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|Density||1,996 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Tallahassee||$3,034.56|
|Cheapest Insurance Company||1 USAA|
2 State Farm
Back in the early 1800s, politicians in Florida had a choice.
They were splitting time between the two most populous areas in Florida—St. Augustine and Pensacola—but the travel was wearing on all of them.
They decided on a middle ground.
Tallahassee was the spot right between the two major cities, essentially a marker on the map, but it was designated the capital. They met in a small log cabin, the only thing left after Andrew Jackson had burned the city down during the First Seminole War.
Today, Tallahassee is a motley mix of things—an agricultural hub that serves the Panhandle and Southern Georgia, a political hub for state and federal agencies, and an education center.
With one of the top public universities in the country.
That development, from the 1800s with its cotton and horses to today, with its various goods and its political machinations, brought along one thing, something most of us use on a daily basis: cars.
And with cars came car insurance.
If you’re on this page today, you’re either looking for car insurance for yourself, for a family member, or for a friend. If you’ve researched car insurance, you may have found it to be confusing.
There are technical terms like GAP coverage and hard-braking incidents. There are tricky terms like collision and comprehensive. There are industry terms like deductibles and premiums.
It may have given you a headache. You may have wanted to hit your head against a wall.
We get you. We understand. And we’ve got your back.
In this guide, we take the confusing and clear it up. We take the complicated and make it simple. We take the technical and demystify it.
This guide covers just about everything, from the factors car insurance companies use to set rates, to the rates themselves, to companies, to major highways, to vehicle theft, and much more.
It is the complete guide to car insurance for Tallahassee.
Ready? We’re going to take a ride through the City of Seven Hills.
The Cost of Car Insurance in Tallahassee
Imagine this. You’re going to the mailbox, hoping for numerous unsolicited checks to cash, when you pull an envelope from your car insurance company. You’ve been dreading this moment. Maybe you’ve had an accident or gotten a ticket. Maybe you’ve gotten divorced or lost your home.
You open it up, worry spreading. You can the bill, see the bold numbers and think—how did they get that?
We know. We get it. We understand.
There are many factors that go into a person’s car insurance rate, some of them well-known and others that are more surreptitious, things you might not have thought of but influence all the same.
From homeownership to marriage, from age to gender, from commute rates to coverage level rates, this is the cost of car insurance in Tallahassee.
Male vs Female vs Age
Stop me if you’ve heard this story.
Jimmy is a 17-year-old who just got his first car. He’s excited. He can drive to school, take girls out on dates, even work someplace farther away.
He gets into his car, fires it up, and shifts it into gear. He is so excited that he floors it—right through the garage wall.
Statistically speaking, 17-year-olds aren’t very good at driving. They are inexperienced and prone to risky behavior and car insurance companies understand that. They set rates accordingly.
Gender, age, marital status all factor in when it comes to companies setting car insurance rates. But how much?
In Tallahassee, the median age is 26.6. This is right around the period when rates drop significantly, from that teenager/young adult rate to the more established in my twenties rate.
The statistics below and generally all statistics dealing with car insurance are taken from our partner Quadrant, who has the insider track within the car insurance industry.
|35||60||17||25||Cheapest Rate||Cheapest Age|
The drop between a 17-year-old and a 25-year-old is around $4,900, the biggest drop between the four categories. From 25 to 35, it’s $400 and 35 to 60 it’s $200.
How does this vary from male to female?
- Male average premium: $3,933.92
- Female average premium: $3,721.31,
That’s a $200 difference. Insurance companies believe that males are more dangerous drivers than females and more likely to file claims.
This assumption is not necessarily incorrect; it’s backed by evidence.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), males are more likely (much more) to die in fatal car accidents. They write,
Men typically drive more miles than women and more often engage in risky driving practices including not using safety belts, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding.
So, it not unwarranted. Now, how does this all factor in with marriage?
|Married 60-year old female||$2,346.94|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,394.96|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,566.59|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,612.89|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,881.58|
|Single 25-year old male||$3,093.54|
|Single 17-year old female||$7,043.85|
|Single 17-year old male||$8,531.00|
All mashed up, a single 17-year-old male has the highest rate at around $8,500. A married 60-year-old woman has the lowest rate, at around $2,300.
Insurance companies believe that someone who is married is more responsible and less likely to risks, including weaving in and out of traffic while speeding.
There are some states that want to do away with some of these factors for car insurance, including the use of gender. California is the sixth full state to ban that practice.
Cheapest Zip Codes in Tallahassee
Have you heard this story?
It’s a story of two neighbors, each with the same car insurance company and the same practice. They were both good drivers—no infractions, no accidents. They decided to compare rates. One had rates $200 higher than the other.
Where you live has a significant impact on your car insurance rates.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, two neighbors can have differences of hundreds of dollars in rates just because they live in different zip codes.
Insurance companies use zip codes as a way to predict how likely a person will file a claim. One zip code may have more theft or vandalism than another or more accidents.
In Tallahassee, fortunately, the rates per zip code are fairly level.
|Zip Code||Average Rates|
There’s just one that is different—32305 for $3,063.69, about $30 higher than the rest. That zip code is located on the southern side of Tallahassee in a higher crime area.
Many lawmakers are pushing to get rid of zip codes as a way to determine rates, including one state, Michigan, passing a law eliminating the use of non-driving factors in setting rates.
What’s the Best Car Insurance Company in Tallahassee?
One of the things you might have done in your research is to look at the prices for each company; which ones are the cheapest, for instance?
This is a major factor. In this section, we’ll take you through all of that—average rates by company and then rates by the company according to categories like commute time and credit history.
When we’re done, you’ll have the secret recipes car insurance companies use to set your rates. It’s time to eat some Florida rock shrimp.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
The average insurance premium for companies in Tallahassee can vary for numerous reasons:
- The likelihood they believe their clients will file claims
- The cost of doing business, including operating costs and salaries for employees
- The type of plans they offer with different coverage limits
Cheapest is not necessarily the best, nor is the most expensive necessarily the worst. You can use the scroll bar for the table below to see the average rates.
|Group||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Average|
Most of the companies are fairly spread out with their average premiums.
