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Cheap car insurance in California

In California, the average cost of car insurance is $1,923 a year and Progressive, Geico, and Mercury Insurance are among the best and cheapest car insurance companies. You may find that another company is better for you based on your profile, vehicle, and coverage needs.

Written by Alyssa DiCrasto

Reviewed by Rob Deming Shield check

Last updated: September 22nd, 2023 

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How much is car insurance in California?

Car insurance costs $1,923 per year on average in California. This is -6.10% than the national average of $2,049 a year.

However, the cost of California car insurance can vary by a number of factors, such as the level of car insurance you need, the kind of vehicle you drive, and your profile.

These are the average prices a 35-year-old male driving a 2023 RAV4 would pay annually for state minimum coverage, standard coverage, and premium coverage in California. Your rates will vary based on your unique driver profile.

Annual rates for a male driving a 2023 RAV4, estimated using public rate filings sourced from First Interpreter.
do not represent actual quotes. Accurate as of January 2024.

Car insurance rates across California

The zip code you live in also impacts your car insurance rates. In California, the most expensive zip code to purchase insurance is Los Angeles, CA 90010 while the least expensive zip code is Los Osos, CA 93402. This map shows the average cost of car insurance across California. 


Car insurance in popular cities in California

Click on one of the popular cities in California below to explore the average cost of car insurance, rates by factor, and local agents in your specific city.

Alameda,Alhambra,Anaheim,Antioch,Apple Valley,Arcadia,Azusa,Bakersfield,Baldwin Park,Beaumont,Bell Gardens,Bellflower,Berkeley,Brentwood,Buena Park,Burbank,Calexico,Camarillo,Canoga Park,Canyon Country,Carlsbad,Carmichael,Carson,Castro Valley,Chico,Chino,Chino Hills,Chula Vista,Citrus Heights,Clovis,Colton,Compton,Concord,Corona,Costa Mesa,Covina,Cupertino,Daly City,Danville,Davis,Downey,Dublin,El Cajon,El Monte,Elk Grove,Escondido,Fairfield,Folsom,Fontana,Fountain Valley,Fremont,Fresno,Fullerton,Garden Grove,Gardena,Gilroy,Glendale,Hacienda Heights,Hanford,Hawthorne,Hayward,Hemet,Hesperia,Highland,Hollister,Huntington Beach,Huntington Park,Indio,Inglewood,Irvine,Jurupa Valley,La Habra,La Mesa,La Puente,Laguna Niguel,Lake Elsinore,Lake Forest,Lakewood,Lancaster,Lincoln,Livermore,Lodi,Lompoc,Long Beach,Los Angeles,Lynwood,Madera,Manteca,Menifee,Merced,Milpitas,Mission Viejo,Modesto,Montebello,Monterey Park,Moreno Valley,Morgan Hill,Mountain View,Murrieta,Napa,National City,Newport Beach,North Hills,North Hollywood,Northridge,Norwalk,Novato,Oakland,Oceanside,Ontario,Orange,Oxnard,Pacoima,Palmdale,Palo Alto,Panorama City,Paramount,Pasadena,Perris,Petaluma,Pico Rivera,Pittsburg,Pleasanton,Pomona,Porterville,Rancho Cordova,Rancho Cucamonga,Redding,Redlands,Redondo Beach,Redwood City,Reseda,Rialto,Richmond,Riverside,Rocklin,Rosemead,Roseville,Sacramento,Salinas,San Bernardino,San Clemente,San Diego,San Francisco,San Gabriel,San Jose,San Leandro,San Marcos,San Mateo,San Pablo,San Pedro,San Rafael,San Ramon,San Ysidro,Santa Ana,Santa Barbara,Santa Clara,Santa Clarita,Santa Cruz,Santa Maria,Santa Monica,Santa Rosa,Santee,Sherman Oaks,Simi Valley,South Gate,South San Francisco,Spring Valley,Stockton,Sunnyvale,Sylmar,Temecula,Thousand Oaks,Torrance,Tracy,Tulare,Turlock,Tustin,Union City,Upland,Vacaville,Valencia,Vallejo,Van Nuys,Ventura,Victorville,Visalia,Vista,Walnut Creek,Watsonville,West Covina,Westminster,Whittier,Woodland,Woodland Hills,Yorba Linda,Yuba City

