Can’t-Miss Reno Car Insurance Guide [Comprehensive]

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently...

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business...

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Reviewed byBrad Larsen
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Reno StatisticsDetails
City Population248, 853
City Density3,601 people per square mile
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Reno$4,208.01
Cheapest Car Insurance CompanyUSAA
Road ConditionsPoor share: 23%
Mediocre share: 30%
Fair share: 13%
Good share: 34%

In the age of information, why do we often have trouble finding the right car insurance?  In an ideal world, we would have the perfect car insurance at our fingertips, delivered with the click of a mouse.

The best way to move forward is to understand the range of factors that can influence your specific insurance policy. This article will help answer your lingering questions.

Navigating the ocean of information can be a serious task, especially when companies are competing for your attention.

If you’ve spent time researching car insurance companies in Reno, Nevada, but still feel like something is out of reach, you’ve come to the right place.

Your search for auto insurance in Reno doesn’t have to end in frustration. With the knowledge you’ll get in this guide, you and the other motorists in your household will have adequate coverage and save money in the long run.

Wondering what to look for?

To save you some time, we’ve conducted the research and broken down the data to put together this complete guide to the best car insurance in Reno. From the cost of coverage in your city and key factors that affect rates to traffic conditions and insurance discounts, we’ve got you covered.

Simplify your search for car insurance in Reno when you get your FREE quote for multiple carriers in seconds with our online rate calculator. Just enter your ZIP code in the box above to begin. 

Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of coverage types in Reno.

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in Reno

Car insurance is a universal expense. Most people who drive cars are looking for some type of coverage. When options are limited, however, you may end up paying more for insurance than you bargained for.

To help you in your search, we’ve compiled data that answers some of the biggest questions about car insurance.

For instance, how does my age, ZIP code, or commute distance affect the rates I have to pay?

In this section, we will cover these factors, their influence on your rates, and more.

Do gender and age affect my car insurance in Reno?

Reno is located between the Nevada desert and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Although the city is close to progressive areas such as Berkeley and Cambridge (California outlawed gender-based rate discrimination in 2019), Nevada has yet to develop such laws.

If you’re a younger driver, married, or have been driving since the 60s, it’s important to consider how your rates will be affected.

A few statistics about how age and gender affect car insurance may surprise you.

Research conducted through Data USA shows that the average age of residents in Reno is 35.5. This is slightly lower than the nation’s median age of 38, which continues to rise. This age group will not likely face higher premiums.

The table below provides a breakdown of exactly how your age impacts your coverage rates in Reno.

AgeAverage Rate
17$9,258.27
25$2,831.55
35$2,432.95
60$2,310.07

Over the age of 60? These rates are good news for you. People in this demographic range will pay about 5 percent less than 35-year-olds, and 18 percent less than 25-year-olds living in Reno.

It’s the teenage group that takes the greatest hit for their car insurance coverage. Someone aged 17 in Reno will pay $6,948.20 more than senior drivers.

Even for 25-year-olds, the demographic closest to teen drivers, car insurance rates are up to $6,246.72 cheaper.

Another factor that can influence your insurance rates in Reno is your gender.

In Reno, male drivers dish out about $4,449.77 per year in auto insurance premiums. Female motorists, on the other hand, pay around $3,966.65 annually. Conventional knowledge tells us that females typically pay less for car insurance, and these statistics support that.

Now, it’s time to see what this means for you. Your own marital status, as well as age and gender, play a role in determining how much you pay for car insurance policies in Reno. Check out the table below.

DemographicAverage Annual Rates
Married 60-year-old male$2,355.69
Married 60-year-old female$2,264.46
Married 35-year-old male$2,431.14
Married 35-year-old female$2,434.77
Single 25-year-old male$2,894.30
Single 25-year-old female$2,768.79
Single 17-year-old male$10,117.96
Single 17-year-old female$8,398.58

As you can see from the table above, single teen drivers (both male and female) are charged the highest rates, while married, senior drivers (both male and female) pay the lowest premiums out of the demographics.

What brings car insurance companies to charge lower rates to drivers who are married?

It turns out that insurance carriers take note of people’s driving habits, and factors that may lend themselves to stability. While married people tend to carry safer driving records, they are also perceived to have more responsibility in other aspects of life.

While a person’s age, marital status, and gender are numbers insurers like to have, there are quite a few others they will also assess when determining your premiums.

Let’s take a look at how your ZIP code could affect your car insurance rates in Reno.

What are the cheapest ZIP codes in Reno?

The city of Reno is famously known as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Located in Washoe County, the city of Reno encompasses 103.1 square miles and is 22 miles east of Lake Tahoe.

Want to see where your ZIP code ranks against other ZIPs in Reno? Check out the table below.

ZIP CodeAverage Rate
89510$3,931.74
89557$4,083.67
89511$4,083.86
89508$4,093.90
89523$4,158.67
89506$4,198.94
89521$4,205.94
89512$4,226.10
89503$4,270.71
89519$4,293.24
89501$4,308.50
89509$4,318.19
89502$4,360.16

If you live in ZIP code 89510, good news: You’re paying about 4 percent less than your neighbors. This ZIP is located northeast of Reno, between I-80 and I-445.

Residents of all ZIP codes within Reno’s city limits can expect to pay less than the state average, which is $4,801.04. They’ll pay significantly less than residents of Las Vegas, who pay an average of $6,538.93. That’s a difference of more than $1,700 per year.

The most expensive ZIP in Reno is 89502, where residents pay an average of $4,360.16 per year for their insurance. The reason for the added expenses may be attributed to higher real estate value, as this area is three miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Now that you know how your place of residence affects your car insurance rates, let’s move on to the best car insurance companies in Reno.

