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How to save money on car insurance in California

Written by Katie Dee

Edited by Alyssa DiCrasto

Published on 2023-10-16
road with ocean to right

According to new data from Rate Retriever’s quarterly insurance rates report, car insurance in California costs drivers around $1,817 annually. While this is slightly cheaper than the national average for car insurance, there are ways that you could save even more on your premium.  

Car insurance prices across all states have risen faster than anything else in the economy in 2023. Your specific rate for car insurance in California will depend on several factors, including the make, model, and year of your car as well as personal information like your age and driving history. 

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What impacts car insurance rates in California?

The price you pay for California car insurance varies depending on multiple factors. For instance, some zip codes warrant higher rates than others. Rate Retriever’s report tells us that the most expensive zip code for car insurance in California is currently 90010, which is located in Los Angeles.  

Car insurance in this area could cost drivers around $2,938 annually – 62% more than the average in California. Typically, densely populated areas as well as big cities warrant higher car insurance premiums because there is a higher chance of an accident or theft occurring in these areas than there is in a more rural part of the state.  

On the other end of the spectrum, 96094 is currently the cheapest zip code for car insurance in California. This is a zip code in Weed, California and residents pay an average of $1,292 per year for their car insurance.  

In addition to your zip code, your coverage level, marital status, and the number of drivers on your policy will also affect the amount you pay for car insurance in California.  

California is also one of three states that does not allow insurance companies to take credit score into consideration when assigning car insurance rates, so whether you have excellent credit or you’re trying to improve your score, your rate will not be impacted.  

How can I save money on California car insurance?

One way to be sure you are not overpaying for car insurance in California is to make sure you have the right coverage level for your needs. California drivers with a minimum coverage policy pay an average of 65% less than those who opt for a premium full coverage policy while those with standard coverage pay around 4% less than those with premium coverage policies.  

If you are married, another way you could save on your premium is to combine your policy with your spouse. On average, married California drivers who have a joint policy and shared vehicle save 54% on their car insurance premiums while married drivers with a joint policy and two vehicles save around 24% per year. 

If you are a California driver looking to insure a teenager, you also have opportunities for savings. A parent adding a teenager to their policy can save around 42% on their car insurance premium if the parent and teen are sharing one vehicle. 

Even if you and your teenager have two separate cars, you could still save an average of 22% per year on your car insurance in California by bundling your policies instead of purchasing them separately. 

Another one of the simplest ways to save money on your car insurance is to compare rates at several different companies in your area. Since there are so many factors to consider, it is important to shop around and keep an eye out for any discounts you might be missing out on. 

Rate Retriever has a super simple quiz that can help you get started on your search by showing you personalized rates at all of the car insurance companies in your area so you can choose the best option.  

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