Car insurance in California at a glance

These numbers represent average rates across California. Remember that you may find that another company is better for you based on your profile, vehicle, and coverage needs. 


average annual premium


than the national average

Save no more

with excellent credit

Save 25%

when married


Why you can trust Rate Retriever

Our rates are based on public rate filings obtained by analytics company First Interpreter. While we may partner with some of the carriers you see on our site, we maintain editorial independence and it does not affect the rates you see. Read more about our rating methodology or see our rigorous editorial policy. 

California car insurance requirements

California requires two types of car insurance coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. However, many drivers choose to purchase additional coverage types, such as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, to help cover certain costs associated with different types of accidents.

If you’re one of the many drivers who lease or finance their vehicle, check with your lender about any additional insurance they may require. Although not mandated by the state, some lenders may require full coverage auto insurance in California.

Minimum car insurance requirements – California

Bodily Injury Liability – $15,000 limit per person/$30,000 limit per accident

Property Damage Liability – $5,000 limit

The cheapest car insurance companies in California

Progressive, Geico, and Mercury Insurance are the leading insurance providers in California that offer the cheapest full coverage car insurance policies on average.

It’s important to note that while we have determined the top three companies based on their average affordability for full coverage policies in California, you may find that other insurance providers will offer you cheaper rates based on your unique driver profile. It’s important to compare personalized rates from multiple insurers to find the best coverage and price combination for your specific needs.

1. Progressive


Progressive is a leading insurance company, ranked as the 2nd largest in the US based on market share. With an impressive AM Best rating of A , Progressive offers reliable coverage to their policyholders. They provide a wide range of discounts, including Telematics, Good driver, and student discounts, allowing customers to save on their premiums. Progressive stands out with its Name Your Price tool, which helps customers find the right coverage at a price that fits their budget. With an average savings of $700, 85 years of experience, and 24/7/365 support, Progressive has earned the trust of over 27 million people who rely on them for their insurance needs.

2. Geico


Geico, the third largest auto insurance company in the United States, is renowned for its extensive coverage options and competitive rates. With an impressive AM Best rating of A , Geico demonstrates a strong financial standing to support its policyholders. Geico offers a wide array of discounts, including multi-policy options for bundling coverage, rewards for safe drivers, and special discounts for military personnel. Notably, the company boasts an impressive “97% customer satisfaction rating,” underscoring its commitment to providing excellent customer service and meeting the needs of its policyholders. Geico’s combination of affordability, diverse discounts, and high customer satisfaction makes it a popular choice for auto insurance.

3. Mercury Insurance


Mercury Insurance is a prominent insurance company, ranking as the 16th largest in the US based on market share. With an AM Best rating of A, they provide reliable coverage to their policyholders. Mercury Insurance offers various discounts, including Telematics, Good Student, and Good Driver discounts, helping customers save on their premiums. The company prioritizes convenience and customer satisfaction, offering 24/7 online claims filing, and guaranteed repairs with authorized repair shops, and dedicated local agents. Additionally, prospective customers can obtain a quote in less than 7 minutes, making the process quick and efficient. Mercury Insurance is dedicated to providing dependable coverage and exceptional service to its customers.

Compare car insurance in California by coverage amount

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in California

A full coverage car insurance policy offers more complete coverage. It often includes higher liability coverage limits, personal injury protection, comprehensive insurance, and collision insurance. These additional coverages will help cover any damages you or your vehicle sustains in an accident or non-collision incident.

On average, a full coverage policy in California is $1,923 for an annual policy.

These are the average prices a 35-year-old male driving a 2023 RAV4 would pay for a premium full coverage policy ($100k/$300k/$100k with a $500 deductible) at each of the top insurance companies in California. Your rates will vary based on your unique driver profile.

