Houston, Texas Car Insurance 101 [Coverage + Rates]

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Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life...

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Reviewed byMelanie Musson
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Houston, TXDetails
Population2,312,717


Population Density3,991 people per square mile
Average Annual Cost of Insurance$7,136.56
Cheapest Car Insurance CompaniesUSAA and State Farm
Road ConditionsPoor share: 24%
Mediocre share: 28%
Fair share: 11%
Good share: 38%
Vehicle Operating Costs: $610

Houston is the most populous city in Texas. If you choose to live in The Space City, you’ll be driving on streets next to tens of thousands of other drivers. If the thought of increased traffic and increased crash risks makes you uncomfortable, you’ve probably given serious thought to the perfect car insurance provider.

Having the right insurer makes sure you’re well protected if one of the many other drivers on Houston’s roads runs into you. However, it can be hard to pick the right insurer, let alone learn a city’s unique driving laws.

If you are looking for answers to questions about car insurance and driving in Houston, we’ve got you covered.

Our comprehensive guide to Houston covers everything you need to know about driving (as well as living) in the city. Let’s begin.

Want to start comparison shopping for rates today? Try out our free rate comparison tool above by entering your zip code.

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in Houston

Getting the best rate can sometimes feel like winning a lottery. At the very least, you’ll have the satisfaction of having less money taken from your bank account each month.

Knowing how to pick the best rate, though, is harder than it looks. There are multiple factors that go into determining rates, and unless you are an insurance agent, you probably don’t know the specifics behind rate changes.

If you want to learn why and how much insurers change rates for a variety of factors, keep reading to learn about everything from demographics to zip codes. All of the following rate information is from our partnership with Quadrant, providing you with the best data on Houston’s rates.

– Male vs Female vs Age

Your age and gender are important to insurers. For example, age is directly related to a driver’s driving experience. A teenager will be paying more for car insurance than a middle-aged driver.

Data USA lists the median age in Houston as 33.1, so most drivers will be charged rates for 35-year-old drivers.

So what are the rates for 35-year-old drivers? If you take a look at the table below, you’ll see that they have the second-cheapest rates in Texas.

Houston Rates by Age17253560Cheapest Age
Average Annual Rate$9,393.23$3,794.62$3,018.83$2,876.2460

As you can see, drivers pay less as they age. Now that we’ve taken a look at age, let’s see what the different genders pay for car insurance in Texas.

  • Male Drivers: $4,770
  • Female Drivers: $4,500

So why do males pay more than females in Texas? This is typical in most states, and its because insurers believe that males are riskier drivers. However, the rate difference between genders usually levels out as male drivers become older.

DemographicRate (Cheapest)
Married 60-year old female$2,791.00
Married 60-year old male$2,961.47
Married 35-year old female$2,969.61
Married 35-year old male$3,068.06
Single 25-year old female$3,683.32
Single 25-year old male$3,905.93
Single 17-year old female$8,559.72
Single 17-year old male$10,226.74

As you can see, 35-year-old males only pay an average of $100 more than 35-year-old females. However, 17-year-old males pay almost $2,000 more than 17-year-old females.

So not only do rates drop as driver age, but the gender price difference drops as well.

Cheapest ZIP Codes in Houston

Where you live in Houston also influences your rates. Insurers look at the crime, crash, and weather data in your area to determine how risky it is to cover your car.

Houston ZipAverage Annual Rate
77059$6,254.85
77062$6,263.54
77058$6,308.38
77339$6,351.62
77079$6,441.61
77005$6,459.12
77094$6,513.47
77598$6,523.91
77336$6,538.79
77006$6,550.05
77098$6,594.26
77069$6,608.68
77046$6,623.26
77070$6,655.34
77025$6,664.14
77089$6,714.46
77007$6,724.72
77027$6,740.78
77056$6,743.45
77030$6,751.63
77024$6,766.97
77018$6,787.86
77489$6,794.35
77064$6,795.54
77068$6,797.24
77096$6,824.63
77095$6,824.84
77043$6,824.99
77015$6,843.82
77054$6,843.85
77338$6,847.41
77077$6,852.84
77019$6,856.66
77049$6,872.59
77008$6,881.81
77009$6,915.07
77055$6,931.67
77031$6,939.89
77080$6,946.18
77092$6,950.09
77063$6,965.40
77034$6,970.03
77041$6,970.77
77002$6,994.51
77057$7,042.73
77065$7,044.17
77029$7,052.00
77035$7,053.81
77085$7,102.58
77084$7,112.24
77042$7,117.06
77021$7,149.81
77075$7,189.45
77044$7,214.79
77010$7,224.35
77082$7,227.39
77013$7,229.21
77032$7,242.29
77066$7,257.08
77011$7,286.14
77003$7,313.08
77071$7,325.02
77073$7,327.59
77087$7,329.81
77074$7,337.34
77040$7,345.76
77012$7,347.90
77047$7,389.06
77023$7,399.43
77014$7,408.80
77045$7,420.16
77017$7,427.19
77090$7,441.20
77086$7,471.65
77061$7,479.15
77048$7,486.87
77051$7,489.43
77201$7,492.29
77204$7,496.11
77004$7,497.22
77050$7,505.14
77020$7,514.53
77026$7,553.90
77038$7,567.20
77028$7,579.76
77093$7,592.70
77099$7,600.09
77039$7,601.85
77022$7,605.82
77081$7,609.75
77088$7,612.47
77067$7,613.31
77016$7,629.02
77091$7,644.01
77060$7,664.73
77037$7,670.41
77083$7,670.98
77076$7,684.94
77078$7,700.94
77053$7,747.72
77033$7,840.97
77072$7,909.04
77036$8,150.71

There is less than a $2,000 difference between the most and least expensive ZIP codes, which isn’t terrible. Still, you can see how a move around the city can add to your car insurance prices.

What’s the best car insurance company in Houston?

It can be hard to pick a company. While looking at the offered coverages and benefits is a great way to make sure a company will fully cover you, how much will you be paying for a policy?

Finding a cheaper provider will help lessen the strain on your wallet, but it can be timeconsuming to apply for free quotes and compare them.

To save you time, we have collected Quadrant data on Houston’s car insurers’ rates.  Keep reading to see which provider has the best rates for you.

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

Let’s start by looking at which Houston companies have the cheapest rates.

GroupSingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old maleMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old maleAverage
USAA$5,316.68$5,756.42$2,474.00$2,628.93$1,861.20$1,862.59$1,788.73$1,764.79$2,931.67
State Farm$5,837.21$7,446.90$2,624.53$2,699.21$2,409.57$2,409.57$2,150.86$2,150.86$3,466.09
Geico$6,541.74$6,741.68$3,158.48$3,120.96$2,912.28$3,169.25$2,838.28$3,271.55$3,969.28
Nationwide$7,905.73$10,151.58$3,231.22$3,497.33$2,737.94$2,781.67$2,414.89$2,556.62$4,409.62
Allstate$11,218.58$13,508.79$5,202.14$5,400.52$4,217.27$4,244.40$4,163.30$4,163.30$6,514.79
American Family$11,317.80$14,803.09$5,781.26$6,621.66$3,868.87$4,362.69$3,710.26$4,306.92$6,846.57
Progressive$11,780.27$13,178.71$3,311.60$3,372.89$2,780.15$2,646.22$2,470.71$2,516.22$5,257.10

USAA has the cheapest overall rate, but USAA is only for military families. If you aren’t military, State Farm has the next cheapest overall rate.

However, make sure to also look at what a company is charging for your demographic, as rates vary greatly. A cheap overall rate doesn’t mean cheap demographic rates.

Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

In Texas, the average driver travels 15,533 miles a year. That’s a lot of driving across Texas’s flat roads, and it also means that most drivers are paying for a long commute at insurers. 

Group10 Miles Commute. 6,000 Annual Mileage.25 Miles Commute. 12,000 Annual Mileage.
Allstate$6,353.51$6,676.06
American Family$6,846.57$6,846.57
GEICO$3,895.17$4,043.38
Nationwide$4,409.62$4,409.62
Progressive$5,257.10$5,257.10
State Farm$3,466.09$3,466.09
USAA$2,894.35$2,968.99

Just because an insurer doesn’t charge for a long commute doesn’t mean its rate is economical. Geico charges for a long commute, but its resulting rate is still cheaper than other companies who don’t charge for a long commute.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

Let’s see which companies have the best rates for high coverage (which we highly recommend, as high coverage protects the best in accidents). 

GroupLowMediumHigh
American Family$6,295.82$6,550.06$7,693.82
Allstate$6,345.48$6,451.07$6,747.80
Progressive$5,009.56$5,234.74$5,526.99
Nationwide$4,219.83$4,269.74$4,739.31
Geico$3,723.01$3,908.95$4,275.87
State Farm$3,268.93$3,453.47$3,675.87
USAA$2,814.10$2,917.54$3,063.36

USAA, State Farm, and Geico have the cheapest rates for high coverage. Remember, look at the final overall rate rather than how much it costs to upgrade.

For example, while Allstate only has about a $400 increase to upgrade from low to high coverage, the final rate is one of the highest.

Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

Sometimes, people don’t realize that their credit score has a huge impact on their rates.

GroupGoodFairPoor
American Family$5,253.86$6,015.71$9,270.13
Allstate$5,193.73$6,064.69$8,285.94
Geico$2,293.67$3,462.39$6,151.78
Progressive$4,736.52$5,113.92$5,920.85
Nationwide$3,684.52$4,248.38$5,295.97
State Farm$2,439.19$3,057.10$4,901.97
USAA$2,013.20$2,496.22$4,285.58

At companies like American Family, going from good to poor credit will cost drivers an additional $4,000. Even at cheaper companies like USAA and State Farm, the drop from good to poor credit raises rates at least $2,000.

Still, $2,000 is better than $4,000, so make sure to shop around at providers if you have a poor or fair credit score.

Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

The last factor we want to cover is a driver’s history. If insurers see a DUI, accident, or speeding ticket on a driver’s record, they will raise rates.

GroupClean recordWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUIWith 1 speeding violation
Allstate$5,026.59$7,838.42$8,167.54$5,026.59
American Family$6,204.20$7,997.66$6,980.21$6,204.20
Geico$3,360.70$4,480.89$3,696.17$4,339.34
Nationwide$3,820.09$3,820.09$5,678.74$4,319.57
Progressive$4,576.28$5,935.65$5,356.54$5,159.92
State Farm$3,071.33$3,533.51$4,188.19$3,071.33
USAA$2,174.69$3,238.80$3,814.31$2,498.87

Sometimes insurers will offer accident forgiveness, where drivers are forgiven their first at-fault accident at a provider (rates aren’t raised). This is why the rate doesn’t change from a clean record to an accident violation at Nationwide.

Accident forgiveness can save thousands, so make sure to ask your provider if you are eligible.

Car Insurance Factors in Houston

Insurers depend on more than just a driver’s history to determine rates. The economic situation of a city is also important. For instance, insurers consider how much the average customer earns, the economic stability of an area, and more.

So keep reading to see what Houston’s economic status is.

Metro Report – Prosperity and Growth

Brookings’ metro report analyzes the economic stability of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. Let’s start by looking at Brookings’ rating of Houston’s prosperity from 2016 to 2017 (prosperity measures how much wealth/income a city generates).

  • Prosperity: 95 out of 100 (poor)
  • Productivity: -0.4 percent (86 out of 100)
  • Standard of Living: -0.9 percent (96 out of 100)
  • Average Annual Wage: -0.4 percent (98 out of 100)

Houston ranked poorly in prosperity. The amounts of productivity, standard of living, and average annual wage all declined from 2016 to 2017. This resulted in Houston ranking near the bottom of the 100 cities.

Let’s take a look at Houston’s growth and see if it ranked any better than its prosperity.

  • Growth: 85 out of 100 (poor)
  • Jobs: +0.9 percent (71 out of 100)
  • Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP): +0.4 percent (91 out of 100)
  • Jobs at Young Firms: +0.8 percent (76 out of 100)

Houston’s growth is slightly better than its prosperity. Hopefully, the small increase in jobs and GMP (“value of goods and services” from an area) will help Houston’s prosperity increase.

Median Household Income

We know Houston’s prosperity could be better, but how much is the average Houston resident earning?

According to Data USA, the 2017 average income in Houston was $50,896.

This about $10,000 less than the U.S. average income ($60,336) and $9,000 less than the Texas average income ($59,206). Since the average cost of car insurance in Houston is $7,136, this means that 14 percent of Houston residents’ income is spent on car insurance.

This is relatively high, though shopping around can help lower that percentage.

What is your percentage? If you want to see how much of your income goes to car insurance, use our free calculator below.

CalculatorPro

Homeownership in Houston

We know that the standard of living went down in Houston in 2017, so we want to take a look at home ownership in Houston.

Owning a home can help lower your insurance rates, as insurers often offer home and auto bundling discounts.

So how many Houston residents are getting a bundling discount? Data USA found that in 2017, there was only 42.8 percent homeownership in Houston.

