Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent for 14 Years

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Auto Insurance in Reno, Nevada [Can’t-Miss Guide]

Reno City StatisticsDetails
Population248,853

City Density3,601 people per square mile
Average Cost of Insurance in City$3,931.74
Cheapest Car Insurance CompaniesUSAA and Travelers
Road ConditionsPoor share – 23%
Mediocre share – 30%
Fair share – 13%
Good share – 34%

Named after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War, the “Biggest Little City in the World” was founded in 1868.

The establishment of a railroad station gave Reno cause to become a city. Since then, transportation has been key to its growth. Transit boosts Reno’s status as a year-round vacation center, where it’s home to part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with skiing, hunting, and fishing available nearby.

Gambling operations at casinos have also helped the city attract tourists. With the rise of small manufacturers, warehouses, and distribution centers in Reno, interstate commerce adds to its growing economy.

Along the way, drivers of all kinds must be insured while they travel through the Silver State. Sorting through all the information that comes up in online searches for car insurance, however, can be time-consuming.

If you need to buy consumer auto insurance coverage in Reno, this can’t-miss guide seeks to cut through the clutter. We’ll clear the way through such topics as age, gender, marital status and other factors that set rates, how the local economy influences prices, and so much more.

Plus if you want to see how Reno’s rates compare to car insurance in Nevada, we’ve got you as well.

Ready to get started? First, to compare rates now, enter your ZIP code in our free tool.

Table of Contents

Cheap Car Insurance in Reno

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Premiums Legend: Reno Allied Farmers State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 $24 $42 $34 $51 $49

 
The thought of paying more for car insurance can motivate you to start comparison shopping. But bargain-hunting takes time. You may wonder if it’s truly worth it in the end.

With the average cost of a car insurance premium in Reno at $4,194.89 yearly, the process can save you money. Before you start, it helps to know the coverage and amounts you need.

In this section, we’ll go into the major factors car insurers use to set their rates to give you a better understanding of how you can get discounts.

We’ll explore everything from your age, gender, and marital status to your driving record. Keep reading for more info to start comparing rates.

Do gender and age affect my car insurance in Reno?

Auto Policy Age Comparison Legend: 34 Year Old 17 Year Old Allied Farmers State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 330 $24 $71 $42 $346 $34 $133 $51 $172 $49 $170

 
The Nevada Division of Insurance states that age and gender are among the characteristics insurers use to set rates.

Data USA reports that the median age in Reno is 36, which means many drivers there pay less for auto insurance than their younger colleagues.

The table below shows the average rates different age groups pay for car insurance in Reno:

17-Years-Old25-Years-Old35-Years-Old60-Years-OldCheapest RateCheapest Age
$9,258.27$2,831.55$2,432.95$2,310.07$2,310.0760

Often based on a driver’s record and length of experience behind the wheel, it’s no surprise that 60-year-olds pay among the lowest prices.

Gender bias in car insurance rates is legal in Nevada. It happens because statistically, males, often younger ones, tend to get into more accidents than females. Here are rates by gender in Reno:

MaleFemaleCheaper
$4,208.21$3,966.65Female

Females pay less for premiums than males. Now, how does marital status figure into the mix? We’ll explore that in the data below.

DemographicRate (Cheapest)
Average$4,208.21
Married 60-year-old female$2,264.46
Married 60-year-old male$2,355.69
Married 35-year-old male$2,431.14
Married 35-year-old female$2,434.77
Single 25-year-old female$2,768.79
Single 25-year-old male$2,894.30
Single 17-year-old female$8,398.58
Single 17-year-old male$10,117.96

From prior claims data, insurers’ statistics show that more single people file claims than married people. So, married people typically pay less for car insurance. Under Nevada law, domestic partners are treated as married for insurance rating purposes.

Married 60-year-old females pay less than other drivers, while insurers charge inexperienced 17-year-old males the highest rates.

Next, we’ll look at how where you live influences your rates.

What are the cheapest ZIP Codes in Reno?

Auto Insurance by Zip Code Legend: Las Vegas North Las Vegas Reno Henderson Paradise Allied Farmers State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 $38 $30 $24 $34 $32 $80 $73 $42 $62 $73 $90 $74 $34 $78 $78 $94 $88 $51 $74 $90 $94 $69 $49 $83 $69

 
Insurers base the rates in a geographical area on past claims for traffic levels, thefts, vandalism, and even damage from national disasters. As the Nevada Department of Insurance reports, generally, more claims come from urban rather than rural areas.

According to AreaVibes, the most dangerous Reno neighborhoods are in the northeast, the southwest, and South Central areas. As we outline further below, among the safest districts are Cheyenne Drive/South Virginia Street and Thomas Creek Road/Ventana Parkway.

Among the most affordable neighborhoods to live in are West Reno, West Sparks and North Valleys, Northeast Reno, and Brinkby/Grove.

Here’s how the different districts compare for car insurance rates:

ZIP CodeAverage Annual 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

As shown above, residents of 89510 — the Flanagan area — pay the lowest car insurance premium rates on average (at under $3,000 annually), while those in Mira Loma (89502) pay the highest, at over $4,300 yearly.