- The two cheapest are USAA and State Farm, with $2,500 and $3,000 respectively
- Geico and Nationwide are next, both around $3,600
- Then the top three are: Liberty Mutual ($4,000), Progressive ($4,700), and Allstate ($6,000)
One way to differentiate the bunch is to look at an additional component to companies; such as, how much are their customers satisfied.
Fortunately, J.D. Power has done this for us. J.D Power releases an annual study that covers customer satisfaction for various major car insurance companies.
In its 2018 Florida study, USAA is rated the highest, followed by Allstate, State Farm, Geico, and Liberty Mutual. Progressive and Nationwide are near the bottom, lower than companies like Travelers.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
Commute rates or annual mileage also affect your rates. Insurance companies believe that the more a person drives, the more likely they are to get into an accident or have a ticket.
Essentially, how likely they are to file a claim.
|Group||10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage||25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage||Average|
Five companies out of the seven change their rates according to commute distance or annual mileage. Some of those changes are small (Geico for $35) and some large (Allstate for $350).
Progressive and Nationwide don’t change their rates at all.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
Coverage level rates can vary for numerous reasons, including the amount of coverage you get (liability plus collision, for instance) or for the coverage limits themselves (the payout).
The biggest split between high and low coverage levels is Allstate with about $2,000. The smallest split is USAA at about $500. Most are between $500 and $1,100.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
It’s a number that determines what interest rates you get on credit cards, home loans, and auto loans. It determines whether you’ll be offered an opportunity to rent an apartment. It’s your credit score, and it impacts more than just those things; insurance companies use it to set your car insurance rates.
Unlike your FICO score, however, insurance companies use their own credit score to determine your rates according to Consumer Reports, which did an exhaustive study on car insurance premiums.
So what do those rates look like in Tallahassee?
Having a good credit score versus a poor credit score can make a difference of thousands of dollars.
The biggest split is with Allstate, with about a $4,000 difference between a good credit score and a poor credit score. The smallest is with Nationwide—about a $1,400 difference.
Averaging the good credit scores and poor credit scores shows how much more you have to pay if you have a poor credit score on average.
- The average rate for a good credit score: $2,887.04
- The average rate for a poor credit score: $5,381.38
The difference is about $2,500.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
And the one factor that everyone seems to want to be used is your driving record. Insurance companies use this as well, factored in with your zip code, credit history, and more.
In Tallahassee, a single infraction can cost you thousands of dollars.
|Group||Clean record||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 speeding violation||Average|
An infraction, when all the violations are averaged out, will cost you about $1,000. Of course, this varies according to the infraction.
You might ask: If I have one of these infractions, which company should I choose?
- The best company for 1 speeding ticket: USAA ($2,100)
- The best company for 1 accident: USAA ($2,500)
- The best company for 1 DUI: State Farm ($3,000)
Certain infractions are more expensive than others.
|Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding||Average|
One accident and one speeding ticket are only separated by $100—$700 to $800 higher than a clean record. One DUI is the most expensive infraction, about $1,600 more than a clean record. Of course, if you get a DUI, you probably have more important issues to solve than worrying about the rate of your car insurance.
Car Insurance Factors in Tallahassee
As we’ve learned, insurance companies use numerous factors to set rates. Commute distances, credit scores, gender, age, these all play a role.
But there are some factors about car insurance that don’t have to do with the setting of your rates. These are the contextual factors, the things that are larger than an individual.
You may have tried to research some but had difficulty finding information about them. We understand. We’ve got you covered.
For this section, we take a look at Tallahassee—its residents, its median income level, its homeownership, and more.
And we look to calculate just how much Tallahassians pay for car insurance, as a percentage of their income.
Strap on your safety belts. We’re hitting the interstate for a broad glance at Tallahassee.
Median Household Income
How much you pay on car insurance depends not just on your rate; it depends on how much you are making, of what percentage of your income are you paying on your premium (PaPI).
The following numbers and all the graphs in every section but Major Highways come from DataUSA.io, an organization uses government data to create detailed profiles about cities.
For Tallahassians, the median household income is $42,418. This is lower than the United States, Florida, and Leon County.
- The median household income of the United States: $57,652
- The median household income of Florida: $50,883
- The median household income of Leon County: $49,941
Because the average car insurance premium in Tallahassee is $3,034.56, the percentage of income they’re spending on car insurance is 7.15 percent.
This number is in line with some other cities in Florida.
|City||Median Income Level||Average Car Insurance Premium||Premium as % of Income|
Here, Gainesville residents pay the highest percentage of their income on car insurance premiums at 7.94 percent. This is likely because its median household income is the lowest.
Jacksonville residents pay the smallest percentage of their income on premiums at 6.7 percent. Its median household income is also $9,000 higher than Tallahassee’s and more for the rest.
To see what your PaPI is, put your information into the calculator below.
Homeownership in Tallahassee
Whether or not you own a home can also impact your car insurance rates. Why? Insurance companies believe that a homeowner is more responsible and more financially secure.
When looking at homeownership in Tallahassee, we looked at two parts: property values and the rent-to-own percentage. In this graph (and in all graphs), Tallahassee is represented in orange.
Most of the homes in Tallahassee are valued between $100,000 and $400,000 with the largest category between $200,000 and $250,000.
The rent-to-own numbers show how many owners of homes are occupying the home; i.e., how many people are renters. In Tallahassee, the rent-to-own statistic is 40 percent, meaning 40 percent of those occupying homes are homeowners.
This is much lower than the United States, Florida, and Leon County.
