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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Texas for 2020

Sept. 18, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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Auto insurance is an important purchase, but finding a policy and insurer to suit your needs isn’t always easy. Here you’ll find what you need to know about buying a Texas auto insurance policy — including how much coverage is required, what your policy will pay for and where to find cheap car insurance in Texas.

We looked at car insurance quotes from the eight largest insurers in Texas and ranked the five cheapest options for several driver types.

» Houston-area resident?: The Best Cheap Car Insurance in Houston

Cheapest for your age and gender

Cheapest for good drivers in Texas

The cheapest insurers and average rates for Texans with clean driving records and good credit are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,041 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,207 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,351 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,478 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,610 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.

» Live in San Antonio?: The Best Cheap Car Insurance in San Antonio

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Texas

For Texas drivers buying minimum coverage, the cheapest companies and their average rates are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $441 per year.
  2. Geico: $559 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $638 per year.
  4. State Farm: $754 per year.
  5. Republic Group: $858 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 drivers in Texas with poor credit, the cheapest auto insurance companies and their average rates are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,976 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,392 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,405 per year.
  4. Republic Group: $2,410 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,647 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

These are the cheapest insurers for Texas drivers with a recent accident, along with their average rates:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,210 per year.
  2. Republic Group: $1,351 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,917 per year.
  4. State Farm: $2,140 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,310 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 Texas

For Texas drivers who’ve had a recent DUI, these are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,511 per year.
  2. Republic Group: $1,730 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,861 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,334 per year.
  5. State Farm: $2,831 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 Texas

For drivers in Texas with a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurance companies and average rates are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,041 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,410 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,446 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,878 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,990 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 Texas

NerdWallet also checked average car insurance rates for couples and families with a teen driver — and the cheapest options weren’t the same as for singles. Insurers weigh factors like age and driving history differently, so it’s smart to shop around and compare quotes — especially when there’s a big change in your life like getting married or adding a teen driver.

Cheapest for a married couple in Texas

For a married couple in Texas, both 50 years old and with clean driving records, the cheapest companies and their average rates are:

  1. Geico: $1,691 per year
  2. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,759 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $2,118 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $2,444 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,606 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 Texas

For a married couple with a teen driver in Texas, these are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates:

  1. Geico: $3,247 per year.
  2. Texas Farm Bureau: $3,717 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $4,137 per year.
  4. Auto Club of SoCal: $4,880 per year.
  5. State Farm: $5,064 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 Texas

Finding cheap car insurance can be a challenge for young drivers, who often pay higher rates than older drivers who’ve spent more time behind the wheel. To see how drivers in their 20s are affected, we checked rates for 25-year-old drivers in Texas with a variety of driving records.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For full coverage, these companies returned the lowest average rates for a young Texan with a clean driving history:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $1,116 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,519 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,736 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,741 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,799 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 minimum required coverage, here are the cheapest companies for a young driver in Texas with a clean driving record, along with their average rates:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $479 per year.
  2. Geico: $677 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $754 per year.
  4. State Farm: $814 per year.
  5. Allstate: $951 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 a young driver with poor credit, the cheapest insurers in Texas and their average rates are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $907 per year.
  2. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,227 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,269 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,346 per year.
  5. Republic Group: $1,425 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

Companies with the cheapest average rates for a young driver in Texas after an at-fault crash are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $548 per year.
  2. Geico: $971 per year.
  3. Republic Group: $1,073 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,104 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,246 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

After a DUI, these companies showed the cheapest average rates for a young driver in Texas:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $665 per year.
  2. Geico: $945 per year.
  3. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,268 per year.
  4. Republic Group: $1,362 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,396 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 a young driver in Texas with a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and their average rates are:

  1. Texas Farm Bureau: $479 per year.
  2. Geico: $753 per year.
  3. State Farm: $955 per year.
  4. Allstate: $968 per year.
  5. Auto Club of SoCal: $1,056 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 in Texas

If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are high you’ll get a good rate with USAA, an option that isn’t available to the public. In our analysis, USAA was among the three cheapest options in Texas for every driver type listed above.

» MORE: Best car insurance for veterans and military

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Texas

Here are the cheapest average auto insurance rates in Texas for every driver type above, this time listed by monthly price:

  • Good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau, $87 per month.
  • Minimum coverage: Texas Farm Bureau, $37 per month.
  • Poor credit: Texas Farm Bureau, $165 per month.
  • After an at-fault crash: Texas Farm Bureau, $101 per month.
  • After a DUI: Texas Farm Bureau, $126 per month.
  • After a speeding ticket: Texas Farm Bureau, $87 per month.
  • Married couples: Geico, $141 per month.
  • Families with a teen: Geico, $271 per month.
  • Young good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau, $93 per month.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Texas Farm Bureau, $40 per month.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Texas Farm Bureau, $76 per month.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Texas Farm Bureau, $46 per month.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Texas Farm Bureau, $55 per month.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Texas Farm Bureau, $40 per month.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum car insurance requirements in Texas

With rare exceptions (see below), Texas drivers are required to carry liability insurance. You’ll often see the minimum requirements written in shorthand as 30/60/25. This means in Texas 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 Texas

If you’re having trouble getting insured in Texas, 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.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. 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 and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. 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.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes 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.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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