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Best Cheap Car Insurance in San Antonio for 2020

March 9, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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Shopping for cheap car insurance in San Antonio is like grabbing groceries — if you don’t check prices, you may pay a few bucks more than average, but a savvy shopper can probably get a good deal.

San Antonio auto insurance prices run oh-so-slightly above the average in Texas — an extra $4 or so per month, NerdWallet’s 2020 rates analysis found. On average, car insurance in San Antonio costs $1,498 a year. But there are plenty of ways to beat the average.

NerdWallet analyzed auto insurance rates for the San Antonio metropolitan area from eight of the largest insurers in Texas. For each type of driver we checked, at least one company — and sometimes as many as five — showed rates in San Antonio that were cheaper than the Texas average.

For single drivers, Texas Farm Bureau car insurance was typically the least expensive option in San Antonio, on average, although it requires a membership in the Farm Bureau, which carries a fee of $35 to $50 a year. For couples and families, Geico showed the lowest average rates. But a different insurer might be cheapest for you, since each company takes its own approach to calculating insurance rates.

To get the best price possible, it’s important to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies. We checked rates for various types of drivers in San Antonio to give you an idea of what to expect.

Cheapest for good drivers in San Antonio

Here are the cheapest companies and average rates we found in San Antonio for people with clean driving and credit histories seeking full coverage policies:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,047 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,251 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,358 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,485 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,677 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in San Antonio

For San Antonio drivers with good credit and driving histories, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum required coverage in Texas:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $469 per year.
  2. Geico: $603 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $675 per year.
  4. State Farm: $832 per year.
  5. Republic Group: $894 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get car insurance quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

For San Antonio residents with clean driving histories and blemished credit records, here are the cheapest companies and average rates for full coverage car insurance:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,988 per year.
  2. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,417 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $2,432 per year.
  4. Geico: $2,514 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,592 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For drivers in San Antonio who recently caused an accident, here are the cheapest auto insurers, ranked by average rate for full coverage policies:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,221 per year.
  2. Republic Group: $1,358 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,990 per year.
  4. State Farm: $2,273 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,344 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in San Antonio

Here are the cheapest insurers, ranked by average rate for full coverage, for drivers in San Antonio with a recent DUI:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,535 per year.
  2. Republic Group: $1,747 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,945 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,368 per year.
  5. State Farm: $3,011 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in San Antonio

These are the cheapest auto insurance companies we found in San Antonio for drivers seeking “full coverage” insurance after a recent speeding ticket:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,047 per year.
  2. Republic Group: $1,455 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,464 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,993 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,012 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in San Antonio

You may qualify for discounts if your auto insurance policy covers multiple cars and drivers, but each company figures rates differently. For this reason, it’s smart to shop around and compare insurance quotes after any major event that could change your price, such as a big move, marriage or a new driver on the policy. To help San Antonio couples and families find cheap insurance, NerdWallet looked at rates for a husband and wife with and without a teen driver on their policy, covering two vehicles instead of one.

Cheapest for a married couple in San Antonio

For a married couple in San Antonio, both 50 years old with good credit and clean driving records, these are the cheapest auto insurers and average rates for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $1,727 per year.
  2. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,761 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $2,120 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,441 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,584 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in San Antonio

For a 50-year-old married couple with an 18-year-old on a policy with two vehicles, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates in San Antonio for full coverage:

  1. Geico: $3,316 per year.
  2. Texas Farm Bureau: $3,719 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $4,139 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $4,889 per year.
  5. State Farm: $5,141 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in San Antonio

With fewer years of experience on the road, young people typically pay higher car insurance prices than older drivers. However, each company considers factors like age and experience differently when setting rates, so drivers in their 20s will benefit from shopping around. To see which insurers are cheapest for young drivers in San Antonio, NerdWallet analyzed rates for 25-year-olds in a variety of situations.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For young San Antonio drivers with clean driving and credit histories, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates for full coverage auto policies:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,123 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,572 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,744 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,810 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,844 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with good credit and no tickets or violations on their records, here are the cheapest companies and average rates we found for minimum required coverage in San Antonio:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $508 per year.
  2. Geico: $731 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $799 per year.
  4. State Farm: $898 per year.
  5. Allstate: $991 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Cheapest for poor credit and minimum coverage

