Essential San Antonio Car Insurance Guide [Companies & More]
State Farm and USAA have the cheapest San Antonio car insurance rates, but you read our guide if you prefer to shop around for car insurance. We compare local San Antonio, TX car insurance companies and give you tips on how to lower your San Antonio car insurance costs. Read now and use our free quote comparison tool below.
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UPDATED: Sep 10, 2020
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|San Antonio, TX||Statistics|
|Density||3,662 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Insurance||$2,503.43|
|Cheapest Car Insurance in San Antonio||USAA ($2,643.36)|
|Road Conditions||Poor Share: 29%
Mediocre Share: 31%
Fair Share: 11%
Good Share: 29%
Vehicle Operating Cost (VOC): $710
San Antonio is home to nearly 1.5 million residents. Combine that baseline with the number of tourists the city sees on a yearly basis — many come to visit The Alamo — and you’re looking at a lot of cars on San Antonio’s roadways.
Every driver needs an insurance plan. But how can you go about determining which insurance plan is the right one for you? After all, breaking down the benefits of each car insurance provider can take a lot of time — and that’s not even getting into the different types of coverage and the variables that can impact your offered car insurance rate.
Don’t panic just yet. With this guide to San Antonio’s car insurance market in hand, you’ll be able to find the provider and coverage that’ll best suit your lifestyle. Here, we’ll cover the different variables that impact your rate, popular coverage types, and car culture in San Antonio.
Now, have you ever wondered how San Antonio’s rates compared against Texas car insurance rates? We’ve got you.
Want to get ahead of the game? You can use our FREE online tool to start comparing rates in your area. Just enter your ZIP code to get started.
The Cost of Car Insurance in San Antonio
Car insurance rates vary based on a number of factors. It’s difficult to keep track of all the different elements that go into these rates, not to mention combine them to figure out what you should, on average, be paying for your coverage. At a bare minimum, car insurance providers will take the following into consideration when assigning you a rate:
- Driving Record
- ZIP Code
- Credit Score
Before you try to determine these factors’ impact on your car insurance premium yourself, let us do some of the work.
Male vs. Female vs. Age
There are a lot of myths and rumors about whether men or women tend to pay more for car insurance. The truth is, it varies based on a number of factors, though men do tend to pay a little more.
|Group||Married 35-Year-Old Female||Married 35-Year-Old Male||Married 60-Year-Old Female||Married 60-Year-Old Male||Single 17-Year-Old Female||Single 17-Year-Old Male||Single 25-Year-Old Female||Single 25-Year-Old Male||Average|
However, your age has a more significant impact on the rate you’ll pay than your gender does. Teenage male drivers pay significantly more for their coverage than their female peers, not to mention the whole rest of the demographic spectrum. By age 35, men and women are generally paying about the same.
Cheapest ZIP Codes in San Antonio
In addition to your age and gender, the neighborhood you live in can also cause your rates to be higher or lower than those of other San Antonians. Take a look at the table below to see where your ZIP code falls:
|ZIP||Average Annual Rate|
What’s the best car insurance company in San Antonio?
While you’re shopping for car insurance, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. What kind of coverage will keep you safe? How many drivers will be using your car? Will you operate as a career driver, or will you just commute to and from work in the morning?
We can make sense of these questions and turn them into concrete data. Keep reading to learn a little more about how these factors and others vary the rates offered by different companies.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
As you can see in the table below, rates will vary based on the company you do business with:
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Cost of Insurance|
USAA appears to be the most affordable of the insurance providers operating in San Antonio. However, keep in mind that this company only services former and current members of the U.S. military and their families. If this doesn’t apply to you, State Farm is the next cheapest option.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
Texas is known and loved for being one of the largest states in the nation (but not the largest — Alaska is massive). As a result, the average Texan drives a fair distance over the course of a year. Unfortunately, a longer commute can result in a higher car insurance rate, as you can see in the table below:
|Insurance Provider||10 miles commute / 6,000 annual mileage||25 miles commute / 12,000 annual mileage||Average|
If you know you put in a lot of miles over the course of the year, you might want to consider doing business with one of the companies that don’t charge more based on this factor, like State Farm, Progressive, or Nationwide.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
There’s more than one type of car insurance. It probably goes without saying that more comprehensive coverage comes with a higher fee. Take a look at the table below to see how these different forms of coverage can change your premium.