What’s the best car insurance company in Reno?

Car insurance shoppers need to consider many factors when they evaluate an insurer. They include overall premium prices and their coverage needs. As you sift through all the measures of a company’s service and performance, the process of finding the best car insurance company can become exhausting.

We’re all for helping you save time and keep your sanity. So in this section, we’ve done all the work for you. We’ll compare how the top carriers in Reno perform for different types of rates.

Most importantly for some, we’ll explore rates first. Are you ready to get started?

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

If price is a major concern for you, this section is for you. Here’s how the top insurers compare for premium costs in “The Biggest Little City.”

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

Overall, Progressive and USAA, a niche insurer for the military, offer the lowest prices for drivers of different ages, genders, and marital statuses.

Next, let’s see how rates vary by mileage.

Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

Nevadans drive an average of 14,084 total miles yearly. As you might have guessed, how far you commute regularly also influences your car insurance rates. Here’s how they can change for 10- and 25-mile commutes.

Group10-Mile Commute. 6,000 Annual Miles.25-Mile Commute. 12,000 Annual Miles.Average
Allstate$4,306.46$4,306.46$4,306.46
American Family$4,473.81$4,595.39$4,534.60
Farmers$5,136.17$5,136.17$5,136.17
Geico$3,510.98$3,628.37$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$5,168.67$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

Only a few of the insurers listed factor mileage into their premium costs. Of the companies that use mileage, USAA customers paid the lowest price difference — less than $100 between the two distances. With State Farm, however, the price difference from 10 to 25 miles was the highest, at about $300.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

Whether you buy the state-required minimum liability, collision, comprehensive, or a full policy, you want to make sure you buy enough coverage to protect you and your loved ones.

Let’s see how much car insurance costs vary in Reno from the lowest to the highest coverage levels.

GroupHighLowMediumAverage
Allstate$4,612.80$3,957.50$4,349.08$4,306.46
American Family$4,448.45$4,354.65$4,800.71$4,534.60
Farmers$5,673.33$4,655.80$5,079.39$5,136.17
Geico$3,973.04$3,237.31$3,498.68$3,569.68
Liberty Mutual$5,611.64$4,778.31$5,116.06$5,168.67
Nationwide$3,122.16$3,050.26$3,081.47$3,084.63
Progressive$4,174.17$3,207.69$3,513.11$3,631.66
State Farm$5,517.68$4,666.04$5,068.62$5,084.11
Travelers$5,239.62$4,378.38$4,839.38$4,819.13
USAA$3,056.40$2,462.18$2,722.42$2,747.00

Nationwide offered the lowest price difference from the lowest to the highest coverage, of less than $100. On the opposite end of the scale, with State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and Progress, from the highest to the lowest levels, the cost averaged around $1,100 total.

Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates

Auto Insurance by Credit Score Legend: Excellent Credit Poor Credit Allied Farmers State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 $21 $33 $35 $73 $24 $112 $45 $70 $37 $90

 
The Nevada Division of Insurance points out that insurers explore your credit history to reach their own insurance score. It’s not related to the ones lenders often use to evaluate a borrower’s credit-worthiness.

Further, not every company uses the same methods to reach a credit-based insurance score. Some insurers use FICO, LexisNexis, and other credit scoring models to find a price appropriate for the risk they’re willing to underwrite.

Here are the rates for poor, fair, and good credit scores among the top insurers in Reno.

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

With State Farm, drivers with poor credit can pay $7,000 more annually than those who have good scores. With Progressive, meanwhile, the price range from poor to good credit scores is less than $650.

Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

Driving Violations Legend: Perfect Record Minor Speeding Ticket DUI/Reckless Driving Major At-Fault Accident Allied Farmers State Farm Allstate Liberty Mutual 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 $24 $26 $38 $31 $42 $61 $69 $64 $34 $37 $37 $40 $51 $55 $63 $64 $49 $57 Do Not Sell $67

 
Accidents and traffic violations can affect your premium costs, too. If you’ve accrued any over the past three to five years, insurers may increase your rates.

Here’s how much the top insurers in Reno charge for common driving infractions.

GroupClean RecordWith One AccidentWith One DUIWith One 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$3,446.59$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

With Liberty Mutual, drivers can pay over $1,000 more for their car insurance premiums if they get even one speeding ticket. But with USAA and Nationwide, the difference from a clean record to a speeding citation hovers at less than $300.

What are some car insurance factors in Reno?

Besides the factors we covered above, in the sections below, we’ll discover more lesser-known aspects insurers explore when they set their car insurance rates. They include the local economy, your earnings, education level, and job.

Reno Metro Report

Reno is among the major U.S. cities that have recovered well since the Great Recession of the late 2000s. That’s in part to a surge in technology companies that have helped improve its economy and make it more competitive with larger cities in the region.

For instance, the McKinsey Global Institute ranks Reno among its “small powerhouses” with the fastest-growing economy and population. In its Future of Work in America report, McKinsey singled out 11 smaller cities that are home to fewer than 2 percent of Americans and have less than half the average population of high-growth hubs.