Annual rates for a male driving a 2023 RAV4, estimated using public rate filings sourced from First Interpreter.
do not represent actual quotes. Accurate as of January 2024.

Cheapest minimum car insurance in California

A minimum car insurance policy in California includes liability insurance. The required limits are: $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $5,000 limit for property damage liability. California minimum coverage only covers damages you cause to others and their property in an accident. It does not include collision or comprehensive, which cover damages to your own property.

On average, the cost for a minimum car insurance policy in California is $658 a year, which is 66% less than the average cost of car insurance.

These are the average prices a 35-year-old male driving a 2023 RAV4 would pay annually for state minimum coverage at the top insurance companies in California. Your rates will vary based on your unique driver profile.

Annual rates for a male driving a 2023 RAV4, estimated using public rate filings sourced from First Interpreter.
do not represent actual quotes. Accurate as of January 2024.
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How to get cheap California car insurance

California has much to offer its residents, including world-class cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, countless national parks, coastal beaches, and famous mountains for winter activities. With something for everyone, it’s no wonder 39 million people choose to live in sunny California.Whether you’re thinking about moving to California or have called it home for a long time, you need car insurance. All drivers are required to carry certain types of auto insurance in California.

A great first step for finding affordable car insurance is to compare quotes from top insurance companies in California. Rate Retriever can connect you with top insurance providers who may offer affordable policies so you have the coverage you need without breaking the bank.

California auto insurance shopping made easy

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Compare California auto insurance by factor

The state you live in is only one of the factors that may impact your car insurance rate.  Each car insurance company has their own formula for calculating rates based on a variety of factors that make up your driver profile.  

Factors that can impact your quoted rates include: 

  • Your demographics including your age, home ownership, marriage status, and more 
  • Your driving history including how long you’ve been driving, traffic violations, and more 
  • Your car including make, model, and year 
  • Your zip code, or where you live within your state 
  • How much coverage you want

California auto insurance by age

Age is a significant factor that affects car insurance rates. Generally, younger drivers, particularly teenagers and those in their early 20s, tend to face higher premiums due to a lack of driving experience and higher likelihood of being involved in accidents.

Find cheap car insurance for teenagers >

As drivers gain more experience and reach their mid-20s and 30s, insurance rates typically go down. This is because they have had more time to develop their driving skills and establish a track record of safe driving.

However, as drivers enter their senior years, insurance rates may start to increase again. This is primarily due to factors such as decreased vision, slower reaction times, and potential health issues that can impact driving abilities.

Find cheap car insurance for seniors >

Your specific age will impact your car insurance rates, so it’s always a good idea to compare rates from different insurers to find the most cost-effective coverage for you.

Adding a teenager to your policy in California

The national average cost of car insurance for a teen driver on their own policy is $7,401 a year. Generally, it makes sense for a parent to add their teen driver to their existing policy instead of the teenager buying their own policy.

In California, a teenager on their own insurance policy will pay an average of $5,144 a year. When the parent adds their teen to their policy, they’ll pay 43% less than the two separate policies on average.

Learn more about insuring a teen driver >

California auto insurance by vehicle

The vehicle you drive will also impact your insurance rate. Car insurance providers consider your vehicle’s year, make, model, and trim level to determine your rates. Generally, the higher the value of your car, the more expensive it will be to insure. This means that new cars, electric or hybrid vehicles, and sports cars usually have more expensive insurance than older cars or cars that are less expensive to repair or replace.

The cheapest car to insure among popular 2023 models is the Subaru Outback, while the most expensive is the Tesla Model S.

Find cheap car insurance by vehicle >

California auto insurance by credit score

Insurance companies cannot use credit score as a rating factor in California. Generally, the better your credit score, the cheaper your rates. In fact, raising your credit score is one way to get cheaper insurance. The national average for a 35-year-old male driver with excellent credit is around $1,510 per year for car insurance, while the average rate for the same driver with good credit is $2,049. Drivers with poor credit pay the highest rate, with a national average premium of around $3,360 per year for the same driver.