- United States: 63.8 percent
- Florida: 64.8 percent
- Leon County: 52.6 percent
Tallahassee is known as a college town and as we’ll see in the next few sections, the youth of Tallahassians and relatively low-income level impact everything from wages to poverty levels.
Education in Tallahassee
In Tallahassee, there are three major universities of colleges listed on DataUSA.io’s Tallahassee page are Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee Community College, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
Those three colleges combined for over 18,000 degrees in 2016:
- FSU: 12,825
- Tallahassee Community College: 3,111
- Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University: 2,333
A quick look at the bachelor’s degree concentrations for students reveals a broad picture of different majors and academic categories.
The leading three concentrations are General Psychology (804 degrees), Criminal Justice – Safety Studies (648 degrees), and General Finance (548 degrees).
One-two year post-secondary concentrations are less varied, with a focus on personal and culinary services and health.
The top three concentrations were General Cosmetology (326 degrees), Massage Therapy (71 degrees), and Welding Technology (41 degrees).
Wage by Race & Ethnicity in Common Jobs
Back to the wages thing. How much you earn affects the percentage of your income you’re paying on car insurance.
But an important look at the wage starts with the all-important question: do wages vary according to race and if so, by how much?
In Tallahassee, wages vary by race, with no particular trend (except that whites are generally in the top two highest-earning races).
Some of these differences are significant; some are much smaller. A breakdown of each race according to their income and their premium as a percentage of income shows variance and how much an extra burden that lost money can be.
|Race/Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers||Premium as % of Income||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||Premium as % of Income|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||$69,397||4.37%||$33,520||9.05%|
|Two or More Races||$68,409||4.44%||$39,183||7.74%|
The spread between the highest-earning race (Asians) and the lowest-earning (Other) is $48,000 within miscellaneous managers. That’s a difference in 2.5 percent for the premiums as a percentage of income.
For elementary and middle school teachers, the difference between the highest-earning race (Whites) and the lowest-earning (American Indian) is $13,000. The difference in PaPI is actually larger at 3.3 percent.
The closer the premium gets to the income level, the more weight is; a small shift in income ($2,000-$3,000) at $30,000 is felt more dramatically than if that same shift occurred at $80,000 of income.
In general, it’s well known that certain races make more than others and that minorities usually make less than whites, sometimes significantly less. As the Economic Policy Institute notes, this affects certain minorities more than others.
Fortunately, there are some organizations calling attention to this.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
It is also well known that women make less money than men, earning about 85 percent of what men make, according to the Pew Research Center, calendar year to the calendar year.
Complicating the issue is where women work, specifically in what industry. One study found that women, while making up just 47 percent of the workforce, work 58 percent of the jobs that pay $11 an hour or less.
Regardless, the gender wage gap has been around since women entered the workforce. Tallahassee, unfortunately, is not an exception to this issue.
Women lag behind men in pay for every category. This makes the premiums as a percentage of income different for each gender, raising the females and lowering the males.
|Occupation||Male Salary||Premium as % of Income||Female Salary||Premium as % of Income|
|Elementary & Middle School Teachers||$47,064||6.45%||$43,727||6.94%|
There’s a $25,000 pay gap between men and women within miscellaneous managers, for a difference of 1.2 percent for PaPI.
Within elementary and middle school teachers, there is a $3,300 pay gap, for a difference of .5 percent for PaPI.
Although it’s just a slight difference within elementary and middle school teachers, it is still surprising, as teaching is a female-dominated profession.
Poverty by Age and Gender
As mentioned earlier, Tallahassee is a college town with tens of thousands descending on Tallahassee for nine months out of the year. As such, the poverty statistics are somewhat skewed; the majority of those in poverty might be students.
Overall, 27.1 percent of people in Tallahassee live below the poverty line, which is based on income thresholds from the Census Bureau.
The largest block is within the 18-24-year-olds: 28 percent of the females are living in poverty, along with 26.9 percent of males.
The next largest is 25-34-year-olds but much less so: 6.7 percent of females and 6.1 percent of males.
As such, it is easy to see that the group most likely to be in college is the group that is most likely to be in poverty.
The rest of the blocks, even 25-34-year-olds included, are beneath seven percent, which is well below the national poverty line of 13.4 percent.
Poverty by Race & Ethnicity
When it comes to poverty by race and ethnicity, it’s important to look at the overall racial/ethnic make-up of Tallahassee first to get a gauge on the distribution of races by percentage.
A little over 50 percent of Tallahassians are white, followed by roughly 35 percent being black, and less than 10 percent for each of the remaining categories. How does this shake out with poverty share?
In this graph, which is based on percentage share (meaning all races have to add up to 100 percent), whites and blacks are about equal, with Hispanics far beneath.
Whites are about evenly represented when compared to their population share, while blacks are over-represented in percentage share; meaning more blacks are in poverty compared to whites in terms of proportion to population sizes.
Fortunately, as with some of these other issues, there are organizations looking to make progress in this area.
Employment by Occupations
In 2017, the total workforce in Tallahassee grew from 94,100 employees to 95,300 employees, amounting to 1.36 percent job growth.
Overall, the workforce in Tallahassee is fairly varied, with an emphasis on management, education, science, legal, and arts occupations (in orange).
The most common jobs overall are split between administrative/sales and education/training positions:
- Office & Administrative Support Occupations: 15.3 percent; 14,586 people
- Sales and Related Occupations: 11.5 percent; 10,919 people
- Education, Training, & Library Occupations: 9.93 percent; 9,464 people
Overall, 42,900 people worked in management, education, science, legal, and arts occupations, around 45 percent in the workforce.
The largest categories were Education, Training, & Library Occupations (9,464 people), Management Occupations (8,672 people), and Business & Financial Operations Occupations (6,212 people).
Driving in Tallahassee
You’re driving down the highway, listening to T-Pain, one of Tallahassee’s finest, when you see a hole in the center of your lane.
You swerve, thinking you missed it, then suddenly one of your wheels dips.
