The Cheapest and Best California Car Insurance Companies (2023)

The Cheapest and Best California Car Insurance Companies (2023)

Geico has the best cheap car insurance in California, at $31 per month for minimum liability coverage.

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Best cheap car insurance companies in California

To help you get the best cheap auto insurance in California, our editorial team compared quotes in every ZIP code for the top car insurance companies in California. We ranked the best California companies based on customer service, convenience and coverage availability. We also rated the best cheap companies based on affordability for different drivers.

To find the cheapest companies, we compared quotes for liability-only coverage, which meets California's state minimum requirements of $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 included higher liability limits than state minimums plus collision and comprehensive coverage.

Cheapest minimum liability car insurance quotes in California: Geico

Geico has the cheapest car insurance for most drivers in California. The company charges $31 per month on average for a minimum liability policy. That's 36% cheaper than the statewide average.

The average cost of minimum-coverage car insurance in California is $49 per month, or $587 per year.

Cheapest car insurance companies in California

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California drivers may also find affordable car insurance from AAA of Northern California (AAA NorCal) or Progressive. Both auto insurance companies offer rates that are cheaper than average, and AAA has some of the best customer support scores in the state.

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

Cheapest minimum car insurance in California

Company
Monthly rate
Geico logo
Geico$31
AAA logo
AAA NorCal$38
Progressive logo
Progressive$39
Mercury logo
Mercury$44
AAA logo
AAA SoCal$48
Show All Rows

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance company in California: Geico

Geico has the cheapest full-coverage car insurance quotes in California, at $109 per month. Mercury, Progressive and AAA SoCal also offer quotes that are cheaper than average.

On average, full-coverage car insurance costs $145 per month in California — or $1,744 per year.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in California

Company
Monthly rate
Geico$109
Mercury$124
Progressive$134
AAA SoCal$143
AAA NorCal$146
Show All Rows

Minimum-coverage car insurance quotes meet California's minimum legal requirements: $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident and $5,000 in property damage coverage.

Unlike full coverage, minimum coverage doesn't include comprehensive and collision insurance, which protect your vehicle from damage following a collision, theft, vandalism or a natural disaster — regardless of who's at fault.

Although full coverage costs more, purchasing higher liability coverage limits and adding comprehensive and collision coverage is a good idea for most drivers and people who own a car that's less than 10 years old or worth more than $3,000. It's also required if you have a car loan or lease.

Cheapest car insurance for California drivers with prior incidents: Mercury

Overall, Mercury offers the most affordable rates for drivers with recent tickets or driving infractions.

Just one accident and claim on your driving record can increase your car insurance quotes by hundreds of dollars per year. Drivers with incidents on their records, like accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs, almost always pay more expensive rates than other drivers.

Cheapest car insurance quotes for California drivers with a speeding ticket: Mercury

Mercury has the best rates for full-coverage auto insurance for California drivers who have received a speeding ticket.

Full-coverage policies from Mercury average $164 per month. That's 24% cheaper than the state average of $216 per month for drivers with a speeding ticket.

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$164
Geico$170
AAA NorCal$184
AAA SoCal$212
Allstate$229
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Drivers typically pay more for car insurance after they receive a speeding ticket because it indicates they are more likely to get in a crash. A full-coverage policy in California is $71 more expensive per month after a speeding ticket. That's a 49% increase.

Cheapest auto insurance for California drivers after an accident: Mercury

Mercury offers the cheapest full-coverage car insurance quotes for California drivers with an at-fault accident on their driving record.

The company's average rate after an accident is $186 per month. That's 36% cheaper than the California average of $292 per month.

Cheapest car insurance in California after an accident

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$186
AAA SoCal$228
Progressive$277
Geico$278
AAA NorCal$295
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California drivers with an accident history typically pay twice as much for car insurance as drivers with no previous accidents.

Cheapest car insurance rates after a DUI: Mercury

If you have a DUI in California, you can get a good deal on full-coverage auto insurance from Mercury. Its typical rate of $205 per month is half as expensive as the average price statewide.

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$205
Geico$275
Progressive$322
Farmers$347
AAA SoCal$425
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A DUI conviction usually means a large increase in your car insurance rates. The average cost of DUI insurance in California is $406 per month. That's a 180% jump compared to a driver with a clean record.

Cheapest car insurance quotes for young California drivers: Geico

The cheapest auto insurance company for young drivers in California is Geico. Its typical rate of $97 per month for minimum coverage is 24% less than average.

For full coverage, State Farm is slightly cheaper than Geico. A policy from State Farm costs $268 per month, versus Geico's average rate of $284 per month.

Young California drivers pay around two and half times as much as older drivers for auto insurance. Insurers charge 18-year-old drivers an average of $127 per month for a minimum-coverage policy. In comparison, 30-year-olds pay just $49 per month for the same coverage.

Cheapest car insurance in California for teens

Company
Liability only
Full coverage
Geico$97$284
State Farm$105$268
Mercury$108$299
Progressive$112$407
AAA NorCal$120$457
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While young drivers' expensive rates might discourage them from purchasing full coverage, it could be a good idea if you drive a lot or have a newer car. The added protection of collision and comprehensive insurance is particularly useful to young drivers, who can benefit from protection for damage to their own car.

Cheapest car insurance for young California drivers with a speeding ticket: Geico

In California, 18-year-old drivers can find the best quotes from Geico after a speeding ticket.

Geico's rates average $109 per month for a minimum-coverage policy. That's 36% cheaper than the California state average of $170 per month for young drivers with a speeding ticket.

Cheapest CA car insurance for teens with a speeding ticket

Company
Monthly rate
Geico$109
Mercury$141
Progressive$145
State Farm$167
AAA NorCal$182
Show All Rows

Overall, rates for young drivers in California increase by 34% after a speeding ticket. That's an additional $43 per month.

