The make and model of vehicle that is being insured is one of the main factors that determines whether or not you can buy low-priced car insurance for first-time drivers. Vehicles with economical engines, an excellent safety record, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost quite a bit less to insure than high performance models.
The data below presents coverage prices for a number of the cheaper vehicles to buy coverage for.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Honda CR-V LX 2WD||$3,086|
|Ford Escape XLT 4WD||$3,114|
|Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon||$3,302|
|Honda Odyssey LX||$3,446|
|Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4WD 2-Dr||$3,474|
|Ford Explorer XLT 4WD||$3,484|
|Ford Edge Limited 2WD||$3,634|
|Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD||$3,662|
|Ford Fusion S 4-Dr Sedan||$3,668|
|Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD||$3,662|
|Volkswagen Jetta LE 4-Dr Sedan||$3,672|
|Chevrolet Impala LT||$3,662|
|Dodge Grand Caravan SXT||$3,690|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD||$3,699|
|Honda Civic VP 4-Dr Sedan||$3,822|
|Toyota Corolla LE||$3,850|
|Toyota Camry SE||$3,859|
|Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4-Dr Sedan||$3,878|
|Chevrolet Malibu LTZ||$3,886|
|Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab Platinum 2WD||$3,878|
|GMC Sierra SLT Extended Cab 4WD||$3,883|
|GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Extended Cab 4WD||$3,878|
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Data variables include single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Information does not factor in San Diego, CA location which can influence coverage rates greatly.
Looking at the data, models like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Hyundai Elantra will be some of the less-costly vehicles to insure for new drivers. Prices will tend to be more expensive because there is more liability exposure for first-time drivers, but generally speaking those specific models will tend to have the lowest insurance rates that you are likely to find.
One of the more important criteria that are looked at to determine car insurance rates is where you keep your vehicle in San Diego. Areas with high crime rates or more dense population likely pay more, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates profit from lower rates.
The information below lists the priciest cities in California for first-time drivers to purchase a policy in. San Diego is listed at #22 with an annual rate of $1,368 for the average policyholder, which is around $114 monthly.
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Premium costs are approximated as the specific San Diego residence address can influence insurance rates considerably.
Trying to buy affordable car insurance is tough enough, and finding out which insurers offer the cheapest auto insurance rates for first-time drivers calls for even more rate comparisons.
Each company has their own guidelines to set their prices, so first we will examine the most budget-friendly auto insurance companies in San Diego. It’s important to know that San Diego, CA auto insurance rates are impacted by many factors that can increase your annual premium. Simply having a birthday, buying a home, or having a fender bender can trigger changes in premium that can cause some rates to be more expensive than competitors.
Find the Cheapest Car Insurance for Inexperienced Drivers
USAA quotes some of the cheapest car insurance rates in San Diego at around $1,143 annually. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide would also make the list of some of the cheaper San Diego, CA auto insurance companies.
As illustrated above, if you are currently insured with Century National and switched to USAA, you might realize yearly savings of roughly $47. California drivers with Nationwide might save as much as $120 a year, and 21st Century insureds might reduce rates by $195 a year.
Bear in mind that those rates are averages for all insureds and vehicles and and are not calculated with an exact location for first-time drivers. So the insurer that can offer you the best rate may not even be in the list above. That underscores the importance of why you need to quote rates from many companies using your own driver data and vehicle information.
Accidents and violations increase rates
The easiest method to snag affordable auto insurance premiums in San Diego for new drivers is to drive carefully and not get tickets or have accidents. The diagram below shows how traffic citations and accident claims increase insurance rates for each age group. The premiums are based on a single male driver, full physical damage coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied to the premium.
The data above shows the average cost of a car insurance policy in San Diego per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $2,075. Get one speeding ticket and the average cost jumps to $2,341, an increase of $266 each year. Next add one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the annual cost of auto insurance for first-time drivers jumps again to an average of $3,077. That’s an increase of $1,002, or $84 per month, just for not keeping your driving record clean!
Cost difference between full coverage and liability
Saving on auto insurance is probably important to most drivers, and one way to find cheaper insurance for first-time drivers is to buy only liability coverage. The information below shows the comparison of auto insurance costs with full coverage compared to only the California minimum liability coverage. The price estimates are based on a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, single status, and no discounts are applied to the premium.
If all age groups are averaged, physical damage insurance costs an additional $2,003 per year over having just liability coverage. Many drivers may wonder if paying for full coverage is worth it. There is no clear-cut formula for dropping physical damage coverage, but there is a general school of thought. If the annual cost of coverage is more than around 10% of the vehicle’s replacement cost less your deductible, then you might consider buying liability only.
For example, let’s pretend your vehicle’s replacement value is $8,500 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most your company would pay you is $7,500 after paying your policy deductible. If you are paying in excess of $750 annually to have full coverage, then it’s probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.
Discount San Diego insurance
Insurance companies that offer coverage for first-time drivers may also offer special discounts that could reduce prices by 25% or more if you can meet the requirements. Larger auto insurance companies and some of their more popular discounts are detailed below.
- GEICO has savings for emergency military deployment, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, anti-lock brakes, and air bags.
- Mercury Insurance discounts include multi-car, location of vehicle, type of vehicle, multi-policy, and good student.
- Farmers Insurance offers discounts including teen driver, multi-car, electronic funds transfer, distant student, mature driver, youthful driver, and bundle discounts.
- Auto-Owners Insurance offers premium reductions for air bags, anti-theft, paperless, group or association, and good student.
- Liberty Mutual may offer discounts for newly married, safety features, hybrid vehicle, newly retired, teen driver discount, and multi-car.
- SAFECO offers discounts for homeowner, drive less, anti-theft, accident prevention training, bundle discounts, safe driver, and teen safe driver.
- Progressive includes discounts for multi-vehicle, online quote discount, homeowner, multi-policy, online signing, good student, and continuous coverage.
- USAA policyholders can earn discounts including loyalty savings, annual mileage, safe driver, family discount, and new vehicle.
The chart below illustrates the comparison of premium costs with and without discounts applied to the policy rates. The prices are based on a female driver, no claims or violations, California state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $250 deductibles.
The first bar for each age group shows premium with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with paperless filing, paid-in-full, vehicle safety, continuous coverage, anti-theft, and passive restraint discounts applied. When taking advantage of discounts, the average amount saved each year on auto insurance for first-time drivers is 28% or $1,058.
How to find low-cost insurance for first-time drivers
It is possible to find better rates, and here are some penny-pinching ideas that can help you quote cheap coverage.
- Remain accident-free and save
- Better credit scores save money
- Bundle home or renters insurance to earn a discount on car insurance
- Don’t have frequent claims
- Do not get traffic violations
- Higher physical damage deductibles lower rates
- Shop around for lower rates once a year
The last tip in the list is very critical, as we pointed out in this piece. Prices can change significantly in a year, so drivers shouldn’t be reluctant to change insurance companies if a lower-cost policy is available.
Having a favorite company is great, but is isn’t recommended if that stubbornness costs you major coinage every year. Now is a great time to compare prices and find cheaper car insurance for first-time drivers in San Diego.