How Much Is California Car Insurance?

Average Monthly Rate
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Recent Quotes

  • Liberty Mutual $121/mo

    2017 Jeep Cherokee - CA

  • General $101/mo

    2005 TOY Prius - CA

  • Liberty Mutual $104/mo

    2019 Toyota C-Hr - CA

  • ClearCover $84/mo

    2006 Ford Courier - CA

  • Mercury $141/mo

    2018 Audi Q3 - CA

  • Dairyland $138/mo

    2019 Honda CIVIC - CA

  • Dairyland $51/mo

    2001 Chevrolet Corvette - CA

  • Infinity $153/mo

    2003 Buick Lesabre - CA

  • 21st Century $124/mo

    2012 Ford Fiesta - CA

  • Foremost Auto $135/mo

    2018 Ford Fusion - CA

  • Metlife $120/mo

    2018 Mini Cooper - CA

  • Safe Auto $188/mo

    2008 Nissan 350z - CA

Affordable Car Insurance in California

You’re a smart, savvy shopper. We get that. You don’t visit the airport when you need to book a trip, you use TripAdvisor.com or Expedia.com. Car insurance is no different. We’ll help you quickly figure out who offers the best car insurance in California for your smart, savvy self.

We are carrier-neutral because our customer is you. Have no fear of the unknown after reviewing the data points provided here, especially when purchasing car insurance for the first time. You will be armed and prosperous! And then you can get on with your life.

California Car Insurance

Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates in California

Carriers look at multiple variables when determining your insurance rate. Your age, location, driving history, and state requirements are all factors in determining the price you pay. We used our in-house reporting to determine the companies that offer the cheapest car insurance rates in California. Century National came in with the lowest rate currently available in California at $132.79 per month. Followed by Esurance at $138.04 per month and Pronto Insurance at $146.06 per month.

Lowest Rate

Century National

$132.79
Highest Rate

Infinity

$312.21
Average Rate

California

$152
RankCompanyAvg monthly rate
1 Century National $132.79 / month
2 Esurance $138.04 / month
3 Pronto Insurance $146.06 / month
4 USAA $147.27 / month
5 Progressive $153.08 / month
6 Unitrin $156.21 / month
7 Clearcover $159.51 / month
8 Mercury $167.82 / month
9 California Capital $170.40 / month
10 GEICO $171.62 / month
11 21st Century $176.13 / month
12 CSAA $178.72 / month
13 Grange $179.34 / month
14 Liberty Mutual $179.56 / month
15 Allstate $181.46 / month
16 Auto Club $189.63 / month
17 State Farm $190.46 / month
18 Hartford $192.66 / month
19 SAFECO $193.18 / month
20 Alliance United $196.63 / month
21 Dashers Insurance $201.39 / month
22 Metropolitan $215.73 / month
23 Bristol West $249.34 / month
24 Nationwide $251.55 / month
25 Farmers $255.92 / month
26 Allied $258.99 / month
27 Dairyland $311.87 / month
28 Infinity $312.21 / month

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Car Insurance

If you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities you are likely paying some of the lowest car insurance rates available in California. According to our data, Oroville comes in at the cheapest at only $85.57 per month. Other cities that made the top 10 list include Redding at $88.18 per month, Porterville at $90.58 per month, and Lompoc at $92.67 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Oroville, CA$85.57 / month
2 Redding, CA$88.18 / month
3 Porterville, CA$90.58 / month
4 Lompoc, CA$92.67 / month
5 Yucca Valley, CA$98.16 / month
6 Eureka, CA$98.86 / month
7 Marysville, CA$99.19 / month
8 Yuba City, CA$99.73 / month
9 Chico, CA$102.41 / month
10 Merced, CA$104.83 / month

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Car Insurance

These top 10 cities ranked as the most expensive places in California for car insurance. Location is a big factor when determining the price you pay for car insurance and these cities came in at the top. Beverly Hills is the most expensive city in California at $239.22 per month. Second and third place goes to Glendale at $221.75 per month and Porter Ranch at $214.48 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Beverly Hills, CA $239.22 / month
2 Glendale, CA $221.75 / month
3 Porter Ranch, CA $214.48 / month
4 Tarzana, CA $208.20 / month
5 Valley Village, CA $206.29 / month
6 Panorama City, CA $203.05 / month
7 Encino, CA $200.73 / month
8 North Hollywood, CA $200.59 / month
9 Chatsworth, CA $199.13 / month
10 Winnetka, CA $196.55 / month

Average Quotes by Top Companies

Rates can vary wildly from company to company. Here is a quick look at a few rates from some of the top car insurance companies in California.

