017109
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These numbers have hovered around 100 for the past several years.

Here are some statistics for crashes involving bicyclists.

Harris County, TX Passenger Pedacyclist Crash Fatalities
YearsTotal Fatal Pedacyclist Crashes
20139
201412
201510
201611
201714
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Fortunately, these numbers are low, given the fewer amounts of bicyclists who share the road with drivers, however, it would be best if there were none.

Next, we have NHTSA’s information on Harris County highways with the most fatal crashes. Let’s see how the numbers compare based on each road type.

Harris County, TX Passenger FARS Data
Road TypeNumber of Fatal Car Crashes
Interstate (Rural)2
Interstate (Urban)91
Freeway and Expressway63
Other Principal Arterial101
Minor Arterial101
Collector Arterial38
Local34
Unknown1
Total431
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An arterial road is a high-capacity urban road. Depending on the amount of traffic, the arterial road may be classified as a highway or a minor arterial road.

A collector road gathers traffic from local roads and takes drivers to arterial roads.

Most of Harris County’s fatal crashes occur on major and minor arterial roads. Be extra cautious when driving through these areas.

Another driving hazard is railroad crashes. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) collected information on Houston’s fatalities and injuries from railway accidents.

Harris County, TX Railroad and Highway Car Crash Incidents
Highway User SpeedHighwayHighway User TypeRail Equipment TypeNon-Suicide FatalitiesNon-Suicide Injuries
0Long DrTruck-trailerFreight Train00
0Lyons AvePedestrianFreight Train00
5Oil Tanking W MainAutomobileFreight Train00
20Lyons AveAutomobileFreight Train01
105800 Long RdAutomobileFreight Train01
0Fondren RdAutomobileFreight Train00
0Kempwood DrPick-up truckFreight Train00
10Lyons AvePick-up truckFreight Train00
0Long StTruck-trailerFreight Train00
19Parker StAutomobileFreight Train00
10Long DrAutomobileFreight Train00
0Oil Tanking E MainTruck-trailerFreight Train00
3In the YardPick-up truckLight Loco(s)00
5Jacinto Blvd CrossingTruck-trailerCut of Cars00
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Most of the crashes involved cars and tractor-trailer trucks. Pay attention to the traffic around you and slow down around railroad crossings.

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

Insurance companies keep track of driving statistics, and Allstate is no exception. Below are some figures regarding insurance claims drivers file in the Greater Houston area.

Allstate America's Houston, TX Area Driver Report
Best
Drivers Report
Ranking
Average Years
Between Claims
Relative Claim
Likelihood
(Compared to
National
Average)
2018
Drivewise®
Hard-Braking
Events Per
1
1,000 Miles
1646.944.40%N/A
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Allstate’s report ranked the area as the 164th safest to drive in 2018. The average amount of time between claims, seven years, indicates that many drivers don’t often experience major accidents. In the vicinity, the likelihood of a claim being made compared to the national average is 44 percent.

Ridesharing in Houston, TX

It’s helpful to know the ridesharing services available and their rates. 

Depending on the type of Uber service you choose, generally, Uber is the cheapest in Houston, followed by local taxi services. Lyft’s and Uber’s premium services compete with each other after that.

E-star® Repair Shops

A program from Esurance, E-star® helps drivers find the best repair shop in their areas. According to E-star®, these are the top ten repair shops in and around Houston:

