Cheapest Car Insurance in California

Get unbiased car insurance quotes.

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in California, you already know that finding the best deal can be challenging. Insurance costs vary depending on your age, gender, zip code and other factors. NerdWallet researched the two cheapest car insurance options for responsible drivers, young drivers, high-mileage drivers and drivers with blemishes on their records, assuming the driver owns a Toyota Camry, the most popular car in California.

Cheapest for Safe Drivers

 drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations

  • Discounts: Multiple policies, Paperless billing/automatic payment, Loyalty, Safe driver
  • Coverage Options: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Property Damage Coverage, Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, Accident Forgiveness
  • Customer Service: Top Rated
  • Claims Processing: Top Rated
  • Discounts: Full payment, Defensive driver class, Anti-lock brakes, Anti-theft
  • Coverage Options: Emergency Road Service, Mechanical Breakdowns, Rental Reimbursement
  • Customer Service: Above average
  • Claims Processing: Average
 $100 / Month  $101 / Month

USAA and GEICO are similarly priced, but USAA offers superior service and claims processing. Unfortunately, only active military members, veterans, widows and former spouses of USAA members, children of USAA members and former USAA members are allowed to enroll. If you are not eligible for USAA coverage, GEICO is still a good option.

Cheapest for Young Drivers

drivers younger than 25 

  • Discounts: Good student
  • Coverage Options: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Property Damage Coverage, Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, Accident Forgiveness
  • Claims Processing: Top Rated
  • Customer Service: Top Rated
  • Discounts: Good student, Affinity
  • Coverage Options: Collision Coverage, Emergency Road Service, Mechanical Breakdowns, Rental Reimbursement
  • Customer Service: Above average
  • Claims Processing: Average
 $130 / Month  $166 / Month
   

USAA offers better service and claims processing than GEICO, but non-military families and young drivers should still consider State Farm for its appealing “Mechanical Breakdowns” discount, which helps you pay for repairs. GEICO also offers students and alumni of universities such as UC Irvine  and UC San Diego “Affinity” discounts.If you are a member of a fraternity or sorority, GEICO might also offer you a discount.

Cheapest for High-Mileage Drivers

drivers who drive more than 40 miles a day

  • Discounts: Multi-vehicle, Loyalty, Safe driver, Defensive driver
  • Coverage Options: Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, Accident Forgiveness
  • Customer Service: Top Rated
  • Claims Processing: Top Rated
  • Discounts: Multi-vehicle, Safe driver, Defensive driver
  • Coverage Options: Emergency Road Service, Mechanical Breakdowns, Rental Reimbursement
  • Customer Service: Above average
  • Claims Processing: Average
 $106 / Month  $128 / Month
   

USAA is cheaper than GEICO and it has better customer service and claims processing. Unfortunately, only active military members, veterans, widows and former spouses of USAA members, children of USAA members and former USAA members are allowed to enroll. GEICO does offer “Mechanical Breakdown” coverage, which many high-mileage drivers might find attractive.

Cheapest for Drivers with Imperfect Records

drivers who have had at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations

  • Discounts: Defensive driver class, Anti-lock brakes, Anti-theft
  • Coverage Options: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Property Damage Coverage, Roadside Assistance, Rental Reimbursement, Accident Forgiveness
  • Customer Service: Top Rated
  • Claims Processing: Top Rated
  • Discounts: Multiple Policy, Hybrid, Mature Driver Discount
  • Coverage Options: Comprehensive, Automobile Death Benefits, Rental Reimbursement, Accident Forgiveness
  • Customer Service: Above Average
  • Claims Processing: Average
$166 / Month  $174 / Month
 

Both USAA and AAA  accept drivers with DUIs and both are able to process SR-22 forms. Drivers with imperfect records might also find the two companies’ “Accident Forgiveness” coverage useful. Ultimately, car insurance premiums are highly dependent on past accident history, so the best course of action for drivers with imperfect records is to directly contact AAA and USAA.

Find the Best Rates

If you want personalized car insurance quotes, you can anonymously use NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool. Using NerdWallet’s car insurance tool, you can find how discounts and violations affect your insurance premium. Be sure to check out the California DMV for more car insurance details.