Compare Recent Car Insurance Quotes in California

SmartFinancial helps thousands of drivers every day find and compare the best car insurance rates available. Here is a list of some recent quotes that we recently found for drivers in California.

CompanyMonthly rateVehicle
Liberty Mutual $1212017 Jeep Cherokee
General $1012005 TOY Prius
Liberty Mutual $1042019 Toyota C Hr
ClearCover $842006 Ford Courier
Mercury $1412018 Audi Q3
Dairyland $1382019 Honda CIVIC
Dairyland $512001 Chevrolet Corvette
Infinity $1532003 Buick Lesabre
21st Century $1242012 Ford Fiesta
Foremost Auto $1352018 Ford Fusion
Metlife $1202018 Mini Cooper
Safe Auto $1882008 Nissan 350z

Methodology

The statistics listed on this page are from our own in house reporting. We track and record quotes that carriers have provided based on various criteria. The rates and averages shown on this page should only be used as an estimate.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in California

Every state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of liability coverage. California drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for damages and injuries inflicted on someone else in an auto accident.

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$15,000

Bodily injury coverage per person

Max. payment for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.

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$30,000

Bodily injury coverage per accident

Max. payment for all injuries that you cause in an accident when more than one person is hurt.

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$5,000

Property damage per accident

Max. payment for damaged property in an accident caused by you.

You like to keep it simple, and so do we! Just don’t go too minimalist and skip the auto insurance altogether (see our FAQ for more information). In California, you are legally required to obtain something called liability insurance.* This is for your protection if you are deemed “at fault” in an accident that causes injury and lost wages to another driver or passenger in another vehicle. Liability coverage pays up to the amounts listed below. It also pays for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. Trust us, you’d want this coverage even if it wasn’t legally required!

Since California is a “fault” or “tort” state, your carrier will pay for accident damages only once you are found responsible for causing the accident. You can also be sued by the other driver if found at fault. Consider this: $5,000 is the maximum payment for property damage but you collide with a $25,000 vehicle. If you are found at fault, you are on the hook for any damages beyond $5,000. Between this and the high cost of medical care, we recommend you carry more than the minimum required coverage!

While not legally required, drivers can also elect to carry full coverage insurance. For more information, read the SmartFinancial blog 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.

Optional Coverage in California

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical and Funeral Services
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
  • Windshield Replacement

* The California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program is for those who cannot afford liability insurance coverage. To find out if you are eligible, visit www.mylowcostauto.com or call 866-602-8861.

California Car Safety

California Car Safety

  1. Don’t drink or drug and drive
  2. Don’t cell phone and drive
  3. Don’t anything-that-might-cause-distracted-driving and drive

One

Driving in California with a blood alcohol content (including that from medications) at or below the set limits WILL put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences are real, and they are as harsh as you would suspect. Visit our FAQ to learn the limits and possible consequences of a DUI conviction or refusal to submit a chemical test.

Two

Texting and driving in California can also have extreme consequences. Watch this video with your family to understand that what we often think is just a safe, quick glance could mean permanent damage, our own death or even homicide. The fact is, a one-second glance away from the road is what the Journal of Adolescent Health has deemed safe, but the average text message takes five seconds. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t text and drive either.

Three strikes, you’re out

While it might seem like all of these driving laws go without saying, the statistics tell us otherwise. SmartFinancial encourages you to avoid all non-driving activities while driving. The more serious offenses could fall under California’s Three Strikes Law (see our FAQ for more information). Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by limiting your road activities strictly to driving while driving.

Car Safety for California Kids

A child passenger restraint system is the most important part of safely transporting kids; thousands are injured or killed each year due to improper restraint.

