Phoenix Car Insurance Playbook [Coverage Pointers + Rates]
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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|City Density||3,424 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Phoenix||$4,053.68|
|Cheapest Car Insurance Company||Geico and USAA|
|Road Conditions||Poor Share: 23%
Mediocre Share: 29%
Fair Share: 20%
Good Share: 27%
Vehicle Operating Cost: $550
If you are planning a move to the Valley of the Sun, you will be moving into one of the largest cities in the U.S. Phoenix, Arizona, is a sunny city that is bustling with activity.
Unfortunately, this also means that the streets will be bustling with drivers. If you aren’t prepared to drive around Phoenix, though, you could get into an accident or get a ticket.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our comprehensive guide to Phoenix covers everything from rates to driving laws in Phoenix, so you are prepared to live and drive in one of the sunniest cities in the U.S.
If you want to start comparison shopping for rates today, enter your zip code in our free online tool above.
The Cost of Car Insurance in Phoenix
If the price of car insurance makes you consider walking to work, you aren’t alone. Car insurance is an expensive necessity. However, costs do change based on a variety of factors, such as area. We’ve partnered with Quadrant to bring you the following information on rates.
So let’s dive into what Phoenix residents pay for car insurance, so you can begin prepping your budget.
Male vs. Female vs. Age
When you fill out your gender and age on an insurance application, insurers calculate this information into your insurance rates. Age is an understandable demographic factor, as younger drivers are riskier to insure.
Data USA lists the median age in Phoenix as 33.8 years of age.
So what do 33-year-old drivers pay for car insurance in Phoenix? Let’s take a look at rates by age.
|Average Annual Rate||$10,105.79||$3,384.84||$2,966.21||$2,747.78||60|
These 33-year-old drivers fall more into the 35-year-old category, which means most residents in Phoenix are paying the second-cheapest rate.
If you’re a 17-year-old driver, though, insurance will be over $10,000 a year. One of the ways to lower these incredibly high costs as a teen driver is to go on a parent’s policy.
Now that we’ve covered age, let’s dive into gender and rates.
The law prohibits insurers from using gender to determine rates in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and parts of Michigan.
Arizona does allow insurers to use gender. Below are the average rates for male versus female drivers.
- Female Driver’s Average Premium: $4,533
- Male Driver’s Average Premium: $4,801
Sorry guys. Male drivers in Phoenix pay an average of $268 more for car insurance because insurers’ accident data shows males are riskier drivers, getting into more accidents than female drivers. Now that we know which gender pays more, let’s combine age and gender demographics in Phoenix.
|Demographic||Average Annual Rates|
|Single 17-year-old female||$9,240.33|
|Single 17-year-old male||$10,971.25|
|Single 25-year-old female||$3,235.53|
|Single 25-year-old male||$3,534.14|
|Married 35-year-old female||$2,961.25|
|Married 35-year-old male||$2,971.16|
|Married 60-year-old female||$2,697.88|
|Married 60-year-old male||$2,797.67|
Males pay more than females in all age brackets. However, sometimes the difference is almost imperceptible.
For example, 35-year-old males only pay an average of $10 more than 35-year-old females. The price difference becomes more noticeable the younger drivers are, as 17-year-old males pay $1,730 more than 17-year-old females.
For both genders, prices drop as drivers age.
Cheapest Zip Codes in Phoenix
Don’t expect your rates to stay the same if you move around Phoenix. Insurers’ rates change by zip code. This is because cities have areas that are more prone to poverty and crime. If you move to a “bad” part of the neighborhood, your rates will go up.
With this in mind, let’s see how different Phoenix’s zip codes are in price.
|Zip Code||Average Annual Rate|
The cheapest zip code on the list costs $1,380 less than the most expensive zip code. This isn’t bad for such a large city. In New York, for example, there can be over a $3,000 difference between zip codes.
What’s the best car insurance company in Phoenix?
As we continue our look into rates, we want to start comparing companies in Phoenix. This will allow you to directly compare rates and pick the provider that best meets your budget.
Let’s get started.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
We want to start our analysis by seeing which companies have the cheapest overall rates.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Average|
Geico has the cheapest overall rate. However, USAA (a company only for military personnel and their families) has cheaper rates for younger drivers.
So make sure to calculate your rate off demographic rates, as a company may promise cheap rates but charge your demographic more than other providers would.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
The average driver in Arizona drives 12,829 miles a year. This means insurers charge the average Arizona driver for a longer commute.
Below are insurers’ rates for normal and long commutes.
|Company||10 miles commute / 6,000 annual mileage||25 miles commute / 12,000 annual mileage||Average|
Some insurers don’t charge for a long commute. However, this doesn’t mean their rates are cheaper.
For example, Allstate doesn’t charge for a long commute, but its rates are also the most expensive. On the other hand, Geico charges about $100 more for a long commute, but Geico’s rates are still among the cheapest.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
What coverage level do you have on your car? Hopefully, your answer is high coverage. Sometimes, though, insurers’ prices for high coverage are too expensive.
We want to see which providers have the most economical rates for high coverage, which is the best option if you are in an accident.
Geico has the lowest rate for high coverage. It costs $962 to upgrade from low to high coverage at Geico, which is normal.
