Cheapest Auto Insurance in Santa Barbara, California (2024)

Mile Auto offers the cheapest liability insurance rates in Santa Barbara, with quotes starting at $50 per month.

Christy Rakoczy
Written byChristy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has been a personal finance and insurance writer for over a decade. Her work has been published on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, and more. Christy has a JD from UCLA School of Law and previously worked as a data analyst for Blue Cross and as a paralegal studies instructor before transitioning to writing full time.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Daniel Roccato
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Updated July 18, 2024

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Cheapest recent rates near Santa Barbara, California

Drivers in and around Santa Barbara, California have found policies from National General, Aspire General, State Farm, and more, through Insurify in the last few days.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users in and around Santa Barbara, California within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users in and around Santa Barbara, California within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Average car insurance costs for Santa Barbara drivers are lower than California averages. Full-coverage car insurance in Santa Barbara averages $238 per month, and liability-only policies average $115 monthly. The state averages are $287 and $137, respectively.

Santa Barbara is one of California’s smaller cities by population.[1] It’s also considered a very walkable city. These factors result in fewer drivers on the road, which can lower driving risks and result in reduced auto insurance premiums.

However, while rates remain lower in Santa Barbara, you can still find ways to cut your costs even more. Here’s how.

Quick Facts
  • Mile Auto, Sun Coast, and Mercury are the three cheapest insurers for Santa Barbara drivers.

  • Santa Barbara saw just three fatalities in 2023, and 492 accidents that resulted in injuries, according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.

  • California doesn’t allow insurers to use your credit history during the underwriting process.

3 of the cheapest car insurance companies in Santa Barbara

While auto insurance is generally affordable in Santa Barbara, California car insurance rates vary by insurer as well as by driver profile. Some insurers offer more affordable coverage than others for drivers who have certain driving records, live in certain ZIP codes, or are in certain age groups. That’s why it’s important to compare rates from several insurers to find the best coverage for you.

The table below shows some of the top auto insurers in Santa Barbara, including their statewide rates for full and liability coverage. Include them in your car insurance search.

Insurance CompanyIQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Full CoverageLiability OnlyBest For
Mercury8.0$175$94Students
Clearcover6.8$113$54Drivers with a DUI
USAA9.4$239$116Military members
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Our editorial team spent more than 350 hours developing the Insurify Quality (IQ) Score and scoring insurance companies. The IQ Score objectively analyzes and calculates a score for insurers using more than 15 crucial criteria. The team weighted criteria by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings.

    We rate each company on a 1 to 10 scale based on five categories: financial ratings, customer satisfaction, affordability, customer support and transparency, and availability. Insurify updates ratings once a year or as more recent information becomes available.

    • Third-party financial ratings: Insurify uses data from AM Best, S&P, Moody’s, and more to compare insurance companies’ credit and ability to pay out future claims.
    • Customer satisfaction: To calculate this score, Insurify analyzed more than 28,000 customer reviews across 155 car insurance companies. We also consider third-party ratings from J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Trustpilot.
    • Affordability: Our data scientists analyzed more than 90 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partners across the U.S., as well as available discounts, to calculate an affordability score.
    • Customer support and transparency: This measures coverage options, ease of claims filing, and the insurer's transparency surrounding discounts, coverages, and claims process.
    • Availability and reach: Insurify scores availability and reach by identifying the number of states in which insurers offer coverage and company size by market share.

Best insurer for students: Mercury Auto Insurance

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
User Reviews
3.4
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
8.0/10
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$78/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$146/mo

Numerous colleges are in the Santa Barbara area, including the University of California, Santa Barbara; Antioch University; Westmont College; and Santa Barbara City College. While younger drivers often pay higher prices for coverage, Mercury, which is based in California, tends to offer more affordable coverage options for drivers who are students.

Pros
  • Offers many options to save, including good student discounts for drivers younger than 25

  • Has an extensive network of local agents

Cons
  • Not available in every state

  • Below-average J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating in California

Read more driver reviews of Mercury
Diana - July 16, 2024
Verified

Constant Rate Hikes

I was disappointed. They promised a rate of $104 per month - except the first month was to be slightly higher due to admin costs for policy set-up. The actual rate was $114 per month. But after 3 months, it was raised to $117 per month, then $127 and kept going up. At the annual renewal, it was up to $179 per month. I contacted the agent about the constant rate increases only to be told she had no control over rates. I can't comment on the claim service because I never filed a claim.

Bilgai - July 15, 2024
Verified

Mercury Insurance is Expensive

Expensive.

Harvey - July 15, 2024
Verified

Happy Customer

Good customer service, especially through a licensed local agent.

