The Cheapest Car Insurance in California Staff Staff

California is the sixth most expensive state for car insurance in the U.S., with an average annual premium of $611 for the state minimum coverage and $1,974 for full coverage. The cheapest car insurance company in California is CSAA, which comes under the state’s average at $524 per year.

Your location, among other factors, will impact your insurance rates. In California, drivers who live in Crescent City and McKinleyville have the cheapest car insurance premiums for state minimum and pay a little under $600 annually.

Most states, including California, require drivers to carry car insurance. Depending on their budget, drivers may opt to get the state’s required minimum coverage, a policy that provides full coverage, or something in between the two. In this review, we’ll compare the cheapest car insurance in California and some of the factors that determine your insurance rate. 

Cheapest Car Insurance in California

Compared to other auto insurers in California, CSAA Insurance and Geico are the cheapest insurers. Customers with state minimum coverage from either of these two providers can potentially pay less than $650 per year. Full coverage with any of the listed insurers in California can cost over $2,000. CSAA Insurance is also amongst the cheapest insurers when considering the cost of full coverage, but Mercury is the cheapest.

ProviderFull CoverageState Minimum
Mercury Insurance$2,086$680
CSAA Insurance$2,326$524
Wawanesa General Insurance$2,350$846
Interins Exchange Of The Automobile Club$2,594$692
Infinity Insurance Company$2,671$931
State Farm$2,808$867
United Financial$2,887$773
Mid Century Insurance Company$3,048$1,108
21st Century Insurance Company$3,153$1,123
Alliance United$3,197$913

Information accurate as of 11/25/2020

* Data provided by

Cheap Car Insurance in California by City

If you live in the Californian cities of Crescent City and McKinleyville you can expect the cheapest insurance rates for state minimum liability-only coverage. Cities with the cheapest full coverage include Los Osos, Bishop and Anderson. 

A number of factors are used to determine a person’s car insurance rate. Location is one of these factors, so people will see a difference in their rates if they live in urban areas. This is largely due to higher vandalism, accident and theft rates in urban areas than those in small or rural towns. 

30 cities with the cheapest insurance in California

CityFull CoverageState Minimum Liability Only
Los Osos$2,104$638
Crescent City$2,136$596
Morro Bay$2,154$665
Red Bluff$2,165$650
Arroyo Grande$2,169$668
King City$2,188$616
Pacific Grove$2,215$709
Grover Beach$2,228$691
Shasta Lake$2,266$671
Penn Valley$2,266$685

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates in California With a Prior Accident

If you have a previous accident, the cheapest car insurance in California for you will likely be with CSAA. The company’s average full coverage premium only increases about 11% to about $2,500.

Driving record is one of many factors that determine your car insurance rate. If you are a California driver who has a car accident on your record, even if it is just one, you will likely pay more for insurance than a driver with no accidents on their record would pay. 

ProviderNo Accident*1 Accident*Difference
CSAA Insurance$2,240$2,50010%
Mercury Insurance$1,791$2,67633%
Wawanesa General Insurance$2,179$2,69219%
Interins Exchange Of The Automobile Club$2,376$3,03022%
State Farm$2,593$3,23920%
Infinity Insurance Company$2,238$3,56937%
United Financial$2,552$3,57529%
Mid Century Insurance Company$2,688$3,81129%
Alliance United$2,713$4,51040%
21st Century Insurance Company$2,493$4,85249%

*Full Coverage

California Car Insurance FAQs

Car Insurance Profile

To select the cheapest car insurance in California we used’s data, based on the profiles of a 30-year male and female. For full coverage, the details used were the following:

  • $100k bodily injury liability per person
  • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $500 collision coverage deductible
  • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting five days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year. Since auto insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to compare options that fit your specific needs.

About the Authors

The staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.