You think—that sounded expensive.
Road conditions are more than just a pain; they cost you money in blown tires, busted fenders, and shattered headlights.
We understand and feel your pain. This section has got you covered.
From road conditions to major highways, from vehicle theft to vehicle fatalities, with sections on repair shops, speed traps, how good (or bad) Tallahassee’s drivers are, and, of course, those popular road trip sites…this is Driving in Tallahassee.
Give it a little gas. We’re taking a drive around Leon County (and beyond).
Watch out for those speed traps.
Roads in Tallahassee
You’re sitting at home one day, reading through People Magazine, when you take a look at your bank account. Cha-ching.
You get on the phone, starting chatting with your best friends or your significant other. It’s road-tripping time, but you don’t know where.
From major highways to road conditions, popular road trip destinations and those pesky red light cameras, these are the roads in Tallahassee.
Highways are an important part of every city, funneling traffic from different parts while providing organization to traffic. Tallahassee has eight major highways running through it or around it, including one privately-owned tollway.
|Interstate/Highway||Length (Miles)||Toll Road|
|U.S. Route 27||496||No|
|U.S. Route 90||409||No|
|U.S. Route 319||303||No|
|State Road 20||358||No|
|State Road 61||57||No|
|State Road 363||20||No|
|Orchard Pond Parkway||5||Yes|
The eight highways span over 2,000 miles in the United States, including five highways over 300 miles. One of those is a State Route, which shows how large Florida is.
Orchard Pond Parkway is the lone toll road, spanning just five miles on the outside of Tallahassee, serving as a by-pass for the larger city. It moves northeast to northwest and opened in 2016.
Florida has over 700 miles of toll roads, the most of any state. What do you do when you encounter one? There are three options to choose from, with start-up costs ranging from $10 to $30.
|Name||Type||Area Covered||Options||Start-Up Cost|
|SunPass||Wireless Transponder||All FL Toll Roads||SunPass Mini|
|E-PASS||Wireless Transponder||Central FL||Sticker|
|Toll-By-Plate||License Plate Reader||Various roads||License Plate||Pay as You Go|
SunPass seems to be the most popular, covering most of the toll roads in the state. It’s also the official electronic toll payment program in Florida, run by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Popular Road Trips/Sites
Got a day off and a full tank of gas? Check out these four must-see destinations just hours from Tallahassee.
- St. George Island (1 hour 50 minutes; 78 miles): Home to a state park and some of the most high-valued multi-million dollar houses long the Gulf of Mexico, St. George Island has a little something for everyone—a public district with restaurants and bars, a state park with bird-watching, and miles of beaches that are uncrowded and great for seashell collecting. The Island is also pet-friendly, so you’re free to bring your dog; just keep him or her on a leash.
- Ginnie Springs: (2 hours 10 minutes; 132 miles): Home to some of the best scuba diving in the area, Ginnie Springs is perfect for snorkelers and divers looking for a taste of inner-Florida marine life. Swim with the manatees, dive in the caves, kayak through the seven crystal-clear springs, camp alongside the springs, and experience the water of this beautiful slice of nature.
- Seacrest Wolf Preserve (1 hour 30 minutes; 97 miles): Home to Pecos the Coyote and three species of wolves, the Seacrest Wolf Preserve presents an opportunity to interact with someone of nature’s more reclusive animals. With Gray, Arctic, and British Columbian wolves, parents, children, and other people experience the beauty of wolves in a safe, relaxing space.
- St. Augustine (3 hours; 204 miles): Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is considered the oldest city in the continental United States. Today, it is home to some of the oldest buildings in the U.S., including history Spanish houses, historic churches, and a school for the deaf and the blind. Take a walk on the cobblestone streets, eat amazing seafood at the oceanside restaurants, and check out the quaint cafes.
Back to those road conditions. In Tallahassee, the roads are good, with just a vehicle operating cost (VOC) of $319.
|Poor Share||Mediocre Share||Fair Share||Good Share||Vehicle Operating Cost|
This is much better than some other cities where the VOC can run much higher than that. However, there are still 32 percent of roads with a poor or mediocre share. What does this mean?
Edgar Synder and Associates, a law firm, has some answers. A poor condition road might have the following:
- Clear zone issues: Obstacles in the middle of the road that a person has to swerve to avoid
- Positive guidance: Poorly painted lines or missing or hidden signs that make it difficult to navigate
- Shoulder drop-off: When the shoulder drops off more than two inches, causing a hazard
- Wheel ruts: Where tires get stuck in a particular place on the road, making it difficult to turn or steer
- Potholes: Holes in the road that can cause damage to a car when the car’s tires dip in
There are always those kinds of roads in a city. Watch out for them and be careful. A broken tire is one thing; an accident is something else entirely.
Does Your City Use Speeding or Red Light Cameras?
The answer for Tallahassee: It appears not, at least since 2015.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the city discontinued the red light camera program in 2015, five years after they started it. Generally, when a city cancels it’s due to driver complaints, many of which center around the effectiveness of the cameras.
But in the case of Tallahassee, it was different: The cameras actually worked. The Tallahassee Democrat writes:
The number of red-light violations dropped from 20,122 in fiscal year 2011 to 8,097 in fiscal year 2014, a decline of nearly 60 percent, according to city documents.
Essentially, the program stopped producing revenue; therefore, it wasn’t feasible financially to continue it. The red light cameras generated $6.3 million between its start and December 2013. Most of that went to the state government and the vendor.
Still, there are certain lawmakers at the state level who want to eliminate it statewide. There are always concerns about their constitutionality and of course, that all-important question—do they actually work?
Vehicles in Tallahassee
You’re driving down State Road 61 when you decided to give it a little gas.
The car speeds up a little and you feel that rush of adrenaline, then suddenly you spot someone lurking in a ditch. You brake hard but it’s too late—as you pass, the blue lights come on and the cop on a motorcycle speeds up behind you. Speed traps are an annoyance and they cost people money. So what are the ones in Tallahassee?
