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Cheap Car Insurance California: Full and Minimum Coverage

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  • Car insurance in California averages $51 per month for minimum-coverage policies and $193 each month for full coverage.
  • GEICO offers the lowest average prices in California for minimum coverage, while Mercury offers the cheapest full coverage option.
  • High-risk drivers with at-fault accidents, DUIs, and speeding tickets on their driving records often pay more for California car insurance.

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Typically, the most affordable car insurance in California is provided by GEICO, which offers an average price quote of $31 per month for minimum coverage. USAA offers the second-cheapest coverage for California motorists, making it another compelling option.

To determine the top car insurance companies in California, our team analyzed cost data, coverage options, customer feedback, and industry reputation. Our comprehensive research enables us to provide a detailed breakdown of each provider’s average costs, allowing you to find the best insurance options for you in the Golden State.

Best Car Insurance Rates in California

GEICO, USAA, and Progressive tend to offer the cheapest auto insurance rates for California drivers. Make sure to get quotes from various providers to determine which company has the lowest prices for your vehicle.

  • Our researchers used cost data from Quadrant Information Services to find insurance premium estimates for different coverage types, driver profiles, and cities in California. Throughout the article, we have provided tables that outline the most affordable coverage options offered by high-quality car insurance providers.
  • When examining the top insurance companies, we take into account more than just cost-effectiveness. Our team evaluates industry reputation, accessibility, and policy selections. Additionally, we consider customer feedback and online evaluations to establish a rating on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0.
  • If not explicitly mentioned, approximations are for a driver who is 35 years old, has no driving violations, with a positive credit history.
  • You’ll find detailed cost estimates in the sections below, but we’ve listed out the cheapest car insurance companies in California for a few driver profiles right here:
    • Cheapest full coverage: Mercury followed by GEICO
    • Cheapest minimum coverage: GEICO followed by USAA
    • Cheapest for teen drivers: USAA followed by Mercury
    • Cheapest for drivers with a traffic violation: Mercury followed by GEICO

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

Below, we’ve compiled the auto insurance providers that offer California’s strongest mix of affordable coverage and high-quality plans. While GEICO has the Golden State’s cheapest rates overall, State Farm received the highest score of any company we researched.

Car Insurance ProviderOverall RatingAverage Monthly Rate: Minimum CoverageAverage Monthly Rate: Full CoverageNumber of Discounts
State Farm4.7$55$20612

Cheapest Car Insurance Coverage in California

The cheapest car insurance in California will almost certainly be minimum-liability coverage. Although this coverage fulfills the car insurance criteria in your state, it does not provide coverage for your own automobile or cater to any personal injuries.

Opting for a comprehensive automobile insurance policy ensures that your vehicle and healthcare expenses are covered, not just those of other drivers. While this form of coverage comes at a higher price point than minimum coverage, it could prove to be cost-effective in the event of an at-fault collision.

Cheapest Minimum-Liability Car Insurance in California

The average rate estimate for a minimum-coverage policy in California is $51 per month or $607 per year. GEICO tends to offer the cheapest minimum-liability policies with estimates of $31 per month or $377 per year.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate for Minimum CoverageAverage Yearly Rate for Minimum Coverage
State Farm$55$657

Cheapest Full-Coverage Car Insurance in California

In California, the average rate for full-coverage auto insurance is $193 per month or $2,310 per year. Overall, Mercury offers the cheapest average estimates for full-coverage insurance at $145 per month or $1,743 per year.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate for Full CoverageAverage Yearly Rate for Full Coverage
State Farm$206$2,476

California Car Insurance Quotes by Driver Profile

The rates illustrated above may differ from your actual car insurance coverage cost in California, as insurance providers consider multiple factors while determining individual premiums. Your age, driving history, and geographical location in California impact the final price you pay.


Cheapest Car Insurance in California: Age

One of the major determinants of car insurance costs is age. In particular, individuals in the younger age bracket (such as teenage drivers) are typically subjected to significantly higher premiums compared to other age groups. In the table below, you’ll find the average rate estimates for California drivers of different ages:

Driver AgeAverage Monthly Rate for Minimum CoverageAverage Monthly Rate for Full Coverage

Cheapest Car Insurance in California: High-Risk Drivers

Your driving history is another key component in your California auto insurance rates, as those with clean driving records often get cheaper car insurance rates. Getting involved in at-fault accidents or committing traffic violations, such as speeding, can lead to an increase in insurance premiums.