With its strong economy, Reno boasts an unemployment rate of under 4 percent and a job market increase of about 5 percent. Sperling’s Best Places predicts that in the next decade, job growth there will reach 51 percent, which is nearly 20 percent higher than the U.S. average.

For its growth in tech companies, the city also made The Milken Institute’s list of the Best-Performing Cities.

Compared to other cities in the region, such as Denver, Colorado, and Oakland, California, in 2016, Reno’s unemployment rate (6.3 percent) was higher than Denver’s (4.3 percent) and lower than Oakland’s (6.6 percent). Of the three cities, Reno’s rise in home values reached 38.62 percent, which was below Oakland’s rates (51.7 percent), yet it surpassed Denver’s (35.57 percent).

The news segment below covers how Reno rebounded from the Great Recession:

Now, we’ll look closer at some of the economic factors (income, occupations, and levels of homeownership) that feature in the overall car insurance cost equation.

Median Household Income in Reno

According to Data USA, in 2017, the median household income in Reno grew to $52,106 from the previous year’s average of $48,815. These rates were lower than the U.S. average annual income of $60,336 and Nevada’s average annual salary of $58,646.

Based on the $52,106 annual income and the average annual cost of car insurance in Reno ($4,194.89), nearly 8 percent of drivers’ wages go to car insurance.

Want to see how much of your earnings go to auto insurance coverage? Try our free calculator below.

CalculatorPro

Homeownership in Reno

Homeownership shows that a driver may be more reliable and able to pay car insurance premiums. If you own a home, you could pay less for car insurance than if you rent. To save more, homeowners can also bundle their car and home insurance.

In 2017, 48 percent of the housing units in Reno were owner-occupied. Data USA statistics show that this rate grew from 46 percent the previous year. The percentage of owner-occupation is much lower than the national average of 64 percent.

On the other hand, the average property value in Reno rose to $265,600 in 2017 from the previous year’s value of $235,800.

Education in Reno

In 2016, universities in Reno awarded 7,133 degrees. Data USA has found that the largest schools by the number of degrees granted are the University of Nevada-Reno (4,309 or 60 percent), Truckee Meadows Community College (2,431 or 34 percent), and Carrington College-Reno (165 or 2 percent).

Community colleges, which award several degrees and certificates in a range of fields, are a lower-cost alternative to traditional schools. Truckee Meadows Community College provides degrees and certificates in many of the fields with the highest employment rates in the city, including tech jobs.

The most popular majors in Reno are other science technologies (382 or 5 percent), liberal arts and sciences (288 or 4 percent), and registered nursing (282 or 4 percent).

Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs in Reno

In 2017, whites were the highest paid race/ethnicity of Nevada workers. Data USA reveals that they were paid 1.1 times more than Asians, who earned the second-highest salary of any race/ethnicity.

Among the most common positions in Nevada are cooks, customer service representatives, retail sales, maids and housekeeping, cleaners, and cashiers.

Here’s how much the top three highest-earning races and ethnicities made in customer service and the percentage of their incomes that paid for car insurance:

Race or EthnicityAverage Full-time Salary for Customer Service RepresentativesPercentage of Income Going to Car Insurance
White$29,35514.29%
Asian
$30,70013.66%
Native American and Alaska Native tribes specified, or Native American or Alaska Native, not specified and no other races$33,00812.71%

Based on the average annual cost of a premium in Reno — $4,194.89 — Native American and related races who worked as customer service reps earned the highest income. They also spent less of their wages on auto insurance, at 12.71 percent.

Wage by Gender in Common Jobs in Reno

In 2017, full-time male employees in Nevada made 1.29 times more than females. Data USA figures show that male workers there earned $57,432 on average annually, while females made $44,567.

Together with the wage gap, as you can see below in the most common jobs in Nevada, there was a disparity in how much each gender paid for car insurance.

OccupationAverage Wage – MalePercentage of Income Going to Car InsuranceAverage Wage – FemalePercentage of Income Going to Car Insurance
Retail sales$46,9198.94%$32,18313.03%
Customer service representatives$38,93910.77%$30,48613.76%
Cashiers$31,54013.30%$27,29515.37%
Maids and housekeeping cleaners$29,77514.09%$27,95815.00%
Cooks$29,53314.20%$26,34815.92%

Based on the average annual cost of a premium in Reno, $4,194.89, males and females spent different amounts of their incomes toward car insurance.

In the highest-earning occupation, retail sales, males paid only 9 percent of their incomes on premiums, while females, who earned less in those positions, spent 13 percent.

The earnings gap might not seem fair, but on the plus side for females, as we mentioned earlier, insurers generally charge them lower rates.

Poverty by Age and Gender in Reno

Sixteen percent of the population in Reno lives below the poverty line, higher than the national average of 13 percent. The largest demographic living in poverty are females ages 18–24, followed by males 18–24, and females 25–34.

The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who classifies as impoverished. If a family’s total income falls below their limits, the Census Bureau classifies that family and every family member as living in poverty.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity in Reno

According to Data USA, whites made up more than 50 percent of those living below the poverty line in Reno, followed by Hispanics and other ethnicities at 24 and 6 percent, respectively.

