Cheap Car Insurance in California (2022)

The cheapest car insurance companies in California: GEICO, $114 a month; Progressive, $118; and Allstate, $132.

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GEICO offers the lowest average car insurance rates in California for a typical driver, based on QuoteWizard’s comprehensive analysis of Golden State car insurance rates. GEICO’s rate of $114 a month for minimum-coverage insurance is the best in the state, but only slightly lower than Progressive's rate of $118 a month.

Read on for more on finding cheap car insurance in California.

In this article

Who offers the cheapest car insurance in California?

With rates averaging $114 a month for minimum-coverage insurance and $133 a month for full coverage, GEICO’s rates are cheaper than the other companies in our study.

Progressive is close behind, charging an average of $118 a month for minimum coverage, while Allstate’s rate averages $132 a month for minimum coverage.

A minimum-coverage policy meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements for liability coverage. Statewide, the average rate quoted for a minimum-coverage policy is $1,675 a year, or $140 a month.

Cheapest minimum-coverage car insurance in California
Company Annual Monthly
GEICO $1,370 $114
Progressive $1,419 $118
Allstate $1,582 $132
Average $1,675 $140
Mercury $1,699 $142
State Farm $1,712 $143
Auto Club $1,715 $143
CSAA $1,774 $148
Farmers $2,133 $178
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Cheapest full-coverage insurance

GEICO’s rate of $133 a month for full-coverage car insurance is also lower than the nearly identical monthly rates charged by Progressive, $140, and Allstate, $141.

Full-coverage car insurance generally includes collision and comprehensive coverage and higher liability limits than a minimum-coverage policy. If you finance a car, your lender will require you to obtain collision and comprehensive coverage to protect its interest in your vehicle.

The average rate for full-coverage insurance in California is $158 a month.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in California
Company Annual Monthly
GEICO $1,594 $133
Progressive $1,682 $140
Allstate $1,697 $141
Average $1,891 $158
CSAA $1,919 $160
Auto Club $1,921 $160
Mercury $1,972 $164
State Farm $2,043 $170
Farmers $2,297 $191
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

In our analysis of minimum- and full-coverage insurance rates, we obtained quotes for a 35-year-old male with a clean driving record in the state’s 10 most populated cities.

Since your age, your driving history and address are among the key rating factors insurance companies use to set your premium, your rates are likely to differ from those shown here.

Each company uses a different formula to evaluate your specific rating factors, which means you may qualify for a cheaper rate from a company that offers higher average rates to others. You may also qualify for more discounts with one company than you do with others.

These are among the main reasons why it’s best to obtain quotes from multiple companies when you shop for insurance.

Get cheap car insurance coverage in California

Who offers the cheapest car insurance after a ticket or accident?

Northern California’s AAA insurance agency offers the cheapest rates after a ticket or accident, charging $202 a month to drivers with either blemish on their records.

AAA’s insurance products are available through California State Automobile Association (CSAA) in Northern California and the Auto Club in Southern California.

A ticket bumps the average cost of full-coverage insurance 48% to $234 a month.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket
Company Annual Monthly
CSAA $2,424 $202
Allstate $2,441 $203
GEICO $2,510 $209
Mercury $2,609 $217
Average $2,806 $234
Auto Club $2,850 $238
State Farm $3,146 $262
Progressive $3,221 $268
Farmers $3,242 $270
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

An accident increases the average cost of full-coverage car insurance 72% to $272 a month. CSAA’s rate for drivers with a prior accident are considerably lower than those offered by the other companies in our analysis.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an accident history
Company Annual Monthly
CSAA $2,424 $202
Auto Club $2,905 $242
GEICO $2,930 $244
Average $3,259 $272
State Farm $3,266 $272
Mercury $3,435 $286
Progressive $3,495 $291
Allstate $3,565 $297
Farmers $4,052 $338
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Who offers cheap car insurance to drivers with a DUI?

Mercury offers a considerably cheaper rate to California drivers with a DUI, $272 a month, than the other companies in our study. The next best rates are available from Progressive, $336 a month, Farmers, $338 a month, and GEICO, $339 a month.

