California is known as The Golden State, and with the useful insurance information that QuoteWizard has gleaned from industry and regulatory sources, you’ll be able to spend a little less gold.
This page will show you which types of coverage are legally required in California, provide cost of driving data including average rates, and share some insights about insurance risk to help protect you and your family.
How much is car insurance in California? Depending on where you live, many California drivers pay less for car insurance than the national average. On average, auto insurance in California costs $782.63 a year. The national average cost is $841.23.
Prices may vary depending on your zip code and the total number of claims filed.
|Total Cost Per Year||$782.63|
|Price Per Month||$65.22|
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.
That’s because QuoteWizard will connect you to multiple companies so you can compare car insurance rates and get coverage that fits your needs.
Last year, 239,583 people used QuoteWizard to get an auto insurance quotes comparison in California from top companies and find the cheapest rates.
These are the 10 most common vehicles owned by California drivers requesting car insurance quotes through QuoteWizard in the past year.
This is our list of the 10 most common car insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in the state of California last year. Out of the 239,583 California drivers that used QuoteWizard to request insurance quotes last year, 32,764 had no car insurance.
If you drive a vehicle registered 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:
Any time you drive in California, you must be prepared to show your proof of insurance card to law enforcement upon request. 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. California also accepts the following as proof of insurance:
Operating a vehicle without the required coverage is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of between $100 and $200 for a first offense. After your first offense, each subsequent offense within 3 years of your first carries a penalty of between $200 and $500.
The state of California has taken steps to curb the epidemic of distracted driving on its roadways. These steps include some of the nation’s strongest rules against cell phone use by drivers. Many of these laws are primary and allow law enforcement to pull over and ticket drivers without any other infraction taking place.
California residents that have had their driver’s licenses suspended must provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR-22 form with the state. “SR” stands for safety responsibility and it certifies that a driver has the minimum amount of insurance required by state law. Situations which may require an SR-22 after loss of driving privileges include:
In most cases, California state law requires that an SR-22 be carried 3 years for a first offense. Drivers involved in accidents without insurance can be required to carry an SR-22 for as many as 4 years.
If you cancel your insurance or allow it to lapse within either of these periods, your insurer is required to contact the California DMV and your license will be suspended.
California’s Implied Consent law requires that any driver submit to testing to determine the alcohol or drug content of their blood, breath, or urine when arrested by law enforcement for suspicion of driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Refuse the test and you’ll face the following penalties in addition to the penalties for a DUI:
If you drive or operate a motor vehicle in the state of California with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you are guilty of Driving While Under the Influence (DUI).
The penalties for a first offense DUI conviction are:
The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are:
The penalties for a third offense DUI conviction are:
The penalties for a fourth offense within 10 months of a third DUI conviction are:
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Your insurance rates will climb each time you’re convicted of a DUI, that is, if you can find someone willing to insure you.
California takes the safety of children on its roadways seriously and has mandated the following rules to maximize their safety:
The road to obtaining a driver's license in California is a 3 step process that can begin once you reach 15 ½ years of age. Once teens reach that age, they can apply for a 6-month learner's permit and begin their driver’s education classes. This education must include at least 50 hours of supervised driving, with at least 10 of hours occurring at night, with a licensed driver in the vehicle. When applying for a full driver’s license, a parent or guardian must certify that the minimum supervised driving requirement has been met. In addition, young drivers with learner’s permits must obey the following rules:
Once the first step has been completed, teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 are allowed to apply for a provisional license if they have: passed a driving test and a parent or guardian signs their learner’s permit stating that the required driving practice has been completed. A provisional license requires young drivers to abide by the following rules:
Once the first two stages have been completed drivers will receive their full driving privileges.
California requires all drivers to renew their driver licenses every 5 years. Drivers 70 years of age and older can no longer renew their driver’s licenses by mail.
California requires that all drivers and passengers in moving vehicles wear seat belts. The maximum penalty for failing to comply is $162 for the first offense.
When you drive a vehicle in California that’s required to be registered in another state, you must have the type of insurance required by that state. You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement upon request.
The average cost of car insurance in California in 2013, the most recent year for which data was available, was $782.63 compared to a national average of $841.23. California is the 22nd most expensive state for car insurance.
The state of California taxes gasoline at 40.62 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the Federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline, making the total gas tax Californians pay at the pump 59.02 cents a gallon. California taxes diesel fuel at 34.30 cents a gallon. Federal taxes add another 24.4 cents per gallon bringing the total tax on diesel fuel to 58.70 cents a gallon.
We ranked the most populous cities in California on how bad their drivers are. Using data from our quote tool we compared drivers in each city based on accidents, speeding tickets, DUI's, and citations.
In 2014, there were 3,074 traffic fatalities in California, which was 1% lower than the state’s 3,107 traffic fatalities in 2013.
California had 151,852 vehicle thefts reported in 2014, a 8% decrease compared to 2013 when 165,292 vehicles were reported stolen. In 2014, the vehicle theft rate was 391.3 per 100,000, a decrease of 9% from the 2013 rate of 430.1 per 100,000.
The vehicle theft rate in California is far above the overall US vehicle theft rate, which was 216.2 per 100,000 in 2014.
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau - Hot Wheels Report 2014
The percentage of California residents estimated to be driving without insurance is 14.7%. That ranks California as #13 among US states and the District of Columbia, much higher than average.
|5||7.2%||Berkshire Hathaway (Geico)|
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