This is fairly low, as the Texas average percent of homeownership is 62 percent. However, the average cost of a home in Houston is high.

The median value of a home in Houston is $173,600, which is higher than the Texas median value ($151,500).

So not only do Houston residents earn less than Texas and U.S. averages, but they also have to pay more on average for their homes. No wonder the rate of homeownership is lower.

Education in Houston

If you want to get a higher education in Houston, the city offers the following options:

UniversitySector2016 Degrees Awarded
University of HoustonPublic, 4-year or above9,524
Houston Community CollegePublic, 2-year8,129
University of Houston-DowntownPublic, 4-year or above2,882
Rice UniversityPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above2,260
Texas Southern UniversityPublic, 4-year or above1,562
The University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonPublic, 4-year or above1,498
University of Phoenix-TexasPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above1,114
University of St Thomas (227863)Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above1,042
Universal Technical Institute of Texas Inc.Private for-profit, 2-year902
Houston Baptist UniversityPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above725
Pima Medical Institute-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year702
College of Health Care Professions-NorthwestPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above496
Tulsa Welding School-HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year444
Everest Institute-BissonnetPrivate not-for-profit, less-than 2-year439
Everest Institute-HobbyPrivate not-for-profit, less-than 2-year343
Baylor College of MedicinePrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above342
South Texas College of Law HoustonPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above338
The Art Institute of HoustonPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above317
Ocean CorporationPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year296
Everest Institute-GreenspointPrivate not-for-profit, less-than 2-year327
Sanford-Brown College-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year272
Remington College-North Houston CampusPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above248
Brightwood College-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year245
Fortis Institute-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year231
The College of Health Care Professions-Southwest HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year210
Texas Barber CollegePrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year188
Center for Advanced Legal StudiesPrivate for-profit, 2-year181
American InterContinental University-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above181
Florida Career College-Houston CampusPrivate for-profit, 2-year181
Fortis College-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year168
Brightwood College-FriendswoodPrivate for-profit, 2-year166
Utah College of Massage Therapy-HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year166
Commonwealth Institute of Funeral ServicePrivate not-for-profit, 2-year157
School of Automotive Machinists & TechnologyPrivate for-profit, 2-year157
Culinary Institute IncPrivate for-profit, 2-year145
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterPublic, 4-year or above144
Northwest Educational CenterPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year138
Paul Mitchell the School-HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year134
Vet Tech Institute of HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year132
Texas Health SchoolPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year118
Sebring Career Schools-HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year116
Chamberlain College of Nursing-TexasPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above111
Aviation Institute of Maintenance-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 2-year94
Astrodome Career CentersPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year93
College of Biblical Studies-HoustonPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above90
Remington College-Houston CampusPrivate not-for-profit, 2-year86
Houston Training School-GulfgatePrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year66
Professional Career Training InstitutePrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year57
Trend Barber College (450711)Private for-profit, less-than 2-year49
Houston Training Schools-SouthwestPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year39
MediaTech Institute-HoustonPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year39
Houston Graduate School of TheologyPrivate not-for-profit, 4-year or above37
Houston Training Schools-GessnerPrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year30
Jay's Technical InstitutePrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year30
Trend Barber CollegePrivate for-profit, less-than 2-year29
National American University-HoustonPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above26
American College of Acupuncture and Oriental MedPrivate for-profit, 4-year or above23
Houston International College Cardiotech Ultrasound SchoolPrivate for-profit, 2-year13
The Vocational Nursing Institute IncPrivate not-for-profit, less-than 2-year7
Interactive College of TechnologyPrivate for-profit, 2-year5
Interactive College of Technology (443696)Private for-profit, 2-year3

As you can see, Houston has numerous education options. There are a number of large universities, such as the University of Houston, as well as specialized schools like the Vet Tech Institute of Houston.

Houston also has a community college, Houston Community College, that offers one to two-year accreditations and transfer programs. If you are looking to save money on your education, Houston Community College is a great option.

Houston Community College also offers online courses, if you are too busy to attend in-person classes.

Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs

We covered the average income already, but we want to dig deeper into incomes in Houston. Below is Data USA’s information on wages by race or ethnicity in Texas for miscellaneous managers. We’ve also included the amount of income going to car insurance.

Race or EthnicityAnnual
Income
Percentage of Income Spent on Car Insurance
American Indian$111,1596.41%
Asian$106,5796.69%
White$103,1166.92%
Two or More Races$86,4318.25%
Black$69,17210.31%
Other$62,09811.49%

American Indians are the highest-paid race or ethnicity in Texas, which means only an average of 6 percent of their income goes to car insurance.

One the other hand, other races or ethnicities are the lowest-paid, which results in 11 percent of their income being spent.

Wage by Gender in Common Jobs

Because of the gender wage gap, we want to take a look at salaries by gender in Texas. Below is Data USA’s information on gender salaries in common job types.

Job FieldMale SalaryMale Premiums as Percentage of IncomeFemale SalaryFemale Premiums as Percentage of Income
Miscellaneous Manager$114,3336.24%$76,6909.3%
Elementary and Middle School Teachers$51,28313.91%$47,26115.10%
Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers$48,94414.58%$35,74919.96%
Retail Salespersons$47,84614.91%$30,00523.78%
Cashiers$24,05929.66%$20,90234.14%

As you can see, females consistently earn less than males, resulting in a larger percentage of their income being spent on car insurance.

In fact, while the average male employee in Texas earns $65,834, the average female employee only earns $47,183. That’s a significant difference and reinforces that the wage gap between genders still exists today.

Poverty by Age and Gender

With such a marked difference in pay between genders, it makes sense that once females become adults, there is more of a risk of falling into poverty.

In fact, the largest demographic living in poverty in Houston is females ages 25 to 34.

Let’s take a look at the rest of Data USA’s information on poverty by gender and age in Houston.

Houston Percentage of Males and Females Living in Poverty by AgeMaleFemale
>5 years6.24%6.16%
5 years1.19%1.31%
6 - 11 years6.8%6.57%
12 - 14 years3.16%2.85%
15 years1.06%0.877%
16 - 17 years1.66%1.74%
18 - 24 years4.54%6.61%
25 - 34 years6%9.01%
35 - 44 years4.82%7.42%
45 - 54 years3.76%4.68%
55 - 64 years3.32%3.75%
65-74 years1.57%2.21%
75+ years0.888%1.87%

As you can see, as the ages go up, the number of females living in poverty also goes up.

In Houston, 21.2 percent of those living in poverty live below the poverty line.