Employment by Occupations in Reno

From 2016 to 2017, employment in Reno grew 3 percent, from 117,000 employees to 120,000 employees.

Data USA stats show that the most common job groups by the number of people living in Reno are office and administrative support occupations (16,249 people), sales and related jobs (14,188 people), and management occupations (10,903 people).

Driving in Reno

Some activities are riskier than others. Every time you take the wheel in Reno, there’s a chance you’ll get into an accident, whether you roll off the road, smash into another object, or hit another car. Thinking about this can be unnerving.

The good news is, you have a certain amount of control. For example, you can avoid heavily trafficked routes. In this section, we’ll explore those and other Reno roadways, together with popular road trips and other aspects of the highway.

Read on to find out more.

What are the major roads in Reno?

Reno has several major and minor routes of travel. Here, we’ll explore the main highways that criss-cross “The Biggest Little City.”

Major Highways

Nevada has six active highways that span 623.79 miles. Below is a map of the major roads that run through Reno.

Reno, Nevada major highways

The major highways in the city include:

  • I‑580 – Completion of the freeway through Washoe Valley connected the Nevada capital city to the Interstate system for the first time. Interstate 580 is part of the High Priority Corridor 68: Washoe County Corridor and the U.S. 95 Las Vegas to Reno Corridor.
  • U.S. 50 – “The Loneliest Road in America” passes through 10 other states.
  • I-80 – Like U.S. 50, this major corridor spans 11 states, from San Francisco to west of the Hudson River in northern New Jersey.
  • U.S. Route 395 Business (US 395 Bus.) – This north-south state highway follows Virginia Street. U.S. 395 and is also designated as State Route 430 (SR 430) from its intersection with SR 659 (McCarran Boulevard) to its northern end at US 395.
  • State Route 659 (SR 659) – This highway follows McCarran Boulevard, a connector road that serves Reno and Sparks. The route provides access to many businesses and residential areas in the Truckee Meadows.

The video below shows the route from Interstate 80 to U.S. 395 and downtown Reno:

Along Reno’s major routes, you may spot several enticing destinations, places that you’re curious about and want to explore further. We’ll go through a few of them next.

Popular Road Trips/Sites

Reno offers a variety of recreational opportunities for everyone, whether you want to dine out, take a day trip, or are merely looking for something different. Check out these ideas:

#1 – The Best Restaurants in Reno

From the Rattlesnake Club to Casale’s Halfway Club, these are among the top eateries in the city.

#2 – Actually Cool Things to Do in Reno Right Now

If anything from rock climbing to art museums sounds like fun, you’ll enjoy this list of attractions.

#3 – More Affordable Alternative to Visiting Las Vegas

Here’s why you should consider Reno for your budget-friendly vacation.

#4 – The Most Hippie Town in Nevada

If your tastes tend to the unconventional, this list offers signs of counterculture life that focus on Reno.

#5 – Thirteen Very Best Day Trips

This list features some decent getaways in and around Reno.

For even more choices, watch this travel video for advice:

When you go on a road trip, you’ll probably want to be aware of potential hazards you may face along the way, which can include crumbling roads. Next, we’ll see what the roadways are like in Reno.

Road Conditions

Below are pavement conditions and vehicle operating costs in Reno from the national transportation research group TRIP:

Poor
Share
Mediocre
Share
Fair
Share
Good
Share
Vehicle Operating
Costs (VOC)
23%30%13%34%$564

Most roads are in good to mediocre condition. Vehicle Operating Costs (VOC) for repairs related to road safety conditions, such as tires, fall below $600 and are less than in other cities, reflecting the relative stability of the highways.

Does Reno use speeding or red-light cameras?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the City of Reno doesn’t use red-light or speeding cameras.

What type of vehicles are in Reno?

Like in other parts of the country, Reno is home to a variety of different vehicles. Some, however, sell more than others. On top of that, thieves like to steal certain makes and models.

Below, we’ll explore the most popular cars owned in Reno and crime and car ownership rates.

Most Popular Vehicles Owned

According to KAYAK, the most frequently booked rental vehicle type in Reno is an intermediate car, such as the Hyundai Elantra.

Consumer Reports ranks the 2020 Hyundai Elantra 67th out of 100 overall, based on safety, road tests, reliability, and owner satisfaction. The vehicle also made #11 on its list of 23 compact cars.

The publication said that the car “delivers the roominess and fuel economy to compete in this crowded segment, but it fell short in refinement and performance when this generation debuted. For 2020, it received a round of improvements that improved ride comfort and reduced engine noise.”

Consumer Reports believes the car has an impressive fuel economy at an overall 33 miles per gallon. In crash tests, the IIHS gave the car good ratings, and it received four- and five-star rankings from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Watch the video below for more insights into the Elantra:

In the following sections, we’ll cover how many households own cars and get by without them, as well as suspected speed traps in the area.

How many cars per household?

Data USA stats show that the largest share of households in Reno owns two cars (at 41 percent), followed by one car (24 percent). These figures come close to matching the national averages.

