Cheapest & Best California Car Insurance Companies (2024)

Geico has the best cheap car insurance in California, at $35 per month for minimum liability coverage and $124 for full coverage.

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Best cheap car insurance in California

To help you get the best cheap CA car insurance, ValuePenguin compared quotes in every ZIP code for the top car insurance companies in California. Minimum liability quotes meet the legal requirements in California. This covers $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident, plus $5,000 in property damage coverage.

Quotes for full coverage policies include higher liability limits than state minimums, plus collision and comprehensive coverage.

Our experts rated the best auto insurance in California based on cost, customer service, convenience and coverage availability.

Cheapest car insurance in California: Geico

Geico has the cheapest full coverage car insurance quotes in California, at $124 per month.

That's $31 per month cheaper than the statewide average. The average cost of car insurance in California is $155 per month for full coverage.

Cheapest car insurance companies in California

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Best full coverage car insurance in California

Company
Monthly rate
Geico logo
Geico
$124
Mercury logo
Mercury
$133
Progressive logo
Progressive
$134
AAA logo
AAA NorCal
$146
AAA logo
AAA SoCal
$149
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Mercury, Progressive and AAA also have rates that are cheaper than average.

However, Geico and AAA have better customer service reviews than Mercury or Progressive. That could be important if you ever need to contact customer service or make a claim.

AAA offers car insurance to Northern California drivers through AAA of Northern California, also called AAA NorCal or CSAA. The Auto Club of Southern California (AAA SoCal) covers Southern California drivers.

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Cheap liability insurance in California: Geico

Geico has the cheapest liability-only car insurance in California.

The company charges $35 per month on average for a minimum liability policy. That's $12 per month cheaper than the California average, which is $47 per month.

Cheapest liability car insurance companies in California

Company
Monthly rate
Geico$35
AAA NorCal$38
Progressive$39
Mercury$43
AAA SoCal$50
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Cheapest insurance for California teens: State Farm

State Farm has the cheapest auto insurance in California for young drivers, at $100 per month for minimum liability coverage.

That's $24 per month cheaper than the statewide average of $124.

State Farm also has the cheapest full coverage quotes for 18-year-old drivers in California. At $282 per month, full coverage from State Farm is $93 per month less than average.

Best car insurance in California for young adults

Company
Liability only
Full coverage
State Farm$100$282
Mercury$108$318
Geico$109$322
Progressive$112$407
AAA NorCal$120$457
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Young California drivers pay around two and a half times as much as older drivers for auto insurance. That's because young drivers have less experience behind the wheel, which means they're more likely to cause a crash.

Young drivers in California should consider sharing a car insurance policy with their parents. A family policy costs an average of 62% less than two separate policies.

Teens should get full coverage if they drive a lot or have a newer car.

The added protection of collision and comprehensive insurance is especially useful if you're worried about paying for another car if your car is totaled in an accident.


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Best cheap CA car insurance after a speeding ticket: AAA NorCal

AAA NorCal has the most affordable rates for drivers with a recent speeding ticket in California. Full coverage from AAA NorCal costs $184 per month after one ticket. That's 18% cheaper than the state average of $226 per month for drivers with a speeding ticket.

Mercury is a good option for drivers who live outside AAA NorCal's footprint. At $189 per month, full coverage from Mercury is only $5 per month more than AAA NorCal.

Cheapest California auto insurance for drivers with a ticket

Company
Monthly rate
AAA NorCal$184
Mercury$189
Geico$194
Progressive$206
AAA SoCal$234
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A full-coverage policy in California is $71 more expensive per month after a speeding ticket. That's a 46% increase. You'll typically pay more for car insurance after a speeding ticket because insurance companies believe you're a risky driver.

Don't rush to switch insurance companies if you just got a speeding ticket in the mail or made a car crash claim. You won't pay higher rates until your current policy renews.

Wait to shop for quotes until you see your new rate from your current company. Then, compare that with rates from cheaper companies in California.

Cheap auto insurance in CA after an accident: Mercury

Mercury has the cheapest full coverage car insurance quotes in California for drivers with an accident on their record.

The company's average rate after an accident is $211 per month. That's 32% cheaper than the California average of $308 per month.

Cheapest car insurance in California after an accident

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$211
Progressive$221
AAA SoCal$255
AAA NorCal$295
Geico$315
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California drivers pay twice as much for car insurance after an accident. That's an average increase of $154 per month for full coverage.

Cheapest for teens after a ticket or accident: Geico and Mercury

Geico has the best rates for young drivers in California after a speeding ticket. Minimum liability insurance from Geico costs $123 per month for an 18-year-old with a speeding ticket in California. That's $24 cheaper than the average cost after one ticket, which is $167 per month.

Mercury has the cheapest quotes after an accident. It charges $136 per month for minimum liability coverage for teens after an at-fault accident. The average cost for an 18-year-old with an accident on their record is $185 per month in California.

Both Geico and Mercury have accident forgiveness. So, teens could avoid higher rates after their first accident if they have this perk.

Cheap quotes for CA teens after a ticket or accident

Company
Ticket
Accident
Geico$123$151
Mercury$143$136
Progressive$145$161
State Farm$158$166
Farmers$161$161
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In California, 18-year-old drivers pay 35% more for car insurance after getting a speeding ticket. Rates go up by an average of 49% after an accident.

Cheap auto insurance in California after a DUI: Mercury

Mercury has the most affordable car insurance in California for drivers with a DUI. Its average rate of $236 per month for full coverage is more than $200 cheaper than the California average.

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$236
Geico$313
Progressive$322
Farmers$380
AAA SoCal$471
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The average cost of full-coverage insurance after a DUI in California is $437 per month. That's nearly three times more than what drivers with a clean record pay for coverage.