This is a higher percentage than the national average of 13.4 percent, so a significant number of Houston residents are living in severe poverty.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

Let’s dig deeper into poverty by looking at Data USA’s data on poverty by race and ethnicity.

Race or EthnicityNumber of People Living in Poverty (2017)
Hispanic266,487
White248,530
Black132,555
Other58,833
Asian21,474
Two or More9,053
Native American1,879

Hispanics have the highest number of people living in poverty, followed by whites and Blacks.

Employment by Occupations

Let’s take a break from poverty statistics and see what occupations are the most common in Houston.

  • Office and Administrative Support Occupations (120,629 people)
  • Sales and Related Occupations (109,920 people)
  • Management Occupations (104,408 people)

The bad news is that the employment rate from 2016 to 2017 declined -1.48 percent. Employment dropped from 1,120,000 employees to 1,110,000 employees.

Hopefully, Houston’s economy will take a turn for the better and produce more jobs, which will help reduce poverty.

Driving in Houston

As the most populated city in Texas, Houston’s streets are heavily congested. This means that you’ll have to learn the best routes to get to work on time, but it can be confusing if you are new to the city.

To help you find the best routes through Houston, we are going to cover everything from major highways to traffic conditions.

So keep reading to learn about Houston’s road conditions to prepare both yourself and your vehicle.

Roads in Houston

The first aspect of driving in the city that we want to go over is Houston’s roads. If a city doesn’t have clearly organized routes and well-maintained roads, driving can be a nightmare.

So let’s jump right into Houston’s roads, from highways to cameras at intersections.

Major Highways

Texas has multiple major highways linking the state’s cities together. It’s 25 active routes contributes 3,501 miles to the state’s miles of roadway, which is an impressive amount.

Three of these major routes run right through Houston: I-10, I-45, and I-69.

Houston highways-medium

You may have noticed the word toll next to I-10. Unfortunately, if you travel in I-10 you will be right on the toll road.

There will also be tolls on the other major highways in Texas, so be prepared to pay to travel out of Houston. The bad news is that three of the toll roads in Houston are among the most expensive toll roads in the U.S.

  • State Highway 242 connector ramp
  • Fort Bend Parkway
  • State Highway 249 connector ramp

If you want to reduce the high tolls you’ll pay on these routes, consider getting a TxTag. With a TxTag, you’ll pay the cheapest rate at a toll (up to 50 percent less).

The device also allows you to go through cash-free toll booths, where a radar scans your TxTag and lets you through. It saves time on digging through the cupholder in your car for change and trying to get the correct amount as you wait in line.

You do have to pay an initial fee to buy the device, but it should pay itself off after a few trips on the highway, as you’ll be paying the lowest toll. The tolls will be billed to your TxTag account, making it easy to pay off each month.

So if you are going to be traveling on Houston’s major routes, make sure to check out devices like the TxTag to save money in the long run.

Popular Road Trips and Sites

Houston has plenty to do. If you need a few ideas, though, check out the list below of fun Houston activities.

  • Christmas Zoo Lights: The Houston zoo puts on a spectacular lights display every year.
  • Shark Voyage: If you pay a visit to the Houston aquarium, you can take an underwater train ride through the aquarium.
  • Waterparks: Houston is hot. If you need somewhere to cool down during the summer, Houston has a variety of waterparks to visit.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you find yourself wanting to get out of the city though, there are a number of popular road trips to take around Texas.

  • Abandoned Place Road Trip: If you like to feel shivers up your spine, these abandoned places will be sure to creep you out.
  • Christmas Lights Road Trip: One of Houston’s neighborhoods is on this impressive list.
  • Haunted Road Trip: Another road trip guaranteed to creep you out, this road trip will take you to the most haunted places in Texas.
  • Lighthouse Road Trip: Want to spend some time traveling oceanside? This trip takes you the best lighthouses in Texas.

Hopefully, you’ve now got a few ideas of where to start with your exploration of Houston and Texas.

Road Conditions

When you’re driving around Houston to visit the zoo or a waterpark, the last thing you need is for a wayward pothole to ruin your day. According to TRIP, Houston’s roads are in the following conditions:

Poor
Share
Mediocre
Share
Fair
Share
Good
Share
Vehicle Operating
Costs (VOC)
24%28%11%38%$610

Only 38 percent of Houston’s roads are in good condition. While we’d like this number to be higher, another 11 percent of the roads are in fair condition.

Still, we’d like to see a larger percentage of roads in good or fair condition.

Does Houston use speeding or red light cameras?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Texas only allows the use of red-light cameras. However, this will soon come to an end, as Texas recently passed a bill outlawing the use of these cameras.

So even if you see a red light camera at an intersection, it shouldn’t be active.

Still, follow the law and come to a complete stop at a red light (don’t speed up when the light turns yellow, as it often results in drivers dangerously going through a red light).

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Vehicles in Houston

Now that we’ve covered Houston’s roads, we want to see who you’ll be driving next to on the roads. If you want to fit in like a Houston native, keep reading to learn all about Houston’s vehicles.

Most Popular Vehicles Owned

YourMechanic recorded what types of vehicles they serviced in popular U.S. cities. Let’s take a look at what vehicles come into YourMechanic’s Houston shops.

Car TypePercentage Serviced by YourMechanic in Houston
American Made47%
Hybrids0.7%
Muscle Cars with V8 Engines18.5%
Subaru0.5%

Houston residents like heavy-duty muscle cars. Over 18 percent of the cars YourMechanic serviced were muscle cars with V8 engines.

Based on this, it isn’t surprising that the most unusually popular car in Houston is a Ford F-250 super duty truck. So if you move to Houston (or really, anywhere in Texas), getting a new truck will make you look like one of the locals.

The Ford F-250 crew cab also got a decent safety rating on NHTSA, although it doesn’t get great gas mileage (as expected with a muscle car).

Still, insurers look at how safe a car is when adjusting rates, so a car with a good safety rating will help prevent your rates from going up.

Cars per Household

Data USA lists the average number of cars owned in Houston as two.

Number of CarsHouston Household Percentage
03.85%
129.7%
242.1%
315.4%
46.83%
5+2.06%

Over 2 percent of Houston residents own five or more cars, which basically requires one’s own parking lot.

Households Without a Car

In such a large city (with plenty of public transportation), owning your own car isn’t a necessity, although it does allow for more freedom. Let’s see how many households get by without cars in Houston.

2015 Households
Without Vehicles
2016 Households
Without Vehicles
2015 Vehicles
Per Household
2016 Vehicles
Per Household
8.30%8.10%1.581.59

The number of households without vehicles actually dropped slightly in 2016, so a number of households bought their first car in that time period.