Households Without a Car

The table below reveals how many Reno households on average own and don’t own cars.

Vehicle Ownership20152016
Vehicles per Household2.222.32
Households Without Vehicles5.00%2.90%

From 2015 to 2016, the percentage of households that don’t own cars dropped a few percentage points, yet the number of vehicles owned in Reno stayed about the same, at just over two.

Speed Traps in Reno

Speedtrap.org keeps track of speed traps all across the United States, as voted by its users. Reno ranked third on the site’s list of the worst speed trap cities in Nevada.

Among the Reno roads visitors have debated are truly speed traps, the following received the most votes:

  • Boomtown on Interstate 80 West and East
  • North Virginia Street
  • I-80 eastbound entering Reno

If you’re in those areas, you should obey speed limits to avoid worrying about speed traps and potential penalties. And, best of all, you’ll help keep yourself and others safe.

The City of Reno reports that speeding violations are the number one complaint to the local police department.

Through a petition process and engineering study, your street may be eligible for traffic calming treatments (except for primary emergency vehicle routes). The city offers a Traffic Calming Policy and Petition residents can complete as part of its efforts to alleviate speeding on certain streets.

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Vehicle Theft in Reno

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that in 2017, 1,432 vehicle thefts occurred in Reno.

Neighborhood Scout also tracks crime statistics for U.S. cities. Safest districts in Reno include the neighborhood of Cheyenne Drive and South Virginia Street.

The site gives Reno a crime index of 13, which means it’s 13 percent safer than other U.S. cities. In Reno, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are one in 151. Statewide, however, they decrease slightly to one in 185. In the city and across the state, these chances are quite high.

Further, per 1,000 residents, nearly 7 percent are victims of violent crimes. In Nevada, that figure drops to about 6 percent. Per square mile, 76 crimes occur in Reno, yet only 22 happen statewide (much of the state is rural). Nationally, an average of 31 crimes are reported for every square mile.

For a closer look at the crimes that occur in Reno, below is a chart showing figures from 2017:

Reno Annual CrimesViolentPropertyTotal
Number of Crimes1,7007,9769,676
Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)
6.8332.0538.88

Roughly 82.5 percent of the crimes that occurred in Reno, whether they were vandalism or thefts, involved property.

How is traffic in Reno?

As we’ll cover in this section, the traffic in Reno is sometimes hectic on certain times of day on busy highways.

Traffic Congestion in Nevada

Transportation in metropolitan areas and traffic congestion go hand-in-hand. Like other states, Nevada has its share of peak traffic times that may lead to travel delays.

Inrix’s Traffic Score Card ranks Reno as the second most traffic-congested city in the Silver State and 51st in the U.S. As noted below, in 2018, Reno residents spent 52 hours in traffic.

CityHours Lost in Congestion (2018)Cost of Congestion (Per Driver)Inner City Travel Time (Minutes)
Las Vegas63$8834
Reno52$7243

In the morning and evening rush hours, average speeds reached 29 mph. At off-peak times, they increased to 38 mph and rose to almost 50 mph in free-flowing traffic.

Transportation-related costs averaged under $1,000 yearly per driver.

Transportation

According to Data USA, on average, Reno commuters spend less time on the road, 18.7 minutes, than the typical U.S. worker (25.1 minutes). Also, just over 1 percent of the Reno workforce has a super commute longer than 90 minutes.

Regarding the most popular types of commuter transportation, many Reno commuters drove alone (76 percent), followed by those who carpooled (12 percent), and walked (4 percent).

Weather conditions sometimes affect commuters in Reno. As shown in the Associated Press video below, snow can slow traffic and even leave some drivers stranded on the roadside:

Busiest Highways

According to Moonshine Ink, 35,000 to 110,000 vehicles travel along Nevada interstates daily. As of 2019, in the past 10 years, traffic on the Nevada section of I-80 west of Reno has jumped by roughly one quarter.

This map of current highway traffic shows that stretches of I-80 and I-395 are among Reno’s busiest routes.

How safe are Reno streets and roads?

In this section, you’ll find out how many fatal accidents happened on Washoe County roads in 2018, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We’ll cover everything from the total fatalities by county to vehicle and railroad accidents.

Total fatalities by county:

  • Fatalities (all crashes) – 44 total
  • Fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC = .08+) – 8
  • Single-vehicle crash fatalities – 22
  • Fatalities in crashes involving speeding – 5
  • Fatalities in crashes involving a roadway departure – 8
  • Fatalities in crashes involving an intersection (or intersection related) – 15
  • Passenger car occupant fatalities – 11
  • Pedestrian fatalities – 11
  • Pedal cyclist fatalities – 1

Many of the accidents involved single vehicles and intersections.

Next, the figures below show the fatalities by road type and function class in Nevada.

Nevada Road TypeFatal Crashes
Freeway and Expressway6
Rural Interstate16
Urban Interstate22
Local31
Collector Arterial23
Minor Arterial87
Unknown6
Other99
Total Crashes2,922

Statewide, most of the accidents involved local and minor arterial roads. An arterial road is a high-capacity urban road. Depending on the amount of traffic, the arterial road may be classified as a highway or a minor arterial road.