In California, a DUI can increase your car insurance rate by more than double. In our analysis, the average cost of full-coverage insurance after a DUI is $437 a month, a 175% increase over the rate available to a driver with a clean record.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI
Company Annual Monthly
Mercury $3,263 $272
Progressive $4,029 $336
Farmers $4,052 $338
GEICO $4,066 $339
Average $5,239 $437
Auto Club $5,881 $490
Allstate $6,476 $540
CSAA $6,890 $574
State Farm $7,253 $604
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Cheapest car insurance for 18-year-old drivers

State Farm offers the cheapest rates in California to 18-year-olds for both minimum-coverage insurance, $262 a month, and full coverage, $316 a month.

GEICO rates on minimum coverage for 18-year-olds, $292 a month, is second best, while Allstate has the second-lowest rates on full coverage for 18-year olds, $342 a month.

As a group, teens are among the most expensive to insure, due to their relatively high accident rates, compared to other age groups. In California, the average cost of insurance for an 18-year-old is $352 a month for minimum coverage and $402 a month for full coverage.

If you’re a teen, you can usually save money by remaining on a policy with your parents or guardians until you reach your 20s, when you’ll begin qualifying for more favorable rates.

You may also be able to qualify for savings while on your family’s policy. Many insurance companies offer discounts to good students, students away at school and students who complete an approved safe-driving course.

Cheapest minimum-coverage car insurance for an 18-year old
Company Annual Monthly
State Farm $3,143 $262
GEICO $3,505 $292
Allstate $3,748 $312
Mercury $4,102 $342
Average $4,222 $352
Progressive $4,351 $363
Auto Club $4,544 $379
Farmers $4,949 $412
CSAA $5,435 $453
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
Cheapest full-coverage car insurance for an 18-year old
Company Annual Monthly
State Farm $3,790 $316
Allstate $4,108 $342
GEICO $4,184 $349
Mercury $4,802 $400
Average $4,826 $402
Auto Club $5,159 $430
Progressive $5,276 $440
Farmers $5,357 $446
CSAA $5,933 $494
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Cheapest car insurance for seniors

GEICO offers the cheapest rates to senior citizen drivers in California, charging an average $114 a month for minimum coverage and $133 a month for full coverage for a 65-year-old. Progressive rates are not far behind at $118 a month for minimum coverage and $140 a month for full coverage.

Since seniors have higher crash rates than middle-aged drivers, people tend to see their insurance rates tick upwards as they reach retirement age. You can often earn a discount by taking a driver safety class, in person or online, to offset these rate hikes.

In California, the average rates available to 65-year-old drivers are $140 a month for minimum coverage and $158 a month for full coverage.

GEICO, Progressive and Allstate offer the best rates to 65-year-olds for minimum- and full-coverage insurance.

Cheapest minimum-coverage insurance for 65-year olds in California
Company Annual Monthly
GEICO $1,370 $114
Progressive $1,419 $118
Allstate $1,582 $132
Average $1,675 $140
Mercury $1,699 $142
State Farm $1,712 $143
Auto Club $1,715 $143
CSAA $1,774 $148
Farmers $2,133 $178
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
Cheapest full-coverage car insurance for 65-year olds in California
Company Annual Monthly
GEICO $1,594 $133
Progressive $1,682 $140
Allstate $1,697 $141
Average $1,891 $158
CSAA $1,919 $160
Auto Club $1,921 $160
Mercury $1,972 $164
State Farm $2,043 $170
Farmers $2,297 $191
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Compare car insurance quotes from top companies

How much does car insurance cost in California?

The average cost of car insurance in California is $140 per month for minimum coverage and $158 for full coverage, but rates vary by location.

Insurance companies tend to charge higher rates in cities with more claims expenses per customer than in those with less. As an example of how rates can fluctuate, the average rate of minimum-coverage car insurance in Los Angeles is 41% higher than it is in San Diego.

