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Best Cheapest Car Insurance California 2022

Best Cheapest Car Insurance California 2022

The Best Cheapest Car Insurance California 2022 Affordable car insurance in California does exist you just have to know where to look. We at the Home Media reviews team found rates as low as $1,425 per year, or $119 per month, for full coverage car insurance in California. The table below shows the providers with the cheapest estimates for full coverage policies in the state.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Cost Estimated Annual Cost
USA $119 $1,425
Geico $151 $1,813
Progressive $155 $1,864
Mercury Insurance $177 $2,128
CSAA $199 $2,386

*These rates are based on a 35-year-old driver with good credit and clean driving history. Your rates will vary depending on a number of factors.

We researched the best car insurance companies in California to bring you a list of the top five providers that offer affordable coverage in the state. Below, you’ll find rate estimates for different driver profiles as well as key information about car insurance requirements in California.

132 COMPANIES COMPARED, 1,600 HOURS RESEARCHED, 4,336 DATA POINTS, 1,000 CONSUMERS SURVEYED, 1.5M RATES REVIEWED

What’s the cost of car insurance in California?

The average cost for full coverage car insurance in California is $2,089 per year or about $174 per month. That’s nearly 21% more expensive than the national average, according to our research. These estimates are based on the profile of a 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and a good credit score.

Minimum coverage rates for that same driving profile average $627 per year or $52 per month, making it just 1% less expensive than the national average of $635. The table below shows the providers that offer the cheapest rates for minimum coverage in California.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
Geico $33 $398
USAA $35 $422
Progressive $36 $431
CSAA Insurance $39 $471
Mercury Insurance $45 $541
Kemper $49 $592
Auto Club Enterprises $52 $628
State Farm $68 $819

 

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs

Insurers determine your rates based on factors about you and your vehicle. California is one of a handful of states that don’t allow insurance companies to factor your credit score or the gender on your license into your premiums.

Factors that affect car insurance rates

The variables California insurers consider when determining your rates include:

  • Your age
  • The age, make, model and mileage of your vehicle
  • Your location in California
  • Your driving history
  • The deductible you choose

Cost of California Car Insurance by City

While rates vary from state to state, they differ based on where you live within California as well. Drivers in urban areas like San Diego and San Francisco tend to pay higher rates on average than those in more rural parts of the state. This table shows the average rate for a full coverage policy in each city, based on the profile of a 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and a good credit score.

City in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
Chula Vista $178 $2,138
Fremont $178 $2,138
Fresno $179 $2,142
San Diego $180 $2,157
San Jose $184 $2,203
Oxnard $184 $2,204
Huntington Beach $185 $2,223
Bakersfield $189 $2,266
Modesto $193 $2,311
Irvine $194 $2,324
Riverside $196 $2,357
Santa Clarita $199 $2,382
Oakland $203 $2,434
Anaheim $204 $2,442
Santa Ana $204 $2,442
Stockton $206 $2,467
Moreno Valley $206 $2,475
Long Beach $207 $2,482
Ontario $207 $2,488
Fontana $207 $2,489
San Bernardino $211 $2,528
San Francisco $213 $2,554
Sacramento $219 $2,626
Los Angeles $271 $3,255
Glendale $283 $3,400

 

California Car Insurance Cost by Age

Younger drivers have a much higher likelihood of being involved in car accidents, which is why they typically pay higher insurance costs than drivers in other age groups. We found that 16-year-old drivers pay an average of $6,077 per year for full coverage car insurance compared with 30-year-old drivers whose car insurance costs are an average of $2,229 per year.

Age Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
16 $506 $6,077
17 $475 $5,694
18 $420 $5,041
19 $338 $4,061
21 $274 $3,282
25 $214 $2,568
30 $186 $2,229
40 $178 $2,139
45 $177 $2,129
50 $175 $2,105
55 $173 $2,077
65 $172 $2,058
75 $194 $2,333

 

Cheapest California Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

Sixteen-year-old California drivers pay some of the highest car insurance costs in the state, but that doesn’t mean affordable coverage can’t be found. Our research shows USAA tends to offer the cheapest auto insurance in the state, costing $3,867 per year or $322 per month on average.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
USAA $322 $3,867
Geico $368 $4,413
Mercury Insurance $416 $4,991
Progressive $417 $5,008
State Farm $420 $5,036

Cheapest California Car Insurance for 17-Year-Olds

In California, 17-year-old drivers can typically find cheap car insurance through USAA and Geico. Our research shows USAA costs an average of $3,520 per year or $293 per month, while Geico prices average $4,335 per year or $361 per month.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
USAA $293 $3,520
Geico $361 $4,335
Mercury Insurance $369 $4,434
State Farm $390 $4,676
Progressive $416 $4,992