A collector road gathers traffic from local roads and takes drivers to arterial roads.

Based on U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) data, the table below shows the number of railroad and highway crash incidents that happened in Washoe County from 2012 to 2016:

Calendar YearCityHighwayHighway User TypeRail Equipment TypeNon-Suicide FatalityNon-Suicide Injury
2013RenoSutro StreetPedestrianFreight Train01
2016SparksGalletti WayPedestrianFreight Train00

Fortunately, during the five years, few train/vehicle accidents occurred.

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report tracks the numbers of accident claims drivers make nationwide. According to Allstate claims data, the average U.S. driver will experience a collision once every 10.57 years.

In 2019, Reno ranked 25th out of 200 major cities on the report, up from 29th the prior year. The chart below shows residents’ insurance claim statistics.

Average Years
Between Collisions
2018
Best Drivers Report Ranking
Change in
Ranking
From
2018 to 2019
Relative Claim
Likelihood
(Compared to
National
Average)
Drivewise®
Hard Braking Events
per 1,000 Miles
11.2629+4-0.06121.9

Drivers in Reno went an average of 11 years between accident claims, and they were much less likely to file a claim compared to the national average. Unlike other cities nationwide, Reno drivers file fewer claims, and that shows in the city’s ranking on the report.

Ridesharing

Beyond regular taxi rides, below are the ridesharing services available in Reno. To show you how much they cost, we’ve included fare prices for a one-way trip from Reno-Tahoe International Airport to ZIP code 89501 in Reno, a 5.6-mile ride that takes an average of 13 minutes:

  • Blacklane – Blacklane luxury vehicles seat one to five people. Prices not available; does advance booking at fixed prices only.
  • Carmel – This company gives users the choice of riding in a sedan, a minivan, a stretch limousine, an SUV, or an SUV super-stretch limo. Rates vary depending on the vehicle you choose and your destination.
  • Lyft – This lowest cost Lyft service will grant you a request for a regular four-seat car. $16.
  • Lyft Plus – This is the best Lyft option for larger groups. A Lyft Plus car can seat six or more passengers. Fare prices tend to run higher than a regular Lyft ride to compensate van and SUV drivers for their higher vehicle running costs. $23.
  • Lyft Premier – Lyft’s luxury service. A request for a Lyft Premier will grant you a high-end four-seat car. $25.
  • Uber X – This budget service gives riders a regular-size car that seats four. $13.
  • Uber XL – Uber’s service for larger groups will seat up to six passengers. $23.

These are just estimates; the actual prices may differ. For example, Uber has upfront pricing that reflects its guaranteed rate, but it may add extra fees. Lyft reportedly varies its prices based on demand, known as surge pricing.

As shown above, Uber’s X budget service has the lowest rate. On the other hand, as a luxury service, Lyft Premier has the highest estimated price compared to other services, at $25.

RideGuru calculates for each rideshare company and each service option different fees and commissions that are taken from the total fares customers pay. They include booking fees (taken out upfront), commissions (that drivers must pay) and other adjustments and special fees applied due to surge and upfront pricing.

E-star Repair Shops

A program from Esurance, E-star helps drivers find the best repair shops in their areas. According to E-star, these are the top-six repair shops within 50 miles of Reno:

  • Caliber – Sparks
    2201 Glendale Ave.
    Sparks, NV 89431
    email: Sparks@CaliberCollision.com
    Phone: (775) 353-4400
    Fax: (775) 353-4410
  • Caliber – Reno
    935 Harvard Way
    Reno, NV 89502
    email: Reno@CaliberCollision.com
    Phone: (775) 324-1082
    Fax: (775) 324-0785
  • Diamond Auto Body
    150 S. Meadows Pkwy.
    Reno, NV 89511
    email: mike@diamondautobodyreno.com
    Phone: (775) 329-4090
    Fax: (775) 329-4096
  • Caliber – Carson City
    405 Moses St.
    Carson City, NV 89701
    email: carsoncity@calibercollision.com
    Phone: (775) 887-9099
    Fax: (775) 883-3406
  • Welcome Auto Body – Minden
    2589 Wildhorse Lane
    Minden, NV 89423
    Phone: (775) 267-9000
  • Welcome Auto Body
    1772 D St.
    South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
    email: welcomesautobodyca@juno.com
    Phone: (530) 544-6622
    Fax: (530) 541-5492

When your car needs repair, check out E-star shops to ensure you get quality service.

What is the weather like in Reno?

U.S. Climate Data reports that the average temperature in Reno is 54 degrees, which means it doesn’t get too hot or too cold there. The city receives little rainfall yearly, but it sees some snow.

Reno WeatherAverages
Annual High Temperature67.6°
Annual Low Temperature40.1°
Average Temperature53.85°
Average Annual Precipitation – Rainfall7.39 inches
Days per Year With Precipitation – Rainfall50 days
Annual Hours of Sunshine3,483 hours
Average Annual Snowfall22 inches

City-Data shows that Washoe County has had 25 natural disasters, which exceeds the U.S. average of 13. Four natural disasters have led to emergency declarations and three were presidential declarations.

