The Average Cost of Car Insurance In the Top 50 U.S. Cities

Apriori1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Apriori1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the lesser discussed fees of car ownership is auto insurance, which is mandatory in almost every state. These fees can really dig a hole in your budget and are more cumbersome than ever as prices have been surging in recent years.

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How much do drivers in the biggest cities in the U.S. pay on average for car insurance? New research by The Zebra broke it down. For a more comprehensive look, we also examined how these cities tend to do in terms of road safety. Spoiler alert: Most are not very safe!

Keep reading to see just how much it costs to insure your car in the top 50 metros.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Average annual premium: $2,138

This city of roughly 558,000 people is known for its booming aerospace, biospace and renewable energy industries, respectively.

On the other hand, Albuquerque isn’t exactly known for its hospitable roads. The city ranked No. 2 (second to Memphis) as the least safe driving city in 2023, according to a study by U.S. News and World Report.

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sgoodwin4813 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
sgoodwin4813 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Atlanta

  • Average annual premium: $2,440

With around 511,000 residents, the metro area of Atlanta is home to 13 Fortune 500 and 24 Fortune 1,000 headquarters.

But this can be a dangerous city for drivers. According to the Atlanta Police Department, there were 29,776 traffic accidents in the city in 2021.

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RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images
RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

Austin, Texas

  • Average annual premium: $2,097

In this major metropolis home to nearly 970,000 folks, road safety is not particularly strong; it’s mixed. The city has a higher percentage of fatal car accidents than the Texas average, according to Safe Roads USA.

sborisov / Getty Images/iStockphoto
sborisov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Baltimore

  • Average annual premium: $3,134

Nearly 590,000 people call Baltimore home. Unfortunately, drivers there have a high risk for car accidents. In 2019, an Allstate study found that Baltimore had the worst drivers in the country.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Boston

  • Average annual premium: $1,841

More than 675,000 people live in Boston. A 2015 report by Allstate ranked Boston drivers as the worst in the U.S.

Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Average annual premium: $1,423

In this city of about 875,000 people, you’ll want to practice extra safe driving practices, as Charlotte has also been highlighted as a particularly dangerous city for drivers in at least one past report.

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Wirestock / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Wirestock / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chicago

  • Average annual premium: $2,298

Yet again, a city that has notoriety as being dangerous for drivers, Chicago is home to about 2.8 million folks.

Ralph Navarro / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ralph Navarro / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cleveland

  • Average annual premium: $1,751

According to a 2023 ConsumerAffairs study, Cleveland, Ohio — home to over 350,000 people —  has some of the worst drivers in the country.

Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Average annual premium: $2,417

About 480,000 people live in Colorado Springs. Alas, this city too has ranked among the worst for driving in the past.

TrentGarverick / Getty Images/iStockphoto
TrentGarverick / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Columbus, Ohio

  • Average annual premium:  $1,549

Columbus is home to over 900,000 people. Driving here can be risky; rear-end collisions, intersection crashes and pedestrian accidents are common in this bustling city.

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benedek / Getty Images
benedek / Getty Images

Dallas

  • Average annual premium: $2,499

Roughly 1.3 million people live in Dallas, and apparently, drunk driving is a major problem here. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collected from 2017 to 2021 and 2022 U.S. Census Bureau data, Dallas had the third highest amount of fatal drunken driving car accidents when compared to other U.S. cities.

Muhammad Zulkifal / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Muhammad Zulkifal / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Denver

  • Average annual premium: $2,421

Home to close to 720,000 people, Denver isn’t exactly a top safe place for drivers. The biggest risk though may not be on the road, but when parked, as car theft is common here.

pawel.gaul / Getty Images
pawel.gaul / Getty Images

Detroit

  • Average annual premium: $5,300

Detroit is famous for its auto industry, but this city of 640,000 people isn’t great for drivers. It’s been targeted as one of the worst cities in the U.S. for drivers. No wonder car insurance is so terribly expensive here.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

El Paso, Texas

  • Average annual premium: $2,071

The sixth largest city in Texas is also rife with dangerous drivers, according to past reports.

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Barbara Smyers / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Barbara Smyers / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fort Worth, Texas

  • Average annual premium: $2,144

Another city in Texas, this one home to close to 1 million people, is, unfortunately, also teeming with dangerous drivers.

Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

Fresno, California

  • Average annual premium: $1,907

A little over 540,000 people live in Fresno. Though it’s an expensive city, auto insurance premiums aren’t too steep here (considering the cost of living). This could be because the city has been named the safest for drivers in all of California, according to Heidari Law Group, citing data obtained from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Art Wager / Getty Images
Art Wager / Getty Images

Houston

  • Average annual premium: $2,534

Home to about 2.3 million people, Houston sports pretty high auto insurance premiums. This is likely tied to its notably dangerous roads. A Houston Chronicle investigation from 2019 found the city to be the deadliest major metro for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ultima_Gaina / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Indianapolis

  • Average annual premium: $1,480

Indianapolis, home to around 875,000 people, is also home to the deadliest road in the state. According to the law firm Greene & Schultz, the deadliest road in Indiana is 38th Street between North Hawthorne Lane and Cornelius Avenue in Indianapolis.

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TraceRouda / Getty Images/iStockphoto
TraceRouda / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jacksonville, Florida

  • Average annual premium: $2,867

Over 1 million people call Jacksonville home. Drivers there must be especially cautious as the city has 68% more annual driving deaths than the average city, with 14.5 per 100,000 residents, according to a recent study from Real Estate Witch.

peeterv / Getty Images
peeterv / Getty Images

Kansas City, Missouri

  • Average annual premium: $2,359

Home to over 510,000 people, Kansas City isn’t exactly well known for its safe driving culture. Residents specifically call out the dangers of Highway I-670.

lucky-photographer / Getty Images
lucky-photographer / Getty Images

Las Vegas

  • Average annual premium: $2,944

The famous vacation destination is also home to many — about 665,000 people. Like pretty much every city, it has its fair share of dangerous roads and intersections, but it doesn’t seem to have a reputation of being particularly bad for drivers.

hollywood_DP / Shutterstock.com
hollywood_DP / Shutterstock.com

Long Beach, California

  • Average annual premium: $2,160

Long Beach, California is home to more than 466,000 folks. This city has a pretty good reputation for drivers — at least as far as California cities go.

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frankpeters / Getty Images
frankpeters / Getty Images

Los Angeles

  • Average annual premium: $2,700

Given that the city is infamous for its horrendous traffic, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles — home to about 3.9 million people — is also extremely dangerous for drivers.

catnap72 / Getty Images
catnap72 / Getty Images

Louisville, Kentucky

  • Average annual premium: $2,980

With over 600,000 residents, Louisville is a Kentucky hotspot. Drivers here are forking over a lot of money for car insurance though, probably because the city is notoriously dangerous for them.

Kruck20 / Getty Images
Kruck20 / Getty Images

Memphis, Tennessee

  • Average annual premium: $2,138

About 611,000 people live in Memphis., and those that drive are taking some big risks. The city was ranked the No. 1 most dangerous in the U.S. for drivers by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2023.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Mesa, Arizona

  • Average annual premium: $2,055

Some 520,000 people live in Mesa, Arizona. Though the city isn’t particularly known as a dangerous driving location, it does see heavy traffic.

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felixmizioznikov / Getty Images/iStockphoto
felixmizioznikov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Miami

  • Average annual premium: $4,048

Yowsers! Car insurance is a fortune in Miami, which has a population of over 450,000. This location is known to be dangerous for drivers, and part of the problem is heavy congestion.

Jon Mattrisch / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Jon Mattrisch / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Milwaukee

  • Average annual premium: $1,848

Home to nearly 580,000 people, Milwaukee has a few spots that are tragically infamous for fatal car accidents.

Aerial_Views / Getty Images
Aerial_Views / Getty Images

Minneapolis

  • Average annual premium: $1,942

There has been a rise in the number of dangerous and distracted drivers in this city, which is home to about 420,000 people.

Jonathan Ross / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Jonathan Ross / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nashville, Tennessee

  • Average annual premium: $1,706

There are close to 680,000 people living in Nashville, also known as “Nashvegas.” And this city, like so many others on this list, is a truly awful place to drive in.

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Larry Gibson / iStock.com
Larry Gibson / iStock.com

New Orleans

  • Average annual premium: $4,232

Why are auto insurance premiums so steep in this city that is home to around 360,000 people? Perhaps because it’s such a hostile place for drivers, especially out-of-towners.

