Best Car Insurance Rates in San Diego, California

On average your neighbors pay $85 a month.

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You might not expect a city in Southern California to have a Latin motto, but San Diego, California does. It’s Semper Vigilans, which means “Ever Vigilant”. It’s not clear what this expression refers to (the surf conditions?). It could easily be referring to car insurance. If you want the cheapest car insurance rates in San Diego, you must be vigilant and compare quotes.

Average San Diego Car Insurance Rates

How much is car insurance in San Diego, CA? Average rates are more expensive than both the state and national averages. Why? Crime is high. Traffic is always bad. And the city’s roads are terrible. All those factors lead to more expensive car insurance. On average, car insurance in San Diego costs drivers $1,030 a year for both men and women. The average cost of auto insurance in California is $841.45 a year. The national average cost is $889.01.

Your rates can vary depending on several factors. These include your driving record, claims history, your car make and model, and more.

San Diego, CA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates
Coverage Men Women
Liability $474 $484
Collision $444 $442
Comprehensive $112 $104
Total Cost Pear Year $1,030 $1,030
Price Per Month $85.83 $85.83
These average rates are based on our sample quote data. 1

The graph below shows the most recent year California's rate data is available. According to the III, California 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

QuoteWizard helps consumers compare quotes from both top national insurance companies and local agents. Comparing quotes can help you find cheap car insurance rates near San Diego, California. You can save up to 40% on your premium.

Last year, 22,079 people used QuoteWizard to compare car insurance quotes in San Diego, CA from multiple companies to find the cheapest rates.

Best Car Insurance Companies in San Diego, CA

These are the most common car insurance companies according to 22,079 QuoteWizard users in San Diego, CA last year. Of these Users, 2,398 did not have insurance when they requested a quote.

Other popular San Diego, California car insurance companies: Mercury, Nationwide, Infinity, MetLife, Country Financial, Safeco, 21st Century, and American Family.

Top 10 Vehicles in San Diego

These are the most common car owned by QuoteWizard users in San Diego:

  1. Honda Accord EX/LX
  2. Toyota Prius
  3. Honda Civic EX/LX/DX
  4. Ford F150
  5. Ford Mustang
  6. Toyota Camry LE/XLE/SE
  7. Ford Ranger
  8. BMW 328i
  9. Toyota Corolla CE/LE/S
  10. Nissan Altima 2.5 S
Get a quote for your vehicle. Request Quote Get a Quote For Your Vehicle

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in San Diego, CA

San Diego, California drivers are required follow the 15/30/5 minimum liability coverage rule. This rule states that policies must include at least:

  • Individual Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): $15,000.
    The maximum amount your insurer pays for a person injured in a car accident.
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000.
    The total your insurance company pays for every person injured in a car accident.
  • Property Damage Liability (PDL): $5,000.
    The most your insurance carrier pays for property damage caused by a car accident.

Recommended Coverage Levels

It's not a great idea to buy only legal minimum coverage. While it costs less, minimum coverage is more expensive if you're in an accident. Why? Minimum coverage does not include comprehensive or collision coverage. Plus, it's easy to exceed minimum coverage levels after an accident.

Minimum coverage only pays for damages to other people, their car, and their property. Minimum coverage does not cover you, your injuries, or your property. If you have minimum coverage and you cause an accident, you're on the hook for your expenses.

Collision coverage pays for damages to your car after an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages that don't involve another car. That includes natural disasters, falling tree branches, theft, and vandalism.

With that in mind, we recommend that San Diego drivers buy the following coverage:

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

If you can afford it, buy comprehensive and collision coverage. You should choose a reasonable deductible. Also, consider uninsured/underinsured coverage. This covers damages caused by drivers who have little or no insurance. Finally, medical payment coverage and personal injury protection covers medical costs after an accident.

San Diego Drivers

California's drivers have a less-than-impressive reputation. Our annual best and worst drivers study found that California is the worst driving state in the country. Our city study concluded that San Diego is the fifth worst driving city in America.

Of the 22,079 San Diego drivers that used QuoteWizard last year, 2,155 reported some sort of incident on their driving record. If you live in an area with bad drivers (like San Diego), you’re going to pay more for car insurance. A high concentration of bad drivers raises rates across the board. That’s because bad drivers get more tickets and accidents, which leads to more claims filed.