USAA and State Farm offer the cheapest rates in each coverage category, but there are some nuances worth noting as well. For example, if you’re a current customer with medium coverage from Progressive, you could switch to State Farm or Nationwide and actually pay less for a higher level of coverage.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
Your credit history reflects your ability to pay back money that you owe to a bank or another source. While you might not think this number would factor into your car insurance premium, it does. Car insurance providers want to be certain that you can make your annual payments. As such, they’ll look to your credit history to see how well you’ve honored your financial agreements in the past.
|Insurance Provider||Good Credit||Fair Credit||Poor Credit||Average|
Once again, USAA offers the cheapest rates regardless of credit score. For those of us not in the military, there’s something important to note here as well: If you have good credit, Geico may be your cheapest option, but if you have fair or poor credit, you might get a better deal from State Farm.
If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit history and current credit score, you can use tools like Equifax or Experian. These sites will offer you a free copy of your credit report on a 12-month cycle so you can stay in-the-know.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Your driving record, as you might expect, reflects your ability to drive safely and to stay aware of roadway legalities. The more closely you abide by the laws set forth by the state, the better your car insurance rate will be. Take a look at the table below to see how different infractions might affect your premium.
|Insurance Provider||Clean record||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 speeding violation||Average|
This is especially useful to know if you already have an infraction on your record. For example, if you’ve been ticketed for speeding before, your cheapest option is likely to be Geico, but if you’ve had a DUI, you’ll probably be better off with Geico.
Car Insurance Factors in San Antonio, Texas
But what environmental factors contribute to the price you’ll be paying for your car insurance coverage? Let’s zoom out and take a look at San Antonio so you can develop a better picture of the city you’ll be driving in.
Metro Report — Growth and Prosperity
How well is San Antonio doing as a city?
First, let’s discuss what we mean by growth. Economic growth is often linked to an increase in population, meaning the more residents San Antonio has, the more economically robust it should be.
With a population of 1.5 million, San Antonio is doing pretty well. As of 2015, the city ranked 50th as the “Best Places for Businesses and Careers,” according to Forbes Magazine. It also ranked 15th for job growth.
So what do the numbers say? As of 2017, San Antonio’s economic success and growth stood as follows:
- Productivity: +5.6 percent (8th of 100)
- Standard of Living: +9.6 percent (11th of 100)
- Average Annual Wage: +4.3 percent (50th of 100)
- Jobs: +14.9 percent (20th of 100)
- Gross Metropolitan Product: +21.3 percent (7th of 100)
- Jobs at Young Firms: +15.8 percent (13th of 100)
The majority of San Antonio’s economic income is produced by the city’s military, medical, and tourism sectors. As you might imagine for a city full of nifty attractions, tourism provides residents with a variety of jobs (and the income that goes along with them).
Median Household Income
Let’s break the numbers down further. Wondering what the average household income looks like in San Antonio? After all, the economic state of the average citizen is generally a reflection of the city’s overall success.
At the moment, the median annual income for households in San Antonio is $50,044.
This does come in under the national average for annual income, which is sitting pretty at $60,336. Even so, there’s proof that the economic situation has been improving. In 2016, San Antonio residents made an average of $49,268 annually. The growth may be slow, but it’s there and brimming with potential.
If you want to see what percentage of your income goes to your car insurance payment, you can use the calculator below:
Homeownership in San Antonio
Not everyone living in San Antonio is going to own their own home. However, we need to take property value and ownership into account when assessing the city’s overall economic status.
In 2017, the median property value in San Antonio was $148,200. The national average for property value is greater than this, coming in at $217,600. Much like its economic standing, though, the housing market in San Antonio is on the move. The market saw a 10.7 percent increase between 2016 and 2017, and the numbers have continued to climb.
Education in San Antonio
Several significant universities operate out of San Antonio, including:
- The University of Texas at San Antonio
- San Antonio College
- Northwest Vista College
- St. Philip’s College
- Palo Alto College
- Northeast Lakeview College
Note that the list includes both four-year and community colleges, as both types are important for the education and economic growth they provide.
That said, San Antonio does not appear to be a city that woos a high number of academic professionals. As previously noted, the city generates the majority of its economic success from its military, healthcare, and tourism sectors. Even so, the education San Antonio’s schools offer is representative of its burgeoning success.
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs
San Antonio is home to a diverse population and an equally diverse workplace. That workplace generates an average of $96.8 billion a year in Gross Domestic Product, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.
This may not come as a surprise to you, but different people are often paid different wages for doing the exact same job. According to DataUSA, men tend to make more money than women in San Antonio, regardless of their race. Asian men are among the top earners, with white men coming in second, and a broader diversity of races coming after.
Poverty by Age and Gender
On the other side of the income coin is the percentage of San Antonio residents living in poverty. A total of 18.6 percent of San Antonians live below the poverty line, with the largest portion of this group consisting of women ages 25-34.
