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Cheap Car Insurance in California (With Quotes, May 2022)

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Car Insurance
Polina Solovyeva

By: Polina Solovyeva

Edited by Tanveen Vohra | Reviewed by licensed insurance agent, Jenny Beeler

Last Updated May 10, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • The average cost of car insurance in California is $256 per month, or $3,072 annually.
  • Metromile is the cheapest provider we found in California, with average premiums of $114 per month.
  • Your rates are determined by factors outside of your location, such as your age and driving record – but by comparing car insurance quotes, you can ensure you find the best rate for your circumstances.

Car Insurance in California

Few things are as exciting as driving around California and exploring its mountains and beaches. All California drivers must carry the minimum auto insurance coverage, but finding affordable car insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Insurify uses the latest top-notch tech to help you find the best cheap car insurance in California in under five minutes.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

See More: Cheap Car Insurance No Deposit

Cheapest Car Insurance in California

How much is car insurance in California?

The average cost of car insurance in California is $256 per month. However, keep in mind that what you pay for car insurance will depend on your age, gender, driving record, credit score, and other factors in your unique driving profile.

Finding car insurance in California doesn’t have to break the bank. Getting at least four quotes from different insurance providers greatly increases your chances of finding the cheapest rates with the best coverage. In California, auto insurance rates can go as low as $114 and as high as $512 on average, so it’s important to see your options before you commit.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$114
Anchor$144
Clearcover$150
Progressive$162
SafeAuto$181
National General$195
Midvale Home & Auto$201
Bristol West$228
Infinity$303
Pronto$512
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

Cheapest Liability Auto Insurance in California

California requires drivers to carry the state minimum liability insurance to prove financial responsibility for car accidents they may cause. You need to get both bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage to drive legally. However, it’s important to know that liability coverage only applies to the damage the other driver sustains.

Although it can be waived, it is also highly recommended that California drivers get underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$56
Anchor$76
Progressive$84
Travelers$95
Aspire General$96
Workmen’s$104
Mercury$106
National General$111
Dairyland$155
Pronto$385
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

Cheapest Full-Coverage Auto Insurance in California

Since liability car insurance only applies to the damage the other driver sustains, full-coverage car insurancecollision coverage and comprehensive coverage—will offer more protection. Full coverage has higher insurance premiums than liability-only, but you can still find a cheap insurance policy with one of the companies below.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$127
Travelers$158
Anchor$173
Freedom National$186
Progressive$195
Midvale Home & Auto$201
Safeco$219
Workmen’s$251
Stillwater$319
Pronto$566
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

Best Car Insurance in California

There are many auto insurance companies in California that offer insurance policies and services at a cheap price. Insurify analyzes multiple factors to determine the quality and reliability of different insurance companies and assign them an Insurify Composite Score, or ICS. With an ICS of 97, Clearcover leads the list in California.

Car Insurance CompanyICSAverage Monthly Quote
Clearcover97$150
Nationwide89$132
Safeco86$197
Liberty Mutual82$191
21st Century80$160
Travelers80$146
State Auto76$346
National General58$195
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Insurify Composite Score

The Insurify Composite Score is a proprietary rating calculated by a team of data scientists at Insurify, weighing multiple factors that reflect the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company.

Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews.

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California Car Insurance Rates by Driving and Accident History

Whether you’re shopping for the minimum liability insurance or full coverage, all insurance companies look at various factors to determine your car insurance premiums. Your driving and accident history is one of the most important factors that they take into consideration when calculating your insurance pricing. You can find more information below.

See More: High-Risk Car Insurance California

Cheap Car Insurance for Good Drivers in California

Different car insurance companies have different definitions of what a “good driver” is, but typically, it’s a driver with a clean driving record and no accidents going back 3-7 years. Good drivers have access to the best rates and can often qualify for various insurance discounts. Average monthly quotes for good drivers can go as low as $105.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$105
Clearcover$130
Travelers$137
Mercury$146
Progressive$152
SafeAuto$180
Workmen’s$192
Safeco$192
Bristol West$217
Pronto$491
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers with DUI in California

Having a DUI on your record can make your car insurance company label you as a “high-risk driver” and increase your auto insurance rates. For example, average rates with Progressive are $152 for good drivers and $222 for drivers who have a DUI, which amounts to an $840 annual difference. You can find more average rates for drivers with DUI in the table below.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Bluefire$144
Clearcover$212
Travelers$156
Mercury$250
Progressive$222
SafeAuto$166
Workmen’s$235
Safeco$266
Bristol West$235
Pronto$583
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

See More: SR-22 Insurance California

SR-22 Insurance in California

If you have a DUI conviction, California insurance laws may require you to get a special form called an SR-22 from your insurance provider in order to prove that you are financially responsible.

