Best Auto Insurance Rates in California

On average, your neighbors pay $70 a month.

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Compare Auto Insurance in California

California is called The Golden State. With our useful insurance information, you’ll spend a little less gold.

This page shows which types of coverage are legally required in California. It will cover the best insurance companies for different California drivers. It also has cost of driving data including average rates. Finally, it shares insights about insurance risk to protect you and your family.

Average California Car Insurance Rates

How much is car insurance in California? Depending on where you live, many California drivers pay less for car insurance than the national average. For others, car insurance rates can be expensive. On average, auto insurance in California costs $841.45 a year. The national average cost is $889.01.

Prices may vary depending on your zip code and the total number of claims filed.

California (CA) Average Annual Car Insurance Rates
Coverage Rates
Liability $489.66
Collision $396.55
Comprehensive $100.54
Total Cost Per Year $841.45
Price Per Month $70.12
Source: Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance

The graph below shows the most recent year rate data is available. According to the III, California's car insurance rates increased from $740 in 2011 to $841 in 2015, a jump of $101, or 13.66 percent.

California average car insurance rates

Shopping around and comparing auto insurance quotes is important. But who has the time and energy for it? Well, if you're a Californian driver and you use QuoteWizard, you won’t have to worry about time or energy.

QuoteWizard connects you to multiple companies so you can compare car insurance rates. Find coverage that fits your needs at a great price.

Last year, 239,583 people used QuoteWizard to get an auto insurance quotes comparison in California from multiple companies to get the cheapest rates.

Best Car Insurance Companies in California

These are the most common car insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in California last year. Out of the 239,583 California drivers that requested quotes through QuoteWizard last year, 32,764 had no car insurance.

What company suits your needs best? You can study them side by side on our compare page. We've compiled guidelines for the 30 biggest insurance companies in America. Getting educated is the first step to getting the right policy. What better way to compare auto insurance quotes in California?

If you're looking for cheap California car insurance and you're on a budget, there's good news. California offers a low cost insurance program known as CLCA. This plan began in 1999 with a goal to help low-income drivers obtain legally required coverage. It's only available to drivers who meet certain income requirements.

Best High-Risk Auto Insurance Companies

Drivers with tickets or accidents may struggle to qualify for standard auto insurance plans. Fortunately, there are several options for California drivers who need high-risk insurance.

Normally, high-risk drivers may have trouble finding car insurance coverage. Many companies refuse to cover high-risk drivers, or they charge very high premiums. Because of this, California created the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP).

CAARP stipulates that insurers must accept a certain percentage of non-standard drivers. That percentage is supposed to be equal to their market share. So, if GEICO covers 8 percent of California's drivers, they must also cover 8 percent of the state's high-risk drivers.

Insurers don't like to cover high-risk drivers because they can lose money. But the assigned risk plan ensures that the risk is shared equally by all the insurance companies.

Aside from CAARP plans, there are private companies that offer insurance for California high-risk drivers:

Best Teen Driver Insurance Companies

As many parents know, insuring a teen driver is extremely expensive. Teenagers are more mistake prone behind the wheel than any other age group. Their propensity for tickets and accidents means insurers charge extra to cover them.

Our research shows that teen drivers pay an average of $438 a month for a personal policy. That number goes down to $278 for teens joining their parent's policy. Either way, insuring a teen is extremely expensive.

These insurance companies offer good policies for California teen drivers:

What company suits your needs best? You can study them side by side on our compare insurance companies section. We've compiled guidelines for the 30 biggest insurance companies in America. Getting educated is the first step to getting the right policy. What better way to compare auto insurance quotes in California?

Top 10 Vehicles

These are the most common vehicles owned by California drivers requesting car insurance quotes through QuoteWizard in the past year.

  1. Honda Accord EX/LX
  2. Honda Civic DX/EX/LX
  3. Ford F150
  4. Toyota Prius
  5. Toyota Camry LE/XLE/SE
  6. Chevrolet C1500 Silverado
  7. Ford Mustang
  8. Ford Ranger
  9. Ford Explorer
  10. BMW 328i
Get a quote for your vehicle. Request Quote Get a Quote For Your Vehicle
Most Expensive Cities in California for Car Insurance
City Monthly Rates Annual Rates
Glendale $127 $1,519
Los Angeles $119 $1,426
Burbank $117 $1,404
Inglewood $105 $1,263
Pasadena $98 $1,178
Palmdale $98 $1,174
Lancaster $96 $1,149
El Monte $96 $1,148
Santa Clarita $95 $1,137
Garden Grove $93 $1,120
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary. 1
Cheapest Cities in California for Car Insurance
City Monthly Rates Annual Rates
Santa Maria $63 $758
Salinas $70 $834
Chula Vista $71 $855
Visalia $73 $882
Santa Rosa $75 $896
Sunnyvale $75 $900
Concord $76 $914
Fremont $76 $915
San Mateo $76 $917
Santa Clara $76 $917
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary. 1

Uninsured Drivers

According to the III, 15.2% of drivers in California are uninsured. California has the 12th highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country. A high percentage of uninsured drivers raises insurance costs across the board. That's because the other drivers (with insurance) must pick up the slack for the uninsured drivers.