In this section, we’ve got that and more, including that all-important section on vehicle theft; what are the crime statistics in Tallahassee and how can you keep your car safe from thieves.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
Have you ever wondered which cars are the most popular in your area? It’s a tough thing to find; however, YourMechanic, which services cars in over 2,000 cities, has something of an answer.
For its statistics, they look at the cars that are being serviced in its garages; whether they’re Porsches, muscle cars, hybrids, Subarus, and more. Tallahassee makes it into each category.
- The American Car Index (cars made in America): 50 percent
- Most Unusually Popular Car in City: Honda Accord
- The Hybrid Index: .7 percent
- The Muscle Car Index: 13.3 percent
- The Subaru Index: 1 percent
And because Porsche’s are a classic, go-fast status car, what is the percentage of cars that are Porsches in Tallahassee? Not many at all it turns out—.2 percent.
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How Many Cars Per Household
Most American families have two cars per household, followed by a near-even distribution of one and three cars. How does this shakeup with Tallahassee?
Most Tallahassian families have two cars, with the next largest by a wide margin is one car. This makes sense, as there are tens of thousands of students living in Tallahassee each year.
As such, the categories for three, four, and five cars are much lower than the U.S. averages.
Households Without a Car
Now, how about those households without a car.
|2015 Households without Vehicles||2016 Households without Vehicles||2015 Vehicles per Household Rate||2016 Vehicles per Household Rate|
In Tallahassee, 6.9 percent of households are without a car in 2016, a number that is far down from 8.4 percent in 2015. However, it is still high.
Generally, not having a car disproportionately affects households that are under the poverty line, according to the Federal Highway Administration. And, as has been seen, the poverty level in Tallahassee is much higher than the United States average.
Those under the poverty line have increased mobility challenges, including paying for public transport, being restricted to a certain radius, having to rely on friends or family for rides, and having a more difficult time getting to work.
Tallahassee is a college town, so it makes sense on some level that a higher number of households wouldn’t have a car than typical, which is in line with the poverty line being much higher in Tallahassee than the U.S. average.
Speed Traps in Your City
Speed traps cost money, time, are a hassle, and an unfortunate encounter with a police officer, which is never fun.
So, what are the speed traps in Tallahassee? SpeedTrap.org is a website that allows users to submit speed traps in their areas, which can then be credited or discredited by other voters.
The good news: Tallahassee is not listed in the Top 10 Worst Florida Speed Trap Cities list. However, there are 50 speed traps listed on its page dated from 2001 to 2018. Some of the most recent have to deal with ditches and hills.
Numerous reports of as many as 20 – 30 FHP marked cars and SUVs hiding in ditches below I-10 grade lined up in rows like jackals waiting for motorists to exceed the posted 70 MPH limit and pouncing speeding themselves up and out of ditches startling and scaring other motorists as they wildly chase the lawbreakers.
One affects westbound traffic – the hiding spot is in the ditch just past the Centerville Road overpass (around Mile Post 205). You can’t see them until you’ve passed them, so it’s definitely a sneaky spot.
AS you are coming down the hill on Thomasville Road toward the I-10 Entrance about a half mile from the entrance, a city Police car will be on the right side in the dark waiting for you, this was late in the evening time around 11 PM.
It appears like the Florida Highway Patrol is the real deal. Always be aware of the ditches.
Vehicle Theft in Tallahassee
Having your car stolen is stressful, even when you’re not in the vehicle. And, unfortunately, Tallahassee has a higher motor vehicle theft rate than the U.S. average.
The following numbers come from NeighborhoodScout, which uses FBI data from the calendar year 2017 culled from over 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. They put this all together for different cities in America.
|Area||Motor Vehicle Theft (Total)||Motor Vehicle Theft Rate|
There are certainly ways to reduce the possibility of this, including various anti-theft devices (which come with car insurance discounts) and certain handiwork you can do to your vehicle itself.
Now, that’s just vehicle theft. How safe is Tallahassee on the whole?
|Tallahassee Total Crimes||Violent||Property||Total|
|Number of Crimes||1535||10,015||11,550|
|Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)||8.03||52.42||60.46|
In Tallahassee, you have a 60 in 1000 chance of being a victim of crime—52 for property crime and eight for violent crime. The statistics on the violent crime show Tallahassee is more dangerous on the whole than the average American city.
|Area||Murder (Total)||Murder Rate||Robbery (Total)||Robbery Rate||Assault (Total)||Assault Rate|
All the rates—for murder, robbery, and assault—are all almost double than the U.S. average rate. In particular, there is a 5 in 1000 chance a person will be assaulted in Tallahassee. Rape statistics were not included.
So, if you’re looking to stay safe and avoid violent crime, property crime, or motor vehicle theft, what are the safest neighborhoods in Tallahassee?
Overall, it’s important to stay safe and living in the safest neighborhoods can reduce the chance of being attacked, having something stolen, or having property damaged.
Traffic is the worst. Sitting in it, trying to reach your destination…even listening to one of Tallahassee’s own Linda Hargrove can’t help stem the headache coming on.
Traffic leads to missed meetings, late dates, and a great deal of blood pressure spiking. The natural inclination is to get your hand ready for the horn.
This section covers all things traffics from congestion to transportation and answers that all-important question—just how safe are Tallahassee’s roads—by drilling deep into fatality statistics.
Traffic Congestion in Florida
The good news: Tallahassee was not listed on two of the major traffic monitoring websites—INRIX and TomTom. However, they made the list on Numbeo, which generates statistics based on information submitted by online contributors.
While there are only nine contributors for the Tallahassee page, the numbers paint a picture. They include time spent in traffic (time index), the dissatisfaction of time spent in traffic (time experience index), and overall inefficiency (inefficiency index).
