Find Cheaper California Car Insurance Rates for Teenagers

Enter your California Auto Insurance zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Mar 27, 2024

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

When buying auto insurance for teen drivers, one of the key criteria that help determine the amount you pay each year for auto insurance is where you keep your vehicle. Areas that are densely populated or have higher claim frequency like Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco will most likely pay more, whereas less populated areas can boast about having cheaper rates.

The table below displays the most expensive areas in California for teenagers in which to purchase auto insurance.

California cities ranked by car insurance cost
Rank City Premium Per Year
1 Los Angeles $2,168
2 Glendale $2,121
3 Oakland $1,755
4 Sacramento $1,720
5 San Francisco $1,711
6 San Bernardino $1,644
7 Long Beach $1,626
8 Fontana $1,581
9 Garden Grove $1,570
10 Stockton $1,556
11 Santa Clarita $1,548
12 Modesto $1,532
13 Moreno Valley $1,506
14 Fresno $1,502
15 Santa Ana $1,497
16 Riverside $1,497
17 Anaheim $1,488
18 Irvine $1,384
19 San Jose $1,381
20 Bakersfield $1,381
21 Fremont $1,361
22 Huntington Beach $1,360
23 Oxnard $1,344
24 San Diego $1,327
25 Chula Vista $1,311
Compare Prices Now Go

Price information shown is comparative as specific California garaging address can change coverage rates noticeably.

The vehicle you are seeking coverage for is probably the biggest factor that determines the availability of the most economical insurance for teenagers. Vehicles with lots of horsepower, poor safety ratings, or a track record of large liability claims will cost quite a bit more to insure than safer models.

The next tables shows insurance rates for a number of the most affordable automobiles to buy coverage for.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular Cars in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $5,052 $2,526 $421
Ford Fusion SEL AWD 4-Dr Sedan $5,410 $2,705 $451
Honda Accord LX-P 4-Dr Sedan $4,080 $2,040 $340
Hyundai Sonata Limited 4-Dr Sedan $5,536 $2,768 $461
Nissan Altima 2.5 4-Dr Sedan $4,838 $2,419 $403
Toyota Camry XLE $5,088 $2,544 $424
Toyota Corolla S $5,088 $2,544 $424
Volkswagen Jetta S 4-Dr Sedan $4,838 $2,419 $403
Get a Custom Quote for Your Car Go

Prices based on single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rate information does not factor in specific garaging location which can lower or raise rates noticeably.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular SUVs and Crossovers in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Chevrolet Traverse LT 2WD $4,154 $2,077 $346
Ford Escape Limited 4WD $4,364 $2,182 $364
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD $4,876 $2,438 $406
GMC Acadia SLT AWD $4,876 $2,438 $406
GMC Terrain SLE 2WD $4,364 $2,182 $364
Honda CR-V EX-L 2WD $4,116 $2,058 $343
Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD $4,876 $2,438 $406
Hyundai Tucson Limited 4WD $4,838 $2,419 $403
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD $5,126 $2,563 $427
Kia Sportage EX 2WD 4-Dr $4,838 $2,419 $403
Lexus RX 350 4WD $5,820 $2,910 $485
Subaru Forester XT Limited Edition AWD $4,688 $2,344 $391
Toyota Highlander 4WD $4,876 $2,438 $406
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD $4,838 $2,419 $403
Get a Custom Quote for Your SUV or Crossover Go

Cost estimates assume single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rates do not factor in specific zip code location which can impact price quotes noticeably.

Insurance Rates for Popular Pickup Trucks in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Chevrolet Colorado LT Extended Cab 4WD $4,080 $2,040 $340
Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab Hybrid 2WD $5,374 $2,687 $448
Dodge Ram Crew Cab ST 4WD $5,286 $2,643 $441
Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 4WD $4,590 $2,295 $383
Ford F-350 Super Cab Harley Turbo Diesel 4WD $7,028 $3,514 $586
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Crew Cab 2WD $5,784 $2,892 $482
GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE Crew Cab 4WD $6,198 $3,099 $517
GMC Sierra SLT Extended Cab 4WD $5,126 $2,563 $427
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD $4,876 $2,438 $406
Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab 2WD $5,536 $2,768 $461
Get a Custom Quote for Your Truck Go

Table data represents single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Price information does not factor in vehicle garaging location which can increase or decrease price quotes noticeably.

