Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
The average cost of minimum-coverage car insurance in California is $574 per year, or $48 per month. For a full coverage auto insurance policy in California, the average cost is $1,804 per year, or $150 per month.
Enter your ZIP code above now to compare cheap auto insurance rates from the best California insurers in your area.
Who has the cheapest car insurance quotes in California?
The cheapest minimum-coverage car insurance quotes in California are offered by:
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
These three auto insurers offered the lowest car insurance rates for a liability-only policy in California, averaging $438 per year, or $37 per month — or 24% cheaper than the state average.
The insurance companies with the most expensive auto quotes in California were:
- State Farm
In California, these companies had an average annual quote of $727, or 27% more than the state average.
Average cost of minimum coverage car insurance among top California insurers
|Rank||Insurer||Car insurance quote|
Minimum-coverage car insurance meets California's minimum legal requirements.
Unlike full coverage, minimum coverage doesn't include comprehensive and collision insurance, which protects you from vehicle damage following a collision, theft, vandalism or natural disaster — regardless of who's at fault.
Although full coverage usually costs more, purchasing higher liability coverage limits and adding comprehensive and collision coverage can offer useful financial protection after an expensive accident.
The average difference in cost between full- and minimum-coverage car insurance in California is $1,230 per year, or $102 per month, in savings.
Who has the cheapest full-coverage car insurance in California?
The cheapest full-coverage auto insurance companies in California are:
- GEICO: $1,455
- Mercury: $1,492
- Progressive: $1,599
These three car insurance carriers were the most affordable in California for full coverage, offering auto quotes of $1,515 on average, or 16% less than the state average of $1,804.
The insurers with the most expensive auto quotes for full coverage in California are:
- Farmers: $2,270
- State Farm: $2,016
- CSAA: $1,933
Full coverage car insurance policies include comprehensive and collision insurance, which reimburse property damage to your automobile following most accidents, thefts, natural disasters and vandalism.
Who offers the cheapest full-coverage auto insurance in California for drivers with an accident history?
California drivers with an accident on their driving record may be able to find cheap full-coverage car insurance quotes at GEICO, CSAA and Mercury.
These three insurance providers were the most affordable for a full coverage auto policy with a prior accident history, offering average annual rates of $2,310 per year, or 23% cheaper than the California average of $2,490.
|Rank||Insurer||Quote before accident||Quote after accident||Difference|
Just one accident and claim filing on your driving record can increase your car insurance quotes substantially.
The annual cost difference in California auto insurance quotes for a full-coverage policy with no accident history versus a plan with one accident was $1200, or $100 per month.
|Accident history||Average annual rate|
The best-rated car insurance companies in California
For Californians, the lowest cost car insurance company may not be the best in terms of customer service quality. In fact, certain insurance companies are often a better fit for certain types of drivers—depending on your individual circumstances.
Using complaint data from the California Department of Insurance as a measure of customer satisfaction, we identified the top-rated car insurance companies in California.
The best California insurers were:
- Auto Club
We've listed the top California insurers from best (lowest complaint index) to worst (highest complaint index).
A complaint ratio measures how many complaints each insurer receives relative to their market share of premiums underwritten, and indicates how good an auto insurance company's customer service quality is.
The lower the ratio, the fewer complaints a company received relative to its size, meaning that customers were less likely to complain.
Auto insurance in California: Minimum coverage requirements
California state law requires that car insurance policies have at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage with the limits listed below:
- Bodily injury (BI): $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident
- Property damage (PD): $5,000 per accident
While the above is the lowest amount of insurance coverage you can have, you should consider adding more if you have more to lose. For example, we typically recommend California drivers to match their liability coverage to what they have in total assets.
- If you own a house in one of the most expensive ZIP codes in California and have sizable savings and investment accounts, we'd recommend you increase your liability limits and consider adding umbrella coverage on top of your standard policy.
- On the other hand, if you're a college student that doesn't drive frequently, you may consider liability limits that are closer to California's minimum state requirements for car insurance.
Cheapest car insurance in California by city
We reviewed local auto insurance quotes for the largest cities in California to report on the insurers with the most affordable rates near you.
The best auto insurers with the lowest rates vary significantly depending on where you live in California. Even in the most expensive cities, however, shoppers can find cheap car insurance if they compare quotes online from multiple companies.
Here is a list of the best California car insurance companies that offer the lowest prices for a year's worth of full coverage in the state's most populous cities.