Cheapest California Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds

According to our research, USAA and Mercury Insurance tend to offer the cheapest auto insurance for 18-year-old California drivers. Geico, State Farm and Progressive can also be good choices for affordable coverage.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
USAA $275 $3,302
Mercury Insurance $352 $4,220
Geico $354 $4,246
State Farm $375 $4,503
Progressive $403 $4,841

Cheapest California Car Insurance for 21-Year-Olds

California drivers in their early 20s may find cheaper car insurance prices than teen drivers. On average, we found that USAA provides the lowest rates for 21-year-old drivers in the state, costing an average of $2,046 per year or $171 per month.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
USAA $171 $2,046
Geico $175 $2,095
Progressive $225 $2,705
Mercury Insurance $247 $2,966
Allstate $274 $3,291

Cheapest California Car Insurance for 25-Year-Olds

Our research shows USAA offers cheap auto insurance for 25-year-old drivers. Based on our rate estimates, motorists in their mid-20s pay $1,739 per year or $145 per month on average with the insurance provider.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Rate Estimated Annual Rate
USAA $145 $1,739
Geico $159 $1,910
Progressive $161 $1,932
Mercury Insurance $180 $2,154
CSAA Insurance $214 $2,559

Cheapest California Car Insurance for Drivers With a Speeding Ticket

The average rate for drivers in California with a speeding ticket is $3,560 per year, or about $297 per month. USAA typically offers the cheapest full coverage policy for these drivers, with an average rate of $1,560 per year, or $130 per month. Most insurers will charge higher premiums if you have a speeding ticket on your record.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Cost Estimated Annual Cost
USAA $130 $1,560
Mercury Insurance $235 $2,819
Geico $236 $2,834
CSAA Insurance $252 $3,021
Progressive $299 $3,583

Cheapest California Car Insurance for Drivers With a Recent Accident

The average auto insurance rate for California drivers with a recent accident is $5,052 per year or $421 per month. At an average rate of $2,484 per year, or $207 per month, USAA offers the cheapest full coverage policy for drivers in California with a recent accident on their record. Accidents happen, and they happen to raise your car insurance premiums.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Cost Estimated Annual Cost
USAA $207 $2,484
Mercury Insurance $267 $3,204
Progressive $320 $3,840
Geico $382 $4,582
CSAA Insurance $404 $4,847

Cheapest California Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI

A DUI on your record means you’ll face much higher premiums for auto insurance coverage, and California drivers with a DUI pay an average of $6,978 per year or $581 per month. The cheapest full coverage policies for California drivers with a DUI tend to come from Mercury Insurance, which charges an average rate of $3,525 per year, or $294 per month.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California Estimated Monthly Cost Estimated Annual Cost
Mercury Insurance $294 $3,525
USAA $340 $4,079
Progressive $373 $4,475
Geico $382 $4,580
Farmers Insurance $435 $5,224

Here are our top five picks for the cheapest auto insurance companies in California that offer reliable coverage and service.

Top California Car Insurance Companies Overall Rating Coverage Rating Cost Rating
1. Geico 9.2 8.5 9.4
2. Wawanesa Insurance 6.4 6 7
3. USAA 9.5 9.5 10
4. State Farm 9.2 9 9
5. Mercury Insurance 7.6 8 6.6

*Our research team considers nationwide factors when scoring providers. The ranking of providers in this table is specific to car insurance in California.

#1 Geico: Editor’s Choice

J.D. Power regional rating: 828/1,000

AM Best financial strength rating: A++

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+

Geico’s rates are among the cheapest in the state for minimum and full coverage car insurance policies. The company offers a number of discounts for things like keeping a clean driving record, having vehicle safety features, and getting good grades.

Beyond standard coverage, you can add options like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and classic car coverage. Geico also offers mechanical breakdown insurance, which is similar to an extended warranty and can cover your car if you experience a part failure due to normal use.

2 Wawanesa Insurance: Top Regional Provider for Basic Coverage

J.D. Power regional rating: 853/1,000

AM Best financial strength rating: A-

BBB rating: A+

Wawanesa Insurance is based in Canada and sells auto insurance in Oregon and California. The company scores about average in some states and provinces, but in California, it has one of the best customer service reputations among auto insurers. It came in first place for the California region in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠, which measured overall customer satisfaction in claims, coverage, pricing and more.

Wawanesa provides the standard types of auto coverage, but it doesn’t offer a usage-based app or other extras. If you want basic coverage from a customer-first provider, Wawanesa is a good choice for car insurance in California.