You may also need SR-22 insurance after a DUI in California. An SR-22 filing typically costs between $15 and $50.

Best car insurance in California: State Farm

State Farm is the best California auto insurance company because of its dependable coverage and great support.

However, State Farm's car insurance rates can be expensive in California.

AAA and Geico are also great options for California drivers looking for reliable service at an affordable price.

Best insurance companies in California

Company
Editor's rating
J.D. Power
A.M. Best
State Farm
842A++
AAA NorCal
827A
AAA SoCal
827A
Geico
835A++
Farmers
815A
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You should consider customer reviews along with prices when shopping for car insurance in California.

If you're in an accident, a company with excellent customer service can help you get back on the road quickly. Poor customer service could mean you'll end up paying more out of pocket or waiting longer for car repairs.

Average car insurance cost in California by city

The most expensive city in California for car insurance is Beverly Hills, at $254 per month for full coverage.

The cheapest city, Mount Shasta, has an average rate of $113 per month.

California car insurance quotes near you

City
Monthly rate
% from average
Acalanes Ridge$140-9%
Acampo$147-5%
Acton$1572%
Adelanto$18016%
Adin$130-16%
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The average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy in California is $155 per month, or $1,855 per year. But the cost of car insurance varies by up to $141 per month based on where you live.

You might have a higher insurance rate if there's a lot of car theft in your area, your roads are in bad shape or the average car value is high, like in Beverly Hills. If your neighbors all drive Teslas, a crash will be more expensive because there's a higher cost to repair the vehicle.

Minimum car insurance requirements in California

California requires minimum liability limits of 15/30/5 for bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage.

This is the lowest amount of insurance coverage you can have. But you should choose your coverage limits based on your driving habits and budget.

For example, you should add collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth more than $5,000 or less than eight years old. Your lender will typically require you to have both if your car is loaned or leased.

If you live in one of California's expensive ZIP codes and have savings or investments, you should increase your liability insurance limits. You should also consider adding umbrella coverage to protect your assets.

On the other hand, if you're a college student with an older car who doesn't drive often, you may not need the same level of protection.

What's the best car insurance coverage for California drivers?

You should get full coverage in California if you have a car loan or drive a newer car.

  • Minimum coverage car insurance quotes meet California's minimum legal requirements. This includes $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident, plus $5,000 in property damage coverage.
  • Full coverage goes beyond minimum coverage to include comprehensive and collision insurance. This protects your own car from damage after a crash, theft, vandalism or storm, regardless of whose fault it is.

Full coverage costs $107 per month more than minimum coverage in California. You may need to get full coverage if you have a car loan or lease. Full coverage is also recommended if your car is worth more than $5,000 or newer than eight years old.

Will car insurance costs in California go up?

Car insurance costs are expected to go up in California in 2025. This is because of an increase in the minimum requirements.

The California Legislature has passed a bill that will increase the minimum required liability coverage to 30/60/15 starting Jan. 1, 2025.

Are California's minimum insurance requirements changing?

Starting in 2025, drivers with minimum coverage will likely pay more for car insurance when they renew.

California's current minimums (15/30/5) are among the lowest in the country. Only three other states have the same or lower required liability limits.

The change would make California's requirements among the top 10 highest in the country. Only eight states have requirements at that level or higher.

Car insurance discounts in California for affinity groups

The California Department of Insurance has recently proposed regulations to limit discounts based on your job (such as lawyers and teachers) or group discounts (such as alumni associations). These discounts are sometimes called affinity group discounts.

Farmers offers the largest affinity group discount among the biggest insurance companies in California. The company discounts policies by 14% for a variety of professionals.

Company
Affinity group
Discount
21st Century American Medical Association membership4%
AAAAccountants, educators8%
Allied Accountants, dentists, educators10%
AllstateSpecialized professionals3%
FarmersAccountants, aerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists14%
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Frequently asked questions

How much is car insurance in California per month?

The average cost of car insurance in California for a minimum liability policy is $47 per month. The average cost for a full coverage policy is $155 per month.

Is insurance expensive in California?

The cost of car insurance in California is cheaper than average compared to other states. California ranks as the 22nd-cheapest state for minimum coverage insurance. It is the 15th-cheapest state for full coverage policies.

What is the cheapest car insurance in California?

The cheapest car insurance company in California for most drivers is Geico. It costs an average of $35 per month for minimum coverage and $124 per month for full coverage. Mercury has the best rates for drivers with an accident or DUI on their record.

What is the number 1 car insurance in California?

State Farm is the best-rated car insurance company in California for customer satisfaction. State Farm consistently gets great scores for customer service and coverage options. But it can be expensive.

Geico and AAA are also excellent options for California drivers. Both companies offer reliable service at affordable rates.

Why is Geico no longer in California?

In California, Geico insurance is only available online because Geico shut down its physical offices in the state. Geico is still selling policies in California and maintaining current policies. It's still a good idea to get an online quote from Geico because it offers the cheapest rates on California car insurance, with an average of only $35 per month for minimum coverage.


Methodology

To find the best cheap California insurance, ValuePenguin collected thousands of rates from ZIP codes across California for the largest insurance companies. Quotes are for a 30-year-old man with good credit who drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX.

Full-coverage quotes include 50/100/25 liability and matching uninsured driver limits, plus collision and comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible.

AAA insurance is available from two companies in California: AAA SoCal and AAA NorCal. These are two separate companies with different rates. You'll only be able to buy insurance from one or the other based on where you live. Other data sources include J.D. Power and A.M. Best.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your own quotes may be different.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author's opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.