Cheap California Car Insurance

Find affordable insurance that works for you in California. Compare quotes from over 100 top companies.

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Here's what you need to know when driving in California

The average cost of car insurance in California is $1,868 per year — 20% more than the national average.

Car insurance rates are impacted by more than just your location. Auto insurance rates comprise myriad factors, including a driver's age and driving history. The Zebra's experts analyzed average California car insurance rates for each of the most common rating factors.

Read on to learn how much auto insurance costs in California based on these variables, or submit your ZIP code above to receive personalized quotes from top insurers.


Affordable Insurance Premiums in California

What's the cheapest car insurance in California?
RankCompany NameAvg. Annual Premium
3California Capital$1,621
521st Century$1,665
8State Farm$1,980
10Bristol West$2,267

See rates from over 50 insurance companies in California by entering your ZIP code below to start comparing quotes.

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Cheap insurance for good drivers in California

Good drivers can save money on car insurance by avoiding at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, and DUIs. Insurance companies use your driving record as a way to predict what kind of risk you will pose to them. So, by not having any of these violations you are less risky and therefore a cheaper customer for them. In addition to having a cheaper premium, some companies offer a safe driving discount. While the amount varies based on your company, it can range between 5 and 10%. If we’re looking beyond just average rates and at individual companies, Nationwide offers some of the cheapest rates for good drivers in California.


Rating Factor$ Savings% Savings
No Traffic Tickets$75940.65%
No Accidents$1,41275.64%
Good Credit$00.00%


Insurance rates by age bracket in California

Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 pay the highest car insurance premiums of anyone in the US. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. Historically the most expensive drivers to insure, The Zebra found Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive are the cheapest companies in California for teenagers.


AgeAverage Yearly Premium


Average auto insurance rates in California by marital status

One benefit of getting hitched — aside from the honeymoon — is the better deal you may receive on your car insurance policy. In the state of California, married drivers save $77 per year on car insurance policies. This is less than the average national savings of $98.


Marital StatusAverage Annual Rate

Car insurance coverage for divorced drivers in California is the 8th most expensive in the nation. If you are paying too much for your car insurance policy, don't be afraid to shop around. You never know what savings you'll find!


Average auto insurance premiums in California by credit score

Car insurance companies often use drivers' credit scores to get an idea of potential customers' reliability. Data trends show drivers with good credit histories are often more dependable car insurance customers: they are less likely to file claims covered by auto insurance.

California, however, outlaws the use of credit score as an insurance rating factor, meaning you'll pay the same car insurance rate no matter your credit history.

Best Car Insurance Companies in California

Every car insurance company emphasizes its low premiums. But as with any service, the cheapest car insurance isn't always the best. Considering the stakes, it's worthwhile to do your research to purchase an auto policy that covers your car adequately after a collision. Consider shopping around to find the best value, rather than settling for the cheapest auto insurance available.

Compare top insurance companies' financial strength and claims satisfaction ratings to better understand the level of service they'll provide. Claims satisfaction — assigned by J.D. Power — is ranked on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being "among the best" and 2 being "the rest." Financial strength — calculated by A.M. Best and running from "Poor" to "Superior" — assesses an insurer's financial strength and ability to satisfy its policy and contractual obligations.


Insurance CompanyClaims Satisfaction (J.D. Power)Financial Strength (A.M. Best)
21st Century3Excellent
California CapitalNot RatedExcellent
Liberty Mutual3Excellent
State Farm3Superior
WawanesaNot RatedExcellent


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What is the best car insurance coverage in California?

The legal auto insurance minimum in California is $15,000 Bodily Injury per person, $30,000 Bodily Injury per accident, and $5,000 Property Damage per accident.

For the legal minimum coverage level in California, expect to pay about $648 per year. This is more than the national average by 4%. If you choose a higher level of car insurance coverage, you can purchase a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, which will protect against damages caused by car-vs.-car crashes, theft, or weather incidents. It's worth noting that better auto insurance coverage comes at a cost: in California, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,626, 151% more than basic liability-only coverage. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, you can expect to pay 161% more than for a basic liability-only policy.

Compare average annual rates for liability-only and comprehensive car insurance tiers below.