3 USAA: Low Rates for Military

J.D. Power regional rating: 870/1,000

AM Best financial strength ratingA++

BBB ratingA+

Auto insurance policies from USAA are available to members of the military, veterans and their families. If you qualify, it can be a smart choice to get a quote from USAA. USAA tends to offer some of the cheapest car insurance rates whether California drivers are looking for minimum or full coverage.

Discounts are available for good students, good drivers, low-mileage drivers, and more. USAA also offers extra types of coverage, such as accident forgiveness and car replacement assistance.

4 State Farm: Most Popular Provider

J.D. Power regional rating: 818/1,000

AM Best financial strength ratingA++

BBB ratingA+

State Farm is a great option for students and teens looking for auto insurance in California. The insurer offers a generous student discount of 25%, which lasts until the driver turns 25. Teen drivers and other high-risk drivers can also take advantage of State Farm’s Steer Clear® program to save on car insurance. The auto insurance company also offers a telematics app called Drive Safe & Save™ that monitors driving habits and adjusts rates accordingly.

5 Mercury Insurance: Low Rates for High-Risk Drivers

J.D. Power regional rating: 816/1,000

AM Best financial strength ratingBBB+

BBB ratingA+

Mercury Insurance can be found in California and 10 other states. Our research found that the insurer is generally one of the cheapest options for policyholders who have an accident or DUI on their record. If you’ve had trouble finding affordable car insurance coverage from other providers due to your driving record, you may find more favorable rates from Mercury.

The company also offers eight car insurance discounts and additional insurance options, including mechanical protection coverage.

California Car Insurance Requirements

Each state has financial responsibility laws that dictate what type of car insurance is required. According to the California Department of Insurance, these are the state’s required coverages and minimum coverage limits:

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

Compared to other states, these requirements are low. California allows even lower limits for people who can’t afford standard insurance, too. However, it’s a good idea to go beyond state minimum liability limits since accident claims can easily exceed these amounts.

For example, if you’re in an accident and the other driver’s car repairs total more than $5,000, you’ll have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. In big cities like Los Angeles, where sports cars and luxury models are common, this may not be a risk you want to take.

Additional Car Insurance Coverage Worth Considering

Be aware that California only requires liability insurance, which covers other drivers’ damages after an accident but does not cover your own costs if you’re at fault. Besides liability coverage, there are other types of auto insurance that can be smart to have:

  • Collision coverage: Covers your own vehicle repair bills after an accident for which you are found at fault
  • Comprehensive insurance: Covers your own vehicle repair bills after a non-collision incident such as a fire, flood, theft or vandalism
  • Medical payments (MedPay): Covers medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of fault
  • Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): Covers your medical and vehicle repair bills if you’re in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your claim

Collision and comprehensive coverage may be required by your lender if you are financing your vehicle.

Is It Illegal Not To Have Car Insurance in California?

Like most states, California requires drivers to have car insurance. However, drivers in the state of California have the option to comply with the law by depositing $35,000 cash into an account with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or by proving they have the financial means to self-insure.

It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle in California without having car insurance, making the deposit with the DMV or proving your financial means. If caught, you can be fined up to $250, have your car impounded and have your driver’s license suspended on your first offense. On your second offense, you can be fined up to $500 plus additional penalties and, again, have your vehicle impounded by the state.

How To Get Car Insurance in California

Today, it’s easy to compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers with online tools. Just be prepared to provide basic information about your vehicle and anyone who drives it. Shop around regularly to make sure you’re getting the best deal, especially if your current insurance rate increases.

Overall, Geico offers the best and cheapest car insurance in California for most drivers. The company has the right combination of low prices, coverage, and customer service, plus it offers some extras that can come in handy. That said, you’ll only know if you’ve found the best rate for you by comparing multiple companies.

How much is car insurance per month in California?

According to our rate estimates, the average cost for car insurance in California is $174 per month. However, you may be able to find cheaper rates depending on your driving experience and the coverage level you are looking for. 

What is the cheapest insurance for new drivers in California?

Based on our research, USAA tends to offer the cheapest car insurance in California for new drivers. Our rate estimates show that 16-year-old motorists pay an average of $3,867 per year or $322 per month with USAA.

Is car insurance in California expensive?

Car insurance in California is, on average, 21% more expensive than the national average. That makes California one of the most expensive states in the country for car insurance.

Is it better to pay car insurance in full or monthly?

You may get a discount for paying for your car insurance in full. But if doing so would put you in a tight financial spot, you might be better off paying your insurance premiums on a monthly basis.

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