California Cities with the Worst Drivers

California drivers have an unfortunate reputation – especially in Los Angeles. QuoteWizard conducted a study on the best and worst drivers in America, and the results are far from good. We combined 2 million data points from our users with FHA fatality data.

According to our study on the best and worst drivers by state, California is the worst driving state in America.

Our study on the worst driving cities in America featured several California cities. In fact, the number one worst driving city in America is Sacramento. These are the California cities featured in the worst driving cities study with their rankings:

Bad news for California drivers. People in cities with lots of bad drivers often pay more for car insurance. That's because a high percentage of bad drivers raises the chances of car accidents.

California drivers saved up to $383 on their car insurance policies by comparing rates through our simple form.
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California Car Insurance Laws

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California

If you drive a car in California, you must maintain a minimum level of insurance coverage of 15/30/5. This means that you must have a policy with at least the following:

  • Bodily injury liability per person: $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability per incident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability per incident: $5,000

Recommended Coverage Levels

Assuming you’re fine with just minimum coverage can be costly. Liability won’t cover your repair costs in the event of an accident. And liability coverage limits are easy to exceed.

Also, California has one of the highest rates of car theft in the nation. In 2017 alone,175,351 vehicles were stolen in the state. Unfortunately, this risk level affects car insurance premiums statewide. While not a lot can be done to change this, you can protect yourself from theft by getting good comprehensive coverage. It covers vandalism, burglary, and theft.

We also recommend that you increase your liability insurance to:

  • Individual Body Injury Liability: $100,000
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability: $300,000
  • Property Damage Liability: $100,000

Required Proof of Auto Insurance

You must be ready to show your proof of insurance card in California. You’ll get this card from your car insurance company when you buy a policy. You’ll also need to show proof of insurance when registering your vehicle or renewing your registration. There are several other documents accepted when registering a vehicle.

Driving without insurance is punishable by a fine of between $100 and $200 for a first offense. Each additional offense within 3 years of your first carries a penalty of between $200 and $500.

SR-22 Requirements

Californians with penalties or suspended licenses must show proof of liability insurance. They can do so by filing an SR-22 form with the state. “SR” stands for safety responsibility. It certifies that a driver has the minimum amount of insurance required by state law.

Drivers may need an SR-22 in these cases:

  • DUI or “Wet-Reckless” conviction
  • Having an accident without the required minimum insurance coverage
  • Being declared a “negligent driver” with too many driver's license points

In most cases, California state law requires you to carry an SR-22 for three years for a first offense. Drivers involved in accidents without insurance may need to carry an SR-22 for as many as 4 years.

If you cancel your insurance or let it to lapse within these periods, your insurer will contact the California DMV. They, in turn, will suspend your license.

State of California Traffic Safety Laws

Distracted Driving

California has taken steps to curb distracted driving on its roadways. That includes some of the nation’s strongest rules against cell phone use by drivers. Many of these laws are primary infraction. This means law enforcement can pull over and ticket drivers without any other infraction taking place.

Implied Consent Law

This California law requires that drivers submit to alcohol or drug testing. It tests blood, breath, or urine from drivers arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence (DUI). Refuse the test and you’ll face license suspensions and fines.

DUI Law and Penalties

 If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you're guilty of driving while under the influence (DUI). Also, California recently legalized recreational weed. Marijuana DUIs are increasingly common.

The penalties for a first offense DUI conviction in California are:

  • Between 4 days and 6 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • 30 days to 6-month suspension of driver’s license
  • Some counties require an ignition interlock device

With each subsequent DUI, California drivers face stiffer penalties. The fine jumps to $1,800, while license suspension and jail time increase. Drivers with multiple DUIs will also need an ignition interlock device.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Your insurance rates will climb with each DUI conviction. Our research shows that drivers can expect to pay $830 more per year for car insurance after a DUI. That is, if you can find someone willing to insure you.

Senior Drivers

California requires all drivers to renew their driver licenses every 5 years. Drivers ages 70 and older cannot renew their licenses by mail.

Vehicles Registered in Another State

Do you drive a vehicle registered in another state? If so, you need the minimum insurance coverage required by that state. You must also be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement upon request.

Rate Methodology

1 Auto insurance rate data was provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates are based on a driver profile of a 35-year-old, owning a 2015 Toyota Camry, drives less than 10,000 annual miles, good credit, clean record, and state minimum liability of 25/50/10. Rates are an average of the top 10 insurance companies in the state of California.

California Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner:
Dave Jones
Consumer Hotline:
1-800-927-4357 (HELP)
Licensing Hotline:
California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program:

CDI Headquarters Offices

  • Sacramento Office
  • 300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700
  • Sacramento, CA  95814
  • San Francisco Office
  • 45 Fremont Street, 23rd Floor
  • San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Los Angeles Office
  • 300 South Spring Street, South Tower
  • Los Angeles, CA 90013

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