Remember, its not the price increase that matters. At American Family, it only costs $343 to upgrade from low to high coverage, but the resulting rate is higher than most companies’ rates.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
Good credit is important in getting loans and mortgages, but it is also important in keeping car insurance rates low.
The average credit score in Arizona is 669, which is lower than the national average score of 675.
So how much do insurers charge if your credit score is below Arizona’s average, falling into poor or bad credit?
|Company||Good Credit||Fair Credit||Poor Credit|
Having bad credit will cost drivers around $1,000. Sometimes, it can be even more. At Allstate, for example, going from good to poor credit costs drivers an average of $2,850. This price leap isn’t always so bad, but drivers can expect to pay a great deal more if their credit score drops.
If this happens, it is important to see which providers charge the least for poor credit. In Phoenix, the cheapest providers for poor credit score are Geico and USAA.
Picking a cheaper company and reducing car insurance costs can help drivers with poor credit get back on track with their finances.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Your rates will always increase after a DUI, accident, or speeding violation. Insurers take driving records seriously, as they show how risky a driver is.
|Company||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
Like credit scores, accidents and DUIs can cost drivers at least $1,000. Speeding tickets generally cost less, although this is not always the case. At Allstate, for example, a speeding ticket costs about $140 more than an accident.
Because rates increase so dramatically for accidents, though, we want to mention accident forgiveness. Most insurers have an accident forgiveness program, where being accident-free for a set number of years at a provider qualifies drivers to be forgiven their first at-fault accident.
This means that rates won’t go up, which, as you can see, means a lot of money saved over the years.
Car Insurance Factors in Phoenix
Car insurance rates are influenced by more than just driver’s credit scores and driving records. While we’ve covered how area influences rates in our zip code section, we only just scratched the surface of area and rates.
A city’s prosperity, incomes, and employment rates all influence how much insurers charge for insurance.
So let’s dive into Phoenix’s economic status.
Metro Report – Growth & Prosperity
Brookings’ Metro Report looks at growth and prosperity in major cities. Let’s start by looking at Phoenix’s prosperity, which is the average wealth and income of a city.
According to Brookings, Phoenix ranks 51st out of 100 cities in the U.S. for prosperity.
Below, you can see why Phoenix was placed in the middle of the prosperity rankings.
- Productivity: +0.5 percent (67th out of 100)
- Standard of Living: +1.4 percent (58th out of 100)
- Average Annual Wage: +1.2 percent (38th out of 100)
Phoenix scored best in the average annual wage category, but only increased slightly in the standard of living and productivity categories. Now that we’ve covered prosperity, let’s look into growth.
A city’s growth is simply how many jobs the area is producing. Phoenix scored great in growth, ranking 12th out of 100 cities. This is encouraging, and it should help Phoenix’s prosperity.
Below is Phoenix’s growth score broken down (gross metropolitan product is the value of total goods and services produced by a city).
- Jobs: +2.8 percent (12th out of 100)
- Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP): +3.3 percent (23rd out of 100)
- Jobs at Young Firms: +7.9 percent (16th out of 100)
Phoenix increased in all categories. If you move to Phoenix, the high growth rates should make it easier to find a job.
Median Household Income
Now that we know Phoenix is growing its job market, we want to see what their average income is.
According to Data USA, the 2017 median household income in Phoenix is $56,696.
Phoenix’s average income is only $115 more than Arizona’s average income, and it is $3,640 less than the U.S. average income. However, Phoenix’s average income grew 8.9 percent since 2016, as the 2016 average income in Phoenix was only $52,062.
So how much of this income goes to car insurance? Since the average cost of insurance in Phoenix is $4,053, residents spend 7.14 percent of their income on car insurance (calculated from the 2017 average income).
Wondering what percentage of income you spend on car insurance? Use our free calculator below.
Homeownership in Phoenix
Owning a home is a big step, and it also means you could save on car insurance. Many providers offer home and auto policy bundling discounts, which can save you money on your policies.
Data USA found that in 2017, 56.1 percent of Phoenix residents owned their homes.
This is a 3 percent increase from 2016 when there was only 53 percent homeownership in Phoenix. Still, even with the increase, Phoenix’s rate is lower than Arizona’s rate of 63.1 percent homeownership. The high cost of homes could have something to do with the lower rate of homeownership.
Data USA’s listed the 2017 median value of homes in Phoenix as $231,000. This is higher than both the U.S’s median property value ($193,500) and Arizona’s median property value ($193,200).
So if you move to Phoenix, you can expect property costs to be higher.
Education in Phoenix
So how do you afford to buy one of Phoenix’s expensive houses? Education — the first step in getting a good job. If you want to get a higher education diploma in Phoenix, there are a number of colleges to attend.