  • Miller Auto & Body Repair
    4816 N. Shepherd
    Houston, TX 77018
    email: steve.millers@sbcglobal.net
    P: (713) 864-7820
    F: (713) 864-6280
  • Russell & Smith Ford Honda
    1109 South Loop W
    Houston, TX 77054
    email: bodyshop@russellsmith.com
    P: (713) 663-4216
    F: (713) 663-4110
  • Service King Galleria
    5919 Westheimer Road
    Houston,TX 77057
    email: ccc@serviceking.com
    P: (713) 243-1400
    F: (713) 266-4316
  • Carstar Premier
    9520 Richmond Ave.
    Houston, TX 77063
    email: csr@carstarofhouston.com
    P: (713) 952-3777
  • Service King Southwest Freeway
    10475 Southwest Freeway
    Houston, TX 77074
    email: ccc@serviceking.com
    P: (713) 773-5000
    F: (713) 772-1746
  • Service King Pearland
    2330 Smith Ranch Road
    Pearland, TX 77584
    email: ccc@serviceking.com
    P: (713) 795-3100
    F: (800) 214-2373
  • Sunrise Paint & Body Inc.
    4211 Cook Rd
    Houston, TX 77072
    email: marilu@sunrisepb.com
    P: (281) 933-7473
    F: (281) 933-9426
  • Charlton’s Body Repair
    1131 Staffordshire Rd
    Stafford, TX 77477
    email: charbody@aol.com
    P: (281) 499-1126
    F: (281) 499-1694
  • Greenfield Collision Center
    15920 Kuykendahl
    Houston, TX 77068
    email: greenfieldcollision@gmail.com
    P: (281) 580-1994
    F: (281) 580-3205
  • Service King Humble
    450 E Fm 1960
    Humble, TX 77338
    email: ccc@serviceking.com
    P: (281) 446-6660
    F: (800) 214-2373

Weather in Houston, TX

Houston’s weather is pretty temperate and sunny throughout most of the year, however the city gets a lot of rainfall and is susceptible to floods.  With average low temperatures of 60 degrees, snowfall isn’t typically a problem.

Houston, TX Average Weather Conditions
Weather ConditionsDetails
Annual high temperature:78.3°F
Annual low temperature: 59.8°F
Average temperature: 69.05°F
Average annual precipitation - rainfall: 45.28 inches
Days per year with precipitation - rainfall: 106 days
Annual hours of sunshine: 2633 hours
Av. annual snowfall:-
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Despite the beautiful weather, according to City-Data.com, Harris County has more natural disasters, an average of 29 yearly, than the national average of 13.

There have been 22 major presidential declarations of disasters and six emergencies. Notably, storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the occasional tropical storm are among the threats.

The best way to protect your car from these and other natural disasters is to have comprehensive insurance coverage in case of hail, fire, and damage from water and high winds. It will also pay for other potential vehicle damage, such as vandalism.

Public Transit in Houston, TX

Houston residents who don’t own cars or choose not to take them can buy tickets to ride on the METRO Bus or METRORail. The fare for both is $1.25.

METRO offers a 50 percent discount on all bus and light-rail service for students, seniors, Medicare cardholders, and the disabled. Children ages five and under ride free. Free local bus and rail rides are offered to qualified veterans and those who serve jury duty. See their website for more fare options and details.

Alternate Transportation in Houston, TX

For a different type of ride, renting a bike or a scooter are other potentially cost-effective transportation options.

Locally, the bike sharing service Houston B Cycle offers monthly memberships for $9.00 and annual ones for $99.00. Similar services that might come to the area sometime in the future are below.

  • Lime offers bike and scooter rentals but doesn’t currently offer service in Greater Houston. It serves other Texas metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, Plano, and San Antonio.
  • Bird provides scooter rentals. Like Lime, Bird has fixed rates per minute that vary by city, and it doesn’t currently offer service in Houston, but in other parts of Texas: Abilene, Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, and San Antonio.

Parking in Metro Areas in Houston, TX

It’s not always easy to find a place to park. Let’s see some of your options in Greater Houston.

Parkopedia offers a map of area parking garages available; most average $15.00 per space. Meanwhile, SpotAngel’s map shows street-level parking, including metered spaces, together with garages.