Finding out which companies have the cheapest insurance rates for teenagers involves a little more effort in order to find the best policy.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Each auto insurance company has their own guidelines for setting prices, so let’s look at the rankings for the insurance companies that tend to have lower prices in California.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in California?
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,109
2 Wawanesa $1,157
3 Century National $1,190
4 Nationwide $1,213
5 CSAA $1,222
6 21st Century $1,338
7 Grange $1,433
8 Allstate $1,497
9 Mercury $1,503
10 GEICO $1,529
11 Progressive $1,542
12 Allied $1,588
13 The Hartford $1,623
14 MetLife $1,654
15 Unitrin $1,699
16 Esurance $1,739
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Bristol West $1,777
19 Travelers $1,806
20 Farmers $2,026
Get a Custom Quote Go

USAA normally has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in California at around $1,109 annually. Wawanesa, Century National, Nationwide, and CSAA also are some of the more affordable California car insurance companies.

As the rates illustrate above, if you currently have a policy with Wawanesa and switched to USAA, you could see a yearly savings of upwards of $48. Policyholders with Century National might save as much as $81 a year, and Nationwide policyholders might cut rates by $104 a year.

Bear in mind that those estimates are averaged for all ages of drivers and types of vehicles and do not take into consideration a rate surcharge for teenagers. So the company that fits your situation best may not even be in the list of companies above. That underscores the importance of why you need to get car insurance quotes using your own driver and vehicle profiles.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

Get discount California car insurance

Cheaper California insurance for teen driversInsurance providers that offer the cheapest car insurance for teenagers in California may provide policy discounts that can reduce rates by as much as 30% if you are eligible. A list of insurance companies and some of the discounts are shown below.

  • State Farm offers discounts including passive restraint, Drive Safe & Save, driver’s education, defensive driving training, safe vehicle, and multiple policy.
  • American Family policyholders can earn discounts including TimeAway discount, mySafetyValet, bundled insurance, early bird, good driver, accident-free, and air bags.
  • AAA offers discounts for good student, anti-theft, multi-car, good driver, and pay-in-full.
  • GEICO has savings for air bags, daytime running lights, defensive driver, anti-lock brakes, military active duty, and emergency military deployment.
  • Mercury Insurance discounts include professional/association, good student, annual mileage, good driver, and multi-policy.
  • Farmers Insurance includes discounts for alternative fuel, good student, business and professional, homeowner, bundle discounts, and youthful driver.
  • Progressive has discounts for online signing, online quote discount, continuous coverage, homeowner, multi-vehicle, good student, and multi-policy.

The illustration below compares insurance costs with and without some available policy discounts. The premiums are based on a male driver, no violations or accidents, California state minimum liability limits, comprehensive and collision coverage, and $1,000 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The lower bar shows the rates with good student, vehicle safety, passive restraint, anti-theft, continuous coverage, and paperless filing discounts applied. When drivers take advantage of discounts, the average amount saved each year on insurance for teenagers is 28% or $929.

Finding the best auto insurance company can be rather challenging considering how many different companies sell coverage in California. The information shown below can help you select which car insurance providers you want to consider shopping your coverage with.

The rankings below include companies with a national presence, so smaller companies are not included in these rankings. If you’d like to compare prices from the insurers below and more, just click here.

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Companies Overall in California

  1. USAA
  2. American Family
  3. AAA of Southern California
  4. State Farm
  5. The Hartford
  6. AAA Insurance
  7. GEICO
  8. The General
  9. Titan Insurance
  10. Progressive

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Companies in California Ranked by A.M. Best Rating

  1. USAA – A++
  2. State Farm – A++
  3. Travelers – A++
  4. GEICO – A++
  5. Progressive – A+
  6. Titan Insurance – A+
  7. Mercury Insurance – A+
  8. The Hartford – A+
  9. AAA of Southern California – A+
  10. Allstate – A+

Here’s why you should shop around

California insurance rates are influenced by many factors which can substantially decrease or increase the cost of your policy. Simply getting older, moving to a new city, or getting a ticket for running a stop sign can produce rate changes resulting in some companies being cheaper than others.

And not only may your rating factors change, but insurance companies change the rates they charge in California every year or even multiple times each year in order to be able to pay unexpected claims. Larger than normal claims can result in rate hikes, while a better loss history can produce cheaper California car insurance rates.