Below is a breakdown of the causes of the disasters. Note: Some incidents may be assigned to more than one category.

  • Fires – 18
  • Floods – Four
  • Storms – Four
  • Snowstorms – Two
  • Hurricanes – One

Most of the natural disasters that hit Reno involve fires, floods, and storms. Given the risks involved, it makes sense to buy comprehensive car insurance for protection from these and other hazards that can damage your vehicle.

Is public transit available in Reno?

The major form of public transportation available in North Las Vegas is the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) Transit bus service.

At the regular fare price, a single bus ride costs $2. Riders can pay for their fares on the bus before they board. Day passes cost $3, and seven-day passes are $14.50.

The RTC website offers more details about the costs of seven-day, 15-day, and 30-day passes.

Children age 5 and younger ride free, but an adult must accompany them. Youths ages 6 to 18, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities may receive discounted fares if they show a valid identification (ID) when they board.

University of Nevada-Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College students, faculty, and staff ride free.

Are alternate transportation options available in Reno?

Lime, a bike and electric scooter rental company that operates in big cities nationwide, offers service in Reno. Costs average 15 cents per minute. You can use their mobile app to find the nearest scooter.

The company encourages renters to ride responsibly and obey local laws, which include the following:

  • Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in downtown Reno is illegal.
  • In downtown Reno, please ride on the right side of the road.
  • Ride with traffic and follow traffic laws.
  • Follow posted speed limits.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.
  • Please refer to the Washoe County RTC’s website for a map of pathways and bikeways in the region where riding bikes is legal.

Whether you drive a car, a bike, or a scooter, make sure that you ride safely and obey the law.

Is parking easy in Reno?

Reno offers metered parking throughout the city. The meters accept coins and credit/debit cards. They generally have a two-hour limit and are enforced Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and holidays are free.

Citizens who live in residential parking permit zones may apply for a parking permit at the City of Reno Neighborhood Services Office, 1 E. First Street, 12th Floor.

Each permit costs $11 for a six-month period or $22 for an annual pass (if eligible).

The office accepts applications Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Applications are available at the Reno website, but the city accepts them only in person.

Several parking lots and garages are available throughout Reno, too.

ChargeHub lists electric car charging stations within 10 miles of Reno. Most of them are Level 2. However, some Level 3 charging stations are also available. The main charging networks are Tesla and ChargePoint.

Drivers of electric, propane, compressed natural gas, or hydrogen-fueled vehicles may be eligible to participate in the city’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Parking Program. The permit is in place of parking meter payment only. All other parking restrictions apply.

How is the air quality in Reno?

Pollution from vehicle exhaust has been linked to health issues and even climate change. The pollution not only goes directly into the earth’s atmosphere, but it also reacts with other pollutants, which makes the situation worse.

Children and people with chronic illnesses can be most sensitive to the effects.

Below are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality levels for Washoe County from 2016 to 2018. The EPA calculates the Air Quality Index (AQI) for four major air pollutants under the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide.

For each of these pollutants, the EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health.

Details201620172018
Days With Air Quality Index (AQI)366365365
Good Days234202213
Moderate Days125159133
Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups7419
Unhealthy Days000
Very Unhealthy Days000

The AQI measurements stayed about the same during the three years. However, the number of days unhealthy for sensitive groups more than doubled.

Vehicle emissions tests are required in Reno, Sparks, Washoe Valley, and most of the area west of Washoe Valley. Testing is also needed north and east of Reno between Interstate 80 and the 40th degree of north latitude about halfway through Pyramid Lake.

Military/Veterans

When it comes to car insurance discounts, active members of the military and veterans may feel left out. The process of finding deals based on your status can be time-consuming and frustrating.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In this section, we’ll cover military discounts the top insurers offer and include some interesting facts about local veterans and average insurance rates to round out the experience.

Let’s get ready to read on.

Veterans by Service Period

Data USA reports that Reno has a large population of military personnel who served in Vietnam (5,480), which is two times greater than any other conflict. They were followed by veterans of the most recent Gulf War (2,635 people).

These numbers are slightly higher than the national average.

Military Bases Within an Hour

No military bases are within an hour of Reno.

Military Discount by Providers

If you are or were in the U.S. military, most car insurance companies will want to give back by serving you. Many of them offer military discounts.

Below is a list of known providers who give military discounts. We excluded those who offer military discounts only to certain states.

CompanyPercentage Saved With Discount
FarmersN/A
Geico15%
Liberty Mutual (must be active duty)4%
MetLife15%
USAA*N/A

*USAA gives a 15 percent military garage discount for storing cars on a military base.

USAA Available in State

USAA provides car insurance only to U.S. military personnel and their families. The company’s insurance premiums tend to cost less than those of standard insurers.

Below, you’ll see how USAA’s and other insurers’ rates compare to the average annual full-coverage premiums in Nevada.