Speed Traps in Houston

According to SpeedTrap.org, Houston is the worst city in Texas for speed traps. Madrid Law Firm lists the worst Houston areas for speed traps as:

  • Parker Road and Exeter
  • Moorwick and Wickchester
  • Wescott southbound approaching Memorial Drive
  • Mykawa between Airport and Belfort
  • Silverstone and Airport Blvd

You won’t always find a speed trap in these areas, but there’s a good chance there’s a cop hiding with a radar gun on one of the above areas.

The best way to avoid a ticket, of course, is to not speed. Especially because Houston is notorious for its number of speed traps.

– Vehicle Theft in Houston

The FBI recorded 11,596 stolen vehicles in Houston during 2017. This makes Houston the worst city for vehicle theft in Texas, as the only city that comes even close to beating Houston’s number is Dallas, with 7,913 stolen vehicles.

Of course, we also need to take into consideration that Houston is the most populated city in Texas, which means there are more cars to steal and more people to steal them.

So what is the safest neighborhood to keep your car in?

Neighborhood Scout found that the safest neighborhood in Houston is Dogwood Acres / Walden Woods.

Houston_Safest_Neighborhood_

The other safest neighborhoods in Houston are:

  • Westheimer Parkway / S Ferry Rd
  • Clodine
  • Sandtown Circle / Sandtown Lane
  • Clodine Reddick Rd / Beechnut Blvd
  • Olcott
  • Porter Heights
  • River Terrace
  • Echo Mountain Dr / Mills Branch Dr
  • Telge Rd / Northwest Freeway

While living in one of these neighborhoods won’t guarantee your car’s safety, it will help lower your chances of your car being stolen. It will also help lower your chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

In Houston, you have a one in 89 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. In comparison, you only have a one in 228 chance in Texas.

Houston’s chance isn’t great. In fact, the city only has a crime index rating of four. This means Houston is safer than only four percent of all U.S. cities.

So what crimes are happening in Houston? Let’s see how many violent crimes occurred in 2017.

Houston Violent CrimesMurderRapeRobberyAssault
Report Total2691,3869,84214,346
Rate per 1,0000.120.604.266.20

There were almost 10,000 cases of robbery in 2017, many of which probably included stolen vehicles. Finally, let’s look at Houston’s annual crimes to see what crimes are happening beyond violent crimes.

Houston Annual CrimesViolentPropertyTotal Crimes
Number of Crimes25,84398,197124,040
Crime Rate 
(per 1,000 residents)
11.1742.4653.63

The rate of total crimes per 1,000 residents is over 50. With a crime rate this high, it makes sense to move into one of Houston’s safer neighborhoods.

Traffic

Nobody likes sitting in traffic, but you’re bound to have to deal with it in Houston. However, we are here to help guide you through Houston’s traffic, so that you are prepared beforehand.

So stick with us as we go through traffic conditions, from congestion to road dangers to watch out for.

Let’s begin.

Traffic Congestion in Houston

Inrix, a major traffic scorecard, has Houston down as one of the 200+ worst cities in the U.S. for traffic. Let’s take a look at Houston’s ranking.

2018 Impact Rank (2017)Hours Lost in CongestionYear Over Year ChangeCost of Congestion (Per Driver)Inner City Travel Time (Minutes)Inner City Last Mile Speed (mph)
77 (82)98+6%$1,365415

While Houston ranked as 82 in 2017, it bumped up to 77 in 2018. Since traffic increased six percent, the change in rank isn’t surprising.

In addition, Houston drivers waste an average of $1,365 just sitting in congestion. That’s quite a few tanks of gas that could have gotten you somewhere more exciting than sitting in a line of cars.

Transportation

Let’s dig deeper into traffic congestion by looking at commute time and commuter transportation.

Data USA found that the average commute time in Houston is 26.5 minutes (or 53 minutes a day).

This is only slightly more than the U.S. average commute time of 25.5 minutes, so Houston’s average commute time isn’t too bad, considering the high amounts of traffic in the area.

Now that we know the commute time, what are people using to commute?

  • Driving Alone: 77 percent
  • Carpooling: 10.4 percent
  • Working at Home: 4.36 percent

A surprising amount of Houston residents work from home, as it is the third most popular transportation option. Although in reality, working at home doesn’t require any transportation at all, and there is zero commute time (unless you count the time it takes to walk from a bed to an office).

The remaining percentage of transportation methods include walking, bicycling, using public transport, riding a motorcycle, or using a taxi.

Busiest Highways

The Federal Highway Administration listed the busiest Houston highways as:

  • Route 6
  • I-10
  • US-59
  • I-610

All of these highways have 12 total lanes, which means each direction has six lanes. Even with the added lanes, these highways are going to have heavy amounts of traffic.

So which areas of these highways are the worst? According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, some of the most congested stretches of Houston’s highways are:

  • 610 Loop (from I-10 to I-69): 1.6 million hours wasted in traffic per mile
  • Southwest Freeway (from 610 Loop to Highway 288: 1.3 million hours wasted in traffic per mile

That’s a lot of time wasted in traffic. If your route takes you through some of Houston’s most congested areas, try leaving a little earlier to beat traffic.

How safe are Houston’s streets and roads?

We aren’t talking about how safe you’ll be walking down the street at night, but how safe you’ll be driving on Houston’s roads. Some cities have more crashes and fatalities, depending on what type of laws and enforcement are in place.

To start, let’s look at the NHTSA’s data on fatalities for all crashes in Houston’s county.

Harris County20142015201620172018
Total Fatalities417391447458389

The number of fatalities in Houston increased in 2017, before dropping in 2018. What’s responsible for these increases and decreases?

Let’s take a look at NHTSA’s data on crash types to find out.

Houston Fatalities by Crash Type20142015201620172018
Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)210170211202171
Single Vehicle Crash216220263243205
Involving Speeding13610713510687
Involving a Roadway Departure177166175174138
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection-Related)10389102116116

In 2018, the major causes of crashes were single-vehicle crashes, DUI crashes, and roadway departures. Now that we know the types of crashes behind Houston’s fatality rates, let’s take a look at the type of people killed in these crashes.

Houston Person-Type Fatalities20142015201620172018
Passenger Car Occupant146124147149134
Pedestrian9098130109103
Pedalcyclist1210111412

Houston has quite a few pedestrian deaths on its record, with the number slowly increasing each year. If you are walking near a roadway, don’t depend on drivers to avoid you. Stay alert and wear bright clothing.

Next, we want to see what types of roads are the most dangerous.

