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California car insurance rates — quick facts

  • The average auto insurance cost in California is $1,713 per year — 20% more than the national average.

  • Drivers in their 60s have the cheapest car insurance rates in California on average.
  • A DUI will raise your insurance rates by nearly $3,000 per year.
  • California is one of the few states that doesn't use credit score as a rating factor.

 

How are insurance rates determined in California?

Your 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. We reviewed average California car insurance rates by each of the most common rating factors. Read on to learn how much auto insurance costs in your state — or submit your zip to receive personalized quotes from popular insurers.

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Average Car Insurance Expenditure in California by Age Bracket

It’s a fact of life: as you age, your auto insurance premiums change. Typically, auto insurance is pricier for young drivers and teens, as auto insurance companies see newer drivers as less responsible. Rates are cheapest for California drivers in their 60s. Have a look at average rates by age below.

CALIFORNIA CAR INSURANCE RATES BY AGE
AgeAverage Yearly Premium
16$7,175.12
17$6,853.99
18$6,021.14
19$4,428.57
20s$2,416.70
30s$1,618.56
40s$1,563.19
50s$1,449.50
60s$1,408.62
70s$1,568.61
Car icon with blue windshield

Rates by age in California

In California, auto coverage costs $7,175 annually for a 16-year-old driver, compared to $1,450 per year for a driver between 50 and 59 years of age. It's worth noting, however, that a 16-year-old added to a parent's insurance plan will not be as expensive as a teenager getting their own policy. 

If you're facing the pricey prospect of insuring a teen driver, it's worth noting California is the 34th cheapest state in which to purchase car insurance for a 16-year-old.


Average Car Insurance Rates in California by Marriage 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 $73 per year on car insurance policies. This is less than the national savings of $76.

 
CALIFORNIA CAR INSURANCE RATES BY MARITAL STATUS
Marital StatusAverage Annual Rate
Single$1,649.21
Married$1,576.40
Divorced$1,649.21
Widowed$1,582.65

Car insurance coverage for divorced drivers in California is the 9th 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 Costs in California by Credit Score

Car insurance companies use credit score to get an idea of a potential customer's 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. However, California 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.

CALIFORNIA AUTO INSURANCE RATES BY CREDIT SCORE
Credit TierAverage Annual Rate
Very Poor (300-579)$1,649.21
Fair (580-669)$1,649.21
Good (670-739)$1,649.21
Very Good (740-799)$1,649.21
Exceptional (800-850)$1,649.21
Credit card icon with blue stripe

Median Car Insurance Costs for High-Risk Drivers in California

If you’re determined to be at fault in a car accident or found guilty of a driving infraction, your auto insurance premiums are bound to rise. The more red flags you rack up, the pricier your auto insurance becomes.

In California, your first minor at-fault crash leads to a penalty of $862.80 per year in auto insurance premiums. A DUI — considered among the most grievous driving violations — may grow your insurance rates in California by as much as $2,977.05.

CALIFORNIA AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS WITH VIOLATIONS
ViolationAverage Yearly Premium
DUI or DWI$4,689.59
Reckless Driving$4,689.59
At-Fault Accident (<$1,000)$2,575.34
At-Fault Accident ($1,000-$2,000)$2,676.87
At-Fault Accident (>$2,000)$2,575.34
Open Container$3,130.47
Speeding (21-25 MPH > limit)$2,324.98
Speeding (16-20 MPH > limit)$2,324.98

If you're facing above-average car insurance payments, consider insurance shopping to find inexpensive coverage that suits you.

Wrecked car with blue windows and windshield

Median Auto Insurance Prices by Coverage Amount in California

How much you pay per month for car insurance depends on the tier of coverage you purchase. Liability-only coverage typically costs less, while low-deductible comprehensive coverage costs more. In California, the rate difference between state-minimum liability-only coverage and comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible is $908.

 
CALIFORNIA AUTO INSURANCE RATES BY COVERAGE LEVEL
Coverage LevelAverage Annual Premium
$100K/$300K/$100K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — Liability-Only$802
$100K/$300K/$100K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — $1,000 Comprehensive/Collision$1,527
$100K/$300K/$100K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — $500 Comprehensive/Collision$1,710
$50K/$100K/$50K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — Liability Only$718
$50K/$100K/$50K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — $1,000 Comprehensive/Collision$1,443
$50K/$100K/$50K Bodily Injury/Property Damage — $500 Comprehensive/Collision$1,626
State Minimum — Liability Only$573
State Minimum — $1,000 Comprehensive/Collision$1,297
State Minimum — $500 Comprehensive/Collision$1,481

If you're facing above-average auto insurance costs, think about comparing policies to get inexpensive coverage that covers your vehicle appropriately.

Find affordable auto insurance in California today!

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Recent Questions:

Do I need liability car insurance at the time of an accident?

Coverage offered to unlisted drivers varies from policy to policy. You would have to check with the vehicle owner's insurance policy.
Nov 3, 2019 Sacramento, CA

If I hit a rental car, can I pay the damages out of pocket?

In this particular instance, it really depends on how the rental car company wants to handle the situation. I would recommend contacting the rental company to see what options you have.
May 13, 2019 Sunnyvale, CA

Can my husband be liable for his ex-wife's uninsured vehicle?

In this situation, yes - your husband and his ex can be held liable for the damage. It's important to note that liability insurance follows the driver, not the car.
Feb 25, 2019 Simi Valley, CA

Insurance company found out about accident I didn't report

They're most likely asking about the details of the accident because most insurance policies stipulate you most report any accidents, even if a claim isn't filed. How they found out about the accident is uncertain.
Aug 1, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

Kristine Lee
Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.