What’s the best car insurance company in Reno?

Do you know that certain car insurance companies can provide you with specific levels of coverage depending on your needs? We all have different lifestyles, professions, and tastes. You want your car insurance company to reflect you at your best.

From the cheapest car insurance rates in Reno to the best car insurance based on your credit history — it’s all in one place.

Let’s learn more about the specifics of car insurance companies in Reno.

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

This table shows the cheapest rates for car insurance in Reno by category of company.

GroupMarried 35-Year-Old FemaleMarried 35-Year-Old MaleMarried 60-Year-Old FemaleMarried 60-Year-Old MaleSingle 17-Year-Old FemaleSingle 17-Year-Old MaleSingle 25-Year-Old FemaleSingle 25-Year-Old MaleAverage
Allstate$2,586.94$2,580.58$2,379.04$2,514.34$8,444.66$10,166.83$2,792.03$2,987.26$4,306.46
American Family$2,624.11$2,624.11$2,331.82$2,331.82$8,951.78$11,733.89$2,624.11$3,055.17$4,534.60
Farmers$3,028.35$3,106.58$2,751.48$3,100.31$10,144.55$10,801.64$4,048.57$4,107.89$5,136.17
GEICO$2,678.72$2,587.33$2,696.49$2,723.30$6,737.92$6,172.37$2,672.30$2,289.00$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$2,577.93$2,780.53$2,511.05$2,820.74$11,672.64$12,993.53$2,921.55$3,071.41$5,168.67
Nationwide$2,089.97$2,137.36$1,903.84$2,017.29$5,159.80$6,225.91$2,488.71$2,654.13$3,084.63
Progressive$1,945.95$1,685.48$1,706.12$1,697.79$8,451.43$9,178.81$2,274.16$2,113.52$3,631.66
State Farm$3,054.41$3,054.41$2,764.61$2,764.61$9,557.59$12,205.30$3,424.72$3,847.28$5,084.12
Travelers$1,917.07$1,942.55$1,837.17$1,831.64$10,150.59$16,388.48$2,129.35$2,356.16$4,819.13
USAA$1,844.23$1,812.48$1,762.96$1,755.05$4,714.83$5,312.88$2,312.39$2,461.20$2,747.00

The cheapest car insurance companies listed above are USAA and Nationwide. However, USAA isn’t available to all people. They serve military personnel and their families exclusively.

Nationwide provides the next cheapest rates, at $3,084.63 on average for all ages and genders.

Liberty Mutual has the highest average rates. This is about 88 percent more than Nationwide, and it adds up. For example, Liberty Mutual charges teen female drivers about $8,751.09 more in rates than 25-year-old female drivers.

While USAA also charges female teen drivers more than 25-year-old female motorists, there’s only about a $2,402.44 rate difference between these two age demographics. The good news is, the older you are, the less all carriers are likely to charge. This is a trend we see across the board in the data from Reno.

When you start out as a teen driver, insurance companies charge you more. This is because you may need more cushion, as the likelihood of accidents is raised. As you go on, the goal is to avoid as many accidents as possible so that your rates level out in the future.

Check out your own specific age and gender demographic. Which company fits your financial needs best?

In this article, we’ll provide more information about factors that can influence your rate.

Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

One of the best indicators of commerce and infrastructure in a city is the commute time of its residents. For example, if a lot of drivers must travel more than 25 miles each day to work, the city may be experiencing urban sprawl.

Urban sprawl has many negative effects, including longer commute times, increased pollution, and a greater separation between urban centers and homes.

A single Nevada driver covers about 14,084 miles per year. This number breaks down to about 38.5 miles per day, or a 19-mile commute to and from work.

StateAnnual Driving Miles
Arizona12,829
California13,414
Idaho14,315
Nevada14,084
Utah19,327

Utah, a neighboring state, has an average of 19,327 miles per year for its drivers. Other nearby states such as Idaho and California have around the same yearly mileage as Nevada.

The next step is learning how insurance companies adjust your rates based on commute time. For some, this is great news.

See the table below to find out how commute time in Reno can affect your rates:

Group10 Miles Commute. 6000 Annual Mileage.25 Miles Commute. 12000 Annual Mileage.Average
Allstate$4,306$4,306.46$4,306.46
American Family$4,474$4,595.39$4,534.60
Farmers$5,136$5,136.17$5,136.17
GEICO$3,511$3,628.37$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$5,169$5,168.67$5,168.67
Nationwide$3,084.63$3,084.63$3,084.63
Progressive$3,631.66$3,631.66$3,631.66
State Farm$4,934.25$5,233.98$5,084.12
Travelers$4,819.13$4,819.13$4,819.13
USAA$2,710.48$2,783.52$2,747.00

The table we’ve included above shows average annual premiums in Reno based solely on the length of the consumer’s commute. Some notable pieces of evidence:

  • Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, and Travelers don’t increase their rates based on commute.
  • For drivers traveling 25 miles or more, State Farm increases rates by $299.73.
  • American Family, Geico, and USAA also increase their rates for longer commutes.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

Feeling confused about which coverage level you need? We’re here to help.

Certain types of coverage such as comprehensive or collision can have different premiums. In general, basic policies cost less. If you want to add increased coverages on your policy, you must pay for this additional protection.

Check out our table below to learn more about coverage level rates by specific car insurance company.