- Time spent in traffic (minutes): 24.56
- Time experience index: 24.56
- Inefficiency index: 139.23
Traffic in Tallahassee isn’t great but isn’t horrible compared to other cities.
Numbeo does note however that due to the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere from cars that it would take 70 trees per person to produce enough oxygen to cover that.
DataUSA.io backs Numbeo in terms of traffic congestion.
According to it, the average commute time is 17.8 minutes, which is much lower than the 25.1 minutes it takes for the average U.S. worker.
The majority of commutes are between 10 minutes and 24 minutes, a much higher percentage than the national average. As well, Tallahassee has a much smaller percentage of commutes over 35 minutes compared to the national average.
So, Tallahassee is much different in terms of commute time. The question then comes—how do Tallahassians get to work?
The percentages are fairly close to the United States averages. The vast majority drive to work, some carpool, and a very small amount do the rest.
It’s interesting to note that Tallahassians use public transport much less other cities; however, they also walk more to work, perhaps because the Universities are large employers in the area and people might live close to them.
How Safe Are Tallahassee’s Streets and Roads?
These numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which compiles and categorizes data for fatal crashes all across the country, and covers Leon County.
These categories are eight in number and include alcohol-impaired fatalities, roadway departures, speeding, and even people outside the car, like pedestrians.
With these numbers, a single crash can be assigned to multiple categories, which is why the more specific categories, when added, will not add up to the number of total fatalities at the top.
|Leon County Statistics||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
In these categories, four grow significantly within the five year period:
- Single-Vehicle: 8-25
- Roadway Departure: 7-18
- Passenger Car: 3-14
- Overall Fatalities: 18-34
Single-vehicle crashes are crashes when just one vehicle is involved. There are many factors that can cause a single-vehicle crash including the presence of alcohol or drugs, issues with poor road conditions, or simple fatigue.
One case of single-vehicle crashes is the roadway departure, which total account for over half of the traffic fatalities in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Many of these happen on rural roads, where, as the IIHS notes, the rate of fatal crashes is sometimes 2 points higher than on urban roads.
That raises the question: On what types of roads are these accidents happening, and how many accidents?
For this, the NHTSA uses a system called FARS, where all of the data is sorted into various categories. Road classification is one of those categories.
|Road Type||Fatal Crashes|
Highways and interstates are actually not the leading roadways in terms of fatalities; according to FARS, those are the arterial roads.
According to the FHWA, arterials can be broken up into principal arterials and minor arterials.
[Principal arterials] serve major centers of metropolitan areas, provide a high degree of mobility and can also provide mobility through rural areas. Unlike their access-controlled counterparts, abutting land uses can be served directly.
Minor Arterials provide service for trips of moderate length, serve geographic areas that are smaller than their higher Arterial counterparts and offer connectivity to the higher Arterial system.
Arterial roads are heavily trafficked and move a lot of people from place to place around a city, requiring a great deal of stopping, turning, and general awareness. That likely is part of the reason why they are so high in terms of fatalities.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Now, how about those Tallahassee drivers.
Every year, Allstate issues a report with data collected from at least 200 American cities. They test for numerous factors, including hard-braking events and how often the average person submits a claim. Then, the cities are ranked.
|2019 Best Drivers Report Ranking||Average Years Between Claims||Average Years Between Claims (National AVG)||Hard-Braking Events (per 1,000 miles)|
Tallahassee is ranked 42 out of 200, which is a positive ranking. The average claim time is about the same as the average city and the hard-braking events in Tallahassee are on-par or lower than the surrounding cities on the list.
Ridesharing is a good way to get around if you don’t have a car and also good for having a safe Friday night out without the need to drive. But how much does it cost in Tallahassee?
For this scenario, we looked at RideGuru for a hypothetical trip: from the Tallahassee International Airport to the Tallahassee Community College English Building, about five miles away.
The results showed a few service options.
- Uber: X $14
- Lyft: Regular $14
- RideYellow: $17
- Taxi: $17
- Carmel (Limo/Luxury): $47
While there don’t seem to be any special options (Lyft Lux, for instance), there are still ways to get around.
E-star Repair Shops
If you purchase car insurance through Esurance.com, you gain access to its E-star Direct Repair program, which matches you with high-quality repair shops around the country.
There are two within 50 miles of Tallahassee.
|Name of Facility||Address||Contact Information|
|UNIVERSAL COLLISION CENTER-PARKWAY||2345 APPALACHEE PARKWAY|
TALLAHASSEE FL 32301
|P: (850) 894-3600|
|SHEFFIELD AUTO & TRUCK BODY SHOP, INC||4325 W PENSACOLA ST|
TALLAHASSEE FL 32304
P: (850) 681-3633
F: (850) 681-0654
With the repair program, auto mechanics will take pictures of the progress that’s being made on your car and upload them to Esurance.com’s RepairView, where you can log in and review them.
Tallahassee is in Florida, which generally signifies sunny and warm. It is considered to have a humid subtropical climate, categorized by long summers and short, mild winters. It’s average temperatures follow as such.
In general, temperatures stay within 40 and 90 degrees. Tallahassee has many sunshine days, but also a high amount of rain.
|Average Sunshine||233 days|
|Average Annual Rainfall||59.21 inches|
And there is always the issue of natural disasters, which are larger in number (16) than the U.S. average (13). 12 of those disasters have been declared by a sitting president. Three were declared emergencies.
The causes of the natural disasters vary with hurricanes leading the way:
- Hurricanes – Six
- Tropical Storms – Five
- Fires – Three
- Floods – Three
- Storms – Two
- Tornadoes – Two
- Winds – Two
- Freeze – One.
- Note: One disaster can be assigned to multiple categories.
And it’s rare, but occasionally Tallahassee sees snowfalls—even if they are just one inch.
If you don’t have a car and don’t want to use ridesharing like Uber, it is always possible to get around Tallahassee using public transportation, in particular with the StarMetro.