California law requires that all children under 2 years of age use a Federally approved rear-facing car seat until they are either 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. From this point up to the age of 8, all children must be properly secured in an appropriately rated forward-facing car seat or belt-positioning booster seat. At 8, or at 4 feet 9 inches tall, kids may graduate to the vehicle’s factory-installed seat belts.

Always adhere to the size limits set by the car or booster seat’s manufacturer. Find more safety information on the California Highway Patrol website.

Under California law, a parent or other caregiver may not leave a child 6 or younger in a vehicle without the supervision of someone 12 or older if there are potentially dangerous conditions or if the engine is running or keys are in the ignition.

Young children who are left alone in a car, SUV, van, or truck can get hurt or targeted by a stranger. There’s also the risk of dehydration, heat stroke, brain damage, and death due to hyperthermia. Vehicle interiors get dangerously hot quickly on warm or hot days, and even on mild days if they’re parked in direct sunlight; cracking windows doesn’t help. Note that these risks apply to pets, as well.

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914

Fatal Accidents Testing Positive for Drug Involvement in California

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460,487

Annual Distracted Driving Related Crashes in California

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10

Years in California Prison for Vehicular Homicide Caused by a Drunk Driver

Driving Green in California

Driving green in California

With more than 394,608 miles of scenic road to cover, there is a large amount of driving being done in California. Here’s how you can do your part to “drive green.”

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Smog

Get your emissions checked every other registration renewal.

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Littering

Avoid fines and litter cleanup duty by not breaking the California littering laws.

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Clean Air Cars

Check out this extensive list of electric vehicles that will not only ease your environmentally conscious mind but will also earn you some extra cash, HOV lane access and free parking in some California cities! Don’t forget to ask your selected insurance company if they offer any green car discounts.

For more information on California’s efforts (and nationwide efforts) to promote hybrid and electric vehicles, visit www.ncsl.org.

California Car Insurance FAQ

California car insurance FAQ

Will my credit score be used to obtain car insurance in California?

No! The use of credit is common in most states, but not in California, Massachusetts and or Hawaii. In the Golden State, your car insurance rate is primarily determined by your driving record and annual mileage (there may be other factors, such as the number of years licensed). Your location can come into play in other states but Proposition 103, passed by California voters in 1988, eliminated rating factors such as race and zip code (among other things).

Is there a good-driver discount law in California?

Props again to Prop 103 for creating good-driver discount laws! This proposition has saved California’s households $8,625 per family since it was passed, thanks to the 20% premium roll-back for qualifying policyholders. To qualify, the US or Canadian drivers now living in California who have been driving for at least three years must not have: been “at fault” in an accident, received more than one point on his/her driving record, attended traffic school more than once for a traffic violation.

Can I use my digital insurance card in California?

Yes! Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown and law Assembly Bill 170, getting pulled over in California is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in California?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is optional coverage.

What happens if I don’t have insurance or my coverage lapses?

Unlike most states, in California, you will not incur a price penalty on your insurance premiums once covered again, but liability insurance is a minimum requirement in your state (and most others).

What are California's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages limits under the driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in California with the following BAC percentages:

  • .08%+ @ 21 years old or older
  • .04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
  • .01%+ @ < 21 years old

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in California?

According to California’s implied consent law, you are only required to take a breath or blood test upon being arrested. However, if you are not arrested and refuse the test, the officer may identify additional probable causes for driving under the influence and arrest you, thus forcing you into taking the test. 

Younger than 21 years old vs. 21 years or older:

  • First Offense: Suspended for 1 year vs. the same penalty
  • Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years vs. revoked for 2 years
  • Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years vs. revoked for 3 years

For more information on California’s implied consent law, refer to California Vehicle Code Section 23612.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI in California?

If convicted of a DUI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service, DUI school, and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the DUI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.

What does California’s Three Strikes Law state?

According to Proposition 184 (California’s Three Strikes Law), “the law requires that a person who is convicted of a felony and who previously has been convicted of one or more violent or serious felonies be sentenced to state prison.” If convicted upon a “third strike,” the sentence is a life term with the possibility of parole after 25 years. We know you’ll concur, there is no text message, sandwich or other distraction worth the life of another person, and your own freedom.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in California?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!

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