Minimum-coverage car insurance rates in California’s largest cities
City Annual Monthly
Anaheim $1,578 $131
Bakersfield $1,475 $123
Fresno $1,454 $121
Long Beach $1,628 $136
Los Angeles $2,018 $168
Oakland $1,675 $140
Sacramento $1,636 $136
San Diego $1,427 $119
San Francisco $1,689 $141
San Jose $1,440 $120
Average $1,675 $140
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

What are California’s insurance requirements?

California requires all vehicle owners and operators to carry 15/30/5 insurance, or liability coverage in the following amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability limits of at least $5,000.

If you cause an accident, you can be held personally responsible for the portion of a victims’ medical bills or repair costs that exceed your insurance policy’s limits. This is why it’s a good idea to select liability limits that match your net worth.

Other coverages are available on an optional basis.

Car insurance coverages in California
Coverage What it pays for
Bodily injury liability: Required with limits of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Medical treatment for others injured in a car accident you cause.
Property damage liability: Required with a limit of at least $5,000 per accident. Repairs to other people’s vehicles and property after an accident you cause.
Collision: Optional, but usually required for a loan. Repairs to your car after a collision you cause with another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive: Optional, but usually required for a loan. Repairs from non-collision damage, such as vandalism, fire, flood and falling objects. Also covers theft of your vehicle.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Optional. Medical treatment for injuries you and/or your passengers suffer in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist.
Underinsured motorist: Optional. Medical treatment you and/or your passengers suffer in an accident caused by a motorist without enough insurance.
Uninsured motorist property damage: Optional. Up to $3,500 in repairs to your vehicle after an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. Does not cover hit and run.
Medical payments: Optional. Medical treatment for injuries you and/or your passengers suffer in a car accident, regardless of fault.

You are required to show proof of insurance when asked by law enforcement, such as during a traffic stop or after an accident, as well as when you renew your vehicle’s registration. Insurance companies also report cancellations and other policy activity to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The penalties for driving without insurance include suspension of your driver’s license or registration and vehicle impoundment.

How can I find affordable insurance in California?

The best way to find affordable insurance in California is to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies to see which one has the best rate.

Good drivers who meet income eligibility guidelines are encouraged to apply for coverage through California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program. The program is available to households with an income at or below 250% of the poverty level, with premiums ranging from $244 to $966, depending on your county.

If too many accidents or violations on your record has made it difficult to qualify for standard auto insurance, you may qualify for liability coverage through the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). You can find out more about CAARP from any local insurance agency. In most cases, you’ll be able to qualify for standard insurance after three years or less, as prior accidents and/or violations come off your record.

How does SR-22 insurance work in California?

California law requires certain drivers, including those convicted of DUI or causing an accident while being uninsured, to file an SR-22 certificate with the DMV. Not all insurance companies in California accept SR-22 drivers. Those that do will file the certificate on your behalf, though some charge a small fee, usually about $25 to $50, for doing so.

Frequently asked questions about California car insurance

How much is car insurance in California?

The average cost of minimum-coverage car insurance in California is $1,675 a year, which works out to $140 a month. The average cost of full-coverage car insurance in California is $158 a month.

What is full-coverage car insurance in California?

Full-coverage car insurance in California generally includes collision and comprehensive coverage, in addition to liability coverage meeting or exceeding the state’s minimum requirements. Additional coverages are also available on an optional basis.

Do you need insurance to register a car in California?

You are expected to have car insurance when you register your vehicle in California, and it is illegal to drive a car without insurance. Your vehicle’s registration will be suspended if you do not provide proof of insurance within 30 days of registering your vehicle.

Methodology

In our analysis of California car insurance rates, we obtained non-binding quotes for a typical driver from the state’s 10 most populated cities through Quadrant Information Services. Unless otherwise noted, our typical driver is a 35-year-old male with a clean driving record. He owns a 2012 Honda Accord LX and drives an average 13,500 miles a year.

Minimum-coverage insurance rates are based on a policy meeting California’s minimum limits for liability.

Full-coverage policies include the following policy limits and deductibles:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $100,000 property damage liability
  • $500 deductible for collision coverage
  • $500 deductible for comprehensive coverage

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