The StarMetro is a bus service run by the Tallahassee City Government that spans more than just Leon County; it spans the entire metropolitan Tallahassee area.
Throughout the weekdays, there are 15 routes moving across the city and larger metro area. During the weekends and nights, those routes are a little more limited with Saturday having 12 routes, Sunday having four routes, and nights having four routes.
The fares are straightforward, with children under five and students from FAMU and FSU riding free, as well as transfers.
- One-trips have three fares to look out for: A discounted fare (60 cents), one-trip regular ($1.25), and Dial-A-Ride ($2.50).
- There are three passes available: one-day ($3.00), seveb-day ($10.00) (reduced fare $7.50); and monthly ($38.00) (reduced fare $19.00).
The reduced fare is for people 60 years or older, people with disabilities, or those with a medicare card. Dial-A-Ride is for people with disabilities who need a ride directly from their doorstep to a specific destination.
So, if you don’t have a car but want to get from place to place without walking, without using the bus or ridesharing? You have the new wave of options: the electric scooter.
On July 15th, 2019, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, up to 1,000 electric scooters were added to Tallahassee’s city limits. As the Tallahassee Democrat writes,
It’s part of a three-month pilot program to determine if the scooters are the right fit for the capital city and possibly lead to a long-term contract.
And according to WCTV, there’s a larger goal for the Tallahassee government:
The goal of the e-scooters is to get people out of their cars, and be more environmentally friendly. The City of Tallahassee has a mission of using 100% renewable energy by 2050.
The scooters ride up to 15 miles per hour and are allowed throughout the city on sidewalks and streets; however, they are not allowed on the campuses of Tallahassee Community College, FSU, or Florida A&M.
If the prices follow the formats of other cities, rides are likely to cost between $1 and $1.5 with extra money depending on riding distance.
Parking in Metro Areas
If you’re looking for parking in downtown Tallahassee, there are a few options.
On-street metered parking is 50 cents per hour, with time and pay staggered at six, 12, and 30 minutes. It is also free Saturday, Sunday, and after 5 pm.
If you want to park your car in a garage, you can try Kleman Plaza (24 hours/7 days per week operating hours) or Eastside Parking Garage (7 am – 8 pm, Monday through Friday).
Both are $2 for the first two hours, with Kleman 50 cents per hour and Eastside $1 per hour after that.
There are two surface parking lots as well, on Duval and Bronough Street respectively. For these four options, there are special rates for special events and for monthly passes.
Air Quality in Tallahassee
Air quality is important, as pollutants can cause problems for people with respiratory conditions and even those that are otherwise healthy.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists six major air pollutants on its website, including particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Cars undoubtedly cause some problems with air pollution, as evidenced by the movement towards hybrids.
For this overview of the air quality in Tallahassee, we looked at the EPA’s Air Quality Index Report, which measures air quality in cities, counties, and states all across the country.
|YEAR||DAYS WITH AQI||GOOD DAYS||MODERATE DAYS||UNHEALTHY DAYS FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS||UNHEALTHY DAYS|
Overall, Tallahassee has days split between good and moderate, with most in the good category. There are only two days that can be considered unhealthy, both in 2016.
That’s a good thing, as some cities have seen air pollution become unchecked, resulting in issues like these:
Being a military service member can be difficult—the hours, the work, the possibility of being deployed. But do you know what shouldn’t be difficult?
Finding your car insurance.
That’s why we’ve put together this section, to make things easier on service members looking for insurance.
Here, in this section, we’ll cover all the major points, taking a look at the veteran community in Tallahassee, what conflicts they’ve served in, what the nearest military base is, and company discounts.
We’ll also take a look at USAA—generally the cheapest company around. It’s time to get our boots on the ground. Hoo-hah.
Veterans by Service Period
Generally, in cities, the largest percentage of veterans who have served in an armed conflict comes from Vietnam. Here, there is no exception.
Vietnam and the two Gulf Wars are the top percentage shares, which is not unusual. Overall, the percentage of vets who served in Vietnam is 157 times greater than in any other conflict.
- Vietnam: 2,584 vets
- Gulf War (2001 – present): 1,645 vets
- Gulf War (the 1990s): 1,485 vets
Korean and World War II vets have low percentage shares in large part because they happened more than six decades ago.
Military Bases Within an Hour
Although there are no military bases within an hour of Tallahassee, there is a military base about two hours away—Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB).
About 12 miles east of Panama City, Tyndall houses about 3,000 service members and the 325th Fighter Wing of the Air Combat Command.
It was named after a famed World War I pilot in 1948, seven years after it opened as a gunnery range. It served as the primary air defense for the southeast during the 1960s and 70s.
It played crucial parts in the Cold War and recently made news as it sustained significant damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018, damaging many of the planes that were left exposed during the storm.
Military Discounts by Providers
Only three of the companies (other than USAA) offer discounts to military service members:
- Geico (must be active or retired personnel)
- Liberty Mutual (must be active personnel)
There is no additional information for Allstate; talking with an agent (for all three) can give you more information about what each discount entails.
USAA Available in Florida
But military service members, active, retired, and reserved, have an option that no other person has: USAA. And it is generally the cheapest insurance company.
|Group||Average Premium||Difference (+/-)||Difference (%)|
Within Florida, USAA’s average premium is roughly $1,800 less than the average for all companies and a full $4,600 beneath the most expensive company, Allstate.
Percentage-wise, USAA is 39 percent cheaper than the average. And according to J.D. Power, it is rated as the highest in customer satisfaction for Florida in 2018.
USAA also serves more than just service members; it serves their families as well. According to USAA, immediate family members like spouses and children can also get plans.
Unique City Laws
Every city has unique laws, some of which might be strange or stuck in the 1800s. In this section, we’ll look at four different categories of laws that affect just about everyone.
Bear with us, we know this is a lot of information. We’re almost home.