Driving Conditions

The weather, driving, and road conditions strongly influence insurance rates. Areas with bad driving conditions often report more accidents, leading to rising insurance rates. So how does San Diego stack up?


The Farmer’s Almanac describes San Diego as having one of the best climates in the US. The Weather Channel named San Diego one of the best two summer climate cities in America.

The temperatures are comfortable year-round. Highs are typically below 80 degrees in the summer, and lows are only around 50 degrees in the winter. It hardly ever rains. However, when it does drivers are not used to it, accidents surge, and traffic often becomes snarled.

Road Conditions

TRIP reports that 46% of San Diego’s major roads are in poor condition. Another 28% are mediocre. These poorly maintained, pothole-filled streets cost drivers $722 a year in extra vehicle operating costs. These extra costs are a direct result of driving on rough roads that damage cars, waste time and gas.

Traffic Congestion

TomTom ranked San Diego 14th for worst traffic congestion in the US. An average commuter spends an extra 29 minutes per hour stuck in traffic during rush hour commutes. Drivers with commutes of at least 30 minutes' wastes 112 hours a year.

Moving Violations

Moving violations like speeding tickets, accidents, and drunk driving will give you a bad driving record. This can flag you as a high-risk driver and will lead to higher insurance rates.

Traffic Tickets

The Superior Court of California County of San Diego traffic website allows residents to pay traffic tickets. It also tells drivers how to contest tickets.

SR-22 DUI Insurance

A DUI conviction may require you to obtain an SR-22 form. Filing an SR-22 form is an expensive process. Get several quotes and compare rates from top companies that specialize in San Diego DUI insurance.

Traffic Fatalities

In 2014, 76 people died in car crashes on San Diego roads. San Diego’s population in 2016 was 1,406,630. This works out to a fatality rate of 2.21 per 100,000 residents. This is a safe American city in terms of traffic fatalities.

Vehicle Theft Rates

San Diego Police recorded 5,180 vehicle thefts in 2016. A rate of 3.71 per 1,000 city residents. Out of 382 cities, San Diego ranked 43rd for vehicle theft rates.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in San Diego

According to the San Diego District Attorney, these are the best commonly stolen cars in the city:

  1. 2000 Honda Civic
  2. 1998 Honda Civic
  3. 1997 Honda Civic
  4. 1996 Honda Accord
  5. 1999 Honda Civic
  6. 1997 Honda Accord
  7. 1994 Honda Accord
  8. 1995 Honda Accord
  9. 1996 Honda Civic
  10. 1995 Honda Civic

So what’s the conclusion here? If you drive a Honda from any year between 1994 and 2000, invest in a steering wheel lock.

Save With Car Insurance Discounts

Are you looking for cheap car insurance in San Diego, CA? Discounts are one of the best ways to lower your rates. Below are some of the discounts available to drivers in San Diego. Get a quote and find out which discounts you qualify for.

  1. Maintain a B grade point average in school. You can qualify for the good student discount.
  2. Get a new car. You might qualify for the new car discount offered by many insurance carriers. If the car has safety features like electronic stability control or anti-lock brakes, you may earn further discounts.
  3. Remove full comprehensive coverage from your policy.
  4. Have good credit. If your credit rating has recently improved, get a quote. You may find yourself paying a smaller premium.
  5. Keep your driving history clean. Drivers without tickets or accidents on their record pay lower rates. Avoid filing claims when possible.
  6. If you're 55 or older, you could qualify for either the senior discount or the 55 and retired discount.
  7. Live in a safe neighborhood with low crime. People that live in zip codes with high crime and poor driving conditions file more insurance claims.
  8. Drive less. Live close to work and get the low mileage discount.
  9. Bundle your auto insurance with your homeowners, renters, or life policy. Bundling your policies with a single insurer can save you 20%.
  10. Take a defensive driving course at an accredited driving school.
  11. Shop around and compare cheap San Diego car insurance quotes to find every discount.

Rate Methodology

1 We compared rates from three different insurance companies for 30-year-old male and female drivers with a 2010 Honda Accord. Our rate profiles have a clean driving record and drive less than 10,000 annual miles. Coverage includes state liability minimum of 25/50/10 and 25/50/10 underinsured motorist coverage. Policies also include $10,000 personal injury protection and a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible.

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