Cheapest Car Insurance in California (2023)

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

The cheapest car insurance in California is Geico, Geico offers minimum coverage for around $31 per month and full coverage for about $109 per month.

Best cheap car insurance companies in California

  1. Geico (Cheapest in CA)
  2. AAA (Best company)
  3. Mercury (Best for bad drivers)

How to find the best car insurance in California

  • Geico, AAA, and Mercury offer the best combination of good customer service and affordable rates to most drivers in California.
  • The average cost of comprehensive insurance in California is $145 per month. You can save up to $432 per year by switching to a less expensive company.
  • Liability-only insurance is probably not enough for most drivers in California, considering the number of traffic and car accidents.

Geico the Cheapest full coverage car insurance in California

Geico has the cheapest full-coverage auto insurance quotes in California, with an average of $109 per month.

On average, comprehensive car insurance in California costs $145 per month – or $1,744 per year.

Cheap full coverage insurance in California

CompanyMonthly rate
Geico logo #2Geico$109
Mercury logo #1Mercury$124
Progressive logo #1Progressive$134
AAA logo #1AAA SoCal$143
AAA logo #2AAA NorCal$146
State Farm logoState Farm$152
Allstate logoAllstate$158
Farmers logoFarmers$197

The cheapest car liability insurance in California: Geico

Geico is the most affordable option for liability-only car insurance in California, with an average cost of $31 per month. This is 36% cheaper than the national average.

The average cost of auto insurance with minimum coverage in California is $49 per month or $587 per year.

The AAA offers car insurance to Northern California residents through the AAA of Northern California, also called AAA NorCal or CSAA. The Auto Club of Southern California (AAA SoCal) covers drivers in Southern California.

Cheap car insurance quotes in California

CompanyMonthly rate
Geico logo #2Geico$31
AAA logo #3AAA NorCal$38
Progressive logo #2Progressive$39
Mercury logo #2Mercury$44
AAA logo #4AAA SoCal$48
State Farm logoState Farm$55
Allstate logoAllstate$61
Farmers logoFarmers$75

Full coverage vs minimum liability

Minimum coverage car insurance quotes meet California’s minimum legal requirements: $15,000 liability for bodily injury per person and $30,000 per accident, plus $5,000 for property damage.

Comprehensive insurance goes beyond the minimum coverage and includes comprehensive and collision coverage. It protects your car from damage after a collision, theft, vandalism, or a storm – regardless of who is at fault.

Comprehensive insurance is more expensive than minimum coverage. However, if you own a car that is less than 10 years old, you should generally purchase more liability insurance and add comprehensive coverage. This is also required if you rent or lease a car.

The cheapest car insurance for teens in California: Geico

Geico is the cheapest car insurance for young drivers in California, with a rate of $97 per month for liability-only insurance. That’s 24% cheaper than the average.

For comprehensive insurance, State Farm is slightly cheaper than Geico. A State Farm policy costs $268 per month, while Geico’s average rate is $284 per month.

Cheap car insurance quotes for teen drivers in California

CompanyLiability onlyFull coverage
State Farm$105$268
AAA NorCal$120$457
AAA SoCal$140$366

Young California drivers pay about two and a half times as much for their auto insurance as older drivers. An 18-year-old driver pays an average of $127 per month for minimum insurance. In comparison, 30-year-olds pay only $49 per month for the same coverage.

Although comprehensive insurance is expensive for young drivers, it can be worth it if you drive a lot or have a newer car. The added protection of comprehensive insurance is especially useful for young drivers who may not be able to pay for another car if their car is totaled after an accident.

Best cheap California car insurance after a traffic ticket: Mercury

Overall, Mercury has the cheapest rates for drivers with a traffic ticket, accident, or drunk driving.

Full coverage policies from Mercury cost an average of $164 per month for California drivers with a traffic ticket. It’s 24% less expensive than the state’s average of $216 per month for drivers who have a traffic ticket.

CompanyMonthly rate
AAA NorCal$184
AAA SoCal$212
State Farm$234

Drivers tend to pay more for their car insurance after getting a speeding ticket because it means they are considered riskier drivers. Comprehensive insurance in California is $71 more expensive per month after a traffic ticket. That’s a 49% increase.

Cheap car insurance after an accident in California: Mercury

Mercury offers the cheapest full coverage car insurance quotes for California drivers who have caused a car accident.

The company’s average rate after an accident is $186 per month. That’s 36% cheaper than the California average of $292 per month.

Cheapest car insurance in California after an accident

CompanyMonthly rate
AAA SoCal$228
AAA NorCal$295
State Farm$302

California drivers who have been involved in an accident pay twice as much for their car insurance as good driver who has had no accidents.

Cheapest car insurance for young drivers after a accident: Geico

In California, 18-year-old drivers get the cheapest rates from Geico after a speeding ticket. Geico and Mercury have teamed up to offer the cheapest rates for teens after a self-inflicted accident.

18-year-old drivers pay 34% more for their car insurance after a speeding ticket, and 47% more after an accident.

Cheapest quotes for teens after a speeding ticket

State Farm$167$175
AAA NorCal$182$223
AAA SoCal$206$193

Mercury the Cheap car insurance rates after a DUI

If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving in California, you can get cheap comprehensive car insurance from Mercury.