These are the insurance companies that offer SR-22 in California:

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers with an At-Fault Accident in California

Having an at-fault accident on your driving record will also likely increase your California auto insurance costs. Insurify data shows that the lowest average monthly quote for a driver with an at-fault accident on their record is $124, $19 higher than a quote for a good driver with the same car insurance provider.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$124
Clearcover$217
Travelers$156
Mercury$239
Progressive$176
SafeAuto$187
Workmen’s$225
Safeco$211
Bristol West$264
Pronto$546
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers with Speeding Tickets in California

A speeding ticket on your driving history can make your auto insurance policy more expensive. For example, an average monthly quote with Travelers goes up from $137 for good drivers to $196 for those with speeding tickets, amounting to a $708 annual difference. Similarly, a quote with Workmen’s increases from $192 to $254, resulting in a $744 yearly difference.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Metromile$156
Clearcover$209
Travelers$196
Mercury$246
Progressive$234
Mercury$246
Workmen’s$254
Safeco$235
Bristol West$269
Pronto$607
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

California Car Insurance Rates by Credit Tier

In many U.S. states, your credit history may either drive up your insurance premiums or keep them down. However, California bans insurance providers from using your credit score when setting your car insurance rates. Banning the use of credit history for determining auto insurance premiums makes finding cheap auto insurance in California more equitable.

See More: Bad Credit Car Insurance California

Car Insurance Rates in California Cities

Your car insurance rates also depend on where in California you live and vary from city to city. On average, residents of Los Angeles can expect to pay $115 more per month than San Diego drivers. San Francisco and Los Angeles drivers have the highest rates, while Fresno and Bakersfield have the cheapest car insurance rates.

CityAverage Monthly Quote
Los Angeles$295
San Diego$180
San Jose$224
San Francisco$280
Fresno$172
Sacramento$205
Long Beach$212
Oakland$236
Bakersfield$183
Anaheim$205
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

California Car Insurance Rates by Driver Age

Your age is another major factor that impacts your car insurance rates. Teen drivers and young drivers under 25 can expect the highest rates, $433 and $366, respectively. As you age and gain more experience behind the wheel, your car insurance rates will become cheaper. Drivers in their 50s and 60s can expect the cheapest rates, $203 and $175, respectively.

Age GroupAverage Monthly Rate
Teenagers$433
Under 25$366
20s$299
30s$202
40s$206
50s$203
60s$175
70s$177
80+$180
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

California Driving Facts

Every state has minimum insurance requirements, and California is no exception. Additionally, all drivers in California will have to visit their local DMV and may at some point need to rely on public transportation. The following sections break down minimum insurance requirements, DMV services, and public transit options in California.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California

California enacted a number of new traffic laws for 2018, including legislation on DUI policies for rideshare service drivers, seat belts on public transport, and smoking or ingesting cannabis in moving vehicles.

Most significantly, a change in the California Department of Motor Vehicles road rehabilitation and maintenance program signals that registration or renewed registration of a motor vehicle will now come with a fee of $25 to $175.

California's minimum liability car insurance limits are as follows:

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

California DMV Information

The California Department of Motor Vehicles–or DMV—is a government agency responsible for providing various services to California drivers, such as vehicle registration and driver’s license renewal.

The California DMV offers many services online—such as requesting a replacement driver’s license or paying reinstatement fees— so be sure to check their website to find out whether you can do what you need to do online before making an appointment.

Public Transportation in California

If you live in a major city such as Los Angeles or San Diego, driving is the most convenient way to get around. However, there is some public transportation available, such as Greyhound buses and Amtrak’s trains for long-distance travel. Many large cities also have their own public bus systems. Yosemite National Park has a transportation system called Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System, or YARTS

California New Car Insurance Grace Period

What is a new car insurance grace period in California?

Most insurance companies provide policyholders with a grace period to insure a new vehicle—though these policies vary by state law and insurance provider. Under California state law, drivers have a grace period of up to 30 days to show the DMV either proof of financial responsibility or documentation of insurance coverage after purchasing a new car.

Despite having a 30-day grace period to insure their new vehicle, California drivers should prioritize insuring their car shortly after purchasing it to ensure they do not overlook the requirement. Failure to insure a car in California can result in a vehicle registration suspension and up to $200 in fines, as well as extra financial costs in the event of an accident or offense.

What happens if you have a traffic incident or accident during the grace period?

