Cheap Car Insurance in California

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Finding cheap car insurance in California

If you're looking for cheap car insurance in California, one of the best ways to save money is to shop around and compare quotes. That's because rates can vary by hundreds of dollars a year among companies for the same coverage.

We've compiled average premiums by company and city so you can see how prices stack up. 

Here are premiums reported by EverQuote users in California for large insurance companies. The prices below reflect rates for one driver with a clean record, insuring one vehicle. Your own rates will be different.

Company Average monthly premium
The Hartford $98
21st Century  $105
Ameriprise $110
Geico $113
Esurance $115
Dairyland  $117
MetLife $118
Allstate $120
Infinity  $121
The General $123
USAA $124
Travelers $124
State Farm $124
Liberty Mutual $125
Mercury $126
Safeco $126
Progressive $127
AAA / Auto Club $127
Farmers $128
Allied $128
Nationwide $130
National General                  $137
Kemper  $141
Source: EverQuote. See full methodology below.

California's Low Cost Auto Insurance Program

California has a program that provides affordable liability insurance to drivers who meet eligiblity requirements. It's an effort to make sure all drivers can pay for basic auto insurance. To qualify, you must be at least 16, have a valid California driver's license, have a car valued at $25,000 or less, and meet income eligibility guidelines. See more at MyLowCostAuto.com.

Recent auto insurance rate changes approved by California

Even if you have a good driving record, you could get a car insurance rate increase at renewal time.

Rate increases are not uncommon in recent years. Auto insurance companies often point to a rise in car accidents, higher car-repair costs and higher medical bills for accident injuries as reasons for rate increases.

Below are rate changes recently approved by the California department of insurance. These changes may not affect all customers in the state. If you are affected by a rate change, you'll get a notice at renewal time. The effective dates below indicate when the rate change will start rolling out.

Company Rate change effective date Rate change 
Encompass Insurance Company 7/13/18 6.2%
Commerce West Insurance Company 5/22/18 6.99%
Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company,

AMCO Insurance Company,

Crestbrook Insurance Company,

Depositors Insurance Company,

Nationwide Insurance Company of America

5/15/18 6.9%
Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club 5/12/18 5.9%
Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company 5/10/18 6%
Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Company 5/6/18 3%
Travelers Commercial Insurance Company 5/6/18 2.8%
American Sentinel Insurance Company 4/30/18 15.9%
CSAA General Insurance Company 4/20/18 6.99%
Esurance Property and Casualty Insurance Company 4/16/18 13.5%
Americas Insurance Company 4/4/18 6.9%
First National Insurance Company of America,

Safeco Insurance Company of America

4/1/18 6.9%
American States Preferred Insurance Company 4/1/18 6.9%
GEICO General Insurance Company,

GEICO Indemnity Company,

Government Employees Insurance Company

4/1/18 6.9%
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

California car insurance rates after accidents & speeding tickets

Accidents, claims and tickets for moving violations can all lead to a rate increase when you renew your policy. We looked at premiums reported by EverQuote users in California who had an accident or speeding ticket on their records compared to those who didn't. 

On driving record Average monthly premium difference vs. clean record in California
Speeding ticket 51%
Accident 50%
Source: EverQuote. See full methodology below.


Remember that just because you have a spotty driving record doesn't mean you can't potentially get cheap car insurance by shopping around.

Speeding and phone use while driving can lead to accidents, claims and tickets. Here's a look at how much California drivers are speeding and using their phones while driving.

Speeding and using the phone while driving can lead to insurance claims, accidents and tickets. Here’s a look at how much Californians are speeding and using their phones while driving.


California car insurance rates by city

We also compiled California car insurance rates reported by EverQuote users in various cities. Drivers in Hemet reported paying the lowest premiums among the cities we looked at.

City Average monthly premium
Hemet $101
Santa Rosa $106
Oxnard $106.50
El Cajon $107
Oceanside $107
Fremont $109
Antioch $113
Escondido $113.50
Sunnyvale $114.50
Hayward $115
Santa Clara $115
Fresno $115
Bakersfield $115
Chula Vista $115
Mountain View $116
Huntington Beach $117
Irvine $118
Costa Mesa $118
Roseville $118
San Jose $119
Corona $120
Lancaster $120
Citrus Heights $120
San Diego $120
Riverside $120
Elk Grove $121
Whittier $122
Long Beach $122
Moreno Valley $122
Torrance $122
Sacramento $123
Victorville $124
Stockton $126
Santa Ana $128
Palmdale $128
Fontana $128.50
Modesto $129
Oakland $129
Rancho Cucamonga $130
Pasadena $131
San Francisco $131
Vallejo $131
Anaheim $132.50
Santa Monica $135
San Bernardino $139
Burbank $140
Los Angeles $142
Inglewood $142.50
Glendale $144
Van Nuys $149.50
North Hollywood $152
Source: EverQuote. See full methodology below.

How to get cheap car insurance in California

You'll typically get the best rates by comparing prices among multiple insurance companies and keeping a clean driving record.

Other ways to save generally include:

  • Ask your insurance agent to review the possible car insurance discounts.
  • Find out from your agent how much you can save by increasing the deductible on comprehensive and collision coverage, if you buy them.
  • Buy homeowners or renters insurance from your auto insurance company to get a "bundling" discount. 
  • If you're buying a new car, ask your agent to run quotes for the vehicles you're considering so you're not surprised by a bigger bill. 

Methodology for premium comparisons

We averaged premiums reported by EverQuote users, based on policies with bodily injury liability coverage of $100,000 in bodily injury per person and $300,000 in bodily injury per accident (known as 100/300). Rates are based on insuring single vehicles with one driver who has a good driving record and no violations. We used premiums for sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. Premiums are based on expenditures reported between Jan. 1, 2016, and April 1, 2018. Your own rates will be different.

Updated May 25, 2018

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