For 25-year-olds in San Antonio with good driving records and spotty credit, here are the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage policies:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $963 per year.
  2. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,299 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,386 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,401 per year.
  5. Republic Group: $1,484 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

For young drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their records, here are the cheapest car insurance companies and average rates in San Antonio for minimum required coverage:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $583 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,054 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,118 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,219 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,320 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

Here are the lowest average rates and companies providing them in San Antonio for young drivers with a recent DUI conviction:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $709 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,028 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,344 per year.
  4. Republic Group: $1,418 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,456 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For young drivers in San Antonio with a recent speeding ticket, here are the cheapest auto insurance companies and average rates for state-mandated minimum coverage:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $508 per year.
  2. Geico: $815 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,008 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,054 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,119 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

USAA, the company available only to active military, veterans and their families, offers very competitive insurance rates. Because it isn’t available to the general public we don’t rank it against other insurers, but USAA was among the three cheapest options in San Antonio for every driver category above.

» MORE: Best insurance for military and veterans

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in San Antonio

  • Good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Poor credit: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • After an at-fault crash: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • After a DUI: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • After a speeding ticket: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Married couples: Geico.
  • Families with a teen: Geico.
  • Young good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Texas Farm Bureau.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Texas Farm Bureau.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Average car insurance rates in San Antonio by county

On average, car insurance is cheaper in the counties that surround San Antonio than in Bexar County, home to the city itself. Here are the average annual rates we found, ranked from most to least expensive, for a 40-year-old with good credit and a clean driving record buying full coverage.

  • $1,575 in Bexar County, which includes all of San Antonio.
  • $1,410 in Wilson County, southeast of the city.
  • $1,404 in Comal County, with New Braunfels, Texas, as its county seat.
  • $1,403 in Medina County, on the west side of the San Antonio metro area.
  • $1,398 in Kendall County, home to Boerne, Texas.
  • $1,383 in Guadalupe County, which includes part of New Braunfels along with Cibolo, Schertz and Seguin, Texas.
  • $1,377 in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio.
  • $1,375 in Bandera County, northwest of the city.

Minimum car insurance requirements in San Antonio

With rare exceptions (see below), drivers in San Antonio and all of Texas are required to carry liability insurance. You’ll often see the minimum requirements written in shorthand as 30/60/25. This means that in San Antonio you must buy at least:

  • $30,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per person.
  • $60,000 bodily injury/death liability coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.

If you cause an accident, liability insurance kicks in to pay for others’ injury treatment and property damage, up to your limits. It doesn’t pay for your own injuries or vehicle repairs.

In many cases, the legal minimum insurance won’t be enough to cover costs if you cause an accident. If you total someone’s luxury car, for example, their repair costs could easily exceed a $25,000 ceiling. Any damage that surpasses your limits has to come out of your own pocket. That’s why for most drivers it’s wise to select higher limits, such as 100/300/50.

Auto insurance alternatives in San Antonio

If you’re having trouble getting insured in San Antonio, look into the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association. It can help connect you with a company that will cover you.

There are legally acceptable alternatives you can choose to prove your financial responsibility, including:

  • Filing a surety bond with the Department of Public Safety. You must file the bond jointly with at least two people, called “sureties,” who own property in the state. The property offered in the bond must be worth at least as much as the insurance amounts mandated under the state’s minimum liability car insurance requirements.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the state comptroller in either cash or securities.
  • Making a $55,000 deposit with the county judge where your vehicle is registered, in either cash or cashier’s check.
  • Qualifying for a certificate of self-insurance through the Department of Public Safety. You promise to pay up to the same amount covered by minimum liability insurance requirements if you cause an accident with one of your cars. This option applies if you own 25 vehicles or more.

For more help finding cheap car insurance in San Antonio, try NerdWallet’s car insurance quotes comparison tool.

METHODOLOGY

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas, metropolitan statistical area as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The MSA encompasses eight Texas counties:

  • Atascosa County.
  • Bandera County.
  • Bexar County.
  • Comal County.
  • Guadalupe County.
  • Kendall County.
  • Medina County.
  • Wilson County.

The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.

We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across the San Antonio MSA with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. Rates for each vehicle assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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