GroupHighMediumLowAverage
Allstate$4,613$4,349.08$3,957.50$4,306.46
American Family$4,448$4,800.71$4,354.65$4,534.60
Farmers$5,673$5,079.39$4,655.80$5,136.17
GEICO$3,973$3,498.68$3,237.31$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$5,612$5,116.06$4,778.31$5,168.67
Nationwide$3,122.16$3,081.47$3,050.26$3,084.63
Progressive$4,174.17$3,513.11$3,207.69$3,631.66
State Farm$5,517.68$5,068.62$4,666.04$5,084.11
Travelers$5,239.62$4,839.38$4,378.38$4,819.13
USAA$3,056.40$2,722.42$2,462.18$2,747.00

While USAA has the lowest rates across the board, this car insurance group isn’t available to everyone. In fact, the second-lowest rates are from Nationwide, which are $3,084.63.

Is it high coverage you’re looking for?

You may want to steer clear of Progressive, which raises rates by $966.48 when you shift from low to high coverage. American Family, on the other hand, raises rates by only $94 for their high-coverage customers.

Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

We all know how important establishing good credit is. In this fast-paced society, sometimes it becomes difficult to juggle certain expenses. Car insurance, which is arguably one of the more important and necessary expenses, can be affected by your credit score.

The argument becomes an ethical issue. Is it right for car insurance companies to use credit history when assessing premiums?

The video above was aired by CBS News in 2015. In short, auto insurance companies began looking at people’s credit scores in the mid-1990s. They focused mainly on how someone’s credit history increases or decreases their likelihood of filing a claim.

The table below shows the differing rates of auto insurance companies in Reno, based on good, fair, or poor credit scores.

GroupGoodFairPoorAverage
Allstate$3,419.01$4,002.33$5,498.04$4,306.46
American Family$3,694.01$4,286.48$5,623.32$4,534.60
Farmers$4,558.14$4,841.99$6,008.38$5,136.17
GEICO$2,835.16$3,569.68$4,304.20$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$3,552.04$4,537.19$7,416.78$5,168.67
Nationwide$2,609.06$3,006.81$3,638.01$3,084.63
Progressive$3,342.25$3,570.99$3,981.73$3,631.66
State Farm$2,306.98$3,642.55$9,302.81$5,084.11
Travelers$4,461.32$4,725.42$5,270.64$4,819.13
USAA$1,929.03$2,362.98$3,949.00$2,747.00

If you look at the table closely, you’ll see that the differences in poor vs. good credit are noticeable. This is normal for most auto insurance companies, and you’ll most likely pay more if you have less-than-stellar credit.

One example is State Farm, which charges consumers with poor credit about $7,000 more each year for premiums than they do drivers with good credit.

At the other end of the spectrum are companies such as  Nationwide and Travelers, which charge drivers with poor credit less than $1,000 more than drivers with good credit.

We know that your credit history doesn’t just affect your ability to get a mortgage or rent an apartment but can spill over into other areas of your life, too. If you haven’t had the best credit history, you can always try to improve it. It can lower your rates.

Don’t be worried that your credit score will always affect you. Factors that are in your control, such as making payments consistently over time and having positive spending habits, can lower your car insurance rates in Reno.

If you’ve always been someone with a good credit history, it’s likely that your rates are already much lower than the general population with less-than-optimal credit.

Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

Looking at the bigger picture, it’s easy to see how your credit history may affect your current insurance premiums. But did you know that your driving history can, too?

A clean personal driving history has the lowest rates, and, unsurprisingly, these rates go up if you’ve had even one speeding ticket. So which companies are best if you’ve recently gotten a speeding ticket or DUI?

The table here reveals exactly how much your rates could go up or down based on your driving history.

GroupClean RecordWith 1 AccidentWith 1 DUIWith 1 Speeding ViolationAverage
Allstate$3,653.23$4,272.56$5,170.76$4,129.29$4,365.52
American Family$3,643.36$5,052.57$5,440.00$4,002.47$4,711.98
Farmers$4,283.99$5,462.88$5,647.33$5,150.48$5,131.40
GEICO$2,465.05$3,954.48$4,827.48$3,031.70$3,749.00
Liberty Mutual$3,776.07$6,037.90$6,071.75$4,788.96$5,295.24
Nationwide$2,474.80$3,183.22$3,974.58$2,705.90$3,210.87
Progressive$3,032.60$4,156.33$3,814.38$3,523.32$3,667.77
State Farm$4,614.03$5,554.21$5,084.11$5,084.11$5,084.12
Travelers$3,447$5,144.13$6,536.16$4,149.64$5,042.29
USAA$2,109.43$2,653.41$3,842.03$2,383.14$2,868.29

A good rule of thumb is that your rates are likely to increase some for speeding tickets, more for accidents, and rates increase the most for DUI-related offenses.

Let’s break it down.

  • If you’ve recently gotten a speeding ticket, USAA, Nationwide, and American Family are the cheapest options.
  • For accidents, USAA, Nationwide, and Allstate increase rates by $550–$700.
  • For DUIs, Progressive and State Farm raise rates by $470–$780.

Please note that the above companies offer the least amount of rate increases for each particular offense. If you have Travelers insurance and get a DUI, your rates could increase by about $3,000.

These stats are an important reminder to practice responsible driving habits when you hit the road.  Driving defensively doesn’t just keep you safe, but also helps ensure that your insurance premiums don’t skyrocket in the end.

What are some car insurance factors in Reno?

Living between some of the most populated areas and vastly desolate areas in the country creates unique challenges for residents of Reno.

The location of the city also has its own set of growth opportunities based on its roadways and population demographics.

Read on to learn more about some city-specific car insurance factors that may surprise you.

Median Household Income in Reno

Residents of Reno enjoy a variety of professions. Data USA shows that accommodation and food services are the largest industry, with retail trade and health care coming in second and third, respectively.