LocationLiability-OnlyComprehensive — $1,000 DeductibleComprehensive — $500 Deductible
National Average$621$1,373$1,868

California Auto Insurance Laws

State minimum insurance requirements in California

In California, the state minimum coverage requirement is liability insurance, with limits of:

  • Bodily Injury $15,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $5,000 per accident
Optional coverage in California (varies by carrier):
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical and Funeral Services
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

Learn more about car insurance requirements in the state of California

Ticket Impact on Auto Insurance Rates in California

If you get a ticket, your auto insurance rates may rise. How much your rates rise depends on the violation, your insurance company's pricing strategy, and differing local insurance risks and regulations. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.

Below is a look at average auto insurance rates in California after a few common citations.

ViolationAvg. Annual Auto Insurance Rate% Insurance Rate Increase$ Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run$5,038170%$3,170
Refused Breathalyzer/Chemical Test$4,937164%$3,069
Reckless Driving$5,038170%$3,170
Driving with a Suspended License$4,807157%$2,939
At-Fault Accident$3,28076%$1,412
Driving with an Open Container$2,75247%$884
Operating a Vehicle Without Permission$3,46385%$1,595
Passing a School Bus$2,65442%$786
Improper Passing$2,65442%$786
Following Too Closely$2,65442%$786
Failure to Stop at a Red Light$2,65442%$786
Illegal Turn$2,65442%$786
Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane$3,02762%$1,159
Failure to Yield$2,65442%$786
Speeding in a School Zone$2,66042%$792
Driving Too Slowly$2,66042%$792
Distracted Driving$2,67443%$806
Driving with Expired Registration$1,9313%$63
Failure to Show Documents$1,9313%$63
Not-at-Fault Accident$1,8680%$0
Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint$2,11513%$247
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt$2,0067%$138
Driving Without Lights$2,0067%$138

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California Car Insurance FAQs

Can undocumented immigrants get car insurance in California?

Undocumented immigrants can get car insurance without a license but it may be difficult and expensive. However, the consequences of driving without insurance are much more costly.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in California?

Esurance has the cheapest rates in California at $582 for a full coverage policy. Progressive and 21st Century also have cheap rates. Get started to see options for all the top companies in CA.

What is the average cost for car insurance in California?

In 2019, our data showed the average for car insurance in CA was $847 per policy period, or $141 per month.

Why is car insurance so expensive in California?

Car insurance in California is about 20% more expensive than average. This is due to population size, number of uninsured drivers, and insurance companies' revenue loss via claims.


How much does car insurance cost in California cities?

Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, location of the vehicle being an important one. The cheapest car insurance is found in Chula Vista, California, and the most expensive in Glendale, California.

RankCityAvg. Annual Premium
2Los Angeles$2,632
3San Francisco$2,257
5San Bernardino$2,126
7Long Beach$2,052
8Santa Clarita$2,026
9Garden Grove$2,004
12Santa Ana$1,954
15Moreno Valley$1,931
19San Jose$1,863
20Huntington Beach$1,860
23San Diego$1,773
25Chula Vista$1,705

Recent California Car Insurance Questions and Answers

What should I do if I hit someone and didn't cause any damage but they still want to file a claim?

I would highly recommend contacting your insurance company first and letting them know what is going on. Ultimately, they may end up paying for some sort of repair, but rest assured that they will investigate to make sure the damage is legit.

How does a not-at-fault accident appear on my driving record

Most driving records insurance companies run will show the claim paid under "no fault" or "not-at-fault" and should not affect your rates at all. If your current car insurance quote reflects the accident as "at-fault," present the evidence you have in your favor and get a new quote.

How does reporting a Not-At-Fault accident affect my future premium?

In California, you shouldn't see any difference in your premium because of an accident designated as "Not At Fault" on your driving record. Your driving record is important and valuable to insurance companies because they want to know about any incident where you filed a claim within a certain time frame, regardless of fault.

Why Uber and Lyft ask for vehicle inspection even we have a DMV inspection?

You are correct when it comes to the state vehicle inspection. You do have to have your car inspected to drive legally.

Ross Martin LinkedIn

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross is responsible for researching and writing about all matters related to insurance. He has a background in writing and education, as well as a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been quoted by CNET, and Kin Insurance.