Of those living in poverty, 44.7 percent are white, 42.6 percent are Hispanic, and 5.14 percent are black.
Employment by Occupations
We’ve touched on the popularity of the military, medical, and tourist sectors already. Let’s look at employment in San Antonio in a little more detail.
Some of the most commonly-held positions include:
- Other Management Occupations Excluding Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
- Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers
- Customer Service Representatives
Employment, like economic standing in the city, is on the rise. With more residents employed, San Antonio is set to see continued economic growth in the new decade.
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Driving in San Antonio, Texas
Now that you know a little more about the economic conditions in San Antonio, what should you know about its roadways?
Roads in San Antonio
San Antonio’s roadways break down into major roads, highways, and rural roads, as you’ll see in the following section. Knowing what kind of road you’re driving on is essential to staying legal while behind the wheel.
Major Highways in San Antonio
San Antonio’s major highways include:
- I-10E (11 miles)
- I-10W (16 miles)
- I-35N (20 miles)
- I-355 (16 miles)
- I-37 (11 miles)
You may also have to navigate the local toll road, which follows State Highway 130. Tolls will be based on the distance you travel. You can either pay when you exit the toll road, or you can rely on a TxTag, which allows you to pay 33 percent less and without stopping.
Popular Road Trips/Sites
As mentioned earlier, San Antonio is a popular tourist destination. Roughly 20 million visitors come to the city on a yearly basis. If you choose to visit San Antonio, or if you live there and want something fun to do on the weekends, why not check out some of the following hot spots?
Road Conditions in San Antonio
The last thing you want to do while driving is damage a wheel or rim due to the condition of the road. San Antonio’s roadway conditions break down as follows:
- Poor Condition: 29 percent
- Mediocre Condition: 31 percent
- Fair Condition: 11 percent
- Good Condition: 29 percent
Does San Antonio use speeding or red-light cameras?
At this point in time, San Antonio has not implemented red-light cameras or speeding cameras. That said, you should still avoid speeding or running red lights if you want to stay on the right side of the law.
Vehicles in San Antonio
Now that you know a little more about the city, let’s dive into San Antonio car culture. Read on to learn more about which vehicles are most popular in San Antonio and which ones are at the greatest risk of being stolen.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
San Antonio sees its fair share of V8 engines, but the Chevy Suburban 1500 is the most popular vehicle in the city. That’s it in part because of its excellent safety features, including:
- All-surface airbags
- Brake assist
- Disc brakes
- Four-wheel ABS
- Daytime running lights
- Traction control
- Electronic stability control
- Child safety locks
That said, the Chevy Suburban 1500 is not the most fuel-efficient of vehicles. According to an iSeeCars study, the Suburban only gets 14 miles to the gallon.
How Many Cars Per Household?
As is the case with most cities across the nation, there are typically two cars per household in San Antonio. That said, the number of households with one and three cars are fairly close on an ownership bell curve.
Households without a Car
There are 24,000 homes in San Antonio without a vehicle. It’s easier than you might think to move around San Antonio without the help of a car. Public transportation and ride-sharing services make it pretty simple to get from Point A to Point B.
Speed Traps in San Antonio
Speeding is a bad idea no matter where you live, but this is especially true in San Antonio. San Antonio ranks 6th in all of Texas for the number of speed traps, with eight active and known by 91 percent of the population.
Vehicle Theft in San Antonio
Vehicle theft is a common concern everywhere in the nation. In San Antonio, 6,577 residents had their vehicles stolen in 2013. There are some locations that are more prone to theft than others. Neighborhoods in San Antonio that see the lowest number of thefts include:
- Fm Road 2696 / Midnight Dr
- Route 211 / Route 16
- American Legion Memorial Hwy / Oakland Bend
- Smithson Valley Rd / Laurie Michelle
- E Borgfeld Dr / Dal Cin Dr
- Mesa Ranch / Mesa Ridge
- Route 90 Service Road / Ray Ellison Dr
- E Evans Rd / Angostura Blvd
- W Fm 471 / Gass Rd
- Fm 1560 N / W Fm 471
Traffic in San Antonio
Traffic is one of the most frustrating factors to deal with on the road. If you’re new to the city, you may be wondering, what kind of traffic should I be prepared for in San Antonio?
According to an INRIX traffic report, the cities in Texas that see the most traffic include:
|High-Congestion Texas Cities||Annual Hours Stuck In Traffic|
While San Antonio residents tend to spend upwards of 60 hours in traffic, the city has cut congestion by 50 percent since 2017 thanks to additional road construction.