While Tallahassee doesn’t have any specific mobile device laws—according to a search through its city code—it does abide by state laws regarding mobile devices while driving.
Effective July 1st, 2019, texting and driving was moved to a primary offense, meaning officers can pull you over and issue a citation even if there is no other violation.
Using a handheld mobile device at all while driving through a construction zone (when workers are present) or a school zone is also a primary offense.
The first offense is a $30 citation, while the second is $60. Points are added to the driving record of the individual, according to the U.S. News World and Report.
These laws, of course, are an attempt to save lives, as thousands of drivers die each year in crashes where distracted driving has played a role.
Food trucks are popular throughout much of Florida, as they offer a cheaper alternative to starting a restaurant for entrepreneurs and a wide-range of food options and flavors for consumers.
In Florida, food trucks are regulated both at the state level and the city level. Tallahassee, like many cities, has its own ordinances regulating food trucks or mobile food dispensing vehicles (MFDVs).
There are four steps you need to take at the state level before you can start serving, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
- Review Permit Requirements
- Complete a Commisionary Letter of Agreement
- Submit a Food Establishment Inspection Application
- Pay Permit Fees
The permit requirement document lays out some rules and regulations for food trucks.
On raw milk:
Raw milk may contain harmful disease-causing bacteria and shall not be sold or provided for human consumption.
On storing food and supplies:
Food products and supplies must be stored only at permitted commissaries and warehouses and not in private residences.
All water used must be Potable Water (drinking water).
To operate as a food truck in Tallahassee, you’ll need a permit, for which the city of Tallahassee has an application.
You’ll need to complete a complete menu with prices, a picture of the vehicle, a copy of your state business license (from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) and more.
The application also has where you can operate from, whether you’re a food truck or a food vendor cart.
Food trucks can be very lucrative and have a little bit of a legacy, traced back to 1872.
Tiny homes are popular in Florida at large, with Cornerstone Tiny Homes, a building company specializing in tiny homes, serving Orlando and the surrounding area.
Tiny homes are also popular in Tallahassee, with one tiny house community, The Dwellings, sprouting up in Tallahassee in the past few years. So what are the regulations surrounding them?
While there don’t appear to be any specific laws governing tiny homes in the Tallahassee city code, there are always the following factors to be considered:
Zoning type: Generally, whether you can put a tiny home on your property depends on the zone where you want to put the tiny home. Even residential zones have different sub-types.
Use: What you use your tiny home affects whether the city will allow you to build it. A tiny home used as an art studio will have fewer regulations than one that is being used as a residence.
Whether it will be on wheels or not: This is a crucial question as often a tiny home on wheels will have a different designation in the city code than a tiny home that is attached to the ground.
When it comes to these issues, you can always search diligently through the city code or if you have more specific questions, talk to your planning department. You can always purchase insurance for your tiny home as well.
Every city, generally, has parking laws. What are some of the parking laws in Tallahassee? A quick search through its city code reveals ordinances for parking with dangerous cargoes, in handicap spots, and blocking hydrants.
it shall be unlawful for any person to place or park, or permit to be placed or parked, any such vehicle as described in subsection (a) above or any vehicle containing explosives as a cargo upon any street, alley or other public thoroughfare of the city
Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the momentary parking in a handicapped parking space for the purpose of loading or unloading a disabled person, and no penalties shall be imposed upon the driver for such momentary parking.
No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. The fine for such offense shall be set by resolution after a noticed public hearing.
There is a whole article devoted to stopping, standing, and parking. It’s worth a read if you have the time.
Tallahassee Car Insurance FAQs
Why Is Tallahassee the Capital of Florida?
Tallahassee was designated the capital of Florida in 1824 by Governor William Duval; it turns out, much of that was related to convenience. Back in 1824, St. Augustine and Pensacola were the two largest cities in Florida. Territorial councils were being held at both, alternating between the two. Tallahassee was right in the middle. So it was designated.
What Happens if I Get Into a Car Accident in Tallahassee?
Florida is considered a no-fault state, meaning that if you are in an accident, you have to receive financial recompensation from your own insurance company, based on your plan. Because of this, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for the damages to another person or their vehicle unless they sue you, which they can.
I’m a High-Risk Driver. How Do I Get Insurance in Tallahassee?
If you’re a high-risk driver in Florida, you have to get an SR-22 or FR-44, both of which are certificates of insurance or forms of financial responsibility. To get one, you’ll need to contact insurance companies, and if none are willing to give you one, you can try the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association. They are a last-ditch market for high-risk drivers.
Why Is Tallahassee so Hilly?
Tallahassee is in the Red Hills Region, a geomorphic area in northern Florida that stretches into southern Georgia. The area is marked by rolling hills, ravines, and gullies; most of it is covered by forests and lakes. The soil is red clay, deposited from the Appalachian Mountains during the last Ice Age. It is a bio-diverse environment, with many types of flora and fauna thriving.
What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements in Tallahassee?
In Florida, to have an active license plate and vehicle registration, you must have $10,000 in property damage liability insurance and $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). PIP pays for your medical bills and lost wages if you are in an accident and are injured. There are optional insurances you can pay for as well, including bodily liability, comprehensive, and collision.
What Is the Cost of Living in Tallahassee?
According to AreaVibes, the cost of living in Tallahassee is comparable to the average cost of living in the United States. Housing and utilities are cheaper, and transportation, healthcare, and goods and services are about even. The category that is more expensive is groceries. According to PayScale, a bunch of bananas costs $3.69 and a carton of eggs $1.99.
How Far Is Tallahassee From the Beach?
Carrabelle Beach, just an hour and 10 minutes south of Tallahassee, is the closest white, sandy beach to the City of Seven Hills. There are public restrooms, covered picnic tables, and convenient parking. While it may not be as large as St. George Island or have as many beaches, it is the closest and possibly less crowded. It’s also good, according to some reviews, for RVs.
That’s it. Now you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision about car insurance in Tallahassee.
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