Mercury, GEICO, Progressive and Auto Club frequently took the top three spots, though there were some exceptions, particularly in California's larger cities.
|City||Insurer||Annual car insurance quote|
To help you shop for inexpensive car insurance in California, we identified the cheapest insurers for a full-coverage policy in:
Cheap car insurance in Los Angeles, California
- Average annual auto insurance quote in Los Angeles = $2,535
- 40% more expensive than California average
Car insurance rates in Los Angeles were among the most expensive in the state. However, drivers can still find less expensive rates in Southern California with an auto insurance quotes comparison.
The three insurers providing the cheapest car insurance rates in Los Angeles were CSAA, Mercury and GEICO. These insurers priced rates at an average of $2,126, or 16% cheaper than the Los Angeles average.
Cheap car insurance in San Diego, California
- Average annual auto insurance quote in San Diego = $1,732
- 4% cheaper than California average
When shopping for auto insurance in San Diego, be sure to compare car insurance quotes from several insurers. The cheapest car insurance for teens or young drivers in Southern California may not be the same as for a senior citizen.
Comparing rates among carriers can also help you find substantial savings. In San Diego, for example, the most expensive insurer, CSAA ($2,108), cost $798 more than the cheapest, GEICO ($1,310).
Cheap car insurance in San Jose, California
- Average annual auto insurance quote in San Jose = $1,765
- 2% cheaper than California average
Car insurance in San Jose was typically in line with the California average. San Jose drivers looking for low-cost car insurance could still benefit by getting quotes from multiple providers. The most expensive insurer in town offered rates 1.7 times the cost of rates at the cheapest carrier.
Cheap car insurance in San Francisco, California
- Average annual auto insurance quote in San Francisco = $2,066
- 15% more expensive than California average
To get the cheapest car insurance rates in San Francisco, start with GEICO, Progressive and Mercury. Together, these three companies charge an average of $1,680 a year to insure a car in San Francisco, or about 19% less than the city average.
Cheap car insurance in Fresno, California
- Average annual auto insurance quote in Fresno = $1,807
- Comparable to California average
The cost of insuring a driver for a year's worth of full coverage in Fresno was roughly equivalent to the California average. For the cheapest rate, we still recommend that Fresno drivers get multiple quotes. The three most expensive insurers charged $2,239 per year on average, or 24% more than the Fresno mean.
How much is car insurance in California cities?
The average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy in California is $1,804 per year, or approximately $150 per month.
The cheapest California cities for full-coverage car insurance are:
- Santa Clara
The most expensive cities for auto insurance in California are:
- Los Angeles
|Rank||City||Car insurance quote|
California auto insurance rate increases
The top 10 largest car insurance companies in California—which account for more than 80% of the auto insurance premiums written in the state—have raised base rates for drivers by approximately 5% since the beginning of 2018.
However some insurers saw significantly higher rate hikes, with Mercury—which raised premiums by 11% from 2018 to 2019—logging the biggest car insurance increase.
|Insurer||Market share % 2018||Rate change % 2018||Rate change % 2019||Cumulative rate change % 2018-2019|
|Top 10 Groups||82%||3%||1%||5%|
Insurers raise rates for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond the control of consumers. Companies will often hike insurance rates to account for increased losses, which is the amount of money these companies pay out for claims.
If losses go up—because of an increase in claims frequency or costlier auto repairs for example—your insurer may raise your car insurance premiums.
Affinity group insurance discounts in California
The California Department of Insurance has recently proposed regulations to mitigate the effect of affinity groups on insurance prices. Policyholders in California and elsewhere can often get discounts for being part of an affinity group. Affinity group discounts can apply to a policyholder's occupation—such as lawyers and teachers—or their membership in an organized group, such as an alumni association.
ValuePenguin identified some of the largest affinity group discounts for some of the biggest insurance companies in California. The list is not exhaustive, but it shows some of the major savings group members can garner. The biggest savings we found were from Farmers Insurance, which discounted policies by 14% for a variety of professionals.
|Insurer||Affinity Group||Premium before discount||Premium after discount||Savings|
|21st Century (a Farmers subsidiary)||American Medical Association membership||$765||$738||-3.5%|
|Allied Insurance (a Nationwide subsidiary)||Accountants/Dentists/Educators||$814||$733||-10.0%|
We collected auto insurance quotes for California cities from eight car insurance companies.
Our sample driver was a 30-year-old man who drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX. He had no credit history, which makes him comparable to drivers with below-average credit, according to our data source, Quadrant Information Services.
For a minimum-coverage policy, our sample driver had coverage equivalent to the minimum state legal requirements in California.
For full-coverage car insurance quotes, our sample driver held a policy with the following limits:
|Coverage type||Study limits|
|Bodily liability||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Property damage||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
Average premiums are for illustrative purposes, as individual quotes will differ based on driving history, ZIP code, vehicle type, coverage limits and other factors.
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.