How much your driving record impacts your monthly cost varies by car insurer. Below is a list of the top insurers in California and their average minimum-coverage rates for good drivers versus those marked as high-risk drivers.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate for Clean Driving RecordsAverage Monthly Rate for High-Risk Drivers
State Farm$55$125

Car Insurance Rates in California: Speeding Ticket

Your premiums could increase substantially due to just one speeding ticket. For California drivers, USAA tends to offer the cheapest car insurance after a speeding ticket with an average rate estimate of $46 per month or $551 per year. GEICO also offers extremely competitive rates for drivers whose recent driving history includes a speeding ticket.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate After a Speeding TicketAverage Yearly Rate After a Speeding Ticket
State Farm$87$1,042

Car Insurance Rates in California: At-Fault Accident

Drivers will also likely see higher rates if they’re found at fault for a car accident. AAA generally offers the cheapest coverage for California drivers with a recent accident, with an average rate estimate of $47 per month or $566 per year. USAA and Mercury have relatively inexpensive coverage for drivers with an at-fault accident as well.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate After an At-Fault AccidentAverage Yearly Rate After an At-Fault Accident
State Farm$91$1,094

Car Insurance Rates in California: DUI

A violation for driving under the influence (DUI) can cause auto insurance premiums to skyrocket. For California motorists with a DUI on their record, Mercury offers average estimates of $75 per month or $905 per year. GEICO and Progressive also offer some of the more affordable premiums for these drivers.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Rate After a DUIAverage Yearly Rate After a DUI
State Farm$197$2,369

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California

The average cost of car insurance in California comes out to $607 per year for minimum-liability insurance and $2,310 annually for full coverage. These rates are about 3% lower than the national average for minimum coverage, but 21% higher than the national rate for full coverage.

Average Car Insurance Cost in California by City

Where you live in California significantly impacts the auto insurance premiums you’ll be charged. Car insurance rates are likely to differ based on the varying potential risk factors that are present in different ZIP codes, such as population density, crime rates, and weather patterns. The table below shows the average rates for car insurance in California’s largest cities.

Cities in CaliforniaAverage Monthly Rate for Minimum CoverageAverage Monthly Rate for Full Coverage
Los Angeles$68$253
San Diego$47$180
San Jose$47$185
San Francisco$54$217
Long Beach$56$208
Santa Ana$53$197
Chula Vista$44$174
San Bernardino$51$203

California Minimum Car Insurance Coverage

According to California law, all drivers must either meet or exceed the following minimum coverage requirements:

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident

Although liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage are significant, they do not offer comprehensive protection. It is advisable to opt for car insurance policies with higher limits as they could prevent you from incurring hefty expenses following an accident. This recommendation is supported by both insurance agents and insurance experts.

Having collision coverage and comprehensive coverage provides protection by paying for your own vehicle’s repair expenses resulting from theft, vandalism, severe weather, or a car accident. Additionally, personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage (MedPay) can assist in covering potential medical costs.

Cheap Car Insurance in California: Conclusion

The cheapest car insurance in California often comes from GEICO, which has average rates of $31 per month. It’s important to compare auto insurance quotes from various providers, though, to find out if you could receive more affordable coverage elsewhere.

You may also want to consider the protection of a full-coverage policy. The best rates we found for full coverage came in as low as $145 per month from Mercury. More coverage generally means higher premiums, but also more financial protection and peace of mind.

Best Car Insurance in California: Recommended Providers

While certain companies are known to offer reasonable premiums to California drivers, you’ll need to get car insurance quotes from various providers to find your best rates. We recommend considering GEICO and USAA as you begin your search for the best auto insurer.

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GEICO: 4.6 out of 5.0

GEICO typically provides the cheapest car insurance in California for both full-coverage and minimum-coverage plans. For those who are eligible, GEICO may be the best choice.

USAA: 4.6 out of 5.0

The price estimates for USAA car insurance in California were extremely competitive, nearly matching those from GEICO. That, combined with the company’s reputation and financial strength, makes it an excellent option for those seeking coverage in the Golden State. USAA is also known to offer plenty of safe driving discounts, with 13 choices for California motorists.

Cheapest Auto Insurance in California: FAQ

Which company gives the cheapest car insurance?

State Farm generally offers the cheapest car insurance when it comes to national averages. Drivers in California tend to receive their lowest premiums from GEICO and USAA.

How much is car insurance per month in California?

The average cost of car insurance per month in California is $51 for a minimum-coverage policy and $193 for full coverage. Our team found rates in California as low as $31 per month for minimum coverage and $145 for a full-coverage policy.

How to reduce car insurance in California?

The easiest ways to reduce your car insurance cost in California are by lowering your amounts and types of coverage, increasing your deductible, and seeking out driver discounts. Improving your credit score and combining your coverage with that of your household or rental insurance are two more ways you can lower your rates.

How much is car insurance on average in California?

Car insurance in California averages out to $607 per year for minimum coverage and $2,310 annually for full-coverage policies.

Is it illegal to drive without insurance in California?

Yes, it is illegal to drive without insurance in California. Expect to receive a misdemeanor if you’re caught driving without coverage and current registration. It’s possible that you could be fined, lose permission to drive, or even face a short time in prison.

Is it cheaper to pay car insurance every six months or monthly?

You’ll typically get charged less if you pay off your car insurance policy every six months rather than each month. Many auto insurers give discounts for paying policies upfront, though this savings opportunity isn’t universally offered.

Our Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
  • Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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