In California, drivers with excellent credit can expect to save no more on car insurance compared to drivers with good credit while those with poor credit pay no more on average.

However, if you have bad credit, you may still be able to find affordable insurance.

Learn more about cheap car insurance with bad credit >

California auto insurance by driving record

Since insurance companies assess your driving history to gauge the level of risk you pose as a driver, your driving record will also factor into your car insurance rates. Various factors within your driving record can impact your rates:

  1. Traffic Violations: Insurance providers consider traffic violations such as speeding tickets, reckless driving, running red lights, and DUI/DWI offenses as indicators of risky driving behavior. The more violations you have on your record, generally the higher your insurance rates will be.

  2. Accidents: Being involved in accidents and filing claims can significantly impact your insurance rates. At-fault accidents tend to have a greater impact compared to accidents where you were not responsible. Multiple accidents or a history of frequent claims can lead to higher premiums.

  3. Claims History: Insurance companies review your claims history to evaluate the likelihood of future claims. If you have a record of filing numerous claims, regardless of fault, insurers may consider you a higher risk and increase your rates accordingly.

  4. License Suspensions or Revocations: If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked due to violations or other reasons, insurance companies may view you as a high-risk driver, resulting in higher premiums.

  5. Time Since Last Incident: Insurance providers often consider the time since your last traffic violation or accident. Generally, the longer you go without any incidents, the more favorable it is for your insurance rates.

Find cheap car insurance for high-risk drivers in California >

Marriage and car insurance rates in California

In general, married drivers who combine their car insurance policies save money. Of course the amount you will save varies based on the number of vehicles you have, your location, and other factors. In California, married couples with two vehicles who combine their policies will save 25% on their car insurance.

Gender and car insurance rates in California

Some insurance providers use your sex as a factor to determine your rates, but factors such as your zip code and driving record generally impact your rate more. However, in California insurance companies are not allowed to use gender as a rating factor. In California, males pay an average of $1,923 a year and females pay $1,923

Why is California auto insurance important?

First, California car insurance is required by the state and driving without it can result in a license suspension and costly fines. It is important not only to have the minimum required auto insurance in California but to keep it up to date without a lapse in coverage.

One vital reason to have car insurance in California is that, depending on your policy and coverage limits, your insurance helps cover certain costs should you get into a car accident. This can reduce the burden of paying for accident-related costs out of pocket, and it can help you have peace of mind while on the road.

Whether you’re interested in the minimum auto insurance required or want more coverage for additional protection, we can connect you with top car insurance providers in California.

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Rate Retriever rates are based on public rate filings obtained by analytics company First Interpreter. This data comes from the rating plans insurance carriers submit to each state’s department of insurance. Rating plans detail how each carrier calculates premiums using factors such as location, age, gender, and driving record, and they ensure that insurance premiums are both fair and competitive. 

For the data on this page, we made the following assumptions: a 35-year-old single male with a clean driving record and Good credit score, driving a 2023 RAV4.  

These rates are not actual quotes and should only be used for comparative purposes. Your rates can vary significantly based on your unique driver profile. 

About Rate Retriever

At Rate Retriever, our mission is to make the way you shop for insurance transparent and fair through user-friendly tools that respect your privacy and deliver reliable, comprehensive results 

So we took everything we hated about comparing insurance quotes online – the spam, the long questionnaires, the limited choices, the inaccuracy of quote prices – and threw it out the window, favoring a short form that more accurately estimates what you’ll pay at each of the top insurance providers near you. 

Rate Retriever is an independent company that is not owned by an insurance provider, nor do we provide insurance ourselves. This independence allows us to be your free and impartial insurance research tool, helping you make the best decisions for your insurance needs.  

We may earn a commission when you click one of the links or call one of the providers listed on our site; however, we do not allow our partnerships to influence which information we provide.