Below is Data USA’s complete list of universities and community colleges in Phoenix.
|University||Sector||2016 Degrees Awarded|
|Grand Canyon University||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||18,469|
|Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix||Public, 4-year or above||3,342|
|Phoenix College||Public, 2-year||2,244|
|Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||1,931|
|Paradise Valley Community College||Public, 2-year||1,913|
|GateWay Community College||Public, 2-year||1,612|
|Arizona State University-West||Public, 4-year or above||1,129|
|South Mountain Community College||Public, 2-year||1,062|
|American Institute of Trucking||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||915|
|Universal Technical Institute of Arizona Inc-Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Division||Private for-profit, 2-year||749|
|Brookline College-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||600|
|Carrington College-Phoenix North||Private for-profit, 2-year||533|
|Refrigeration School Inc||Private for-profit, 2-year||501|
|Allen School-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 2-year||476|
|Maricopa Skill Center||Public, less-than 2-year||392|
|National Paralegal College||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||371|
|DeVry University-Arizona||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||320|
|Ottawa University-Phoenix||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||316|
|Arizona Summit Law School||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||221|
|Brown Mackie College-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||212|
|Avalon School of Cosmetology-Phoenix||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||210|
|CollegeAmerica-Phoenix||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||204|
|Carrington College-Phoenix East||Private for-profit, 2-year||180|
|Utah College of Massage Therapy-Phoenix||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||169|
|Argosy University-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||161|
|Chamberlain College of Nursing-Arizona||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||158|
|Penrose Academy||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||145|
|The Art Institute of Phoenix||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||143|
|Fortis College-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 2-year||144|
|Arizona Christian University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||129|
|Pima Medical Institute-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 2-year||80|
|Florida Career College-UEI College-Phoenix||Private for-profit, 2-year||79|
|Paul Mitchell the School-Phoenix||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||78|
|Empire Beauty School-NW Phoenix||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||58|
|Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||55|
|Phoenix Seminary||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||40|
|Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||29|
Phoenix’s largest university is Grand Canyon University, which awarded 18,469 degrees in 2016.
The smallest university is the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, which awarded only 29 degrees in 2016. There are also a number of community colleges in Phoenix, such as South Mountain Community College.
So regardless of whether you want a four- or two-year degree, there are plenty of universities and colleges to choose from.
Wage by Race & Ethnicity in Common Jobs
Data USA lists the highest-paid race or ethnicity in Phoenix as Asians. Let’s take a look at each race or ethnicity’s average wage, as well as what percentage of wage goes to car insurance.
To give you a good idea of wages, we are going to look specifically at miscellaneous manager salaries.
|Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers||Premiums as Percentage of Income|
|Two or More Races||$52,890||7.66%|
There is almost a $50,000 difference in salaries between Asians and Blacks in Arizona. This means that while Asians only spend 4 percent of their salary on car insurance, Blacks spend 8 percent of their salary.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
The wage gap between genders has improved, but it still has a way to go. Data USA lists the average male salary in Arizona as $62,465, while the average female salary is $47,801. Male employees in Arizona are spending 6.40 percent of their salary on car insurance, while female employees are spending 8.48 percent.
To give you an even better idea of the existing wage gap, we’ve listed out Data USA’s information on salaries for male and females in the same job fields.
|Job Field||Male Salary||Male Premiums as Percentage of Income||Female Salary||Female Premiums as Percentage of Income|
|Firstline Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers||$59,189||6.85%||$43,340||9.35%|
|Elementary and Middle School Teachers||$45,258||8.96%||$40,675||9.97%|
|Customer Service Representatives||$38,529||10.52%||$35,050||11.57%|
In every job field, male employees earn more than female employees. As a result, females’ percentage of salary going to car insurance is much higher.
Poverty by Age & Gender
After looking at the gender wage gap, it’s easy to imagine that females in Phoenix might struggle more with poverty.
According to Data USA, the largest demographic living in poverty is females ages 25 to 34.
Let’s take a look at Data USA’s complete list of poverty by gender and age.
|Phoenix Percentage of Males and Females Living in Poverty by Age||Male||Female|
|6 - 11 years||6.94%||6.9%|
|12 - 14 years||2.98%||2.89%|
|16 - 17 years||1.89%||1.87%|
|18 - 24 years||5.56%||6.59%|
|25 - 34 years||5.9%||8.21%|
|35 - 44 years||5.42%||7.43%|
|45 - 54 years||4.26%||5.05%|
|55 - 64 years||3.68%||3.71%|
Under the age of 17, slightly more males than females are living in poverty. However, after age 18 (when the wage gap becomes important), more females than males are living in poverty.
Data USA found that 20.9 percent of those living in poverty in Phoenix are living below the poverty line. This is significantly higher than the national average of 13.4 percent.
Poverty by Race & Ethnicity
Another aspect of poverty we want to cover is poverty by race and ethnicity in Phoenix. Below are Data USA’s numbers.
|Race or Ethnicity||Number of People Living in Poverty|
|Two or More||11,043|
Whites have the largest share of those living in poverty, while Asians have the fewest people in poverty.
Employment by Occupations
Data USA says that employment grew from 2016 to 2017 at a rate of 2.82 percent. Hopefully, this will help lower poverty rates, as the number of employees grew from 770,000 to 792,000.
The most common job fields in Phoenix are the following:
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations: 115,878 people
- Sales and Related Occupations: 85,989 people
- Management Occupations: 83,239 people
Remember, Phoenix has plenty of universities and community colleges available if you want a degree in one of these job fields.
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Driving in Phoenix
Insurers also use the driving conditions in a city to calculate rates, such as crime and traffic accident rates. However, we are more concerned with preparing you for what you’ll face on Phoenix’s roads. If you’ve never lived in a large city before, there will be new factors to contend with, such as confusing intersections and high levels of traffic.