So what does congestion look like specifically in San Antonio?
On a daily basis, a San Antonio resident with a car will spend 23.6 minutes in traffic commuting to and from work. With the national average coming in at 25.5 minutes, San Antonio residents do spend less time in traffic than most other drivers in the nation.
That said, 1.92 percent of San Antonio residents do have to endure a super commute — a drive that takes longer than 90 minutes each way. Those super commutes are exacerbated by the number of vehicles on the road. The vast majority of San Antonio drivers (79.3 percent) prefer to drive to work alone. Comparatively, only 10.5 percent carpool.
The good news is, none of San Antonio’s highways made it onto the Office of Highway Policy’s list for heavy congestion.
How Safe Are San Antonio Streets And Roads?
San Antonio sees its fair share of road fatalities over the course of a year. Take a look at the table below for more information on the types of fatalities that are most common.
|Type of Fatality (2017)||Number of Fatalities|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Drivers||71|
|Single Vehicle Crash||109|
|Involving a Large Truck||16|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||68|
|Involving an Intersection||30|
|Passenger Car Occupant||59|
|Light Truck and Van Occupant||32|
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Allstate, as one of the United States’ top 10 car insurance providers, takes in a significant amount of data regarding the safety of national roadways. Every year, the provider publishes a list of the 200 safest cities for driving. Take a look below to see how San Antonio measured up in 2018.
|Average Years Between Claims||Relative Claim|
2017 to 2018
Based on the data above, Allstate determined that San Antonio was the 141st safest city for drivers in the United States.
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have seen their fair share of success over the past few years. These aren’t your only rideshare options, though — especially not in San Antonio. If you’re looking for a ride home from work or after a night out on the town, you can use any of the following services to get where you need to go:
You can also take the old-fashioned route and call a taxi if you wish. To give you an idea of the cost, a standard Uber or Lyft ride of around seven miles will cost you around $15. A taxi ride is a bit more expensive at around $24 for the same trip.
E-Star Repair Shops
Let’s say you’re on the road in San Antonio, and all of a sudden, one of your tires goes out. For this and other roadside emergencies, you’ll need to be able to reach out to a repair shop and/or towing company.
E-Star shops are repair facilities that have been accredited for their quality of service. In San Antonio, these shops include:
- Caliber San Antonio – Culebra Express
- Caliber San Antonio – IH-10
- Caliber San Antonio – San Pedro
- Service King Bandera
- Service King Broadway
- Service King Babcock
- Service King de Zavala
- Service King Ingram
- Service King Perrin Beitel
- Service King Southside
Weather in San Antonio
The weather in San Antonio will vary based on the time of year. The subtropic climate ensures it is generally wet in the spring and hot in summer. In general, though, San Antonio sees fair weather. The averages break down as follows:
- Annual high temperature: 79.8 F
- Annual low temperature: 78.6 F
- Average temperature: 68.7 F
- Average Sunshine: N/A
- Average annual precipitation: 32.91 inches
San Antonio sees precipitation 83 days out of the year, though snow is unlikely. Luckily, the city’s rainstorms don’t generally translate into natural disasters. San Antonio resides outside of tornado alley and the reach of most hurricanes. Likewise, the city isn’t located on any fault lines, so you probably don’t have to worry about earthquakes either.
Public Transit in San Antonio
San Antonio’s bus service is known as the VIA. It provides residents and tourists with access to:
- Bus services
- Express bus services
- Park and ride services
If you can’t get ahold of a rideshare, or if you want a ride that’s a little less pricey, the VIA will serve you well.
Alternate Transportation in San Antonio
Alternatively, you can take advantage of B-Cycles, the city’s shareable bike service. Rates to rent a bike break down as follows:
- 30-minute trip: $3.25
- 24-Hour day pass: $12.99
- Monthly membership: $19.49
- Annual membership: $100.
If you have a monthly membership or annual pass, you’ll have access to bikes instantly courtesy of the B-Connect app. The app will also connect you with B-Cycle services in other cities.
Parking in San Antonio
Despite the sizable population, it’s fairly easy to find a place to park in downtown San Antonio. The city boasts over 26,000 parking spots in the downtown area.
There are standard parking meters, 13 parking garages, and free spots available via the Auditorium Circle. The meters are free on Sundays and after 5 PM on Downtown Tuesdays.
Air Quality in San Antonio
Cities that have a high rate of production and few environmentally-oriented laws in place tend to have poorer air quality than small towns or environmentally-aware peer cities. This neglect results in poorer residential health and an economic loss.