Reno has an annual household income of $52,106. The average Reno resident pays about $4,208 per year for their insurance coverage, or 8 percent of their annual income.

Keep in mind that the average American spends around 2.5 percent of their income on auto insurance.

To discover how much of your own personal yearly income is percent on car insurance, use the calculator widget below.

Of course, car insurance payments are a necessary expense. Lowering your rates is possible with the right information, which is why we’re here to provide you with a range of state-specific factors.

Homeownership in Reno

Do you own a home? With a growing number of millennials renting these days, we see a shift in homeownership.

According to PocketSense.com, owning a home significantly affects your car insurance. Typically, owning a home gets you better rates on your car insurance. You may also consider ensuring your home with extra levels of coverage through your auto policy.

According to Data USA, 47.5 percent of Reno residents are homeowners. This is less than nearby Las Vegas, which has a homeownership rate of 53.3 percent. The national average for homeownership is 63.9 percent.

One explanation of this disparity could be the median age of Reno residents, which is 35.5 years old. Due to shifts in the economy, people are waiting longer to buy homes and start families.  After all, the median property value in Reno is $265,600.

We know that renters pay more than homeowners, on average. But how does education factor into the scheme of things?

Education in Reno

The city also has its own in-state public university branch, as well as private higher education options.

One such option is the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada-Reno. Their engineering program helps build leaders to sustain the large mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries in the state.

According to City-Data, major universities are the University of Nevada–Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. Morrison University closed in 2014. Each college listed has its own areas of specialization, developed over time and shaped by the surrounding community.

While the University of Nevada–Reno is a branch campus of the University of Nevada, it still offers great in-state tuition benefits. Students attending as Nevada residents will pay, on average, $7,412. Out-of-state students pay about $21,052, according to UNVR’s cost calculator.

If you’re looking for a technical degree, the Truckee Meadows Community College offers a wealth of two-year degrees. These include culinary arts, logistical operations management, and welding. Choosing a degree in hospitality to accommodate the large tourist economy? What about a retail management degree to fulfill the many management positions in Reno?

Luckily, graduating students are entering a job market with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wage by Race and Ethnicity for Common Jobs in Reno

Most of us are familiar with the gender wage gap, but what about disparities in race and ethnicity?

Reno is a diverse city. Data USA provides information on residents’ race and ethnicity, which is composed of 60.9 percent white residents, 25.2 percent Hispanic or Latino residents, and 6.28 percent Asian residents. 3.32 percent also declared to be two or more races, and 2.39 percent were African-American residents.

Also, 0.78 percent of residents identify as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 0.24 percent identify as some other race.

How does this break down into wages, specifically?

As of 2017, Data USA provides numbers showing that white residents in Reno were paid the most for common jobs, at $41,995 per year. Please note that this is the average all common jobs. Cooks, however, are predominated by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, whose salaries towered above the other ethnicities ($62,656 per year).

A non-white sales representative can expect to earn just above $20,000. Accounting for this income, their auto insurance payment would comprise about 20 percent of the yearly earned income.

Wage by Gender for Common Jobs in Reno

The workforce in Reno is made up of many different jobs, but the most common are retail salespersons, customer service representatives, cashiers, maids and housekeeping cleaners, and cooks.

However, men are still paid more than women, often for the same jobs. Wondering by what percentage? This wage gap is exemplified by Data USA’s 2017 breakdown, which shows men in Reno are paid about 30 percent more than women.

Let’s break down this data to see how gender affects one’s salary and what percentage of income they spend on car insurance.

PositionMale SalaryMale PPIFemale SalaryFemale PPI
Cashiers$31,540.0013.34%$27,295.0015.42%
Cooks$29,53314.25%$26,34815.97%
Customer service representative$38,939.0010.81%$30,486.0013.80%
Maids & housekeeping cleaners$29,77514.13%$27,95815.05%
Retail Salesperson$46,919.008.97%$32,183.0013.08%

The table above shows that women, on average, dole out more of their yearly income on car insurance policies than men.

For example, female customer service representatives spent 13.8 percent of their income, while male cashiers of the same profession spent 10.81 percent of their income on car insurance.

Men living in Reno are paid an average of $57,432, while women make $44,567 per year.

The notable $13,000 wage gap between genders indicates the huge disparity in pay. The data indicates that men will earn more money working the same jobs as women and spend less of their income on the same insurance coverage.

Poverty by Age and Gender in Reno

Each city has its own struggles with managing poverty, but most of the responsibility still falls on residents. It goes without saying that it’s up to residents to manage their own auto insurance, regardless of income level.

The 2017 Data USA statistics report shows that 16.4 percent of Reno residents live in poverty. But which demographic is most affected by poverty?

16.2 percent of the population in Reno live below the poverty line, which higher than the national average of 13.1 percent. As seen in the table above, females aged 18-24 face the highest rate of poverty (11 percent). Males of the same age group come in second, at 10.3 percent.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in Reno

You know now how race and ethnicity can affect wages and how much of your income could be eaten up by insurance premiums. Check out the visualization below, showing how race and ethnicity impact poverty rates in Reno.

Race/Ethnic GroupPercent Facing Poverty
White56.53%
Hispanic23.60%
Other5.90%
Asian4.11%
Two or more3.99%
Black3.60%

In 2017, the largest racial group living in poverty were white individuals, with Hispanic and other ethnicities following in second and third place.

These percentages are the share of people facing poverty, or the total number of people in the group. The data does not mean that 56.53 percent of white individuals in Reno live below the poverty line.

In the same year, Data USA reported 28,046 white and 11,760 Hispanic individuals were facing poverty. The third-largest ethnic group living in poverty (other) comprised 2,938 residents.