So keep reading to learn what to watch out for, so you can keep a clean driving record and keep your insurance rates low.
Roads in Phoenix
Navigating new roads can be frustrating, especially when you take a wrong turn and find yourself down a skinny one-way street. And if a city doesn’t keep its roads in good condition, you may find yourself losing a wheel to a pothole.
So in this section, we will be covering everything from major highways to Phoenix’s road conditions. Let’s get started.
In Arizona, there are six active routes that contribute 1,168 miles of roadway to Arizona’s road count. Two of these six routes, I-10 and I-17, run right through Phoenix.
Because these routes run through Phoenix, you can expect heavier traffic near them. In fact, I-10’s traffic through Phoenix is so bad, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has considered putting a toll road in.
This would be a big step, as they’re currently not toll roads in the state of Arizona. So while you won’t have to worry about tolls and passes, it does mean that highways will be more congested and there aren’t paid fast track lanes.
Popular Road Trips & Sites
When you move to Phoenix, you are moving to a bustling city filled with things to do. In other words, the words “I’m bored” shouldn’t be an issue in this city.
If you need a few ideas to get you jump-started, though, below are fun attractions to visit that are totally unique to Phoenix.
- Bat Tunnel: This tunnel hosts hundreds of bats that fly out each night in search of food.
- Urban Waterwall: There is a great urban waterfall right in Phoenix.
- Arizona Rock Garden: This unique garden is definitely worth a visit.
- Animal attractions: If you’re an animal lover, check out this list of animal attractions in Phoenix.
- Water Park: Need a place to cool off in the summer? Visit Phoenix’s coolest waterpark.
This is just a small list to get you started. The longer you live in Phoenix, the more activities and attractions you’ll discover, and if you want to get out of the city and see more of Arizona, check out this list of unforgettable road trips.
Poor road conditions mean more money spent on worn-out axles and tires. Let’s take a look at the National Transportation Research Group’s (TRIP) information on road conditions in Phoenix.
|Phoenix Road Conditions||Percentage|
Phoenix could work on improving its road conditions, as only 27 percent of Phoenix’s roads are in good condition.
As well, the cost to operate a vehicle on these roads is $550, which could be due to more wear and tear on a car. In addition to this, poor road conditions are also dangerous for anyone walking or cycling on the roads.
Does Phoenix use speeding or red-light cameras?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Arizona uses both speeding and red-light cameras.
The IIHS says that “in 2017, 890 people were killed in crashes that involved red-light running.” Red-light cameras are meant to put a stop to these deaths, as they record if drivers cross an intersection after the light has turned red. Tickets are then given to drivers who illegally drive through a red light.
Likewise, speeding cameras are meant to reduce speeding and related deaths and are placed around the city. So, when you are driving around Phoenix, be aware that some of these cameras will be in place at intersections.
Vehicles in Phoenix
Now that we’ve covered roads and cameras, we want to look at what vehicles will be driving on Phoenix’s roads. So stick with us we go through everything from popular vehicles in Phoenix to rates of vehicle theft.
This way, you can be prepared beforehand for possible vehicle risks.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
YourMechanic has collected information on the most popular vehicles in major U.S. cities. Let’s take a look.
|Car Type||Percentage Serviced by YourMechanic|
|Muscle Cars with V8 Engines||16.4%|
The majority of cars in Phoenix are American made, with only a small amount of hybrids and Subarus in the city. YouMechanic says that the most unusually popular car in Phoenix is a Nissan 350Z. However, before you decide to get a sports car, be aware that insurers do change rates based on the type of vehicle you own.
So make sure you don’t have one of the most expensive vehicles to insure, or your new sports car could cost you more than you initially thought.
Cars Per Household
Data USA says that the average household in Phoenix has two cars. Below, you can see what percentage of households own two cars, as well as other numbers of car ownership.
|Number of Cars||Household Percentage|
After two-car ownership, most residents own one car. A small percentage also owns over five vehicles, which requires a lot of parking space in a city.
Households Without a Car
When you live in a city, it is possible to get around just using public transportation. Below, you can see how many households go without cars in Phoenix.
The percentage of Phoenix households without cars dropped almost a full percent in 2016. As well, the number of cars owned per household went up slightly.
Speed Traps in Phoenix
According to SpeedTrap.org, Phoenix is one of the top 10 worst cities for speed traps in Arizona. This isn’t surprising, as Phoenix is Arizona’s capital and one of the largest cities in the U.S.
As a result, there are plenty of drivers to catch speeding.
If you want to know where speed traps are in the city, The Phoenix New Times says the worst speed trap areas are the following:
- Anywhere near Phoenix schools
- Scottsdale Road
- Rio Verde Drive (in Scottsdale)
- Power Road (in Mesa)
- Anywhere near Scottsdale schools
- Anywhere near Mesa school zones
- Grand View Avenue (in El Mirage)
- North Chandler
- Lincoln Drive (in Paradise Valley)
- Tatum Boulevard (in Paradise Valley)
A majority of speed traps in Phoenix are near school zones. This is a good thing, as it helps make sure children aren’t hit by speeding cars when crossing a road. Make sure to obey posted speed limits near schools, as there will be certain times of day where you need to significantly reduce your speed.
