California drivers who had an accident pay twice as much for car insurance as a good driver without previous accidents. For insurance companies, it's similar to having a bad driving record, which is why drivers who let their insurance expire for 60 days pay approximately 6% more than the average premium in California. The added protection of collision and all-risk insurance is especially useful for young drivers, who may not be able to afford another car if their car is destroyed after an accident. As you can see, high-end cars, such as BMWs, generally cost more to insure than more standard brands, such as Hondas.
Aside from that, the best way to reduce your car insurance costs is to compare the rates of at least three insurance companies. You can demonstrate your financial responsibility by maintaining minimal car insurance with no gaps in coverage. As one of the most expensive states, it should come as no surprise that car insurance rates in California are above the national average. A conviction for drunk driving in California generates higher insurance rates because insurers view you as a risky driver.
AAA offers auto insurance to residents of Northern California through AAA of Northern California, also called AAA NorCal or CSAA. At age 18, drivers can choose to purchase their own auto insurance policy, but the cost will generally be higher than if they were still listed on their parents' policy. Although it is usually less expensive than a full coverage plan, liability insurance does not protect against an accident or theft of the insured vehicle. Learn more about when to cancel optional coverage and penalties for driving without insurance in California to make sure you're paying for the coverage you need.
Below is a table that shows the average car insurance rates in California for some popular vehicle makes and models at a variety of prices. Starting in 2025, drivers with minimal coverage are likely to pay more for car insurance when they renew.