Cheapest for teen drivers in California with an accident history: Mercury

Mercury and Geico offer the most affordable auto insurance coverage for young California drivers after an at-fault accident. These companies both offer minimum coverage for about $133 per month. That's far less than the typical price of $186 per month.

Teenagers pay 47% more for car insurance after an accident.

Cheapest CA car insurance for young drivers after an accident

Company
Monthly rate
Mercury$133
Geico$133
Progressive$161
State Farm$175
AAA SoCal$193
Show All Rows

Cheapest car insurance quotes for married California drivers: Geico

The best price for married drivers in California is from Geico, which offers a typical rate of $93 per year for full-coverage insurance. That's 30% less than the average across all insurance companies. Progressive has the biggest discount for married drivers, at 22%.

Company
Monthly rate per car
Geico$93
Progressive$105
Mercury$110
AAA SoCal$133
Allstate$142
Show All Rows

The average rates California insurers charge married drivers are 9% lower than the rates they charge single drivers. Most insurance companies offer slightly cheaper rates to married drivers because married drivers tend to get into fewer car accidents.

The best car insurance companies in California

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

State Farm offers a wide variety of different coverage types and is a great choice for bundling with other types of insurance, such as home or renters insurance. AAA also offers excellent customer service for California drivers.

Best car insurance in CA

Company
Editor's rating
J.D. Power
AM Best
State Farm
842A++
AAA
827A
Geico
835A++
Farmers
815A
Mercury
827A
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It's important to consider customer reviews along with price when shopping for car insurance in California. If you're in an accident, a company with excellent customer service will help you get back on the road quickly. Poor customer service reviews could mean you'll end up paying more out of pocket or waiting longer to make repairs.

Average cost of car insurance rates in California by city

The most expensive city in California for car insurance is Beverly Hills, at $238 per month on average. The cheapest city, Mount Shasta, has an average rate of $106 per month.

The average cost of a full-coverage car insurance quote in California is $145 per month, or $1,744 per year. But the cost of car insurance varies by up to $132 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, roads are poorly maintained, or — as may be the case in Beverly Hills — the average car price is high. If your neighbors all drive Teslas, a liability claim will be higher because the cost to repair the vehicle is higher.

California car insurance quotes near you

City
Average monthly cost
Percentage difference from average
Acalanes Ridge$133-9%
Acampo$140-4%
Acton$1493%
Adelanto$16815%
Adin$122-16%
Show All Rows

Minimum auto insurance requirements in California

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

Coverage
Limit
Bodily injury (BI)$15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
Property damage (PD)$5,000 per accident

While this is the lowest amount of insurance coverage you can have, we recommend choosing your coverage limits based on your driving habits and personal financial situation. For example, you should add collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth more than a few thousand dollars. You'll probably be required to have both if your car is loaned or leased.

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.

If you own a house in one of the most expensive ZIP codes in California and have significant savings and investment accounts, we recommend that you increase your liability limits and consider adding umbrella coverage to protect your assets.

Possible increase to California minimum insurance requirements

The California Legislature has proposed, but appears unlikely to pass, a bill that would increase the minimum required amount of liability coverage for drivers in the state to 30/60/15.

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 one of the most heavily insured states in the country: Only eight states have requirements that high or higher.

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If the bill is passed, drivers with minimum coverage will likely see an increase in their car insurance rates the next time they renew. Increasing your limits from the current to the proposed minimums would result in an average price increase of 16%, or $8 per month, if you have a clean driving record. But the increases may differ because the extra coverage would be spread across every insured driver.

The bill has passed the state Senate and is with an Assembly committee. If the bill is passed, the increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

Affinity group car insurance discounts in California

The California Department of Insurance has recently proposed regulations to mitigate the effect of affinity group discounts on insurance prices. Affinity group discounts can apply to your occupation — such as lawyers and teachers — or membership in an organized group, such as an alumni association. Policyholders in California and elsewhere can often get discounts for being part of an affinity group.

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

Insurer
Affinity group
Discount
21st Century (Farmers subsidiary)American Medical Association membership4%
AAAAccountants, educators8%
Allied (Nationwide subsidiary)Accountants, dentists, educators10%
AllstateSpecialized professionals3%
FarmersAccountants, aerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists14%
Show All Rows

Frequently asked questions

What's the average cost of car insurance in California?

The average cost of car insurance in California for a minimum-coverage policy is $49 per month. The average cost for a full-coverage policy is $145 per month.

Is insurance expensive in California?

The cost of car insurance in California is about average compared to other states. California ranks as the 22nd most expensive state for minimum coverage insurance. It is the 31st most expensive state for full-coverage policies.

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in California?

The cheapest car insurance in California for most drivers is Geico, based on our analysis of thousands of quotes from ZIP codes across the state. Geico has the cheapest rates for minimum coverage, at $31 per month, and full coverage, at $109 per month. Mercury has the best rates for drivers with a speeding ticket, accident or DUI on their record.

Which car insurance company is the best-rated in California?

State Farm is the best-rated car insurance company in California in terms of customer satisfaction. It received strong ratings for service and coverage options. It's also a great option for drivers looking to bundle policies.

Methodology

We collected thousands of rates from ZIP codes across California for the largest insurers. We used a 30-year-old male sample driver with good credit that drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX.

For all quotes with a minimum-coverage policy, we used the minimum required limits in California.

The base policy for full-coverage quotes had the following limits:

Coverage
Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Medical payments coverage$10,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible

AAA insurance is available from two companies in California: The Auto Club of Southern California (AAA SoCal) and AAA of Northern California/CSAA (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.

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.