– Vehicle Theft in Phoenix
If you live in Phoenix, you may want to live in one of the safer neighborhoods and park in a garage. Neighborhood Scout says the safest neighborhood in Phoenix is Near W Pecos Road.
If you didn’t want to live in that area of the city, the other safest neighborhoods are as follows:
- N 7th St / E Irvine Rd
- N Central Ave / W Carefree Hwy
- N Tatum Rd / E Dynamite Blvd
- W Anthem Rd / W Anthem Club Dr
- N 64th Ave / W Happy Valley Rd
- E Mountain Sky Ave / S 8th St
- N 56th St / E Lone Mountain Rd
- N 51st Ave / N 55th Ave
- S Desert Foothills Pky / E Frye Rd
If you want to be as safe from crime as possible, these neighborhoods are the best places to be in Phoenix. So how much crime happens in Phoenix? Let’s look at Neighborhood Scout’s information on Phoenix’s violent crimes.
|Phoenix Violent Crimes 2017||Murder||Rape||Robbery||Assault|
|Rate per 1,000||0.1||0.7||2.03||4.87|
The number of violent crimes in Phoenix means that you have a one in 130 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. This is a worse chance than Arizona’s, where you have a one in 197 chance.
In fact, Phoenix only has a crime index rating of seven. This is poor, as it means Phoenix is only safer than 7 percent of all U.S. cities. Let’s dig a little deeper into this crime index by looking at the total number of crimes in Phoenix.
|Phoenix 2017 Annual Crimes||Violent||Property||Total|
|Number of Crimes||12,511||60,353||72,864|
|Crime Rate (per 1,000 Residents)||7.69||37.12||44.81|
Phoenix has a high number of annual crimes, over 70,000. If this number seems daunting, remember that Phoenix is one of the largest cities, and as a result, is going to see more crime than a smaller city. So make sure to move into a safe neighborhood and have comprehensive coverage on your car in case of theft or vandalism.
Even with an audiobook on your car speakers, traffic is boring and frustrating. To prepare you ahead of time for Phoenix’s traffic, we are going to go through everything from traffic congestion to repair shops (in case you get in a fender bender). This way, you can prep ahead of time for traffic, such as leaving earlier or downloading the latest bestseller.
Traffic Congestion in Phoenix
Phoenix made it onto Inrix’s traffic scorecard, which means traffic will be heavy in the city.
|2018 Impact Rank (2017)||Hours Lost in Congestion||Year Over Year Change||Cost of Congestion (Per Driver)||Inner City Travel Time (Minutes)||Inner City Last Mile Speed (mph)|
Traffic congestion in Phoenix costs drivers over $1,000 a year. That’s a lot of money spent on just sitting in traffic.
So exactly how much time do Phoenix residents spend sitting in traffic?
According to Data USA, the average commute time in Phoenix is 24.8 minutes (or 49.6 minutes a day). This is less than the U.S. average commute time (25.5 minutes).
So while traffic is bad in Phoenix, the commute to work isn’t bad for most residents. Since the commute distance is shorter than we expected, we also want to look at how Phoenix residents get to work each day.
- Driving Alone: 74.1 percent
- Carpooling: 13.3 percent
- Working at Home: 5.67 percent
The remaining percentage is made up of less common commute methods, such as bicycling or walking to work.
According to the Arizona Central, the ADOT found I-10 in Phoenix to be the busiest highway. This is in accordance with what we found earlier when ADOT was considering putting a toll road on I-10 to help traffic congestion.
So if you need to take the I-10 to work, make sure to leave early.
How safe are Phoenix’s streets & roads?
Some areas are more dangerous to drive in. We want to see how many accidents occur on Phoenix’s roads, as well as the main causes behind these accidents. Let’s start by looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) data on fatalities in Phoenix (Maricopa County).
|County||2014 Fatalities||2015 Fatalities||2016 Fatalities||2017 Fatalities||2018 Fatalities|
The number of fatalities from 2014 to 2018 increased by over 100 deaths. So what is causing fatalities to go up in Phoenix? Let’s take a look at crash type fatalities.
|Phoenix Fatalities by Crash Type||2014 Fatalities||2015 Fatalities||2016 Fatalities||2017 Fatalities||2018 Fatalities|
|Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||77||115||131||121||139|
|Single Vehicle Crash||206||200||258||239||289|
|Crashes Involving Speeding||111||132||148||138||131|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||98||122||136||122||156|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||141||163||180||172||168|
All crash types have seen significant increases over the years. However, drunk driving crashes and single-vehicle crashes seem to have increased the most in Phoenix.
Now that you know how dangerous these crashes are, we want to look person-type fatalities (and no, we don’t mean if a driver has case of road rage).
|Phoenix Crashes by Person-Type||2014 Fatalities||2015 Fatalities||2016 Fatalities||2017 Fatalities||2018 Fatalities|
|Passenger Car Occupant||103||126||121||120||140|
In 2014, there were only 91 pedestrian deaths in Phoenix. In 2018, this number rose to 160 pedestrian deaths. This is a significant increase, and it shows the need for drivers and pedestrians to practice proper safety protocol and stay alert.