Interstate (Rural)Interstate (Urban)Freeway and ExpresswayOther Principal ArterialMinor ArterialCollector ArterialLocalUnknownTotal Fatal Crashes
2104362931,101730665274133,722

Quite a few of Texas’s fatalities occur on minor and collector arterial roads. Why?

An arterial road is a high-traffic road (highways), so a minor arterial road has heavy traffic on a daily basis, creating riskier conditions. After all, you aren’t in control of the drivers around you.

As for a collector arterial road, this is a road that takes local traffic to an arterial or minor arterial road. These roads are riskier because drivers need to use these roads to merge into heavy traffic.

Other risky roads are roads that intersect with a railroad. According to the US Department of Transportation (US DOT), the following areas have the most crashes in Houston.

Highway User SpeedCalendar YearCountyHighwayHighway User TypeRail Equipment TypeNon-Suicide FatalityNon-Suicide Injury
02012HARRISTIDWELL RDAutomobileFreight Train00
02012HARRISCULLEN BLVDPick-up truckLight Loco(s)00
52012HARRISBOCARD #2Truck-trailerFreight Train00
52012HARRISCOLLINGSWORTH STREETTruck-trailerFreight Train01
02012HARRISHEIGHTS BLVDPedestrianFreight Train00
52012HARRISRAILWOODTruck-trailerLight Loco(s)00
02012HARRISLAURA KOPPE RDAutomobileFreight Train00
02012HARRISPRIVATEAutomobileFreight Train00
02012HARRISRICHEY ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train00
52012HARRISOIL TRAVLING WEST MATruck-trailerLight Loco(s)00
62012HARRISPRIVATEVanYard/Switch01
202012HARRISHOLMES RDPick-up truckFreight Train00
02012HARRISCAMPBELL ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train00
32012HARRISPRIVATETruck-trailerYard/Switch01
02012HARRISRANKIN ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train02
152012HARRISMARKET STREET ROADTruck-trailerLight Loco(s)00
102012HARRIS66TH STVanYard/Switch00
52012HARRISPRIVATETruck-trailerFreight Train00
52012HARRISC. E. KING ROADAutomobileSpecial MOW Eq01
202012HARRISWALTON ROADAutomobileYard/Switch00
02012HARRISSHERWIN STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
02013HARRISSAND CROSSING/DELTATruck-trailerFreight Train00
02013HARRISPARKER STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
02013HARRISPRIVATE CROSSINGTruck-trailerFreight Train00
32013HARRISNCGAutomobileFreight Train02
02013HARRISBEECHUNTAutomobileFreight Train01
202013HARRISHAHLO STTruck-trailerYard/Switch00
02013HARRISSAWYER STREETTruck-trailerFreight Train00
32013HARRISQUITMANVanYard/Switch00
02013HARRISASHLAND CHEMICALSTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02013HARRISSHERWINTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02013HARRISWEST LITTLE YORKTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02013HARRISSAN JACINTO ST.Truck-trailerFreight Train00
02013HARRISOIL TANKING E MAINTruck-trailerFreight Train00
52013HARRISCAVALCADE STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
52013HARRISPRIVATETruck-trailerFreight Train00
102013HOUSTONCOE DAIRY ROADAutomobileFreight Train01
02013HARRISCAMPBELL RDPick-up truckFreight Train00
52013HARRISPRIVATEVanLight Loco(s)00
52013HARRIS2244 COLLINGSWORTHAutomobileFreight Train01
02013HARRISBELLAIRE BLVD.AutomobileFreight Train00
52013HARRISCESAR CHAVEZ BLVDAutomobileFreight Train00
332014HARRISHILLCROFT STAutomobileFreight Train10
602014HARRISJACINTOPORT CROSSINGPick-up truckFreight Train00
102014HARRISPVT-PT. OF HOUSTONAutomobileYard/Switch01
102014HARRISPVT-PT. OF HOUSTONAutomobileYard/Switch01
02014HARRISW. BELLFORT AVEAutomobileFreight Train00
52014HARRISLYONS AVENUEAutomobileYard/Switch00
02014HARRISSILVER STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
102014HARRISMARKET STREET ROADTruck-trailerYard/Switch01
22014HARRISFIELDS ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02014HARRISHILLCROFT STAutomobileFreight Train02
02014HARRISBELFORT DRIVEAutomobileFreight Train00
32014HARRISPRIVATEAutomobileLight Loco(s)00
22014HARRISMISSISSIPPI STTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02014HARRISRANKIN ROADAutomobileFreight Train01
262014HARRISBLALOCK DRIVEAutomobileLight Loco(s)00
102014HARRISCORONATION DRIVEAutomobileFreight Train01
02014HARRISHIRSCH ROADPedestrianFreight Train01
02014HARRISCAMPBELL ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train00
102014HARRISGATE 8AutomobileLight Loco(s)00
02014HARRISAIRPORT BLVD.AutomobileFreight Train00
02014HARRISUP PVT YARD ROADVanCut of Cars00
02014HARRISHAVILANDPick-up truckFreight Train00
202014HARRISHOWARD DRIVEPick-up truckFreight Train00
02014HARRISOREM ROADAutomobileFreight Train00
202014HARRISCANAL STREETAutomobileFreight Train01
52014HARRISOIL TANKING WEST MAITruck-trailerFreight Train00
02014HARRISRANKIN ROADAutomobileFreight Train00
52014HARRISMCFARLAND STREETTruck-trailerFreight Train00
42014HARRISKOPMAN DRTruck-trailerYard/Switch00
52014HARRISALTIC STAutomobileYard/Switch00
02014HARRISHILLCROFT STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
02015HARRISDURHAM STAutomobileFreight Train00
02015HARRISSHAVER STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
02015HARRISCLINTON DRIVEAutomobileYard/Switch00
02015HARRISTRENTHAM PLACEAutomobileFreight Train00
02015HARRISSCOTT STREETAutomobileFreight Train00
102015HARRISMARKET STREETPick-up truckFreight Train00
102015HARRISGATE 8Truck-trailerFreight Train00
52015HARRISCLAY ROADTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02015HARRISFONDRENAutomobileFreight Train00
202015HARRISALTIC STREETAutomobileFreight Train01
52015HARRISPRIVATE PLANT CROSSITruck-trailerYard/Switch00
02015HARRISGRIGGS ROADTruck-trailerLight Loco(s)02
52015HARRISJENSEN DRIVEAutomobileFreight Train00
02015HARRISMAINPedestrianFreight Train01
02015HARRISJENSEN DR.AutomobileFreight Train00
02016HARRISLONG DRTruck-trailerFreight Train00
02016HARRISLYONS AVEPedestrianFreight Train00
52016HARRISOIL TANKING WEST MAIAutomobileFreight Train00
202016HARRISLYONS AVE.AutomobileFreight Train01
102016HARRIS5800 LONG ROADAutomobileFreight Train01
02016HARRISFONDREN ROADAutomobileFreight Train00
02016HARRISKEMPWOOD DRPick-up truckFreight Train00
102016HARRISLYONS AVEPick-up truckFreight Train00
02016HARRISLONG STREETTruck-trailerFreight Train00
192016HARRISPARKER STAutomobileFreight Train00
102016HARRISLONG DRIVEAutomobileFreight Train00
02016HARRISOIL TANKING EAST MAITruck-trailerFreight Train00
32016HARRISIN THE YARDPick-up truckLight Loco(s)00
52016HARRISJACINTO BLVD. CROSSITruck-trailerCut of Cars00

Houston has a very high number of highway and railroad crashes. Check to see if any of the crash areas are on your route and proceed with caution.

