Best Car Insurance Rates in San Diego, California

On average your neighbors pay $61 a month.

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Cheapest Car Insurance in San Diego, CA (08/2021)

Drivers in San Diego pay an average $61 a month for state-required minimum-coverage car insurance. Of the eight major auto insurers we looked at in San Diego, GEICO has the lowest average rate of $41 a month.

San Diego has lower average rates than both California and nationwide averages. Even with this advantage, it’s important to do some research and look for the best car insurance quote you can find. Variables such as your age, driving history and the type of car you drive may all influence what you pay for coverage.

In order to help you find the cheapest car insurance quote, we looked at average rates for both minimum and full-coverage auto insurance in San Diego, as well as rates based on age and traffic infractions.

We’ll cover:

Cheapest car insurance companies in San Diego

Of the eight major auto insurance providers in San Diego that we studied, GEICO has the cheapest rates for both minimum and full-coverage auto insurance. GEICO’s minimum liability car insurance rate is $41 a month, and full coverage is $108 a month. The table below shows how GEICO’s average rates compare to rates in the city of San Diego, as well as state and national rates.

GEICO average rates compared to San Diego, state and national rates
Company or locale Minimum coverage Full coverage
GEICO $41 $108
San Diego average $61 $152
California average $71 $166
National average $87 $178
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

The price difference between minimum and full-coverage car insurance is considerable, and it may tempt you to choose the minimum liability requirements. However, full-coverage car insurance is a much better value if it fits in your budget.

Minimum liability coverage does not take care of any of your medical expenses or repairs — only the expenses of others you get into an accident with. Full-coverage car insurance includes collision and comprehensive, which protects your vehicle. Not only does it provide liability coverage, but if your car is damaged or stolen, it will help cover the costs.

Given that a major accident could run thousands of dollars for repairs or replacements, full-coverage auto insurance is an excellent investment. The tables below show how the minimum and full-coverage rates of the best auto insurance companies in San Diego compare.

 
 

Cheapest car insurance rates by age in San Diego

GEICO has the cheapest car insurance rates for teen drivers in San Diego, starting with $256 a month on average for 16-year-olds. Teen drivers pay much higher rates for car insurance. Due to their lack of driving experience, teens are considered higher-risk drivers than any other demographic. Average rates tend to drop considerably after age 18.

Average monthly full-coverage rates in San Diego by age
Age GEICO Mercury Progressive Allstate Auto Club State Farm Farmers CSAA
16 $256 $346 $369 $360 $491 $457 $438 $796
17 $250 $307 $369 $360 $487 $407 $431 $685
18 $243 $290 $365 $341 $434 $384 $421 $649
19 $188 $251 $345 $280 $374 $333 $371 $516
20 $183 $251 $323 $254 $315 $320 $350 $456
25 $151 $169 $192 $199 $223 $256 $255 $247
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Cheapest car insurance if you have a bad driving history

A car accident, speeding ticket or DUI can result in your auto insurance rates going up. Once you have one of these infractions on your insurance record, it typically takes seven years before it drops off. In the meantime, it may affect your rate to varying degrees.

Car insurance companies with the cheapest rates in San Diego after an accident

GEICO has the cheapest average rate of $194 a month for full-coverage car insurance after your first ticket. The graph below shows average car insurance rates across the eight biggest providers in San Diego before and after an accident:

 

Cheapest car insurance rates in San Diego after a DUI

After your first DUI, Mercury has the lowest car insurance rate of $223 a month. The rate increase after a DUI can add up to several hundred dollars a month, as seen with CSAA’s rate change after a DUI.

 

If your license is suspended due to a DUI, this could result in higher rates. After a license suspension, you may be required by law to file an SR-22 in order to reinstate it. 

An SR-22 is a document that shows you are maintaining California’s minimum liability limits.

You will be required to carry the SR-22 consistently for at least three years, depending on the ruling in your case. Some car insurance providers consider DUI convictions too high-risk to cover, which could affect your ability to find coverage.

Cheapest car insurance rates after a speeding ticket

GEICO has the cheapest average rate of $166 a month for full-coverage auto insurance after a speeding conviction. California drivers suffer some of the highest rate increases after getting a speeding ticket. According to Forbes, your car insurance could go up 42% after one ticket. The graph below shows rates before and after a ticket:

 

Minimum car insurance requirements in California

California state law requires drivers to maintain these minimum levels of auto liability insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability per person (BIL): $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability per accident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability (PDL): $5,000

Don’t assume that the state-required limits are enough. A long hospital visit can easily cost over $30,000. In order to make sure you have adequate coverage, we recommend the following limits:

  • Bodily injury liability per person (BIL): $100,000
  • Bodily injury liability per accident: $300,000
  • Property damage liability (PDL): $100,000

Drivers are also required to carry the following uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance limits:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person: $15,000 per person
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person: $30,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: $3,500 minimum

You do have the option to forego uninsured and/or underinsured coverage, however you're required to sign a waiver stating it was offered and you turned it down. This puts the full responsibility for payment of your damages after an accident involving a driver with no or inadequate coverage. 

Methodology

We compared rates provided by Quadrant Information Services from the following auto insurance providers:

  • Allstate
  • Auto Club
  • CSAA
  • Farmers
  • GEICO
  • Mercury
  • Progressive
  • State Farm

Our driver profile was a 30-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord LX with a clean driving record who drives 13,500 miles a year. Coverage limits used are the California minimum liability requirements of 15/30/5.

For full-coverage policies, we increased liability limits to 100/300/100 and included a comprehensive and collision deductible.

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