Best insurer for drivers with a DUI: Clearcover

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User Reviews
3.0
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
6.8/10
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$89/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$144/mo

In Santa Barbara County, there were 1,811 DUI arrests in 2019.[2] Drivers with a DUI on their record often pay higher auto insurance rates, but Clearcover’s prices may be more affordable. Because Clearcover uses AI technology to help set premiums, it can offer more personalized, and often lower, pricing than many other insurers.

Pros
  • Eligible claims are paid within seven minutes

  • Mobile app has positive reviews on App Store and Google Play

Cons
  • Premiums change more often because Clearcover offers a maximum six-month coverage term instead of the 12 months many competitors offer

  • Coverage isn’t available in all states, and the agent network is small

Read more driver reviews of Clearcover
Ricardo - July 15, 2024
Verified

Fair

The premium keeps increasing drastically.

Nikkolaus - July 10, 2024
Verified

Prices Skyrocketing

ClearCover started off well, offering prices that were $200 lower than other companies. This made them a highly desirable choice. However, when it came time to renew, they increased the prices by $80. At the next renewal, they raised the price again, this time by $135. This eliminated the favorable price gap they initially had. At the next renewal, they increased the price yet again by $80, making their price higher than the competition's. It's time to look for other options!

Miche - July 1, 2024
Verified

Not Valued as a Loyal Customer

The price was good, but they do not value loyal customers.

Best insurer for the military community: USAA

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
User Reviews
3.7
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
9.4/10
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$97/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$200/mo

Santa Barbara is home to 3,217 veterans.[1] Vandenberg Space Force Base is also located in Santa Barbara County. Both veterans and active-duty military members should consider getting auto insurance through USAA, as this insurer offers top-notch customer service and affordable rates aimed at the military community.

Pros
  • Received the highest customer satisfaction rating in California in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study

  • More affordable rates than many competitors

Cons
  • Only people with certain military affiliations are eligible

  • Gap insurance not available and car replacement coverage not available on leased vehicles

Read more driver reviews of USAA
Ronald - July 17, 2024
Verified

The quality of service largely depends on the representative you interact with. We had an excellent representative, so our experience was excellent.

The quality of service largely depends on the representative you interact with. We had an excellent representative, so our experience was excellent.

Connie - July 17, 2024
Verified

Great Company, Great Employees

I would highly recommend USAA to any of my friends. The employees are always courteous and have answers to any questions you may have.

John - July 16, 2024
Verified

Good

Invest more in customer service and less in advertising.

How to get the cheapest car insurance in Santa Barbara

The car insurance rates you get will depend on many things, including your age, driving record, marital status, credit history, and more. While some of these aspects are out of your control, you can do some things to lower your car insurance rates, including:

  • Get multiple insurance quotes. Many insurers cover drivers in California, and the cheapest company for one driver may not be the cheapest for someone else. Try to get at least three quotes from different insurers to find the best plan for you. Independent insurance agents can help, or you can answer a few simple questions to get online auto insurance quotes.

  • Take advantage of discounts. Many insurers offer savings for being accident-free, bundling home and auto coverage, earning good grades, or working for a certain business. It’s a good idea to explore available discounts and make sure to ask for all the savings you and your family are eligible for.

  • Be smart about your vehicle. Cars with anti-theft devices and certain safety features cost less to insure. Compare insurance quotes for different cars before deciding which to buy.

  • Drive safely. Avoiding accidents and moving violations will help you keep your insurance costs down.

  • Bundle your insurance policies. Buying your auto and homeowners (or renters) insurance through the same company could make you eligible for a bundling discount of 5% or more.

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Santa Barbara

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Cheapest liability-only car insurance in Santa Barbara

Liability-only insurance provides the state-minimum required liability coverage. California requires every driver to buy liability insurance to protect others. If you’re at fault in a collision, this coverage will pay for the other party’s injuries and property damage. But it won't pay for damages to your vehicle, so liability-only insurance is usually best for drivers with older, less-expensive vehicles.

The average rate for liability-only insurance in California is $137, and you can see average quotes from area insurers in the table below.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, July 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Mile Auto$50
Sun Coast$63
Mercury$78
Anchor$83
USAA$97
National General$109
Direct Auto$129
GEICO$129
Allstate$134
Farmers$137
State Farm$149
Travelers$156
21st Century$169
Bristol West$186
Nationwide$210
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in Santa Barbara

Full-coverage auto insurance adds additional protections beyond the required state-minimum liability insurance. It typically includes both collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance pays for your losses in a crash, no matter who caused it. Comprehensive coverage pays for your losses from something other than a collision, such as falling objects, theft, or vandalism.

If you lease or finance your vehicle, your leasing company or lender will require you to buy full coverage for greater financial protection.