GroupAnnual PremiumCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to State Average (%)
Allstate$5,371.62$509.9210.49%
American Family$5,441.18$579.4811.92%
Farmers$5,595.56$733.8615.09%
Geico$3,662.09-$1,199.61-24.67%
Liberty Mutual$6,201.55$1,339.8527.56%
Progressive$4,062.57-$799.13-16.44%
Nationwide$3,477.14-$1,384.56-28.48%
State Farm$5,796.34$934.6419.22%
Travelers$5,360.41$498.7110.26%
USAA$3,069.07-$1,792.64-36.87%

As shown, USAA offers the best rates in Nevada, at 37 percent less than the cost of the annual state average premium.

Unique City Laws

It’s not always easy to stay current. If you’re not up-to-date on local laws, you could break some without realizing it.

Here we’ll cover some interesting laws that set the “Biggest Little City in the World” apart: hands-free, food truck, tiny home, and parking regulations.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Hands-Free Laws

Reno has no city-specific cellphone laws. In the state of Nevada, drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices while they’re behind the wheel. Nevada also bans all drivers from texting.

Texting, using the internet, and operating handheld devices while driving have been illegal in Nevada since 2011. Drivers can talk on the phone with hands-free devices. Violators face a $50 fine for their first conviction in seven years, $100 for a second offense, and $250 for all other infractions.

Fines may double if the distracted driving event occurred in a work zone. First offenses are not seen as moving violations. For more details, see the Nevada DMV’s distracted driving manual.

Food Trucks

In Reno, food truck operators must obey the following rules:

  1. All mobile vendors involved in the sale or handling of any type of food must carry a license from the city and maintain a valid Washoe County Health District permit.
  2. The city requires a separate license for any mobile vending activity. A business owner can’t operate a mobile vending vehicle or unit under an existing business license.
  3. A mobile vendor may have more than one vehicle or unit under one business license. However, each vehicle must be named as a part of the business description on the application with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the license plate.

Anyone who violates these regulations may face penalties.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes appeal to people who want to simplify their lives. Before you abandon standard housing, you should be aware that tiny homes often must follow specific regulations.

The Reno city council has expressed interest in encouraging more tiny homes to be built to relieve homelessness, but building costs, including sewer hookups, remain high. The city is looking into creating zoning codes for small homes.

Parking Laws

Reno requires vehicles to be parked parallel to the edge of the roadway facing traffic, with the right wheels within 18 inches of the curb or side of the road (except on one-way streets and in culs-de-sac).

Reno Car Insurance FAQs

Though we’ve given you a lot of information, you may have lingering questions. This section is here to answer more questions about Reno and your car insurance options there. Read on to learn even more.

Does it snow in Reno, Nevada?

As we mentioned earlier regarding commutes and weather, it snows occasionally in “The Biggest Little City.” Annually, the average snowfall isn’t significant. Reno averages 22 inches of snow per year, which is lower than the U.S. average of 28 inches yearly.

Is it cheaper to live in Reno or Las Vegas?

Living in Las Vegas costs roughly 4 percent less than in Reno. Las Vegas housing costs are also 26 percent lower than those of Reno.

How far is Tahoe from Reno?

According to DistanceFromTo.net, South Lake Tahoe and Reno are 42 miles or 68 kilometers apart.

How much does car insurance cost in Nevada?

The amount you pay for car insurance, as we mentioned earlier, can vary based on where you live, any offenses on your driving record, discounts you may qualify for, and other aspects.

In 2014, the average annual cost of a full coverage car insurance premium in the Silver State was $1,083.42, which was more than $200 less than the national average of $1,311 per year.

What is the minimum auto insurance coverage in Nevada?

It’s unsafe to drive without insurance, and in Nevada, you must carry it if you drive there. Nevada state insurance laws require drivers to buy car insurance in the following minimum amounts:

  • $25,000 per person – to cover potential bodily injury or deaths from an accident the driver caused
  • $50,000 per accident – to insure total bodily injury or deaths from an accident the driver caused
  • $20,000 per accident – to cover all property damage from an accident the driver caused

Liability insurance covers property damage expenses, medical bills, and other costs any driver, passenger, or pedestrian incurs from an accident you cause.

But those are just the minimum requirements. To better protect yourself and others, if you can afford it, you should buy more coverage than mandated.

In Nevada, whoever causes an accident is responsible, or at fault, for any damages. If you lack enough insurance to cover all of the costs, you may need to pay out of pocket.

This video further explains liability insurance in Nevada:

Liability insurance also won’t cover damages someone else causes, so you may need medical payments (also known as MedPay), Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or collision coverage to pay for those.

Is car insurance more expensive in Nevada than in California?

In the cost battle between two neighboring states who bear the nicknames of precious metals, there can be only one victor. According to 2014 numbers, the average annual cost of a full coverage premium in the Silver State is $1,083.42.

Yet, for the lowest rates, the prize goes to the Golden State, with an average annual price of $951.75 for car insurance premiums.

Again, how much you may pay often comes down to where you live, your driving record, and other factors insurers use to assess accident risks.

How about that? We’ve come to the end of this “can’t-miss” guide. We hope you found it helpful.

If you’re ready to start comparing auto insurance rates, enter your ZIP code in our free tool.

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