Car Insurance in California

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Looking for Cheap Car Insurance in California?

Car insurance rates in California are notorious for being expensive, but it doesn't have to be that way! The state has the highest car insurance rates in the country, with Los Angeles and San Francisco drivers having the highest average costs.

On top of that urban population, disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis and high auto theft rates only add to the sky-high premiums in the state. However, it doesn't have to be that way! With Carlay, finding cheap car insurance in California can be quick and easy!

Car insurance providers look at many different factors when determining how much to charge for your coverage. In addition to your zip code, they will consider your age, driving history, and other similar characteristics.

That's when you should sign up for Carlay! You can do it in less than a minute, and then you'll get quotes on good insurance plans from more than 50 of the best insurance providers. Then, your new policy will be taken care of—all the paperwork will be filled out, and you won't have to worry about canceling your old plan. As a result, the average Carlay customer saves $879 each year!

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in California?

The average annual cost of car insurance in California is $1881 for the minimum liability insurance coverage. If you want full coverage car insurance in Arizona, you can expect to pay an average cost of $2343 each year.

Car insurance from Nationwide costs $1,783 per year for liability-only coverage and $2,485 for full coverage.

What contributes to the insurance rates in California?

What drives up California car insurance rates? Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • High Population Density

You might think that having more people would drive down insurance rates, but it's just the opposite: The higher population density means there are more cars on roads and a higher frequency of accident claims. This translates to more claims being submitted and paid out each year, driving up insurance costs.

  • Auto Thefts

California car thefts are twice as high as they are on average across all other states and more than twice as high in neighboring Nevada. Every year, hundreds of thousands of vehicles get stolen. Most thefts happen in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland.

  • Natural Disasters

Earthquakes, fires, and floods can destroy homes and without warning. While California is still a beautiful place to live and visit, it is no secret that natural disasters are more frequent here than they are in other parts of the country.

Here are the average premiums for car insurance in California, compared to the national average:

All Coverage BeforeCarlay All Coverage AfterCarlay Minimum Coverage BeforeCarlay Minimum Coverage AfterCarlay Full Coverage BeforeCarlay Full Coverage AfterCarlay
CA $2,253 $1,470 $2,103 $985 $2,365 $1,605
National Average $2,490 $1,672 $2,360 $1,391 $2,762 $1,964
CA National Average
All Coverage BeforeCarlay $2,253 $2,490
All Coverage AfterCarlay $1,470 $1,672
Minimum Coverage BeforeCarlay $2,103 $2,360
Minimum Coverage AfterCarlay $985 $1,391
Full Coverage BeforeCarlay $2,365 $2,762
Full Coverage AfterCarlay $1,605 $1,964

What Car Insurance Do You Need in California?

To drive legally in California, you must have a minimum amount of liability insurance. It covers the following:

Bodily injury liability $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident Covers the cost of any injuries you cause to others.
Property damage liability $5,000 per accident Covers the cost of your liability for damage you cause to other vehicles or property.

The following penalties could apply if you fail to obtain the required insurance:

  • Fine of up to $250 for a first offense
  • Possible vehicle impoundment

Be aware that liability insurance only protects you if someone else is injured in an accident. Therefore, in addition to meeting the state's mandatory liability coverage, consider purchasing these coverages:

Coverage Description
Collision insurance Covers accidental damage when your car hits another car or a stationary object
Comprehensive insurance Covers non-collision damages such as vandalism, theft, or a natural disaster
Roadside assistance Covers the costs if your car breaks down

Whether you are looking for collision, liability, or comprehensive coverage, we will help you find a policy that fits your needs and is within your budget. Carlay's car insurance experts can help you save money on your California car insurance by finding any discounts available. In addition, we provide a detailed breakdown of coverage and show you all possible cost-cutting options.

Carlay wants to be your insurer for life. So, if you have an old policy and need to cancel it, we'll do it for you. And once your policy comes up for renewal, we'll send you a new quote to ensure that you're getting the best rate. Customers who switch to Carlay save $879 on average!

Now that you know what kind of insurance to get, some factors might add to the cost.

How is Your Cost of Car Insurance Determined in California?

California car insurance rates are based on several factors including, but not limited to: your driving record (your personal history, as well as that of other drivers who use your car), where you live (some areas are more expensive to insure), how old you are, and how much coverage you want. Understanding these variables can help you decide what kind of plan is best for you.

What young drivers in California need to know?
California's young drivers pay higher insurance premiums, just like their counterparts throughout the United States. However, these rates represent a risk to the insurance companies because young drivers are more likely than older ones to have accidents.

However, young people who want to save money on their car insurance can enroll in a defensive driving course, both in-person and online. Young drivers can also qualify for a good student discount if they maintain an average of B-grade or above.