Employment by Occupations in Reno

Last but not least, we have data to share regarding Reno’s largest occupations. Known as the “World’s Biggest Small Town,” Reno has a lot to offer when it comes to industries.

In case you were wondering, the following industries employ the most people:

  • Office and administrative support — 16,249 people
  • Sales and related occupations — 14,188 people
  • Management — 10,903 people

Wondering about the highest-paid industry? Legal occupations take the cake, bringing in about $82,798 to their respective households.

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Driving in Reno

In 1970, Jerry Garcia wrote that he “lit up from Reno, and was trailed by 20 hounds.” Although you may not share this experience when leaving Reno, The Grateful Dead have memorialized Reno as “Friend of the Devil.”

When driving in Reno, be sure to make yourself aware of the specific laws, dangerous areas, and popular destinations along the way.

What are the major roads in Reno?

Here’s what you need to know about major highways in Reno, popular road trip destinations, road conditions, and more.

Major Highways

Nevada has six total active routes stretching throughout the state, making up 623.79 miles of roadway. These highways are:

According to Interstate Guide.com, Interstate 515 has some interesting lore. Commonly referred to as U.S. 95, many maps and newspaper advertisements erroneously show this road as Interstate 95.

This is because I-515 uses the mileposts for U.S. 95, so the exit numbers blur into one another as you approach the California border.

US I-80 is also a major highway in Reno. It runs from San Francisco through Reno and eastward into Utah. From data provided by GeoTab.com, Interstate 80 is one of the most dangerous highways in America, with an average of 17 deaths per year.

Reno has no toll roads, so you don’t need to worry about paying tolls in the state.

The exceptions are Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park, where you’ll need to pay an admission fee. These sites are not toll roads, but recreational areas. You can pay at the fee station to enter these parks.

Popular Road Trips/Sites

We’ve already covered how to get to your favorite destinations, but what lies ahead?

Reno encompasses beautiful, vast scenic areas, including the famous Virginia Range, home to wild mustangs.

  • Magical Wild Horse Herd — Located between Reno and Virginia City, you can view these wild mustangs in their natural habitat, the Virginia Range. They are some of the last remaining symbols of the American West and are protected under the Wild Horse Annie Act of 1959.
  • The National Automobile Museum –  Want to visit a garage more stunning than your own? Located in downtown Reno, the National Automobile Museum has more than 200 vehicles, including a copper and teak Rolls Royce.
  • Mount Rose Ski Getaway –  Located just south of Reno, Mount Rose has a base elevation of 8,260 feet. If you want to experience what Tahoe’s ski resorts have to offer, they have a spectacular calendar of events each season.
  • Discovery for the Whole Family — The Discovery, located in downtown Reno, is a creative cultivating space for both children and adults. After hours. or with the kids, you’re sure to learn something fascinating.
  • Burning Man Festival Arts — In Reno’s Midtown, you may be shocked to find murals, organic markets, and giant art installations. Reno is home to many shops that develop the art for Burning Man, a large music and arts festival that takes place every year in the Black Rock Desert.

Road Conditions

Reno has an elevation of 4,506 feet, making it prone to ice and snowy conditions (especially during peak months).

According to New to Nevada.com, the mountainous terrain and Great Basin climate make checking roadway conditions very important. You can check conditions daily by selecting the major highway of your choice on their website.

Another question many of you may have is, what are the conditions of roadways in Reno?

Luckily, TRIP releases an infrastructure report card grading the quality of urban roadways, seen below.

Poor ShareMediocre ShareFair ShareGood ShareVehicle Operating Costs
23%30%13%34%$564

Note that a majority of Reno’s roads are considered to be “Good Share,” or operating smoothly. The Vehicle Operating Cost per year in Reno $564. This cost takes up about 1 percent of the average resident’s income.

Does your city use speeding or red-light cameras?

Nevada doesn’t allow the use of red-light traffic cameras, nor do they use cameras for speeding, or red-light and speed combined.

As of February 2019, Nevada lawmakers have considered the possibility of implementing red-light cameras. An article published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal outlines the current system. and how red-light cameras could improve driver safety.

Senate Bill 43 would “allow law enforcement agencies to use traffic cameras to cite drivers who run red lights.” The proposed bill would be a huge step in the direction of improving traffic safety — and saving lives.

The new bill would also allow officers to bill the drivers directly since the cameras would give evidence such as license plate number and vehicle type without the officer needing to submit the video evidence directly to the courts.

What types of vehicles are in Reno?

Reno is located in the Great Basin and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. We’re here to provide you valuable information on the types of vehicles, the number of cars owned, and more.

Most Popular Vehicles Owned

The most popular vehicle in the state of Nevada is the RAV4. But what about the city of Reno, in particular?

According to Your Mechanic.com, the most popular vehicles in nearby cities are quite diverse and fuel-efficient.

These ratings are based on IIHS safety standards.

How many cars per household?

Most cities have their own unique qualities, and car ownership is no exception to the rule.

Let’s take a look at the average number of vehicles per household in Reno, along with important data such as speed traps and vehicle theft rates.

Data USA’s recent study revealed that residents in Reno have two cars on average, with the second-largest demographic owning only one car per household.

Households without a Car

Even though a majority of residents in Reno own at least two cars, some households don’t own a vehicle at all. The data below from 2015 and 2016 shows the percentage of households in the city that rely on transportation options other than their own cars.

YearHouseholds without VehiclesVehicles per Household
201510.00%$1.64
201610.80%$1.73

As you can see, the percentage of households without vehicles went up between 2015 and 2016, and the number of vehicles per household also increased. This means that while residents bought more vehicles, a greater number of people had to go without them.