Now that we know the reasons behind crashes and person-type, let’s look at the NHTSA’s data on which roads have the most fatal crashes in Arizona.
|Arizona Road Type||2017 Fatal Crashes|
|Freeway and Expressway||45|
|Total Fatal Crashes||919|
Minor arterial and collector arterial roads see a significant portion of fatal crashes every year. An arterial road is a major traffic road (such as a highway). A minor arterial road is highly trafficked, but it doesn’t handle the same volume of traffic as an arterial road. A collector arterial road is a road that takes local traffic to an arterial or minor arterial road.
Now that we know high traffic roads see a high number of fatal crashes, we want to look at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (US DOT) information on railroad and highway crash incidents.
|Highway User Speed||Calendar Year||County||Highway||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non-Suicide Fatality||Non-Suicide Injury|
|0||2012||MARICOPA||27TH AVENUE||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||2013||MARICOPA||THOMAS RD||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|10||2013||MARICOPA||THOMAS RD||Pick-up truck||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|0||2013||MARICOPA||THOMAS RD||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|-||2014||MARICOPA||OSBORN RD||Pedestrian||Freight Train||0||1|
|2||2014||MARICOPA||35TH AVENUE||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|5||2014||MARICOPA||37TH AVENUE||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||2|
|20||2014||MARICOPA||27TH AVENUE||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|5||2014||MARICOPA||THOMAS RD||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|20||2015||MARICOPA||35TH AVENUE||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|-||2015||MARICOPA||THOMAS RD||Pedestrian||Light Loco(s)||0||1|
|8||2015||MARICOPA||27TH AVENUE||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||2015||MARICOPA||INDIAN SCHOOL ROAD||Automobile||Yard/Switch||0||0|
|5||2015||MARICOPA||LOWER BUCKEYE RD||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||2015||MARICOPA||27TH AVENUE||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|-||2015||MARICOPA||35TH AVENUE||Pedestrian||Light Loco(s)||0||1|
|2||2016||MARICOPA||INDIAN SCHOOL RD||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
|15||2016||MARICOPA||WASHINGTON ST.||Pick-up truck||Yard/Switch||0||0|
|15||2016||MARICOPA||35TH AVENUE||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|3||2016||MARICOPA||27TH AVENUE||Automobile||Light Loco(s)||0||0|
A number of fatal crashes occurred on 27th Avenue in Phoenix. If you travel this way frequently, be extra alert and obey all signals.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Every year, Allstate collects data to see which cities have the best drivers. Allstate looks at 200 of the largest U.S. cities and ranks them. Let’s see where Phoenix rates on Allstate’s report.
|2019 Best Drivers Report Ranking||Average Years Between Collisions||2018 Best Drivers Report Ranking||Change in|
2018 to 2019
|Drivewise® HardBraking Events
per 1,000 Miles
Phoenix ranked 84th in 2019, which is a drop from its rank in 2018 (83rd). However, 9.3 years passes on average between Phoenix drivers’ collision claims, which isn’t bad.
Allstate’s Drivewise® app recorded an average of 27 hard braking events per 1,000 miles, which could be lower. However, sometimes drivers have to brake hard because of other drivers’ carelessness, not because they weren’t paying attention or were speeding.
Cities themselves can contribute to more hard-braking events, due to the stop and go of heavy traffic.
Ridesharing is the perfect option for when you need a ride home from the airport or the new city bar. You will find the following rideshare services in Phoenix.
- Taxi: A traditional taxi tends to be the cheapest rideshare option in Phoenix.
- Lyft: Lyft is also a cheaper option, as long as you don’t choose Lyft Premium or Lyft Lux.
- Uber: Similar or the same in price to Lyft, Uber only becomes expensive if you chose Uber Select or Uber Black.
- TotalRide: This service is similar to basic Lyft or Uber options.
- Zum: Zum is a rideshare service for kids aged five and up.
To make sure you are getting the best deal on your ride, check a rideshare fare site like RideGuru.
E-star Repair Shops
Esurance has a list of reputable repair shops (E-star shops) to help customers find great repair shops in their area. Below is a list of E-star repair shops in Phoenix.
|Shop Name||Address||Contact Info|
|GERBER - TEMPE/UNIVERSITY DRIV||2100 W UNIVERSITY DR|
TEMPE AZ 85281
P: (480) 774-9999
F: (480) 774-9997
|CARSTAR MICHAEL'S COLLISION||11044 N CAVE CREEK RD|
PHOENIX AZ 85020
P: (602) 371-1700
|GERBER - TEMPE/PRIEST DR.||8045 S PRIEST DRIVE|
TEMPE AZ 85284
P: (480) 422-3870
F: (480) 705-3212
|GERBER - MESA/BROADWAY RD||1015 W BROADWAY RD|
MESA AZ 85210
P: (480) 969-5485
F: (480) 962-8745
|GERBER - SCOTTSDALE/SAN VICTOR DRIVE||8910 E SAN VICTOR DR|
SCOTTSDALE AZ 85258
P: (480) 391-7000
F: (480) 391-0200
|CHANEY'S COLLISION CENTERS||7161 N 61ST AVE|
GLENDALE AZ 85301
P: (623) 934-9000
F: (623) 939-8658
|CHAPMAN AUTO BODY||999 W BELL ROAD|
PHOENIX AZ 85023
P: (602) 866-6180
|SERVICE KING GILBERT||1572 W. HARVARD AVENUE|
GILBERT AZ 85233
P: (480) 507-8778
F: (480) 507-8194
|GERBER - GILBERT||477 N COOPER RD|
GILBERT AZ 85233
P: (480) 632-4747
F: (480) 497-0786
|GERBER - CHANDLER||725 E. CHANDLER BLVD.|
CHANDLER AZ 85225
P: (480) 917-8833
F: (480) 917-8836
Phoenix is such a large city that there are plenty of repair shops to chose from. It’s best to find a shop you trust before an accident, so you aren’t scrambling to find someone to fix your car.