The average monthly rate of $205 is half of the state average.

CompanyMonthly rate
AAA SoCal$425
AAA NorCal$523
State Farm$539

A conviction for driving under the influence usually means a significant increase in your car insurance rates. The average cost of drunk driving insurance in California is $406 per month. That’s a 180% increase compared to a driver with a clean driving record.

Geico the Best cheap car insurance quotes for married drivers

Geico has the cheapest quotes for married drivers in California, at $93 per year for comprehensive insurance. That’s 30% less than the average for all insurance companies. Cheap rates can also be found at Progressive, which offers the biggest discount for married drivers at 22%.

CompanyMonthly rate per car
AAA SoCal$133
AAA NorCal$146
State Farm$152

On average, California insurance companies offer 9% lower rates to married drivers. Most insurance companies offer slightly lower rates to married drivers because married drivers tend to be safer drivers.

Best car insurance in California: AAA

AAA is the best auto insurance company in California because it offers affordable rates, reliable coverage and excellent customer service.

AAA offers a wide range of coverage types and is a good choice for combining with other types of insurance, such as homeowners or homeowners insurance. It is also one of the most affordable companies in California.

State Farm also offers excellent customer service and insurance coverage for California drivers, but their rates are much more expensive.

Best California auto insurance companies

CompanyJ.D. PowerAM Best
State Farm842A++

When shopping for car insurance in California, look not only for prices but also for customer reviews. If you’re involved in an accident, a company with excellent customer service will help you get back on the road quickly. Poor customer service reviews could mean you end up paying more out of pocket or waiting longer for your car to be repaired.

The average cost of car insurance in California by city

The most expensive city in California for car insurance is Beverly Hills, with an average rate of $238 per month. Mount Shasta is the cheapest city in California for car insurance, with an average monthly rate of $106.

In California, the average cost of full coverage car insurance is $145 per month or $1,744 per year. However, the cost of car insurance varies by as much as $132 per month depending on where you live.

Insurance premiums can be higher if your neighborhood has a lot of car thefts, the roads are poorly maintained, or the average car value is high, like in Beverly Hills. If your neighbors all drive Teslas, a liability claim will be more expensive because the cost to repair the vehicle will be higher.

Minimum auto insurance requirements in California

California requires minimum coverage amounts of 15/30/5 for bodily injury and property damage liability.

Bodily injury (BI)$15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
Property damage (PD)$5,000 per accident

While this is the lowest coverage you can have, you should choose your coverage amounts based on your driving habits and budget.

For example, you should purchase comprehensive insurance if your car is worth more than a few thousand dollars. If you’re renting or leasing your car, you’ll likely need to purchase both.

On the other hand, if you’re a student with an older car that you don’t drive often, you may not need the same protection.

If you live in a costly area of California and have savings or investments, it’s advisable to raise your liability insurance limits and think about getting coverage to safeguard your assets.

Will car insurance costs in California go up?

California car insurance costs are expected to increase by less than 1% in 2023 because the state tightly controls rate increases.

A new bill in California’s Legislature aims to raise the minimum liability insurance rates to 30/60/15 starting from January 1, 2025.

Increase to California minimum insurance requirements

Beginning in 2025, drivers with minimum coverage will likely pay more when they renew their car insurance.

For these drivers, rates could increase by about 16%, which could amount to between $8 and $20 more per month. The increases may vary, however, because the additional coverage is allocated to all insured drivers.

California’s current minimum insurance rates (15/30/5) are among the lowest in the country. Only three other states have the same or lower liability limits.

The change would make California’s requirements among the 10 highest in the country. Only eight states have insurance requirements at that level or higher.

Affinity group car insurance discounts in California

The California Department of Insurance recently proposed regulations to mitigate the impact of group discounts on insurance rates. These include discounts for your profession (e.g., lawyers and teachers) or group discounts (e.g., an alumni association).

Farmers offer the largest interest group discount among the largest insurance companies in California. The company offers a 14% discount for a number of professional groups.

CompanyAffinity groupDiscount
21st CenturyAmerican Medical Association membership4%
AAAAccountants, educators8%
AlliedAccountants, dentists, educators10%
AllstateSpecialized professionals3%
FarmersAccountants, aerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists14%
GeicoAccountants, dentists, educators, scientists11%
ProgressiveAerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists5%

Frequently asked questions

What’s the average cost of car insurance in California?

The average cost of car insurance in California is approximately $49 per month for a minimum coverage policy and $145 per month for a full coverage policy.

Which city in California has the cheapest car insurance?

Mount Shasta has the cheapest car insurance in California and has an average rate of $106 per month.

Is car insurance in California expensive?

In California, the average cost of full coverage car insurance is approximately $4,556 per year, while the national average is around $4,211 per year. This means that car insurance in California is similar to the national average. For minimum coverage, the average cost in California is about $1,407 per year.

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in California?

Geico is the most affordable car insurance company in California for the majority of drivers. They offer minimum coverage for around $31 per month and full coverage for about $109 per month. For drivers with a speeding ticket, accident, or DUI, Mercury provides the best rates.