California is a beautiful state full of opportunity and a wide array of people. This also means that it is home to plenty of different types of drivers, which leads to higher insurance premiums.

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance California, you need to know where to look and what to look out for.

The Average Premiums for California Car Insurance

California has relatively high premiums for car insurance. They are not as high as other states, such as Texas, but they are still well above the national average.

Monthly, drivers can expect to pay approximately $118 to maintain their insurance. This amount varies from city to city, as Los Angeles premiums are approximately $174 per month while San Jose residents pay approximately $87 per month.

The other areas in California with the lowest average premiums include San Diego ($99/month), Oakland ($102/month), and Long Beach ($104/month).

Cheap Car Insurance California: How to Find One

The most important part of knowing how to find cheap car insurance California is to think about the traits that affect the cost of your premiums. There are plenty of factors that can influence what you are responsible for paying, including:

Vehicle Age

The most prevalent factor for high insurance is the age of the car you are insuring. People who own newer cars will be subjected to higher premiums compared to older cars that have been paid in full.

Car Make and Model

You will also find that the make and model of your vehicle will have a strong impact on the cost of your premiums. Individuals looking for insurance for luxury cars will have higher rates than people who own more reliable family vehicles.

As a comparison, drivers in Los Angeles who own a Honda Accord will pay approximately $103 per month in insurance whereas those with a Porsche will pay approximately $273 per month.

Driving History

This is a very common trait that insurance providers will consider prior to adjusting insurance rates. Drivers with a clean record will pay substantially less than those with violations.

With a clean record, your monthly premiums may be around $103 in Los Angeles, though, with a DUI conviction, your premiums can be as high as $254.


California has strict age laws when it comes to driving, as discussed below. Because of these laws, the difference in insurance premiums between teens and young adults is bound to be less than with other states.

However, you can guarantee younger and newer drivers will spend more on their insurance than older drivers.

It may be preferable for families with teens and young adults to consider bundling their car insurance together. This can help to cut costs on the monthly premiums for all drivers in the household.

Mileage and Commuting

The more time you spend on the road, the higher the risk of an accident. For this reason, mileage is a large factor that insurance companies take under advisement when adjusting policies.

If you are someone who commutes many miles daily, you are going to pay more than someone who lives closer to their school or work.

It’s recommended that you update your insurance provider on your mileage consumption as you hold your policy. If you are driving less than expected, you can easily save on your insurance.

Important California Auto Insurance Requirements and Laws

Compared to other states, California doesn’t require their drivers to have a lot of minimum coverage. If you are found at fault in an accident, the costs you will be responsible for will far surpass the requirements.

It’s best to protect your personal finances, and instead, rely on your insurance to cover medical costs and property damage.

All drivers are required to have minimum liability insurance. This includes $30,000 for all injuries in an accident where you are at fault, $15,000 for injury liability for a single driver, and $5,000 for property damage.

These minimum requirements are much less than with other states, which is why it is important to consider adding additional coverage.

Other California Car Insurance Laws

Similar to any other type of insurance, such as life insurance or homeowners insurance, the more at-risk you are, the higher your premiums will be. Having a strong understanding of other car insurance laws can help you to maintain a clean driving record.

Age Limit Laws

In the state of California, young drivers are classified as individuals 15.5 years of age. At this point, you can apply for a Learner Stage permit. You will be required to gather 50 hours of supervised driving during your first six months as well as 10 hours of supervised night driving.

Once you have passed these requirements, you can then apply for your Intermediate Stage permit once you turn 16. At this point, you will not be allowed to operate a vehicle between 11 PM and 5 AM. Additionally, you cannot have passengers under the age of 20, though there are exceptions such as family members.

Young drivers who reach the age of 17 will then be able to apply for a full license with no restrictions. However, they must still abide by the regular rules of the road.

Credit Score Laws

You’ll be surprised to know that it is illegal for insurance companies to use your credit score when determining the rates for your insurance. Although this is beneficial for drivers with poor credit, it negatively affects good drivers.

Even with a clean driving history, you are subjected to higher premiums compared to other states where only poor drivers are penalized.

Distracted Driving

There are statewide laws in place for texting and using your cell phone while driving unless you are using a hands-free system. Individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from using manual devices as well as hands-free systems. If caught, they can face a fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent convictions.

DUI Laws

The DUI laws in California are quite serious, even for first-time offenders, as they can face fines up to $100 and a six-month license suspension. This is in addition to up to six months in jail. Drivers will also have to file an SR-22 to have their license reinstated because of a DUI.

Final Thoughts

Cheap car insurance in California is easier to find than with other states. The two most important features to consider are the age and the type of car you own. By opting for safe family-friendly vehicles, you’ll have lower insurance premiums than plenty of other drivers.