No one plans on having a car accident or receiving a ticket for a traffic offense, but it happens—even with a new car. Individuals with existing insurance coverage who have an accident or traffic offense during California’s 30-day grace period will not be treated as uninsured motorists. The amount of coverage depends on the insurance provider.

In the event of an accident or traffic violation by drivers in the new car grace period, insurance providers typically extend the policyholder’s existing insurance coverage plan for the new vehicle. The driver will still be expected to cooperate with any necessary state penalties or fines in relation to the event, and uninsured motorists will face heavier penalties for the incident.

Is a grace period a good time to reevaluate your insurance coverage?

Shopping around for insurance coverage on a recurring basis helps insurance customers find the best, most affordable auto insurance rates available. Whether a policy is up for renewal or a driver needs to insure a new vehicle, comparing auto insurance rates with Insurify’s quote-comparison tool helps users reevaluate their insurance needs and find the best rates.

California Good Driver Discounts

Insurance companies consider factors like driving history and habits when calculating insurance rates for policyholders. Most insurance providers offer policyholders with solid driving records a good driver discount to go toward their monthly auto premiums. Under California state law, insurance providers are actually required to provide qualifying good drivers with a discount.

Who is eligible for the California good driver discount?

California drivers qualify for the good driver discount if they have had their driver’s license for at least three years and have not attended traffic school more than once due to a violation, have one or zero recorded driving violations, have zero at-fault accidents resulting in someone’s injury or death, and have zero convictions for driving under the influence offenses in the past 10 years.

Other Car Insurance Discounts Good Drivers in California Can Apply For

In addition to the California good driver discount, good drivers have other options to earn quality discounts. Available opportunities to save include accident-free, defensive driving course, safe driving programs, bundling, and good student discounts. These additional options allow good drivers to make intentional decisions and considerations to help them save even more on rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Good Drivers

Though rates vary by provider for every driver, Insurify found the insurance companies offering the cheapest quotes for minimum liability coverage to Californians with clean driving records. These insurance providers include State Farm, GEICO, Nationwide, Mercury, and American Family—all offering low rates and quality good driver discounts for their customers.

To find the best rates that meet your specific car insurance needs, utilize the comprehensive Insurify quote-comparison tool to analyze rates of top providers in your consideration. Before comparing quotes from as many as 20 providers, all you have to do is provide information related to your vehicle, driving history, and discount eligibility. Try it for yourself today!

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in California

Car insurance quotes in California can go as low as $56 and as high as $607, and the best way to find cheap car insurance is to shop around. Insurify recommends getting at least four quotes from different insurance providers and comparing them side by side to find a provider that will offer you the best coverage limits and deductibles at the cheapest rate.

Insurify makes shopping for car insurance easy. Instead of spending hours on the phone requesting quotes from different companies in your area, answer a few basic questions on Insurify’s trusted website, and get instant access to 10+ real and personalized quotes that you can buy online.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, all California drivers must carry the minimum required liability insurance. Insurance laws require you to carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $5,000 in property damage liability. You must also purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but you can waive this requirement.

  • Shopping around is the best way to find cheap car insurance in California. Use Insurify to get instant access to 10+ real quotes from the best car insurance companies in California and find the cheapest auto insurance policy today.

  • Your car insurance costs depend on a variety of factors, such as your driving history and age. You can find car insurance quotes as low as $56 and as high as $607, depending on your coverage preferences and whether you have any factors driving your insurance costs up. To get accurate and personalized car insurance quotes today, use Insurify.

  • Being a teen or a young driver under 25, as well as having DUIs, speeding tickets, and at-fault accidents on your record will drive your car insurance costs up. In many other states, insurance companies can also use your credit score to determine your car insurance rate, but car insurance companies in California are banned from doing so.

  • No, you are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in California. You are only required to have the minimum liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage (if you decide not to waive it). To find the cheapest minimum required car insurance in California, use Insurify.

  • A chunk of insurance companies won’t insure salvage vehicles in California. If you like your insurance company, call them first to see if they’ll insure your car with a salvage title. For a bird’s-eye view of all your best options, spend a few minutes with Insurify, and you’ll get a slate of real quotes just for you, totally free.

