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Driving in the Lone Star State

You’re a smart, savvy shopper. We get that. You don’t visit the airport when you need to book a trip, you use or Car insurance is no different. We’ll help you quickly figure out who offers the best car insurance in Texas for your smart, savvy self.

We are carrier-neutral because our customer is you. Have no fear of the unknown after reviewing the data points provided here, especially when purchasing car insurance for the first time. You will be armed and prosperous! And then you can get on with your life. We get that, too. So, let’s do this…quickly!

Texas Auto Insurance Rates

You’re on the go and don’t have time to answer our questions. Don’t worry, we’ve still got you. Below are the top three auto insurance companies in your state, all things considered (see the full list).

  1. Texas Farm Bureau
  2. Allstate
  3. State Farm

Some things considered. Where can I find the cheapest car insurance in Texas? Which insurance company offers the best coverage? Which is the most popular in my area? Who has the most rejected claims or repeat business?

Click on your city to compare auto insurance rates where you live! Don’t see your city listed? Start comparing rates instantly.

Legalities 101

You’re on your way to finding a great car insurance rate, but what else do you need to know? Texas auto insurance comes with its own unique set of laws. You are not only a smart, savvy shopper but a good citizen, so we have outlined the most important driving and insurance laws in Texas for you.

Texas Driving Safety Stats

  1. Don't drink and drug and drive
  2. Don't cell phone and drive
  3. Don’t anything-that-might-cause-distracted-driving and drive
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Fatal Accidents Testing Positive for Drug Involvement in Texas
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Annual Distracted Driving Related Crashes in Texas
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Years in Texas Prison for Vehicular Homicide Caused by a Drunk Driver


Driving in Texas with a blood alcohol content (including that from medications) at or below the set limits WILL put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences are real, and they are as harsh as you would suspect. Visit our FAQ to learn the limits and possible consequences of a DUI conviction or refusal to submit a chemical test.


Texting and driving in Texas can also have extreme consequences. Watch this video with your family to understand that what we often think is just a safe, quick glance could mean permanent damage, our own death or even homicide. The fact is, a one-second glance away from the road is what the Journal of Adolescent Health has deemed safe, but the average text message takes five seconds. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t text and drive either.

Three Strikes You're Out

While it might seem like all of these driving laws go without saying, the statistics tell us otherwise. SmartFinancial encourages you to avoid all non-driving activities while driving. The more serious offenses could fall under Texas’ Three Strikes Law (see our FAQ for more information). Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by limiting your road activities strictly to driving while driving.

Do it because it’s your social responsibility, and because Oprah said so! Take the “no phone zone” or #itcanwait pledge and share this information with your social networks.

Driving Green

With more than 675,580 miles of scenic road to cover, there is a large amount of driving being done in Texas. Here’s how you can do your part to “drive green.”

  • Smog

    Get your emissions checked annually prior to registration and registration renewal in the counties listed here.

    For assistance in replacing your high emissions vehicle, visit Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

  • Littering

    Avoid fines or jail time by not breaking the Texas littering laws.

  • Clean Air Cars

    Good news – your electric car is exempt from the annual emissions test!

    For more information on Texas’ efforts (and nationwide efforts) to promote hybrid and electric vehicles, visit

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

You like to keep it simple, and so do we! Just don’t go too minimalist and skip the auto insurance altogether (see our FAQ for more information). In Texas, you are legally required to obtain something called liability insurance. This is for your protection if you are deemed “at fault” in an accident that causes injury and lost wages to another driver or passengers in another vehicle. Liability coverage pays up to the amounts listed below. It also pays for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. Trust us, you’d want this coverage even if it wasn’t legally required!

Since Texas is a “no fault” state, drivers are financially responsible for any accidents they cause. Consider this: $30,000 is the maximum payment for property damage but you collide with a $40,000 vehicle. If you are found at fault, you are on the hook for any damages beyond $30,000. And, other drivers can sue you for those damages. Between this and the high cost of medical care, we recommend you carry more than the minimum required coverage!

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$ 30,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Max. payment for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.

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$ 60,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Max. payment for all injuries that you cause in an accident when more than one person is hurt.

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$ 25,000
Property damage per accident

Max. payment for damaged property in an accident caused by you.

