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
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
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
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
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.