Whether you’re new to the state and looking for auto insurance coverage, or you’ve lived in California for years and want to find how much car insurance costs in California, you can find the information you need here.
Car insurance quotes in California vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the type of coverage you choose, coverage limits, your address and personal factors. Auto Club Enterprises (AAA) offers the cheapest annual rates for full coverage car insurance in California at $2,267 per year.
This comprehensive guide to buying car insurance for California drivers is based on 2023 data research and expert advice from CarInsurance.com’s team of insurance analysts and editors. We spent countless hours doing the homework for you and analyzed rates for various driver demographics to show you what you can expect to pay.
Keep reading to learn how auto insurance in California works and how much insurance you need.
- How much is car insurance in California?
- Average cost of auto insurance in California by coverage level
- Calculate the cost of car insurance in California
- Estimate car insurance in California by car model
- Car insurance rates by age group in California
- Rates based on driver profile, history and habits in California
- Car insurance cost in California for high-risk drivers
- Compare car insurance quotes in California
- Car insurance rates by city in California
- How much does car insurance cost in California per month?
- Final thoughts on choosing car insurance in California
- Resources & Methodology
- Guide to car insurance (with rates) in cities of California
How much is car insurance in California?
In California, drivers pay an average of $176 monthly for full coverage car insurance, based on a 2023 rate analysis by CarInsurance.com.
Understanding the average cost of insurance can give you a head start in budgeting for your coverage. It’s important to consider that premium costs vary from person to person and will depend largely on the make/model of your car, your driving record and other factors.
Average cost of auto insurance in California by coverage level
Auto insurance rates in California can differ based on the coverage limit. In California, drivers must abide by the minimum liability limits of 15/30/5 to legally drive on the road.
Learn more about what are the minimum liability car insurance requirements by state
Liability-only policies are the cheapest, offering bare-bones protection that meets California’s financial responsibility laws – but they don’t offer much protection. Full coverage car insurance policies are the most expensive but provide much more protection, covering your own vehicles from accidents, theft, natural disasters and animal strikes. With a full coverage insurance policy, drivers can be confident that they’re protected in the event of an accident up to the limits of their policies.
Below are the California car insurance costs for three different coverage levels.
|Coverage Level||Avg. Monthly Cost||Avg. Annual Cost|
|State Minimum Liability Only||$48||$578|
|50/100/50 Liability Only||$71||$853|
|100/300/100 Liability with $500 Comp/Coll Deductible||$176||$2,110|
State minimum car insurance in California
In California, minimum car insurance requirements include $15,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 of bodily injury liability per accident and $5,000 of property damage liability.
The state minimum coverage in California costs $578 a year. But state minimum coverage isn’t much protection for drivers. California drivers may purchase additional coverage options, such as comprehensive and collision insurance, increase their liability limits and add personal injury protection or other endorsements for extra protection.
It is crucial for drivers in California to be aware of the minimum car insurance requirements so they remain legally compliant.
Liability-only car insurance in California
In California, liability-only car insurance costs $853 for the limits 50/100/50, according to a 2023 CarInsurance.com data analysis.
This type of policy covers the cost of damages caused to others but not damages to the driver’s own vehicle or passengers. While it usually is less expensive than a full coverage plan, liability-only insurance does not provide any protection against an accident or theft of the insured vehicle.
Full coverage car insurance in California
On average, premiums for full coverage car insurance in California costs around $2,110 per year for the limits of 100/300/100 – $1,00,000 in bodily injury coverage, $3,00,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $1,00,000 in property damage coverage.
Experts recommend that drivers purchase full coverage insurance with the highest liability limits they can afford to stay protected against unexpected events.
Full coverage car insurance policies include liability, comprehensive and collision coverage and a $500 deductible.
Calculate the cost of car insurance in California
A policy that is perfect for someone living in one ZIP code might be priced high for a driver living in another ZIP code.
Different areas pose more or less risk based on crime rate, traffic, car thefts and population density. Insurance companies research each area’s risks and then use that knowledge to determine what they can charge for premiums.
As a result, people living in higher-risk neighborhoods of California have to pay more than those living where the risks are lower.
With our easy-to-use tool, you can get insurance quotes for different coverage limits for your ZIP code in minutes. Just enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see how much you can save.
California Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
Estimate car insurance in California by car model
Car insurers in California use the make and model of your car to determine your insurance rates. Cars deemed more expensive to repair, such as luxury cars and EVs, may cause your rates to be higher than those that may cost less to fix.
For instance, cars like Maserati, BMW, Porsche and Audi are some of the most expensive cars to insure. Subaru, Hyundai, Honda and Mazda are on the list of the cheapest cars to insure.
See how much you’ll pay for car insurance for your specific make and model in 2023 in California.
Insurance Rates by Car Models
Check out our detailed guide on How to estimate car insurance using our car insurance estimator tool
Car insurance rates by age group in California
As drivers age, their auto insurance premiums change – with younger and teen drivers paying higher rates than experienced drivers. The crash rate for teen drivers is four times higher than that of drivers 20 and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Car insurance companies know teen drivers are less experienced and riskier to insure. California drivers aged 30 to 60 garner the lowest average auto insurance costs across all ages at $2,091 a year.