ParkHouston helps residents save money on metered parking. The solar-powered pay stations offer more payment options than the traditional coin-operated meters, making paying for parking more convenient than ever. The pay stations accept coins, bills, and credit or debit cards. Residents can pay at stations the following ways:

  • Pay-by-Plate – Enter your license plate number to pay – no need to keep the receipt on your dashboard
  • Pay-by-App – Download the ParkHouston app – powered by Parkmobile
  • Pay-and-Display – Pay the meter and put your receipt on your dashboard

In downtown Houston, metered parking is available during the daytime for up to three hours at a time in one spot. The meters accept cash, credit cards, and pay-by-phone via the Parkmobile app; hourly prices vary depending on location. Parking isn’t allowed in valet or commercial zones (marked with red meters or red striping on the street).

The good news is that after 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday parking is free. Parking also isn’t enforced on City official holidays.

ChargeHub lists the most popular electric car charging stations in Houston.

Satellite parking is generally available at airports, stadiums, hotels, the METRO station, the University of Houston, and at other college campuses,

Air Quality in Houston, TX

Let’s face it: with all the cars and trucks on the road, despite emissions control standards and other improvements, much pollution fills the air these days.

Below are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures for air quality in the Greater Houston Area.

Houston, TX Air Quality Index
Air Quality Condition2016 Air Quality Index2017 Air Quality Index2018 Air Quality Index
Days With AQI366365365
Good Days164184166
Moderate Days179156164
Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups222226
Unhealthy Days137
Very Unhealthy Days002
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Fortunately, there were few harmful or very harmful air quality days from 2016 to 2018, but the amount of pollution in recent years has crept up slightly.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles requires all gas-powered vehicles from two to 24 model years old in Harris County to undergo annual emissions testing. New cars don’t require emissions testing until they are at least two model years old.

With these testing standards and the use of cleaner fuels, hopefully, our air will eventually become cleaner.

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Military/Veterans in Houston, TX

Depending on your age, gender, location, and driving record, car insurance may be expensive and finding the right deal can be a chore.

Good news: if you’re in active military service or a veteran, you could be eligible for discounts.

And, we’ve gathered everything you need to know to help you save money and time so that you can find the right deal.

Read on for info about Houston area service periods, military bases, and discounts.

Veterans by Service Period

Similar to national figures, in 2017, most Houston area veterans served in Vietnam (almost two times the number of other conflicts), followed by the most recent Gulf War.

Next, we’ll look at Houston area military bases.

Military Bases Within an Hour of Houston, TX

Texas has several military bases, but the closest one in Houston is 15 miles southeast of the downtown, the United States Coast Guard Air Station Houston on the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base (JRB).

As part of the Eighth Coast Guard District, “Coast Guard Air Station Houston has provided 24/7 Search and Rescue capability to Texas and the Louisiana Gulf Coast since 1963. With three MH-65D ‘Dolphin’ helicopters, AIRSTA Houston’s area of responsibility extends from the Colorado River to White Lake, Louisiana.”

Military Discounts by Provider

If you are or were military personnel, most car insurance companies will want to give back by serving you. Many car insurance providers offer discounts to military personnel.

Below is a list of known providers who give military discounts. We excluded those who offer military discounts only to other states.

Military Car Insurance Discounts Available in Houston, TX
Insurance CompaniesPercentage Saved with Military Discount
FarmersNA
Geico15%
Liberty Mutual (must be active duty)4%
MetLife15%
USAA*NA
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*USAA gives a 15 percent military garage discount for garaging cars on a military base.  

USAA Available in Texas, TX

USAA is car insurance available only to U.S. military personnel and their families.

Compared to other insurers, USAA generally offers lower and more affordable rates. Below, you will see USAA’s rates and other competitive insurers’ rates compared to the national rate average in Texas, which is $4,043.

Houston, TX Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Compared to State Average
CompaniesAverage Annual Car Insurance RatesCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to State Average (%)
USAA$2,487.89-$1,555.39-62.52%
State Farm$2,879.94-$1,163.34-40.39%
GEICO$3,263.28-$780.00-23.90%
Nationwide$3,867.55-$175.73-4.54%
Progressive$4,664.69$621.4113.32%
Allstate$5,485.44$1,442.1626.29%
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USAA offers the best rates, which are almost half of the state average.

