Dallas-Fort Worth’s Worst Commutes: More Gas, Higher Insurance and Wasted Time

Auto Insurance, Insurance
Dallas-Fort Worth's Worst Commutes:

Workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have longer commute times than the national average. In 2011, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that drivers waste 45 hours in DFW traffic delays, which is more than the average U.S driver, who wastes 33 hours. Drivers also face significant financial costs, namely Texas car insurance and gas. But which Dallas-Fort Worth drivers have the worst commutes?

A NerdWallet study has found that Royse City and Lancaster are the two worst cities for commuters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We crunched the numbers and ranked the worst commutes by analyzing two major costs of commuting: time and money.

Financial costs

Car-related costs can break the bank, and gas and insurance are two major costs that all commuters face. Depending on where drivers live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, annual car insurance premiums can vary from $1,100.79 in Flower Mound to as much as $1,284.04 in Addison.

Similarly, gas prices fluctuate among cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Keller has the cheapest average gas price at $3.14 a gallon, whereas drivers in Prosper pay an average of $3.30 a gallon.

Minimizing car insurance costs

Shopping around to find the cheapest car insurance can help offset the costs of commuting. Prices for the same coverage can vary dramatically among insurance companies. Comparing car insurance premiums can help you reduce your costs. Insurance companies also offer various discounts for qualifying customers.

The car you drive also has a significant impact on the cost of your insurance. For example, premiums for the most popular car models can vary by several hundred dollars a year. Talk to your insurance agent to find out which vehicles have the lowest insurance costs.

[For more information about auto insurance rates, check out NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.]

Key findings

Car insurance costs depend on where you live. Some drivers could be paying 16.7% more for car insurance.

Some drivers have long commutes. Workers in Greenville spend 17.9 minutes getting to work, whereas those in Royse City drive 35.8 minutes one way.

Workers don’t commute on public transportation. Only 0.7% of Dallas Fort-Worth commuters use public transit, compared with 5% of commuters across the U.S.

The 10 worst Dallas-Fort Worth commutes

1. Royse City

Average car insurance premium: $1,122.38
Average gas price: $3.28
Average one-way commute time: 35.8 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 95.3%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0%

2. Lancaster

Average car insurance premium: $1,259.60
Average gas price: $3.23
Average one-way commute time: 32.9 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.7%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.7%

3. Seagoville

Average car insurance premium: $1,240.29
Average gas price: $3.23
Average one-way commute time: 33 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 92.2%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.3%

4. Forney

Average car insurance premium: $1,240.29
Average gas price: $3.22
Average one-way commute time: 32.3 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.6%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.2%

5. Cedar Hill

Average car insurance premium: $1,261.29
Average gas price: $3.23
Average one-way commute time: 30.5 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 94%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.7%

6. Azle

Average car insurance premium: $1,162.88
Average gas price: $3.20
Average one-way commute time: 34 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.6%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0%

7. Desoto

Average car insurance premium: $1,268.79
Average gas price: $3.21
Average one-way commute time: 31.4 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.9%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 1.9%

8. Mesquite

Average car insurance premium: $1,280.51
Average gas price: $3.21
Average one-way commute time: 28.6 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.9%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.6%

9. Little Elm

Average car insurance premium: $1,116.50
Average gas price: $3.21
Average one-way commute time: 33.8 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 93.8%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 0.1%

10. Sachse

Average car insurance premium: $1,263.13
Average gas price: $3.22
Average one-way commute time: 30.5 minutes
Percentage of workers traveling by car: 91.6%
Percentage of commuters using public transportation: 1.0%

NerdWallet’s analysis

NerdWallet analyzed the following factors to determine the worst cities for commuters in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area:

    1. How expensive is gas? We looked at average gas prices in each ZIP code for 15% of the total score.
    2. How much does auto insurance cost? Insurance is costly and premiums can vary depending on where you live. We found average insurance costs by ZIP code and used it as 15% of our score.
    3. How long are workers’ commutes? We looked at how long it takes Dallas-Fort Worth residents to make a one-way trip to work for 40% of the score. Commute times will vary depending on where workers are driving to.
    4. How many workers are commuting by car? We looked at the percentage of workers who get to work by car. Higher percentages of commuters getting to work by car mean more traffic congestion and longer commutes. This is 15% of our score.
    5. Is public transit available? We looked at the percentage of workers who commute on public transportation for 15% of our score. Higher percentages suggest more availability of public transit.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s worst commutes