Rates may be higher than the average driver, but young drivers can still find great deals on car insurance by shopping around and maintaining a clean driving record. Carlay helps young drivers find the insurance policies that are most affordable for them. Here's a look at the average premiums for drivers by age:

Age Group Average Cost Annual Savings withCarlay
18-20 $2,701 $960
21-24 $2,649 $1,018
25-34 $2,517 $947
35-44 $2,424 $896
45-54 $2,399 $890
55-64 $2,675 $896
65+ $2,925 $1,331
  • Cost to insure your car in California with a poor driving record

Your California car insurance rates will go up if you have a poor driving record. For example, if you've been in an accident or gotten a speeding ticket, your rates will be higher than someone with a clean record.

If you've had traffic violations or accidents on your record, you might think it'll be hard to find a reasonable rate on car insurance. But at Carlay, we take a personal approach—we'll help you find the right policy for your circumstances.

For comparison purposes, we've included a couple of examples of available rates for drivers with less-than-perfect records after switching with Carlay:

Driving Violation Average Cost Annual Savings withCarlay
Clean Record $2,732 $955
Seat Belt $3,759 $2,071
Illegal Turn $4,038 $1,805
Suspension $3,144 $1,264
DUI $3,125 $1,235
Failure to Obey Traffic Sign $3,322 $1,210
Speeding under 15 $3,339 $1,182
Careless Driving $3,097 $1,159
Improper Passing $2,751 $1,148
Defective Equipment $4,531 $1,072
  • Cost to insure your car in California based on where you live

If you're wondering how much it costs to insure your car in California, it can vary depending on where you live. For example, the cost of living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Clarita is significantly higher than in areas like San Diego or Palo Alto.

City Average Cost Annual Savings withCarlay
Fresno $2,631 $1,243
Irvine $2,436 $775
Los Angeles $2,634 $1,007
Oakland $2,743 $1,001
Riverside $2,801 $1,016
Sacramento $2,299 $801
San Diego $2,393 $823
San Francisco $2,626 $942
San Jose $2,368 $911
Stockton $2,339 $859

Rates for car insurance in California for Carlay customers have never been lower:

  • Cost to insure your car in California based on the type of car you drive

If you're looking to save money on your California car insurance, understanding what goes into determining your rate can help. The cost of insuring a car depends on a few factors, including what type of car you drive. For example, luxury cars like Tesla S are much more expensive to insure than economy cars like Honda Accord due to their higher rates of theft and accidents. High-performance sports cars—which have costly parts—are also generally more expensive to insure than sedans or coupes.

Here's a breakdown of how much insurance premiums would cost for some popular car makes and models in California with and without Carlay:

How to Save Money On Car Insurance in California?

While Californians pay more for insurance than many other states, there are still ways to cut premiums.

  • Shop around for quotes

The first thing drivers should do when looking to save money on California car insurance is shop around. Even if you're sure that you already have the cheapest quote, it doesn't hurt to get one more quote from a different company to make sure. You can quickly compare rates online at Carlay by entering your zip code, vehicle details, and how much coverage you want. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

We know that finding the right car insurance is a pain. That's why Carlay does all the hard work for you. After a quick sign-up, Carlay will handle all the hard work—collecting quotes from over 50 top insurance providers and completing the paperwork to get you signed up.

Carlay monitors rates for you after you've signed up and lets you know if there is a better deal, so you know that the price you got was the best.

  • Look for discounts

Many companies offer discounts if you meet specific criteria, like driving a safe vehicle or maintaining your grades in school. If you're a safe driver and pay your premiums on time, it's worth looking into what discounts are available.

Discount Who is eligible?
Good driver discounts For three years, drivers licensed in California may be eligible for a discount of 20% or more on their car insurance premiums if they meet certain criteria. These include having no at-fault accidents that result in injury or death and having one or fewer points on their license. This discount is mandated by state law.
Bundling discounts If you bundle home, auto, and renters insurance with the same insurance company, you can see savings on your premiums of up to 18%.
Defensive driver discounts Several insurance companies offer a discount on your premium if you take a state-approved defensive driving course. It's especially helpful for young drivers, who tend to have higher premiums.
Anti-theft devices Many companies reward careful car owners with discounts for having anti-theft or safety features installed on their cars.
Good student discounts If you are a young driver, ask your insurer about discounts for good students. If you can maintain a B average, you may qualify for savings up to 25%.
Telematics Many companies offer programs that track your driving habits and give you discounts if you drive responsibly. All it takes to qualify is signing up.
  • Increase your deductible

Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. So if you don't think you'll have any issues with your car, it can be good to increase your deductible to lower your premium.

However, remember that if you are in an accident or have any damage to your vehicle, you will need to make sure that amount is available for payout; otherwise, you may need to cover some costs. But if paying higher deductibles saves enough money over time and still allows you to maintain good grades on your insurance score, the tradeoff might make sense!

Registering Your Car in California

Prepare these documents if you plan to register a car in California:

  • A driver's license or ID card
  • A car title or signed lease agreement
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of sales tax payment
  • Valid smog certificate
  • Pay registration fees

To save yourself frustration and time at the DMV, make an appointment to register your car. This will give you more time to complete the registration form and gather the correct personal and vehicle information.

P.S. In California, you have to renew your vehicle registration every year.