FilippoBacci / Getty Images/iStockphoto
FilippoBacci / Getty Images/iStockphoto

New York City

  • Average annual premium: $4,708

Though many people living in the Big Apple commute via subway, there are still plenty of drivers, and they’d better be careful. This city boasting a population of nearly 8.3 million has a reputation for reckless drivers.

yhelfman / Getty Images/iStockphoto
yhelfman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Oakland, California

  • Average annual premium: $2,244

This pricey city is home to more than 420,000 people — and it’s a remarkably unsafe place for them if they’re drivers.

Maria_martinez / Shutterstock.com
Maria_martinez / Shutterstock.com

Oklahoma City

  • Average annual premium: $2,277

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office’s 2021 Crash Facts Report, Oklahoma City had a population of 662,314 in 2021 — and its drivers had 18,935 traffic accidents.

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John_Brueske / Getty Images/iStockphoto
John_Brueske / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Omaha, Nebraska

  • Average annual premium: $1,768

Around 480,000 people live in Omaha, Nebraska. Though the city doesn’t have the worst reputation for drivers, there are a number of very dangerous locations for them.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Philadelphia

  • Average annual premium: $3,535

More than 1.6 million people call Philadelphia home. Recently, the city cracked down on aggressive drivers in the area.

halbergman / Getty Images/iStockphoto
halbergman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Phoenix

  • Average annual premium: $2,375

As the 10th largest city in the U.S. with a population of more than 1.6 million, Phoenix is a far from ideal location for drivers thanks to the many dangers on its roads.

tusharkoley / Shutterstock.com
tusharkoley / Shutterstock.com

Portland, Oregon

  • Average annual premium: $1,972

Another notoriously dangerous city for drivers, Portland, Oregon has a population of more than 616,000 people.

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Kruck20 / iStock.com
Kruck20 / iStock.com

Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Average annual premium:  $1,239

Nearly 470,000 people call Raleigh home. This city is a relatively safe location for drivers.

jmoor17 / Getty Images
jmoor17 / Getty Images

Sacramento, California

  • Average annual premium: $2,107

More than 530,000 people live in California’s capital city. By California standards, this is a pretty rough place for drivers.

f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

San Antonio

  • Average annual premium: $2,213

This jumbo city is home to close to 1.5 million people. It’s also a notoriously perilous place for drivers.

DutcherAerials / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DutcherAerials / Getty Images/iStockphoto

San Diego

  • Average annual premium: $1,849

Anyone from California knows that driving to San Diego from another location can be quite long and congested. In this city of nearly 14 million people, driving can be not only inconvenient, but also dangerous, particularly amid an increase in DUIs.

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Eloi_Omella / iStock.com
Eloi_Omella / iStock.com

San Francisco

  • Average annual premium: $2,291

Though quite small, San Francisco is home to nearly 875,000 people. Due in part to the high concentration of drivers and heavy traffic, this can be a dangerous city for drivers.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

San Jose, California

  • Average annual premium: $1,937

More than 930,000 people live in the infamously expensive city of San Jose. Posh surroundings don’t mean much when it comes to the roads here; San Jose has been found to be a dangerous place for drivers.

benedek / Getty Images
benedek / Getty Images

Seattle

  • Average annual premium: $2,199

Nearly 740,000 people live in Seattle. It’s not famous for being a bad city for drivers, but there are a high number of road rage incidents.

Davel5957 / iStock.com
Davel5957 / iStock.com

Tucson, Arizona

  • Average annual premium: $1,960

Nearly 545,000 people reside in Tucson. Like Phoenix, it has its fair share of notably dangerous drivers.

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Susan Vineyard / Getty Images
Susan Vineyard / Getty Images

Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Average annual premium: $2,288

With nearly 415,000 residents, Tulsa is a thriving city. It’s also one that, of late, is seriously cracking down on dangerous drivers.

Imagesbybarbara / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Imagesbybarbara / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Average annual premium: $1,692

Home to close to 458,000 people, Virginia Beach gets a lot of heat for its dangerous driving climate.

miralex / Getty Images
miralex / Getty Images

Washington, D.C.

  • Average annual premium: $2,207

The country’s political epicenter has around 690,000 residents. Local government has been increasingly aggressive in spotting and penalizing law-breaking drivers.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wichita, Kansas

  • Average annual premium: $1,968

Around 400,000 people live in Wichita. In a 2024 report by Forbes Advisor, the city ‘s drivers were named the 18th worst in the country.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Average Cost of Car Insurance In the Top 50 U.S. Cities

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