Drivers aged 16-19 pay $3,227 more for car insurance than California drivers aged 30-60 per year.
See the average rates by age group below:
- For teen drivers: Teens aged 16-19 can expect to pay $5,318 per year for a full coverage car insurance policy.
- For young adults: Drivers aged 20-25 can expect to pay $3,064 a year for a full coverage policy.
- For middle-aged drivers: Drivers aged 30 to 60 can expect to pay $2,091 per year in California.
- For senior drivers: Drivers 60 and older can expect to pay $2,146 per year.
Check out our detailed guide on average car insurance rates by age
Rates based on driver profile, history and habits in California
If your driving record includes a DUI, speeding ticket or an at-fault accident, your rates will increase significantly. A DUI conviction in California triggers higher insurance rates because insurers see you as a risky driver.
Similarly, if you get a speeding ticket in California, chances are you’ll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance by up to 43% upon your policy renewal. Typically, you’ll pay more for three years. However, your rate increase also depends on the state laws, your insurance company and your driving record.
Here is how much your car insurance rate increases in California after driving incidents:
- Speeding ticket: Up to 43% increase
- DUI conviction: 177% increase
- At-fault accident (bodily injury and property damage): 50% increase
But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money.
Car insurance cost in California for high-risk drivers
In California, high-risk drivers pay more for car insurance than other drivers, as they are considered a greater risk. Factors like prior accident history, traffic violations and poor credit scores influence how much the policyholder will pay for insurance coverage.
Luckily, there are ways for high-risk drivers to reduce the amount they must pay for premiums. Shopping around and comparing quotes is a great place to start, as each company will have its own rate structure specifically tailored to individual needs.
Use the tool below to see which company offers cheaper rates for drivers with speeding tickets, DUI convictions and at-fault accidents.
Select your state and risk factor below to see the insurance company and its
average annual full coverage rates.
|Company Name||Insurance Rates|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$3,595|
Learn more about the top 10 most important factors that affect car insurance rates
Compare car insurance quotes in California
Drivers in California can save hundreds of dollars by shopping around and comparing quotes. While many factors influence the cost of your car insurance, from driving record to the type of car, there are lots of options to get the coverage you need at a price that works for you.
Start your search for the best car insurance policy in California by gathering quotes from several insurers for comparison.
Below is a breakdown of car insurance companies in California and their average annual premiums.
|Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)||$609||$832||$2,267|
|CSAA Insurance (AAA)||$458||$628||$2,367|
- State Minimum – State Minimum Liability Only
- 50/100/50 – 50/100/50 Liability Only
- 100/300/100 – 100/300/100 Liability with $500 Comp/Coll Deductible
Car insurance rates by city in California
Beverly Hills is the most expensive city in California with an average car insurance rate of $3,449 a year. Mount Shasta is the cheapest city for California drivers at an average rate of $1,574 annually.
Car insurance rates vary by city in California for a number of reasons. One of the most significant factors is traffic congestion. Areas with more traffic typically have higher rates of accidents and claims, which leads to higher premiums.
Other factors that can affect rates include the number of uninsured drivers, the cost of repairs and medical bills and the crime rate in the city.
Below you’ll see the average annual car insurance cost of major cities in California.
Select your city below to see the insurance company and its average full coverage rates.
|Company Name||Insurance Rates|
|CSAA Insurance (AAA)||$2,144|
|Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)||$2,484|
How much does car insurance cost in California per month?
Car insurance in California costs around $176 a month on average for a full coverage policy with limits of 100/300/100.
For some people, it is better to pay car insurance monthly because it gives them more flexibility in their budget. They can spread the cost over a longer period of time and don’t have to worry about a large lump sum payment.
On the other hand, paying for car insurance in full at renewal time can often result in a discount.
Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.
|Coverage Level||Avg. Monthly Cost|
|State Minimum Liability Only||$48|
|50/100/50 Liability Only||$71|
|100/300/100 Liability with $500 Comp/Coll Deductible||$176|
Final thoughts on choosing car insurance in California
There’s no one best car insurance for everyone. Some drivers are willing to pay a bit more for outstanding customer service, some want the lowest rates, others prefer carriers who can handle claims and payments through mobile apps and some prefer agents.
Ultimately, understanding your needs to find the best policy at the most competitive price is key. Shop around for a good deal that provides peace of mind when hitting the open road in California.
Resources & Methodology
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Teenagers.” Accessed January 2023.
- USAA. “How credit affects insurance premiums.” Accessed January 2023.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to pull rates for a 40-year-old male driving a 2021 Honda Accord LX with a good insurance score and no violation on record for a full coverage insurance policy with limits 100/300/100 and $500 comprehensive and collision deductible. We analyzed 5000736 records, 1467 ZIP codes and 212 insurance companies nationwide.