San Antonio faces this problem just as other cities around the United States do. However, the San Antonio Climate Ready Plan was enacted in October 2019 to address environmental issues in the city.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2018 saw the following breakdown of air quality over the course of the year:
- Good air quality: 251
- Moderate air quality: 103
- Unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups: 10
- Unhealthy air quality: 1
Military/Veterans in San Antonio
San Antonio is home to a reasonably large population of military families and veterans. Presently, military-affiliated residents most commonly served in:
- The Iraq War (2003-2011)
- The Vietnam War (1955-1975)
- The Gulf War (1990-1991)
You’ll find active military representatives on any of the following six local bases:
- Joint Base San Antonio
- Lackland Air Force Base
- Randolph Air Force Base
- Brooks City-Base
- Camp Bullis
- Martindale Army Air Field
In light of this bustling military population, many of San Antonio’s local providers have military discounts at the ready, designed to make affording car insurance easier for these families. Providers with these discounts available include:
Liberty Mutual also provides a military discount to those members who are on active duty, but not to veterans.
Unique San Antonio Laws
Each city has its own set of laws, some of which will make you wonder how on earth they got passed in the first place. For example, San Antonio residents are legally prohibited from flirting or responding to flirtation by using their eyes or hands. Must make dating pretty hard!
But there are a lot more important laws than that. Keep reading to learn more.
San Antonio drivers are not permitted to use a cellphone or other handheld device while behind the wheel of a car. This legislation was instituted on January 1st, 2015, and remains in effect.
Food trucks are only permitted to appear or park in specified locations in the Downtown Central Business District of San Antonio. If you’re interested in running a food truck service, you’ll need to fill out an application with the city in advance of your debut.
Tiny homes have risen in popularity over the past few years, and you’ll likely spot them here and there as you drive through San Antonio. There are a number of local laws in place regarding the ownership and classification of these homes, including:
- Tiny homes need to be 400 square feet or less to qualify as “tiny.”
- You’ll need to discuss the parking of your tiny home with the San Antonio Planning and Zoning Department.
- Your home must be up to code, with a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet, 8 inches; emergency exits; windows; plumbing; and stairs, if applicable.
You are legally prohibited from parking in any of the following San Antonio locations:
- In an intersection
- On a sidewalk
- On a crosswalk, or within 20 feet of a crosswalk
- On a railroad track
- In front of a residential or business driveway
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- Within 20 feet of a yield sign, stop sign, or traffic signal
You’ll also find “No Parking Anytime Zones” in the following locations:
- Areas wherein traffic mobility or safety is threatened by parking
- On residential streets where commercial properties may be impacted
- Near intersections where vehicles may impact roadway visibility
- On residential streets where residents have come together and had legislation implemented to remove unnecessary vehicles from the road
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San Antonio Car Insurance FAQs
Do you have additional questions about San Antonio’s driving culture and car insurance legislation? Let’s see if we can’t answer those questions in our FAQ section.
How difficult is it to drive through San Antonio?
On average, a San Antonio commute takes 23 minutes. This is a fair bit of time to spend in the car, and it suggests a reasonable amount of traffic. With that in mind, note that driving during high-traffic hours will be more difficult than driving in the middle of the day or late at night.
Do I absolutely need a car to get where I need to go in San Antonio?
If you live or are staying in downtown San Antonio, then no, you do not need a car to get around town. There are several alternative modes of transportation available, including the VIA, taxi, or B-Cycle. You can also use your own bicycle to get around, or walk, if you so choose.
What is the Texas minimum liability coverage, and do I need it to drive legally in San Antonio?
Texas’ minimum liability coverage breaks down as follows:
- $30,000 of bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 of total bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 of property damage per accident
You absolutely need minimum liability coverage (or more) to drive legally in the state of Texas, and that includes San Antonio.
Will my Texas car insurance follow me if I choose to drive to Mexico?
No, it will not. You’ll need to reach out to your local DMV to procure temporary international insurance or an equivalent if you think you’ll be driving through Mexico. Alternatively, check with your provider to see if there is an in-house type of coverage that will keep you safe on international motorways.
Will weather have an impact on my ability to drive in San Antonio?
San Antonio has a subtropical climate. This means that springs and falls are reasonably wet, whereas the summer is blistering and humid. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about too-cold winters, as the temperatures rarely drop below 40 degrees.
With this in mind, keep an eye out for San Antonio thunderstorms. Slick roadways pose a danger to everyone, and you’ll want to drive a little slower than normal during and after rain.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of our guide to car insurance and car culture in San Antonio. Want to start comparing car insurance rates? Enter your ZIP code into our FREE online tool, and you’ll be able to get a jump on the car insurance game.