Rank Location Average car insurance premium Average gas price per gallon Average one-way commute time in minutes Percentage of commuters traveling by car Percentage of commuters using public transportation Overall score
1 Royse City $1,122.38 $3.28 35.8 95.3% 0.0% 15.80
2 Lancaster $1,259.60 $3.23 32.9 93.7% 0.7% 20.56
3 Seagoville $1,240.29 $3.23 33.0 92.2% 0.3% 22.48
4 Forney $1,240.29 $3.22 32.3 93.6% 0.2% 22.68
5 Cedar Hill $1,261.29 $3.23 30.5 94.0% 0.7% 25.37
6 Azle $1,162.88 $3.20 34.0 93.6% 0.0% 26.34
7 Desoto $1,268.79 $3.21 31.4 93.9% 1.9% 29.26
8 Mesquite $1,280.51 $3.21 28.6 93.9% 0.6% 29.68
9 Little Elm $1,116.50 $3.21 33.8 93.8% 0.1% 29.75
10 Sachse $1,263.13 $3.22 30.5 91.6% 1.0% 30.58
11 Balch Springs $1,265.58 $3.21 30.6 91.6% 0.9% 30.72
12 Midlothian $1,151.00 $3.21 30.5 95.8% 0.0% 31.17
13 Anna $1,138.40 $3.18 33.8 93.1% 0.0% 31.36
14 Rowlett $1,254.77 $3.19 31.6 91.9% 1.3% 32.34
15 Duncanville $1,273.13 $3.21 27.4 94.7% 0.9% 32.99
16 Mansfield $1,165.08 $3.21 29.3 94.4% 0.2% 35.38
17 Rockwall $1,236.21 $3.20 29.5 90.9% 0.5% 35.99
18 Grand Prairie $1,211.05 $3.22 27.0 94.0% 0.2% 36.37
19 Prosper $1,138.40 $3.30 30.6 85.3% 0.0% 37.99
20 Red Oak $1,258.04 $3.20 27.3 94.4% 1.6% 38.42
21 Wylie $1,131.40 $3.17 32.4 93.3% 0.9% 39.10
22 Garland $1,270.48 $3.22 27.6 92.4% 2.3% 40.24
23 Crowley $1,165.96 $3.19 27.5 95.4% 0.4% 40.58
24 Arlington $1,190.03 $3.22 25.9 93.2% 0.2% 41.65
25 Coppell $1,218.42 $3.28 24.8 89.2% 0.6% 43.16
26 The Colony $1,116.50 $3.24 29.3 92.0% 1.3% 43.97
27 Waxahachie $1,145.42 $3.28 22.9 94.9% 0.5% 45.16
28 Weatherford $1,118.63 $3.28 23.7 93.8% 0.0% 45.21
29 Fort Worth $1,178.47 $3.23 25.9 92.7% 1.1% 45.72
30 Southlake $1,125.04 $3.28 28.2 84.9% 0.0% 46.87
31 Terrell $1,240.29 $3.18 22.8 94.6% 0.4% 47.03
32 Keller $1,131.13 $3.14 29.8 91.3% 0.1% 47.49
33 North Richland Hills $1,142.42 $3.20 26.1 93.7% 0.7% 48.16
34 Burleson $1,112.42 $3.19 27.2 94.0% 0.7% 48.68
35 Euless $1,174.90 $3.23 22.8 93.8% 0.4% 48.80
36 Hurst $1,164.92 $3.22 24.9 92.4% 0.7% 48.91
37 Frisco $1,143.27 $3.21 28.0 87.9% 0.2% 49.01
38 Flower Mound $1,100.79 $3.24 28.5 87.8% 0.4% 49.45
39 Lewisville $1,108.31 $3.22 25.8 93.6% 0.7% 49.88
40 McKinney $1,141.65 $3.20 28.5 87.4% 0.5% 50.78
41 Richardson $1,283.76 $3.22 24.0 88.9% 2.2% 51.64
42 Dallas $1,282.42 $3.27 25.2 88.3% 4.0% 51.95
43 Haltom City $1,169.92 $3.18 22.7 94.6% 0.2% 52.27
44 Bedford $1,146.10 $3.21 23.6 92.9% 0.4% 52.48
45 Carrollton $1,174.93 $3.22 24.1 91.5% 1.2% 52.99
46 Grapevine $1,125.04 $3.26 22.4 91.4% 0.2% 53.51
47 Irving $1,242.34 $3.23 22.7 91.1% 2.1% 53.59
48 Ennis $1,145.42 $3.17 22.8 94.9% 0.0% 53.82
49 Addison $1,284.04 $3.23 21.5 89.2% 1.8% 54.35
50 Colleyville $1,125.92 $3.21 25.8 88.8% 0.4% 54.86
51 Cleburne $1,112.42 $3.20 23.8 92.0% 0.3% 56.59
52 Allen $1,131.40 $3.19 27.1 88.4% 1.6% 58.43
53 Plano $1,130.87 $3.21 25.4 88.0% 1.3% 59.82
54 Denton $1,107.17 $3.23 23.3 87.5% 2.0% 67.90
55 Greenville $1,122.38 $3.16 17.9 93.3% 0.2% 70.55
56 Commerce $1,122.38 $3.28 18.2 85.4% 0.8% 71.75

Methodology

NerdWallet surveyed 56 places in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Places with populations under 8,000 or places without data were excluded. The score for each place was calculated from the following measures:

  1. Average car insurance rates are from NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool. To determine the average insurance premium increases, we retrieved quotes for eight different driver profiles in Texas: 27-year-old single men and women and 40-year-old married men and women each driving a Toyota Camry and a Ford Escape. For each driver profile, we used every city’s three cheapest car insurance quotes to mimic consumer behavior and to determine our overall average.
  2. Average gas price from January to November 2014 is from Gas Buddy data.
  3. Mean travel time to work is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey.
  4. Percentage of workers commuting by car is from the 2013 American Community Survey.
  5. Percentage of workers using public transportation is from the 2013 American Community Survey. 

[Car insurance premium data are from NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.]


Dallas image via iStock.