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How Do You Find Cheap Car Insurance in Austin, TX?

February 27, 2018

Austin Texas car insurance

How do we love you, Austin? Let us count the ways. 1. Breakfast tacos. 2. Year-round swimming pools. 3. Two-stepping at the Broken Spoke. 4. Cheap car insurance… no, wait.

Of all the things to love about Austin, driving — and car insurance — isn’t one. This Texas city is known for its intense traffic and its explosive growth, both of may be contributing to rising insurance rates. Short of selling your car, is there a good way to get cheaper auto insurance?

Buying car insurance in Austin

Austinites, like every other Texan, are required to carry 30/60/25 liability insurance to legally drive a car. What does that mean? You need…

  • $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 per accident: Bodily injury liability pays for other people’s injuries caused by an accident you’re responsible for
  • $25,000 in property damage liability: This pays for damage to other people’s property — like their cars — caused by an accident you’re responsible for

If you buy this 30/60/25 insurance, that’s called state minimum insurance. It’s generally the cheapest car insurance you can find in Austin, or anywhere else in Texas. But there are two problems with state minimum insurance. One, it doesn’t protect your car (you need comprehensive and collision insurance for that). Two, the limits are low, which means you might get into financial trouble if you cause an accident that results in serious injuries.

Finding cheap auto insurance in Austin

OK, so how do you find affordable insurance if you live in Austin? That’s easy! Compare personalized quotes on Compare.com. Looking at a bunch of quotes side by side is a lot simpler than visiting five insurance companies’ sites and typing in your info five different times. You’ll be amazed at the range of prices: Companies’ quotes often differ by hundreds — yes, hundreds — of dollars per month for the same level of coverage.

To show you how it’s done, we ran the numbers for a few different Austin drivers to find their best quote for Basic insurance. Basic has the minimum 30/60/25 liability limits, plus collision/comprehensive and uninsured motorist bodily injury liability. Here are the best quotes we found for these example drivers:

  • A 32-year-old single woman with a speeding ticket and an at-fault accident on her record: $102 per month
  • A 27-year-old single guy with a clean driving record: $111 per month
  • A 23-year-old single woman with a clean driving record: $119 per month
  • A 21-year-old single guy with an at-fault accident and a collision claim on his record: $127 per month

Everyone’s situation is different, of course. Your Austin car insurance quotes can be affected by your age and marital status, the neighborhood you live in, the type of car you drive… That’s why the only way to get a sense of how much you should spend is to compare personalized quotes. Did we mention it’s free?

What’s the deal with Austin traffic?

While Austin has far fewer people than mega-cities like San Antonio and Dallas, it has worse traffic. In 2017, a study found that Austin’s the 13th most congested city in the country. The average person spends 47 hours per year crawling through rush-hour jams. Southbound Interstate 35 received a special (dis)honor, too: It ranks sixth on the list of “Top 10 Worst U.S. Corridors.”

Why is Austin traffic so bad? One main reason is that it’s a very centralized city: 18 percent of jobs are located downtown, which means everyone pours onto I-35 and MoPac to get to work and home again. Express lanes with sliding tolls were recently opened on MoPac to give drivers a faster option, as well as to accelerate service for buses and emergency vehicles. For an alternative to driving, Austin also has a capable bus-and-train mass transit system, CapMetro.

The Best Road Trips From Austin

With cheap car insurance and a full tank of gas, it’s time to head out for a Texas adventure. Austin’s central-ish location makes it the perfect starting point for a fun road trip. We suggest…

Marfa, TX: Head west on I-10, then southwest at Fort Stockton, and in about 6.5 hours, you’ll approach the wonderfully bizarre town of Marfa. Marfa is famous for its avant-garde art, housed not only in galleries and museums but out in the desert — don’t miss the iconic Prada Marfa, an installation meant to mimic a luxury boutique.

Big Bend National Park: Another 6.5-hour road trip from Austin will bring you to Big Bend, a wilderness wonderland with more than 800,000 acres of mountains, canyons, desert and river. It’s also one of our best car camping destinations, so pack your tent and cooler.

Johnson City, TX: Don’t feel like driving far after a week wrestling Austin traffic? Cruise an hour west to Johnson City. There, you can tour the “Texas White House,” the home of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and see wild artwork dotting the hill country at the Sculpture Ranch.

If you live in Austin, Compare.com wants to help you save a bunch of money on your car insurance! Try comparing quotes today to see your best rates.

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