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

Now that we know Houston has a high number of crashes, we want to see what Allstate thinks of Houston’s drivers.

In Allstate’s 2019 Best Drivers Report, which ranks the 200 largest cities in the U.S., Houston ranked as 158.

2019 Best
Drivers Report
Ranking
Average Years
Between Claims
Relative Claim
Likelihood
(Compared to
National
Average)
2019
Drivewise®
Hard-Braking
Events Per
1
1,000 Miles
1587.660.381%N/A

We’d definitely like Houston to be higher up on the list. Less than eight years tends to pass between claims in Houston, which means most drivers are in an accident every eight years.

Ridesharing

Need a rideshare to the airport or to a fun night out with friends? Below are the rideshare options available in Houston.

  • Taxi: a traditional taxi in Houston tends to be slightly cheaper than Lyft or Uber.
  • Lyft: this rideshare option is going to cost the same as Uber.
  • Uber: this rideshare option is the same as Lyft.

While Lyft and Uber are fairly economical in price, they will cost more if you choose luxury or premium rides. To make sure you are getting the best price on your rideshare, compare prices on sites like Ride Guru.

EStar Repair Shops

Need help finding a repair shop for after an accident or for an oil change? Esurance rates reputable shops on its EStar repair shop program. Let’s take a look at what EStar rated shops are in Houston.

Shop NameAddressContact Info
MILLER AUTO & BODY REPAIR4816 N. SHEPHERD
HOUSTON, TX 77018
email: steve.millers@sbcglobal.net
P: (713) 864-7820
F: (713) 864-6280
RUSSELL & SMITH FORD HONDA1109 SOUTH LOOP W
HOUSTON, TX 77054
email: bodyshop@russellsmith.com
P: (713) 663-4216
F: (713) 663-4110
SERVICE KING GALLERIA5919 WESTHEIMER ROAD
HOUSTON, TX 77057
email: ccc@serviceking.com
P: (713) 243-1400
F: (713) 266-4316
CARSTAR PREMIER9520 RICHMOND AVE.
HOUSTON, TX 77063
email: csr@carstarofhouston.com
P: (713) 952-3777
SERVICE KING SOUTHWEST FREEWAY10475 SOUTHWEST FREEWAY
HOUSTON, TX 77074
email: ccc@serviceking.com
P: (713) 773-5000
F: (713) 772-1746
SERVICE KING PEARLAND2330 SMITH RANCH ROAD
PEARLAND, TX 77584
email: ccc@serviceking.com
P: (713) 795-3100
F: (800) 214-2373
SUNRISE PAINT & BODY INC.4211 COOK RD
HOUSTON, TX 77072

email: marilu@sunrisepb.com
P: (281) 933-7473
F: (281) 933-9426
CHARLTON’S BODY REPAIR1131 STAFFORDSHIRE RD
STAFFORD, TX 77477
email: charbody@aol.com
P: (281) 499-1126
F: (281) 499-1694
GREENFIELD COLLISION CENTER15920 KUYKENDAHL
HOUSTON, TX 77068
email: greenfieldcollision@gmail.com
P: (281) 580-1994
F: (281) 580-3205

SERVICE KING HUMBLE450 E FM 1960
HUMBLE, TX 77338
email: ccc@serviceking.com
P: (281) 446-6660
F: (800) 214-2373

If you want to look for more shops in your area, you can use the EStar repair shop locator.

Weather

You can expect to have sunny weather in Houston. Below, you can see US Climate Data’s information on Houston’s average weather temperatures.

Houston, TX WeatherDetails
Annual high temperature78.3°F
Annual low temperature59.8°F
Average temperature69.05°F
Average annual precipitation (rainfall)45.28 inches
Days per year with precipitation (rainfall)106 days
Annual hours of sunshine2,633 hours
Average annual snowfall-

US Climate Data didn’t record an average snowfall in Houston, but in a city with an average of 2,633 hours of sunshine a year, snowfall is going to be a rarity.

Unfortunately, while Houston may have few snowfalls, it is prone to a number of natural disasters.

Houston has had 29 natural disasters: storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, fires, and winds.

This is higher than the U.S. average (13 natural disasters). With such a high number of natural disasters, you may want to consider comprehensive coverage.

This coverage protects your car from damages from natural disasters, such as flood damage. It also protects in cases of theft or vandalism, which is useful in a city with a crime rating of just four.

Public Transit

The city of Houston is served by METRO, which provides both buses and rails. The cost for a ride on a bus or a rail is $1.25, although prices may vary slightly based on what zone you are in.

There are also discounts for students, seniors, Medicare cardholders, and disabled people. Children under five ride for free.

Alternate Transportation

Currently, Houston has Houston B Cycle, which offers bike rentals around the city.

However, Houston doesn’t have electric scooter rentals like Bird or Lime. In fact, Texas is considering banning electric scooters, or at the very least, passing stricter regulations on their use.

So it may be a while yet until electric scooters hit Houston’s streets.

Parking in Metro Areas

Houston has numerous street parking spaces, and the city has a great payment system that accepts coins, bills, or debit/credit cards. This means no more fiddling with outdated coin meters.

So how can you pay?

  • Pay-by-Plate: At the pay station, enter your license plate number and pay. This method allows you to forego placing a receipt on your dashboard.
  • Pay-by-App: Don’t feel like walking to the nearest pay station? If you download the ParkMobile app, you can pay Houston’s meters from the comfort of your car.
  • Pay-and-Display: If you don’t enter your license plate number, you’ll need to take the receipt and place it on your dashboard.

The parking limits vary from two hours to 10 hours (it will be listed on the pay station). If you need to park longer than the listed time slot, you should go to a parking lot or garage.