If you move to Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun, you can expect a number of hot days. Below are details on Phoenix’s weather from U.S. Climate Data.
|Phoenix Average Weather||Details|
|Annual high temperature||86.7°F|
|Annual low temperature||63.4°F|
|Average annual precipitation (rainfall)||8.04 inches|
|Days per year with precipitation (rainfall)||36 days|
|Average hours of sunshine||3,832 hours|
There is no data recorded on snowfall, but in a city with almost 4,000 hours of sunshine a year, snowfall is a rarity.
As a result, none of the natural disasters that have happened in Phoenix have to do with winter storms. Instead, Phoenix has experienced the following natural disasters: floods (including flash floods), storms, fires, heavy rains, hurricanes, tornados, and heavy winds.
Overall, Phoenix has been affected by 15 natural disasters, which is slightly above the national average of 13 natural disasters. To protect your vehicle in case of disasters like flood damage, consider comprehensive coverage. This coverage will also protect you in cases of vehicle theft and vandalism, which is a problem in Phoenix.
Valley Metro serves the city of Phoenix, providing both public buses and a rail system. There are multiple fare options, as well as different options for transportation. Let’s start with local bus and light fare prices.
- One-Ride Pass: $2
- One-Day Pass: $4
- Seven-Day Pass: $20
- 15-Day Pass: $33
- 31-Day Pass: $64
There are reduced fares for people ages six to 18, age 65 and older, Medicare holders, and people with disabilities. These reduced fares are available for every type of pass.
Next, let’s look at the prices for Express/Rapid transport on the Valley Metro system.
- One-Ride Pass: $3.25
- One-Day Pass: $6.50
- 31-Day Pass: $104
Rides are more expensive for the Express/Rabid transport, but these buses make fewer stops and will get you to your destination quicker.
There are also ticket options for rural rides.
- One-Way, Same City Pass: $2
- One-Way, Multiple Cities: $4
- Trips To/From Ajo: $4
Finally, Valley Metro has neighborhood circulators, which are usually free. If not, the Avondale Zoom only costs $0.50. There is also an ADA Paratransit system offered by Valley Metro for riders with disabilities.
So if you live in Phoenix, it is easy to find public transit to get you to your destination.
Currently, Phoenix doesn’t have the well-known scooter and bike rentals Bird or Lime, but these services may eventually come. Instead, Phoenix has a bike system, Grid, that is specific to the area. The prices to ride are below.
- Pay-As-You-Go: 25 cents (need a $7 deposit)
- Seven-Day Pass: $10
- Monthly Plan: $15
- Monthly Plus: $20
If you want to get around the city while also getting your daily exercise in, Grid is a great option for alternate transportation. Phoenix also offers mobility scooters and wheelchair rentals for those that need help getting around.
Parking in Metro Areas
On the days you decide to take a car instead of a bike, there are thousands of parking spots in the city. Street parking is coin-metered parking, which means you’ll need a debit/credit card or change (some meters are change-only).
According to the City of Phoenix, if you have a Parkmobile app, you can pay for parking on your phone in Phoenix. However, this won’t work for the change-only meters.
- Meter Cost: $1.50 per hour
- Coin-Only Meter Cost: $1 per hour
So when do you need to make sure you have money for a meter? The meters operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, including holidays and weekends. How long you can park on the street varies. The City of Phoenix says time limits can be “from 15 minutes to as long as 8 hours. In most areas, the maximum duration is 2 hours.”
So if you need to park longer than the maximum time limit posted on a meter, you should go to a parking garage instead. In such a large city, there are plenty of parking garages to choose from. You can check sites like Parkopedia to see which garages have the best prices in your area.
Phoenix also has satellite parking for those flying out of Phoenix’s airport, Sky Harbor International Aiport. You will have to pay for satellite parking, though, which may make ridesharing to the airport more economical (depending on how long you will be gone).
As for electric vehicle parking, you’ll need spots where you can park and charge. According to ChargeHub, there is a total of 369 charging stations in Phoenix.
Out of these 369 stations, only 51 of them are free. So while you’ll have to pay for the majority of charging stations, the good news is that you should always be able to easily find a charging station.
Air Quality in Phoenix
Cars contribute a significant amount to air pollution. The resulting air we breathe can have a negative effect on our health, and poor air quality can even be deadly in heavily polluted cities.
Since Phoenix is heavily populated and has a lot of cars rolling through it, we want to look at its air quality. Below is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) information on Phoenix’s air quality.
|Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Air Quality Index||2016||2017||2018|
|Days with AQI||366||365||365|
|Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||67||82||66|
|Days Very Unhealthy||3||2||12|
Unfortunately, Phoenix has rather poor air quality. In three years, there were only 100 days of good air quality. As well, the number of days considered very unhealthy increased from 2016 to 2018.