The table below shows how quotes in Santa Barbara compare with the state full-coverage average rate of $287 per month.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, July 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Mile Auto$93
Mercury$146
Sun Coast$184
Anchor$195
USAA$200
GEICO$266
National General$266
Allstate$276
Farmers$283
Direct Auto$306
State Farm$307
Travelers$322
Bristol West$348
21st Century$351
Nationwide$432
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest recent rates near Santa Barbara, California

Drivers in and around Santa Barbara, California have found policies from National General, Orion Indemnity Company, Mercury, and more, through Insurify in the last few days.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users in and around Santa Barbara, California within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users in and around Santa Barbara, California within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Car insurance requirements in California

California requires every driver to have liability coverage to protect others in case they cause a collision. Here are the minimum requirements for California liability insurance:

CoverageMinimum Requirements
Bodily injury liability$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident
Property damage liability5$5,000

While the table above includes your minimum requirements, you may want to expand your protection with some additional coverages. Some other kinds of coverage you may want include:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Physical damage protection

    This includes comprehensive insurance to pay for non-crash losses, as well as collision insurance to pay for damage to your own vehicle after a crash.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments coverage

    This pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who was to blame.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    This pays for damage when the responsible driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for losses.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an incident

Speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, driving under the influence, and other moving violations make you a riskier driver in the eyes of insurers. As a result, insurers charge higher premiums when motorists have such incidents on their driving record. Depending on the incident, your rates in California could almost double compared to what a driver with a clean record might pay.

The table below shows the cheapest auto insurance for drivers who have various incidents on their record.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, July 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyClean Record With At-Fault Accident With Speeding TicketWith DUI
Mile Auto$50$68$67$65
Sun Coast$63$79$85$81
Mercury$78$104$105$103
Anchor$83$114$104$123
USAA$97$122$122$144
National General$109$138$137$162
Direct Auto$129$166$163$191
GEICO$129$162$162$191
Allstate$134$168$168$199
Farmers$137$171$171$203
State Farm$149$186$186$221
Travelers$156$197$198$231
21st Century$169$217$220$250
Bristol West$186$230$233$276
Nationwide$210$266$267$311
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Average cost of car insurance by age

People at the beginning and end of their driving lives present a higher risk of auto accidents. For teens, this is because of their inexperience. For older drivers, it’s due to their reduced faculties. This is why auto insurance rates are generally higher for drivers younger than 25 and older than 70, although rates do vary by insurer.

The table below shows what Santa Barbara drivers of different ages can expect to pay for auto insurance.

AgeAverage Monthly Quote
Teens$233
20s$170
30s$124
40s$116
50s$111
60s$97
70s$101
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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Santa Barbara car insurance FAQs

Looking for more information to help you find the lowest rates in Santa Barbara? Consult the answers below.

  • How much is car insurance in Santa Barbara?

    The average rate for car insurance in Santa Barbara is $115 for liability-only policies and $238 for full coverage. This makes Santa Barbara more affordable than the California state averages of $137 and $287 per month, respectively.

  • Which insurance company has the lowest rates in Santa Barbara?

    Mile Auto offers the cheapest car insurance rates in Santa Barbara. Its liability-only coverage starts at $50 per month. Santa Barbara drivers can also find affordable rates from the city's second- and third-cheapest insurance providers, Sun Coast, and Mercury. Their monthly liability quotes start at $63 and $78, respectively.

  • Can insurers review your credit history in California?

    No. California law prevents insurers from reviewing your credit history as part of their underwriting process. In the states where this is legal (which is most states), people with good or excellent credit pay significantly less for insurance compared to people with poor credit histories.

  • What are the best car insurance companies in Santa Barbara?

    Mercury, Clearcover, and USAA are three of the top insurers in Santa Barbara, and each is known for serving specific groups. Mercury’s student discounts are appealing to the thousands of college students in the area, while Clearcover offers some of the lowest rates for drivers with a DUI on their record. Finally, USAA is dedicated to serving the military community and has several offerings military members can take advantage of.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. United States Census Bureau. "QuickFacts Los Angeles city, California; Santa Barbara city, California; Anaheim city, California."
  2. California Department of Motor Vehicles. "ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CALIFORNIA DUI MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM."
Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has been a personal finance and insurance writer for over a decade. Her work has been published on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, and more. Christy has a JD from UCLA School of Law and previously worked as a data analyst for Blue Cross and as a paralegal studies instructor before transitioning to writing full time.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

Featured in

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Daniel Roccato
Reviewed byDaniel RoccatoAdvisor
Headshot of industry expert Daniel Roccato
Daniel RoccatoAdvisor
  • 30+ years in financial services

  • Clinical Professor of Finance, University of San Diego

Dan is a well-recognized and widely quoted financial services expert, regularly appearing in a variety of national and local media as a subject matter expert.

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