However, Houston does offer a hopper pass for exploring downtown, where you can move your car to a new parking space when the zone’s time limit is up without having to buy a new pass. The pass is valid from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday (parking is free on Sundays and holidays).

If you don’t want to be moving your car every few hours, though, a parking garage is still your best bet.

As for satellite parking, this will be available at METRO stations, college campuses, hotels, and airports. You will have to pay to leave your car at an airport, though, so a rideshare may be the better option.

Have an electric vehicle? Houston has 284 electric vehicle charging stations, and 122 of them are free. So if you need to park and charge, it should easy to find a station near you.

Air Quality in Houston

Cars have been a major source of pollution ever since the first buggy rolled belching onto the streets. While our air emissions laws have worked to control cars’ pollution, cars still dirty the air we breathe every day.

Since poor air quality can have a negative impact on human health, we want to look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air quality study on Houston.

Houston-The Woodlands – SugarLand Air Quality Index201620172018
Days With AQI366365365
Good Days164184166
Moderate Days179156164
Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups222226
Unhealthy Days137
Very Unhealthy Days002

Unfortunately, the EPA has recorded an increase in unhealthy days and very unhealthy days. This isn’t good. Hopefully, continued focus on improving vehicles’ emissions will help clean up Houston’s air.

Military and Veterans

It can be hard to slog through insurers to find the best rates and discounts. And if you are military, it can be hard to determine which company offers the best military discount, if one is even offered.

To save you time, we are going to go through everything you need to know about military providers and discounts. We will also cover military in Houston, so you’re aware of what veterans and bases are in the city.

Let’s jump in. 

Veterans by Service Period

According to Data USA, the most common service periods in 2017 are as follows:

  • Vietnam: 20,569 veterans
  • Gulf War (2001-): 17,611 veterans
  • Gulf War (1990s): 10,103 veterans
  • Korea: 4,514 veterans
  • World War II: 1,911 veterans

The majority of veterans in Houston served in the Vietnam war.

Military Bases Within an Hour

Unfortunately, there are no military bases within an hour of Houston. However, there is the United States Coast Guard Air Station Houston just under 40 minutes from the heart of Houston.

While not a military base, this station provides search and rescue for the Texas and Louisiana coast sides.

Military Discounts by Providers

So which Texas providers offer discounts to military personnel? Take a look at the list below.

Insurance CompanyPercentage Saved by Discount (when known)
AllstateNA
FarmersNA
Geico15%
Liberty Mutual (must be active duty)4%
MetLife15%
State FarmNA
USAA*NA

*USAA also offers a military garaging discount.

Always ask providers if they have military discounts. A local Houston provider that’s not on our list may have a discount for you.

USAA

USAA is well-known for its cheap rates. Let’s see how USAA’s rates compare to other competitor’s rates in Texas.

GroupAnnual PremiumCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to State Average (%)
Allstate$5,485.44$1,442.1626.29%
Progressive$4,664.69$621.4113.32%
Nationwide$3,867.55-$175.73-4.54%
Geico$3,263.28-$780.00-23.90%
State Farm$2,879.94-$1,163.34-40.39%
USAA$2,487.89-$1,555.39-62.52%

USAA is by far the cheapest company in Texas. However, it is only for military members and their families. So if a driver isn’t military, State Farm or Geico are the next best options.

Unique City Laws

Every city is different in how it addresses driving and parking laws. If you don’t take the time to read up on unique city laws beforehand, you may find yourself with a ticket.

Since getting a ticket is no way to start out your life in Houston, we are going to go through must-know laws. So keep reading to learn about cellphone laws, food truck laws, and more.

Hands-Free Law

Distracted driving has become a dangerous problem, and states are working to reduce distracted driving by creating cellphone laws. In Texas, the cellphone laws are as follows:

  • Handheld Ban. Applies when drivers are in school crossing zones and public school properties (during reduced speed limit times).
  • Young Drivers All Cellphone Ban. Applies to drivers 18 years and younger.
  • Texting Ban. Applies to all drivers.

Enforcement of these laws is primary, which means officers can pull over and ticket anyone they see breaking these rules.

Food Trucks

Is your dream owning and operating food truck in Houston? If so, there are a few practical matters to be dealt with first.

The City of Houston requires all drivers to have the proper licenses before operation.

For example, food trucks must meet safety regulations and owners must have food preparation licenses. Food trucks must also be parked in the proper zones, and they can’t block intersections, fire hydrants, or driveways.

Once all the paperwork is out of the way, though, you can take your food truck around the city.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes have become the latest craze. However, having a tiny home in Houston may be more difficult than you thought.

Houston has a lot of laws that make it difficult to build a tiny home in Houston, and navigating all these restrictions may make building a tiny home more trouble than its worth.

However, careful planning can let you have the tiny home of your dreams, even if you have to jump through a few hoops to get to it.

Parking Laws

It doesn’t matter how tough it is to find a parking spot. Wrong direction parking is illegal. The passenger side of your vehicle must always be facing the curb.

Otherwise, you’ll have to pull out into oncoming traffic, which is dangerous for you and others. Not to mention the pricey ticket you’ll get if an officer passes by your car.

To curb the temptation to whip into an open spot before someone else gets it, consider reserving a spot at a local parking garage. This way, you know for sure that you’ll have a spot.

Houston Car Insurance FAQs

We’ve covered a lot of information, and everything we’ve thrown at you may have left your head spinning. If you still have questions, keep reading to see what others are asking about Houston.

Let’s begin.

What happens if I get into an accident in Houston?

If you caused the accident, you are liable for the other driver’s injury and property damage costs. This is because Texas is an at-fault state. Likewise, if the other driver caused the accident, that driver will have to pay for your accident costs.

Is Houston a safe place to live?

If you live in one of Houston’s safer neighborhoods, you should be fine. However, be aware that Houston has a crime index rating of four, meaning it is only safer than four percent of all U.S. cities.

What’s Houston’s time zone?

Houston, Texas is in the Central Standard Time Zone. So if you are coming from a different time zone, make sure to adjust your time so you don’t call Grandma at 4 a.m.

How big is Houston, Texas?

Big. It is the fourth most populated city in the U.S., and it is the largest city in Texas. So if you move to Houston, be prepared to have your personal bubble popped when walking down a crowded street.

What is the main airport in Houston?

Houston’s main airport is the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. This airport is about 30 minutes from the heart of Houston, making it easy for you to catch your next flight out of the city.

We hope we answered all your questions. Now that you’ve read our guide, you should be ready to drive around Houston and live in the most populated city in Texas.

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