This could be partly to the dust storms that Phoenix occasionally experiences.
If you are sensitive to changes in air quality, Phoenix’s air may cause some issues. Hopefully, the city will work on trying to resolve its poor air quality.
Military & Veterans
Military members and veterans often have access to special discounts on car insurance. It can be hard to know exactly what discounts are available, though, and which companies offer them. To help you through the process, we are going to go over everything military in Phoenix. From veterans to USAA insurance, it is all covered here.
– Veterans by Service Period
According to Data USA, the most common service period in Phoenix was in Vietnam. Below are the number of veterans in Phoenix (data from 2017).
- Vietnam: 22,835 veterans
- Gulf War (2001-): 13,713 veterans
- Gulf War (1990s): 11,956 veterans
- Korea: 4,394 veterans
- World War II: 1,189 veterans
There are over 1,000 World War II veterans in Phoenix, which is a higher number than in most cities.
Military Bases Within an Hour
Want to live in Phoenix and work on a military base? The Luke Air Force Base is only 30 minutes from the heart of Phoenix. The purpose of the base is to train “the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission-ready warfighters.”
So if you wanted to join the airforce, this base may be for you.
Military Discounts by Providers
Let’s see which providers in Arizona offer military discounts.
|Company||Military Discount?||Percentage Saved (when known)|
Only a handful of providers offer military discounts in Arizona. However, there may be local Phoenix insurers that offer military discounts, as well. Always ask a provider for a military discount, as a provider may have a discount that isn’t advertised.
USAA is a great provider for military members and their families. Below, you can see how USAA’s rates compare to other Arizona providers.
|Company||Average Annual Premium||Compared to Arizona Average Premium (+/-)||Compared to Arizona Average Premium (%)|
In Arizona, Geico is actually the cheapest provider, while USAA is the second cheapest. Usually, USAA is the cheapest provider. Still, compare quotes between the two and see which is cheaper. Rates will increase and decrease differently at companies, depending on your driving record, credit history, and more.
Unique City Laws
The last thing you need is a ticket within your first week in a new city. However, sometimes it’s hard to learn a city’s unique laws fast enough to avoid being pulled over. If you want to do your homework beforehand, this section is for you. We cover Phoenix’s unique laws, from cellphone laws to parking laws.
Let’s get started.
In Arizona, the IIHS lists the state’s hands-free laws as the following:
|Hand-Held Ban||Young Drivers All Cellphone Ban||Texting Ban||Enforcement|
|All drivers||Learner's permit and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing||All drivers||Primary, but secondary for learner's permit holders and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing|
Arizona requires all drivers to use hands-free devices while driving, so if you drive around Phoenix while on your cellphone, you will be ticketed.
Planning on operating a food truck in Phoenix? You will need to follow Maricopa County laws on owning and operating a food truck. This means you’ll have to have all the proper permits and health inspections, as well as park your vehicle in designated spots that don’t block traffic or intersections.
So start getting the proper paperwork ready long before you want to actually hit the streets, as it may take a while to get things in order.
In the land of supersized drinks and burgers, Americans are beginning to realize the value of tiny homes.
If you want to own a tiny home in Phoenix, though, you’ll need to follow the city’s regulations. Contact the city officials of Phoenix to learn about zoning regulations and safety laws you have to follow.
Because tiny homes are generally labeled as mobile homes, you can park your tiny home in a mobile trailer park.
You probably already know that wrong direction parking is illegal, but people tend to do it anyway. The right side of the vehicle always needs to be curbside. Otherwise, drivers have to pull into oncoming traffic to exit their parking space.
If you’re worried about finding a parking spot, you can reserve a spot at a parking garage.
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Phoenix Car Insurance FAQs
We’ve covered a lot of information about Phoenix. If you still have some questions, though, this section is for you.
Keep reading to see what others are asking about living and driving in Phoenix.
What happens if I get in a car accident in Phoenix?
Arizona is an at-fault car insurance state. This means that if you cause the accident, you are liable for the other driver’s property damage and injury costs.
How far away is the Phoenix airport?
If you travel frequently, the Sky Harbor International Airport is right within Phoenix. It is less than 10 minutes from the heart of Phoenix, which means your commute to the airport should be short.
How can I look up road and traffic conditions in Phoenix?
If you want to look up traffic patterns and weather conditions, the Arizona DOT lets you look up routes for potential problems.
How safe is Phoenix?
Phoenix has a crime index of seven, which means its only safer than 7 percent of all U.S. cities. It is one of the more dangerous cities in Arizona, due to a higher population, so make sure to live in a safe neighborhood to lower your chances of being a crime victim.
What is there to do in Phoenix?
As a bustling metropolitan area, there is always something to do. From festivals to offroad vehicle trails, Phoenix has a wide variety of activities for its residents.
Are driving laws different on tribal lands?
They should be the same as in the rest of Arizona, but each tribal land is self-governed. So if you are visiting a tribal land, check its list of laws and regulations before visiting.
Now that you’ve reached the end of our guide, we hope we answered all your questions. Hopefully, you now feel ready to drive around Phoenix.
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