Speed Traps in Reno

Stereotypes and myths surround Las Vegas’ Strip, especially surrounding drag races and hot rods. These myths turn out to be true.

Wondering if Reno is a speed-trap town?

Aside from Las Vegas and Searchlight, Reno is ranked as the third-worst city in Nevada for speed traps.

The index, or acknowledgment rate, of people who have voted Reno as a speed trap town, is 79 percent. For Las Vegas, the index is 98 percent, and Searchlight, 91 percent.

You should always use defensive driving tactics while being equally conscious of your speed. This will prevent accidents and unnecessary citations.

Vehicle Theft in Reno

In 2016, the FBI’s Crime in the U.S. report recorded 263 motor vehicle thefts in Reno, Nevada. In 2019, Neighborhood Scout reported that there were 1,070 motor vehicle thefts in the city, accounting for a theft rate of 4.26 per 1,000 people.

Neighborhood Scout has indicated that the following neighborhoods are the safest areas in the city of Reno:

  • Cheyenne Drive / South Virginia Street
  • Thomas Creek Road / Ventana Parkway
  • Osage Road / Red Rock Road
  • Gerlach / Empire
  • Geiger Grade Road / Rim Rock Drive
  • Steamboat / Pleasant Valley
  • Roper Lane / Cold Springs Drive
  • Lemmon Valley / Golden Valley
  • Bondshire Drive / Orchard Hill Drive
  • Cold Springs

While Reno experiences more crime than Nevada in total (6.64 percent as compared to 5.41 percent) there are safer neighborhoods for residents to live in. One such area is Gerlach / Empire.

To put Reno’s crime rates in perspective, the city beats out only 13 percent of other major U.S. cities when it comes to crime. Reno is safer than Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Kansas City.

Violent crimes (1,667) and property crimes (6,347) make for a total of 8,014 crimes per year.

How is traffic in Reno?

No one wants to worsen their commute. But in some areas, traffic is a way of life. Let’s see what the traffic’s like in Reno.

Traffic Congestion in Nevada

Significant data for roadway conditions, including congestion, can be found on New To Reno.com.

Unfortunately, Reno is not a large enough epicenter to be included national congestion data. Check out the table below for more information about large cities near Reno, including Sacramento, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev.

CityCongestion LevelExtra Time Travel (minutes per day)Extra Time Travel (hours per year)Morning Peak CongestionEvening Peak CongestionHighway CongestionNon-Highway Congestion
Las Vegas21%20 minutes3 days, 6 hours25%40%13%22%
Sacramento25%30 minutes4 days, 19 hours42%56%20%28%

Both tables show that major cities surrounding Reno experience major traffic congestion during peak commute hours.

How safe are Reno’s streets and roads?

Now that we’ve covered key crime rate statistics in Reno, it’s time to get a snapshot of road safety and fatalities.

We’ve included significant factors (crash types, blood alcohol content of the driver, and types of vehicles involved) that increase the potential of an accident. Please keep in mind that these statistics are included to inform you, not to scare or deter you from getting behind the wheel. We hope that viewing these statistics in Washoe County will help you make informed decisions next time you get on the road.

The table below reveals the total fatal crashes in Washoe County from 2014 to 2017, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k
2014388.71
2015378.36
20165011.11
2017408.75
2018449.45

Washoe County had a total of 44 fatal crashes in 2018. For the surrounding counties, we see significantly fewer fatalities.

  • Lyon: 12
  • Humboldt: 4
  • Churchill: 4
  • Pershing: 3
  • Carson City: 2
  • Storey: 1

Washoe County residents see a two- to four-fold increase in total fatalities compared to the counties that surround them.

Next up, we will look at the number of fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC over 0.08).

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k
2014112.52
2015143.16
2016276
2017173.72
201881.72

Between 2014 and 2018, Washoe County experienced a total of 77 alcohol-related deaths.

Some crashes, on the other hand, involved only one single moving vehicle. Below are the totals for 2014–2018.

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k
2014204.58
2015235.2
2016306.66
2017214.59
2018224.72

Washoe County lost 116 drivers to single-vehicle crashes in the span of only four years, with a peak in 2016.

Speeding is never a good idea, but sometimes it can be fatal. Washoe County’s speeding-related stats are below.

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k 2014
201461.37
2015143.16
2016163.55
201781.75
201851.07

Between 2014 and 2018, Washoe County experienced 49 speed-related deaths.

There are some other ways crashes can occur, as well. In 2018, fatalities took the following forms.

  • Roadway departure — 8 deaths
  • Involving an intersection (or intersection-related) — 15 deaths
  • Passenger car occupant — 11 deaths

When it comes to fatal crashes, pedestrians are also at risk. The table below shows the total pedestrian deaths between 2014–2018.

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k
2014122.75
201561.36
2016153.33
2017112.41
2018132.79

Like pedestrians, pedal cyclists are more vulnerable to crashes. This is due to the fact that they are not enclosed within a steel frame. Below are pedal-cyclist fatalities for Washoe County.

YearFatalitiesFatalities per 100k
201430.69
201510.23
201610.22
201720.44
201810.21

Combined, a total of 14 fatalities occurred for pedestrians and pedal cyclists in 2018. Remember, 44 fatal crashes occurred in Washoe County in 2018, which is up 10 percent from the previous year.

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

According to Allstate’s Annual Best Drivers in America Report, Reno rates 25th as the safest city to drive in as of 2019. Their rank is up 4 percent from last year. Residents typically have 11.3 years between claims, on average.

Compared to the national average, the relative likelihood of a claim being made is 6.9 percent lower.