To illustrate this example, the chart below shows a variety of companies that have the cheapest car insurance in California for a 40-year-old female driver with a good driving record, no prior claims, and a high credit rating. If we look at prices based on her current rating profile, USAA may offer the lowest car insurance rates in California at $1,121 a year. This is $530 less than the average policy premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide are also on the list of the best California auto insurance companies.

The next chart shows rates after we give the driver from the first rate comparison a chargeable claim, a little lower credit rating, and an imperfect driving record. Since every car insurance company uses a different method for determining prices, comparing rates may now present a slightly different list of the cheapest California car insurance companies as shown below.

Grange now has the cheapest price in California with Mercury, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO now being in the top five. This example proves why California drivers need to compare as many rates as possible when trying to get cheap insurance rates for teenagers. Rates consist of many risk factors and can change substantially, so the most economical company when you last compared rates may now be one of the more expensive options.

How to find low-cost insurance for teenagers

It is possible to find better rates, and here are some thrifty solutions that can help you locate cheaper car insurance.

  • Drive safe vehicles
  • Higher credit scores may earn you cheaper rates
  • Remain accident-free and save
  • Higher comprehensive and collision coverage deductibles will save money
  • If your vehicles are older, consider dropping full coverage
  • Keep your driving record clean
  • Shop around for cheaper prices

The last item on the list is especially necessary, as we stressed in this piece. Prices charged by auto insurers vary considerably, so don’t be afraid to buy from a different company if a lower-cost policy is available. Brand loyalty is not necessarily bad, but it’s not recommended if your bullheadedness ends up costing you hundreds of dollars year after year. If you have a few minutes, now is a great time to shop around to find cheaper auto insurance for teenagers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is car insurance more expensive for teenagers in California?

Car insurance rates for teenagers tend to be higher due to several factors. Teenagers are considered high-risk drivers by insurance companies, as they have less driving experience and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors while driving. In California, where insurance rates are already relatively high, these factors contribute to the increased cost of car insurance for teenagers.

How can I find cheaper car insurance rates for my teenager in California?

While it can be challenging to find significantly lower rates for teenage drivers, there are a few strategies that may help reduce the cost of car insurance:

  • Add your teenager to your existing policy: Adding your teenager to your own car insurance policy can often be more affordable than purchasing a separate policy solely for them.
  • Encourage good grades: Many insurance companies offer discounts for students who maintain good grades. This can help reduce the cost of insurance for teenagers.
  • Driver’s education courses: Enrolling your teenager in a driver’s education course can demonstrate their commitment to safe driving and may qualify them for insurance discounts.
  • Choose a safe and practical vehicle: Opting for a safe, reliable, and relatively inexpensive car for your teenager can help lower insurance costs. High-performance or luxury vehicles typically come with higher insurance rates.
  • Shop around and compare quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers to find the most competitive rates available. Each company may offer different discounts and rates, so it’s essential to explore your options.

Are there any California-specific programs or initiatives for cheaper car insurance for teenagers?

Yes, California has a program called the California Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program (CLCA). The CLCA provides affordable liability coverage for income-eligible drivers, including teenagers. Eligibility requirements and coverage details can be obtained by contacting the CLCA or visiting their official website.

What factors influence the cost of car insurance for teenagers in California?

Several factors impact the cost of car insurance for teenagers in California. These may include:

  • Age and driving experience: Teenagers with less driving experience generally face higher insurance rates.
  • Gender: Historically, male teenagers have been considered higher risk drivers, resulting in potentially higher insurance premiums.
  • Location: Insurance rates can vary based on where you reside. Areas with higher population densities and higher accident rates may lead to increased premiums.
  • Vehicle type: The make, model, and age of the car being insured will affect the insurance cost. High-performance or expensive vehicles generally have higher rates.
  • Driving record: A clean driving record with no accidents or traffic violations can help lower insurance premiums for teenagers.

Can my teenager get their own car insurance policy in California?

Yes, teenagers in California can obtain their own car insurance policy. However, it is often more expensive than being added to a parent or guardian’s policy. Insurance companies consider factors such as age, driving experience, and credit history when determining rates, which may result in higher premiums for teenage drivers.

Can installing safety devices in my teenager’s car help reduce insurance rates in California?

Yes, installing safety devices in your teenager’s car can potentially help reduce insurance rates. Safety features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, traction control, and security systems can make the vehicle safer and less prone to accidents or theft. Some insurance companies offer discounts for cars equipped with these safety features, which can result in lower premiums.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

You May Also Enjoy These Articles