Unique Houston, TX Laws

Like every state, every city has specific laws everyone should pay attention to so they can avoid fines and other penalties.

We want you to know everything about Greater Houston area laws so you won’t miss anything important.

Let’s discover what you should know about driving in the area and the laws involved.

Hands-Free Driving Laws

Like the state of Texas, Houston doesn’t prohibit hands-free cell phone use while driving. The state just bans “using a wireless communications device for electronic messaging while operating a motor vehicle. Texting, as well as reading or writing email, is prohibited while driving in Texas.”

Food Trucks

Those who operate food trucks in Houston must follow city laws. Below are some of the most crucial requirements for food trucks.

  • A fixed location mobile food unit (cart) is limited in size to four feet wide by eight feet long and eight feet high and operates from the premises from a permitted food establishment which serves as the commissary.
  • The unit should be easy for one person to move when fully loaded.
  • Unrestricted carts require a water system.
  • The units may operate in a city park as a Licensed Park Vendor with approval from the Parks and Recreation Department.

Food truck owners must also follow rules regarding parking, music use, and other laws.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes have become a big thing these days. Currently, it’s illegal to build a tiny house on land in Houston.

Despite the lack of a formal zoning code, other Houston laws regulate setbacks, lot size, and parking. Home builders must also submit plans for approval and have their houses inspected. Sometimes, to get around these rules, homeowners mount their small houses on wheels to qualify them as recreational vehicles (RVs) and park them where it’s legal to do so.

Parking Laws

It can be tough to find a good parking space in a city. Parking in the wrong direction could lead to a ticket, so be careful to face the same direction as the traffic in the lane nearest yours.

As we mentioned earlier, Houston has many parking garages, and you may be able to reserve spots there or at airports or hotels to save time.

Houston, TX Car Insurance Rates FAQs

Want answers to your Houston area car insurance and related questions? You’ve come to the right place.

These are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) we’ve compiled to clarify the details on the topic, which can help, especially if you’re new to the area.

So, read on to find out everything you must know about Greater Houston car insurance requirements.

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Questions People Ask About Houston, TX

Is Houston, Texas a good place to live? Among U.S. News and World Reports’ rankings, Houston ranks 30th on their list of Best Places to Live and number 26 on their list of the Best Places to Retire. The city received an overall score of 6.8 out of ten for both.

According to the publication, “The Houston metro area attracts people with an entrepreneurial spirit and those who want to work at some of the country’s largest companies. Not only is Houston the hub of the oil and gas industries, but it’s also a major center of manufacturing and health care.

The region has weathered the economic downturn better than similarly sized metro areas in terms of bouncing back from lost jobs.”

Is it expensive to live in Houston?  PayScale reports that with housing costs 22 percent below the national average, Houston is a great place to live. The cost of living is also two percent lower than it is nationally. It’s cheaper than living in New York, Miami, Anchorage, Dallas, and Chicago.

What are the best places to live in Houston and raise a family? Almost 200 Greater Houston suburbs top Niche’s list of the best places for families.

The top five, in order, are Greatwoods, The Woodlands, Cinco Ranch, New Territory, and Bunker Hill Village. Their rankings grade consider such factors as the quality of local schools, safety, affordability, and access to family amenities to measure the appeal of an area for families.

Niche’s sources include federal government data, school reviews, and statistics power applications, research, and media coverage of U.S. schools and neighborhoods.

What is the richest neighborhood in Houston? Piney Point and River Oaks are among the priciest neighborhoods, with median home sale prices over $2 million.

Is Houston or Dallas better? It’s a matter of opinion.  According to some Texans, Houston is more diverse and less segregated than Dallas.  Houston also offers a variety of quality restaurants, museums, parks, and performing arts options. Houston houses few lakes and is near the Gulf of Mexico and its beaches, however, landlocked Dallas features many lakes.

You’ve reached the end of our Houston, TX guide, so now you’re ready to roll. Read to compare car insurance rates? Enter your zip code in our free online tool today.