Wondering about those moments when we slam on the brakes? Allstate’s report also revealed that drivers encounter 21.9 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles. Crisis averted.

Evidence shows that drivers could brake for an array of reasons, such as pedestrian crossings, red lights ahead, or a collision blocking the roadway.

Ridesharing

Ridesharing, a service that allows drivers and riders to carpool, isn’t available in all areas of the country. For Reno, there are a couple of options for those who want to pool resources.

The following rideshare providers are available in Reno.

  • Uber X
  • RideYellow
  • Lyft Premier
  • Taxi
  • Curb
  • Uber Lux
  • Lyft Lux

On average, you can expect to pay about $4.25 for your first mile with Uber, and $1.85 per mile thereafter. If you go with a ridesharing service, you’ll need to research your specific location on RideGuru.com

What is the weather like in Reno?

Situated in western Nevada, residents enjoy mild temperatures in the cooler months and sometimes sweltering heat in the warmer seasons. U.S. Climate Data releases studies regarding average temperatures nationwide by city.

They provided annual temperature data on Reno, which is listed below:

  • Annual high temperature — 67.6 degrees
  • Annual low temperature — 40.1 degrees
  • Average temperature — 53.85 degrees
  • Average annual precipitation — 7.39 inches

Washoe County has experienced 25 natural disasters, which is quite a bit higher than the national average of 13. Of the 25 natural disasters, four were declared national emergencies by the president.

The causes of these natural disasters include:

  • Fires — 18
  • Floods — Four
  • Storms — Four
  • Snows — Two
  • Hurricane — One

Some natural disasters could fall into more than one category.

Choosing car insurance coverage is tough enough, without accounting for natural disasters. But have you considered comprehensive coverage to protect you if damage occurs?

With such a high incidence of natural disasters in Reno, purchasing comprehensive coverage might save you money in the long run.

Is public transit available in Reno?

Reno is equipped with many transportation options, including its public transit bus system (RTC). It’s operated by the Reno Transportation Committee out of Washoe County.

RTC Ride is a great option if you’re looking to use public transit to get around in the city of Reno. A single ride costs only $2, while a 31-day-pass is $65. Just input your pickup and endpoint, and the online resource will connect you with buses.

If trains are more your speed, Reno is home to an Amtrak Station (RNO). Visit the website to input your start point, destination, and desired route. Amtrak connects Reno residents with Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Los Angeles stations.

Are other alternate transportation options available in Reno?

Although Reno once played host to San Francisco startup Lime, the city will no longer offer be partnering with the service.

In an article published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, the city council noted that there were “too many issues moving forward.” The scooters pose significant safety risks, as they don’t require registration (like Mopeds). Possible problems could have stemmed from Lime bike and scooter renters not following appropriate guidelines for bicycles.

The agreement was set to extend until August 1, 2020. If Lime is approved statewide, Reno may be forced to adopt the bikes into their streets once again.

Is parking easy in Reno?

Many cities in the United States have transitioned to parking kiosks and parking apps, but anticipating parking in a new city is usually a challenge.

If you live in or are visiting Reno, downtown has parking meters that accept both coins and credit cards. You can use these meters when parking on the streets, as well as in some lots. Both debit-card and coin-metered parking costs are the same.

Parking meters generally have a two-hour limit, enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and holidays are free.

Another option in Reno is parking garages. There are two in the city that operate all hours each day of the week. The Parking Gallery is located at 135 N. Sierra St., but the entrance and exit are on West 1st Street, a block and a half west of Reno City Hall.

50 W. Liberty St. is another option, located on the south side of West Liberty Street, between South Virginia Street and South Sierra Street. Neither parking garage is affiliated with the casino.

Courtesy of the city, Reno has opened a square block of parking across from the Washoe County Courthouse to the public. Parking here is free after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

How is the air quality in Reno?

Ever wonder if the air quality in your city is up to par?

As it turns out, air pollution can wreak serious havoc on your health.

The table below displays the EPA Air Quality Index Report for Reno between 2017 and 2019.

Reno Air Quality Index201720182019
Days with AQI365365305
Good days202213206
Days moderate15913399
Days unhealthy for sensitive groups4190
Days unhealthy000
Days very unhealthy000

According to the EPA’s three consecutive years of data, only 23 were termed unhealthy for sensitive groups. As you can see, there were no days with air quality listed as unhealthy or very unhealthy between 2017 and 2019.

Military/Veterans

Military personnel and veterans have served our country, so accounting for their role in the community is key.

If you’ve served or are serving in the military, keep reading for our breakdown of statistics that could save you money on your insurance.

In Reno, the most significant population of military personnel who live in the city are residents who served in the Vietnam War. The second and third most common service periods are the second and first Gulf Wars, respectively.

As of 2017, there were 5,480 Vietnam veterans, 2,635 veterans from the second Gulf War, and 2,157 veterans from the first Gulf War living in Reno. That’s a significant veteran population.

Located close to the West Coast, Reno is close to many military bases in Sacramento. There is only one base located within an hour of the city, however. This is the Naval Air Station Fallon Base, part of the Navy region of the Southwest.

Wondering if your provider includes discount benefits? The table below displays companies that do offer these types of benefits.

ProviderPercent Insurance Discount
AllstateN/A
EsuranceN/A
FarmersN/A
Geico (may be active or retired)Up to 15%
Liberty Mutual (must be active duty)N/A
MetLifeN/A
Safeco (may be active or retired)N/A
State FarmN/A
USAAUp to 60%

In addition to their insurance discounts, USAA also offers discounts on military garaging for vehicles parked on military bases.

