Insurance companies determine rates based on the estimated level of risk a driver presents. That’s why young drivers typically pay more for car insurance and experienced drivers who have managed to avoid accidents pay less. Many insurance companies across the country offer discounts to good drivers, and some have app-based or telematics programs for safe driving as well. 

But in California, insurers are required to provide a discount to good drivers by law. That’s why you can go ahead and pick the most reputable insurance company offering the lowest rate without worrying about whether it offers good driving discounts. 

>>> MORE: Car Insurance Estimator 

Insurify is the perfect place to begin your search for the cheapest car insurance in California. Rather than filling out endless forms on insurance company websites and organizing your results in a spreadsheet, you’ll just need to enter your information once. Our artificial intelligence technology will find insurance quotes from multiple insurers so that you can easily identify the best insurance rates in your area. 

Who is eligible for the California good driver discount?

You’ll be eligible for the California good driver discount if:

  • You’ve had your driver’s license for at least the past three years
  • You have no more than one violation point on your driving record
  • You haven’t been to traffic school more than once for a traffic violation
  • You’ve never been principally at fault in an accident that killed or injured someone
  • In the past 10 years, you haven’t been convicted of an offense related to driving under the influence

Other Car Insurance Discounts Good Drivers in California Can Apply For

Besides maintaining a clean driving record, there are several ways motorists can get a lower rate on their insurance premiums. These include:

  • Accident-free discounts: Some insurance companies will give you a discount after a certain number of years without an accident on your record—typically three years.
  • Defensive driving course discounts: Some automobile insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who take an approved defensive driving course.
  • Safe driving programs: Many insurers have safe driving programs that use an app or telematics to monitor your actual driving behavior. If you avoid hard braking, rapid acceleration, texting, and nighttime driving, you can get a significant discount or cash back rewards. 
  • Bundling discounts: Most insurance companies offer a multi-policy discount, so you could save by bundling your auto policy with your homeowners or renters policy.
  • Good student discounts: If you’re young and lack driving experience, you can partially lower a high premium by maintaining a B average or better in school.

How Much Good Drivers Pay for Car Insurance 

Good drivers pay less on average for insurance coverage than high-risk drivers in California, according to proprietary data from millions of driver quotes from Insurify. Keep in mind, these car insurance rates are averages across thousands of policies, including full-coverage policies with comprehensive and collision coverage and state minimum policies with only bodily injury and property damage coverage. 

MORE >>> Average Cost of Car Insurance in California

Driving History Average Monthly Premium
Good Driver (No Violations) $198
Speeding Ticket $267
At-Fault Accident $258

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Good Drivers

According to Insurify, the average cost of car insurance in California is $237 per month, but good drivers can find cheaper premiums than that. The lowest quotes we could find for someone with a clean driving record purchasing California state minimum liability coverage are from the following companies:

Insurer Quote
State Farm $61
GEICO $64
Nationwide $106
Mercury $106
American Family $124

State Farm

State Farm is one of the best car insurance companies for good drivers in California because of the excellent discounts the company provides. If you’re under 25 and have maintained a violation-free record for three years, you’ll qualify for the Steer Clear auto insurance discount, which could save you up to 20 percent. State Farm also has a Drive Safe & Save program for drivers of all ages who agree to smartphone monitoring of their driving behavior. 

State Farm has standard accident-free and defensive driving course discounts as well. What’s more, the company has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best and was ranked third in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for California

GEICO

With GEICO, you can get a 22 percent discount for being a good driver, which means you’ve been accident-free for five years. You can also get a discount for using your seat belt or taking a defensive driving or driver’s education course. GEICO also has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best and was ranked above-average in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for California

Nationwide

Nationwide offers several discounts that will appeal to good drivers. You can save on your premium if you’ve been free of at-fault accidents and other violations for at least five years. There’s also a separate accident-free discount and a defensive driving course discount (you may have to be 55 or older to be eligible for the course). 

Nationwide also offers the SmartRide telematics program, which gives you feedback on your driving behavior and rewards you with a discount. And the company has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best. However, Nationwide was ranked below-average by J.D. Power in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for California

MORE >>> Cheap Car Insurance in California

How Safe Drivers in California Can Save Up to 30% on Car Insurance 

Discounts can help lower your insurance premium with any provider, but the biggest savings opportunity comes with finding the cheapest insurer for your individual needs. You can use Insurify to easily identify the insurance companies offering the lowest premiums based on your individual information. Finding a new insurance provider could save you up to 30 percent—the average Insurify user saves $48 per month. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Answer a few questions about your vehicle, driving record, and eligibility for discounts.
  2. See quotes from up to 20 different providers, ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
  3. Toggle between deductible amounts and coverage limits until you find a policy that fits your budget.
  4. Check out the Insurify Composite Score for our top choices for best car insurance companies to make sure you’re making the right choice.

Pick an insurance policy and sign up. That’s it!

California Good Driver Discount: Quick Questions

What is the California good driver discount law?

California law requires all insurance companies to give drivers who meet certain eligibility requirements a 20 percent discount. To qualify, you’ll need to have been licensed for at least three years and have a mostly clean driving record.

Who is eligible for the California good driver discount?

Drivers are considered eligible if they have been licensed for three years, have never caused injury or death in an accident, have had no DUIs for the past 10 years, and have no more than one violation point and no more than one visit to traffic school.

If I’m a safe driver, what are other ways for me to save on car insurance?

Another great way for safe drivers to save money is to use an insurance comparison tool like Insurify. Some insurance companies are more generous with low premiums for good drivers than others, so it pays to compare customized quotes. If you check your rate with Insurify, you can quickly find the best deal on car insurance.

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Updated June 24, 2021

Lindsay Frankel is a full-time freelance writer specializing in personal finance and insurance topics. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree, The Balance, Coverage.com, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, and FinanceBuzz. For the past year, she has written about car insurance for Insurify.