Insurify Insights

How California Drivers Measure Up

While most drivers know that car insurance quotes are determined in part by your personal driving history, many may be unaware that rates are also impacted by the average risk of the drivers around you as well. Check out Insurify's latest analysis of driving records in California below:

Methodology

Drawing from an internal database of over 4 million car insurance applications, the research team at Insurify analyzes patterns in car ownership and driver behavior - including how California drivers measure up to their fellow motorists across the United States in areas including speeding, DUIs, and more.
Insurify Insights publishes data-driven articles, trend analyses, and national rankings each week on all factors related to cars and those who drive them.

honda

Honda Civic

Most Popular Car in California

#39

State with the Most Speeding Tickets Rank

#34

State with the Moving Violations Rank

#17

State with the Most DUIs Rank

#17

State with the most Suspended Licenses

  • While car accidents are a sadly unavoidable feature of time spent on the road, rates of accidents do vary from city to city and from state to state. California is the #15 state in the country for drivers with an at-fault accident on their driving record.

    • Rank among states: #15
    • Percent of drivers in California with an accident: 11.15%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with an at-fault accident: 10.18%
    • Drivers in CA who have a current at-fault accident on their driving record pay 25.76% more on average than drivers with a clean record.
  • Exceeding the speed limit can endanger others and have a serious impact on your insurance costs. California is the #39 state in the country for drivers with a speeding ticket on record.

    • Rank among states: #39
    • Percent of drivers in California with a speeding ticket: 7.57%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a speeding ticket: 9.18%
    • Drivers in CA with a speeding ticket in their driving history pay on average 30.81% more than drivers with a clean record.
  • While driving while intoxicated is never acceptable, it’s a more common offense than many assume. California is the #17 state in the country for drivers with a prior drunk driving conviction.

    • Rank among states: #17
    • Percent of drivers in California with a DUI: 2.41%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a DUI: 1.65%
    • Drivers in CA with a DUI in their driving history pay on average 19.19% more than drivers with a clean record.
  • The Insurify team classifies rude drivers as those who commit one or more of the following driving offenses: failure to yield or failure to stop, improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, or hit-and-run. California is the #15 state in the country for drivers with a rude driving violation on record.

    • Rank among states: #15
    • Percent of drivers in California with a rude driving violation: 2.47%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a rude driving violation: 1.68%
    • Drivers in CA with a rude driving violation in their driving history pay on average 28.28% more than drivers with a clean record.
  • Reckless driving refers to a specific traffic violation: when drivers willfully act dangerously in spite of the risks they’re imposing on both themselves and others. California is the #28 state in the country for drivers with a reckless driving offense on record.

    • Rank among states: #28
    • Percent of drivers in California with a reckless driving offense: 0.08%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a reckless driving offense: 0.0949%
  • Failing to yield the right of way isn’t just frustrating for other drivers; it’s dangerous, too. California is the #44 state in the country for drivers with a failure to yield violation on record.

    • Rank among states: #44
    • Percent of drivers in California with a failure to yield violation: 0.25%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a failure to yield violation: 0.36%
    • Drivers in CA with a failure to yield violation in their driving history pay on average 27.27% more than drivers with a clean record
  • Having a squeaky-clean driving record is an impressive accomplishment. Some states have consistently safer drivers than others; California is the #23 state in the country for drivers with a clean record.

    • Rank among states: #23
    • Percent of drivers in California with a clean record: 80.49%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a clean record: 82.17%
  • As auto manufacturers increasingly turn towards producing greener car models, more and more motorists are embracing hybrids and EV’s. California drivers rank #2 in hybrid and electric vehicle ownership across all fifty states.

    • Rank among states: #2
    • Percent of drivers in California with a hybrid/electric vehicle: 3.13%
    • Percent of all U.S. drivers with a hybrid/electric vehicle: 2.4%
Insurify Insights

Insurify's team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. through expert analysis of over 4 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.

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Methodology

The car insurance quotes displayed are based on an analysis of Insurify’s database of over 40 million quotes from 500 ZIP codes nationwide. To obtain representative rates, Insurify’s data science team performs frequent comprehensive analyses of the factors car insurance providers weigh to calculate rates including driver demographics, driving record, credit score, desired coverage level, and more.

Insurify’s analysis also incorporates the Insurify Composite Score (ICS) assigned to each insurance provider. The ICS is a proprietary rating that weighs multiple factors reflecting the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Ratings used to calculate the ICS include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. 

With the above insights and ranking methods, Insurify is able to offer car insurance shoppers insight into how various insurance providers compare to one another in terms of both cost and quality. Note, actual quotes will vary based on unique attributes including the policyholder’s driver history and their garaging address.

Polina Solovyeva
Polina Solovyeva

Content Writer at Insurify

Polina Solovyeva is a freelance copywriter for mission-driven brands and entrepreneurs. When she's not writing, you can find her on a long-distance run or dancing bachata. To learn more, visit her copywriting agency Deeper than Copy at deeperthancopy.com.

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