As you look at the table above, please note that not every company released its discount percentages. To get an idea of what you might be paying, simply contact your insurance provider and ask about military discounts.

USAA is available across the country, including Nevada. If you qualify for this type of coverage (policyholder, spouse, or parents must be active or retired military) you could save significant amounts of money annually on your auto policy.

Let’s see how this breaks down, as compared to other insurance providers in the state:

GroupAnnual Average PremiumCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to State Average (%)
Allstate$5,372.21$571.1710.63%
American Family$5,439.95$638.9211.74%
Depositors$3,474.93-$1,326.10-38.16%
Geico$3,660.03-$1,141.00-31.17%
Mid-Century$5,589.91$788.8714.11%
Progressive$4,048.92-$752.12-18.58%
Safeco$6,209.68$1,408.6422.68%
State Farm$5,792.85$991.8117.12%
Travelers$5,349.64$548.6010.25%
USAA$3,072.26-$1,728.78-56.27%

If you are an active or former military serviceman or woman, you may be eligible for USAA. In that case, you could save up to 1.5 times more than the next cheapest insurer in Reno.

Unique City Laws

The United States has a wide breadth of civic eccentricities, and Reno is no exception. But which laws should you be aware of if you’re a resident?

Distracted Driving

If you live in Reno, then yes, it’s illegal to use a cellphone or other device while driving. Using Bluetooth capabilities, however, does not violate handheld laws.

In 2017, there were a total of 458 crashes with 10 fatalities in Nevada from distracted driving alone, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

As part of a recent campaign, city officials are cracking down on all forms of distracted driving. This includes eating, using your phone’s GPS, or even changing the radio station.

The fines are $50 for the first offense in seven years, $100 for the second and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses. Fines are also subject to doubling if it’s committed in a work zone.

Food Trucks

Sometimes, food trucks and restaurant owners don’t see eye-to-eye.

In an article published by KTNV, a Reno news station, new proposals would prohibit food trucks from parking within 300 feet of operating restaurant establishments. The proposal would also limit their operation times to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Despite these reconfigurations, Reno food truck culture is still alive and well, bringing new flavors to unexpected corners of the city.

Tiny Homes

Due to rising housing costs, Reno is currently facing a housing crisis. So, are tiny houses part of the solution, or contributors to the problem?

In a recent story published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, one resident declared that Reno is much more welcoming of tiny homes than neighboring California. The resident stated that downsizing allowed her to reorganize her life and live more affordably. But is this an amenity only accessible to the affluent?

With more and more members of the Reno community facing homelessness, questions have been raised about building tiny home villages as forms of affordable housing. City Manager Sabra Newby has proposed accessory dwelling units such as granny flats and backyard tiny houses, which would house people temporarily.

The proposal is part of an up-and-coming city redesign plan.

Parking Laws

All vehicles parked in the city are required to have current registration. Vehicles stored or parked on private property must be well maintained with inflated tires and should not be supported by blocks or jacks.

Both in Reno and statewide, parking isn’t allowed in the following circumstances:

  • On sidewalks
  • On crosswalks
  • On the roadway side of another stationary, parked car
  • In front of driveways
  • Within an intersection
  • Next to red curbs
  • Next to yellow curbs (restricted parking)

Other parking restrictions are less obvious, and ones you should keep an eye out for.

  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Within 20 feet of an intersection
  • Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing
  • Within 20 feet of an entrance to a rescue squad, ambulance, or fire station
  • On any unmarked, hard surface of a highway
  • On any overpass, tunnel, or bridge
  • Within 30 feet of a stop sign, flashing signal, or traffic signal
  • In a manner that creates danger for other motorists

Reno Car Insurance FAQs

#1 — Are there any languages I should know?

  • According to Data USA, 30.9 percent of residents in Nevada speak a non-English language, which is slightly higher than the national average of 21.5 percent.
  • The most common non-English language spoken in Reno is Spanish (17.9 percent)  followed by Other Asian or Pacific Islander languages (4.2 percent).

#2 — What car insurance is required?

  • In 2018, new requirements were posted on the Nevada DMV website.
  • The new minimums are 25/50/20, or $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for all persons for bodily injury per crash and $20,000 for property damage per crash.
  • These minimums have risen significantly due to increased medical coverage expenses in the state.

#3 — How accessible is health insurance in Reno?

  • Between 2016 and 2017, the percent of uninsured citizens in Reno declined by 19.3 percent to 12.5 percent.
  • On average, residents pay about $6,714 per year on health care.
  • This is significantly less than the average American, who spends $10,209 per year.

#4 — What is the cost of living like in Reno?

  • According to Sperling’s Best Places, the cost of living in Reno is 16.2 percent than the national average.
  • The median price of a home in Reno is $370,600.

#5 — Can I get insurance if I’ve been refused coverage for being a high-risk driver?

  • If you can’t secure insurance through the voluntary market due to a history of accidents or driving violations, you can seek coverage by filing an SR-22 form.
  • The Nevada DMV requires drivers to file an SR-22 and pay consistently for three consecutive years.
  • For questions, you can dial the Reno DMV at (775) 684-4368.

#6 — What if there is a natural disaster?

  • Floods, wildfires, and earthquakes are the most common worries of residents.
  • NewToReno.com provides an extensive list of preparation guidelines if a natural emergency occurs.
  • Along with preparing food supplies, flashlights, and water backup sources, you may consider adding comprehensive coverage to your pre-existing insurance plan.

Before you hit the road again, you’re sure to be fully equipped with the right insurance information for Reno.

Get your FREE quote for multiple Nevada insurers in seconds with our fast and easy online rate tool. Enter your ZIP code in the box below to get started.

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