Maximizing your Return on Investment

While not legally required, drivers can also elect to carry full coverage insurance. For more information, read the SmartFinancial blog 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.

Since you are smart and savvy, you should know that there are instances where your lender will require you to carry one of the optional coverages listed below (typically collision and comprehensive).

Optional coverage in Texas

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Medical and Funeral Services
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
  • Towing and Labor
  • Rental Reimbursement

Coverage for those who cannot afford or have otherwise been denied) auto insurance in Texas is available through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). Drivers qualify after being rejected by two insurance companies. For more information, visit the Texas Department of Insurance.

Texas car insurance companies

Texas Farm Bureau
State Farm
Liberty Mutual

*In order of consumer rating as documented in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, which examined five key customer service areas: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, and therefore, is not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Texas Kids

Texas Car Seat Regulations

Infants and toddlers up to 2 years old should be secured in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation, restraint, and size limitation instructions. From then on, up until they reach the size limitation set by the seat’s manufacturer, children should be in a forward-facing car seat.

After outgrowing the car seat, which typically occurs at around 4 years of age and 40 pounds, a belt-positioning booster seat is required. Follow all product directions. Children may graduate to the vehicle’s seat belts when they can be properly secured by them. Generally, this is between 8 to 12 years old, when the child is at least 4′ 9” tall. At this height, kids should be able to sit up with their back flat against the seat back, their knees bent over the front of the seat, the shoulder belt crossing their shoulder and chest (not their neck or face), and the lap belt crossing over their upper thighs.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

In some recent years, Texas has had more children die due to vehicular overheating than any other state. Its hot, sunny climate creates significant risks. On a warm or hot day, or even on a mild day if the vehicle is sitting in the sun, the interior temperature can skyrocket well past the outdoor temperature in a matter of minutes. Children (and pets) can suffer dehydration, heatstroke, brain damage, and death.

Texas is one of the early adopters of laws specifically for this situation. As per State law, it’s illegal to leave a child under 7 years of age unsupervised in an auto for more than 5 minutes. Someone at least 14 years old must provide supervision. Violations are class C misdemeanors; if a child suffers injury, it becomes a child endangerment felony, punishable by 6 month to 2 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Car Insurance FAQ

Will my credit score be used to obtain car insurance in Texas?

Yes and, unfortunately, car insurance companies in your state do not have to reveal to you how they are going about setting your rate. Here are a few things you can do to keep your rate down.

Is there a good-driver discount law in Texas?

It is always best to ask your selected car insurance company about good-driver and other discounts to obtain cheap auto insurance in Texas! Possible discounts include:

  • Driver education
  • Good student
  • Multi-car
  • Homeowner’s
  • Defensive driver
  • Safety device
  • Students with good grades
  • Anti-theft

For more ways to obtain cheap car insurance in Texas, visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.

Can I use my digital insurance card in Texas?

Yes! Getting pulled over in Texas is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Texas?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage in Texas!

What happens if I don’t have insurance or my coverage lapses?

Since liability insurance is a minimum requirement in your state (and most others), there are penalties for being caught driving without it. The fines are as high as $350 and you may be deemed high risk (SR-22) when you go to purchase car insurance after, making your premiums more expensive. Don’t take the chance!

What are Texas' blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages limits under the driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in Texas with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ @ 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.01%+ @ < 21 years old

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Texas?

According to Texas’ implied consent civil penalty, all drivers are required to take a breath or blood test upon being asked. If you refuse the test, you will face a license suspension called Administrative License Revocation (ALR).

The refusal penalties (driver’s license suspension) are the same for minors and adults:

  • First Offense: Suspended license for 180 days
  • Second Offense: Suspended license for 2 years

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DWI in Texas?

If convicted of a DWI/DUI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service, DWI school and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the DWI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle. The penalties worsen with each offense.

What does Texas' Three Strikes Law state?

The three strikes law provides for harsher sentencing after committing three crimes. In Texas, there are cases with mandatory life sentences for three strikes. None of the three felony convictions are required to be violent, so even misdemeanors count.

Now included in the three strikes law in Texas: marijuana convictions. The mandatory prison sentence is 60 months.

We know you’ll concur, there is no text message, sandwich or other distraction worth the life of another person, and your own freedom.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Texas?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!

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