What Car Insurance is Cheapest for Inexperienced Drivers in San Diego?

Finding good, affordable car insurance is easier said than done, and deciding which companies quote the cheapest car insurance rates for inexperienced drivers takes even more rate comparisons. Every insurance company uses their own method for establishing rates, so to begin we’ll rank the car insurance companies with the overall cheapest rates in California.

It’s a good idea to know that San Diego car insurance rates are based on many factors that may substantially change the cost of coverage. This price variation is why it is crucial to perform an extensive rate comparison to get the cheapest car insurance rates for inexperienced drivers. Prices are determined by many things and change dramatically, so the cheapest rate the last time you checked may now be quite expensive.

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California car insurance ranked by cost per year
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,155
2 Wawanesa $1,192
3 Century National $1,214
4 CSAA $1,222
5 Nationwide $1,226
6 21st Century $1,379
7 Grange $1,447
8 Mercury $1,503
9 Allstate $1,513
10 GEICO $1,513
11 Progressive $1,542
12 Allied $1,556
13 MetLife $1,606
14 The Hartford $1,623
15 Esurance $1,688
16 Unitrin $1,699
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Bristol West $1,777
19 Travelers $1,842
20 Farmers $2,026
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USAA generally has some of the best car insurance rates in San Diego at around $1,155 per year. Wawanesa, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide would also be considered some of the best San Diego, CA car insurance companies.

As shown in the rates above, if you currently have coverage with CSAA and switched to USAA, you could realize savings of in the vicinity of $67. Insureds with Nationwide may save as much as $71 a year, and 21st Century policyholders might reduce prices by as much as $224 a year.

It’s important to note that these premiums are averages across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and are not factoring in a vehicle location for inexperienced drivers. So the auto insurance company that fits your needs best may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That is why you need to get quotes using your own driver information and specific vehicle type.

The make and model of vehicle you are trying to insure is probably the biggest factor that determines whether or not you find affordable coverage for inexperienced drivers. Vehicles with lower acceleration and performance, advanced safety features, or a positive history of liability claims will cost less to insure than adrenaline junky models. The list below illustrates car insurance rates for some of the most economical vehicles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in San Diego, CA
Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford F-150 XLT Super Cab 4WD $928
Honda CR-V EX 4WD $951
Chevrolet Silverado LS Extended Cab 4WD $959
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD $966
Hyundai Elantra Blue 4-Dr Sedan $991
Honda Civic LX-S 4-Dr Sedan $1,001
Toyota Corolla XLE $1,010
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $1,020
Toyota Prius $1,028
Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 4-Dr Sedan $1,033
Kia Optima LX $1,028
Ford Fusion Sport 4-Dr Sedan $1,034
GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE Crew Cab 2WD $1,047
Toyota Tacoma 2WD $1,077
Honda Odyssey LX $1,092
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 2WD $1,116
Dodge Grand Caravan SXT $1,118
Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab Laramie 2WD $1,127
Ford Focus SEL 4-Dr Sedan $1,135
Ford Edge Sport 2WD $1,155
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Crew Cab 4WD $1,175
Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD $1,182
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD $1,180
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Data rating is based on single female driver age 40, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, claim-free, and safe-driver. Information does not factor in zip code location which can influence coverage prices noticeably.

Based on these rates, you can see that vehicles like the Ford F-150, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota RAV4, and Hyundai Elantra are most likely going to be a few of the most economical vehicles to insure for new drivers.

What is the best car insurance company in California?

Finding a high-quality insurer is difficult considering how many different insurance companies sell coverage in California. The ranking data shown below could help you choose which insurers to look at when comparing rates. These rankings are only comprised of the companies with a significant amount of written premium nationwide, so companies that have a smaller presence are not factored into this list.

Best 15 Car Insurance Companies for Inexperienced Drivers in San Diego
Company Value Customer Service Claims Customer Satisfaction A.M Best Rating Overall Score
USAA 98 100 100 94% A++ 98.6
American Family 98 89 100 86% A 95.4
AAA of Southern California 91 94 97 92% A+ 94.1
State Farm 88 93 96 90% A++ 92.4
The Hartford 94 92 90 89% A+ 91.7
AAA Insurance 88 89 95 91% A 91.2
GEICO 84 93 93 89% A++ 90.3
The General 89 91 89 88% A- 90
Titan Insurance 90 87 91 95% A+ 89.6
Progressive 84 91 93 87% A+ 89.5
Mercury Insurance 88 91 90 85% A+ 89.4
Allstate 85 90 92 88% A+ 89.3
Nationwide 87 88 84 90% A+ 88.7
Liberty Mutual 84 87 93 88% A 88.5
21st Century 85 86 87 88% A 86.7
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Data Source: Insure.com Best Car Insurance Companies

The chart below highlights how deductible selection can impact insurance rates when trying to find cheap insurance for inexperienced drivers. The premiums assume a single male driver, full coverage, and no discounts are applied.

The chart above illustrates that a 50-year-old driver could lower rates by $492 a year by switching their comprehensive and collision coverages from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $738 by selecting a $1,000 deductible. Even younger drivers, like the 20-year-old category, have the ability to save up to $1,640 every year just by choosing higher deductibles. If you do make the decision to raise your deductibles, it is necessary to have enough spare savings to allow you to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense, which is the one disadvantage of using larger deductibles.

Get discount San Diego car insurance rates

Car insurance for new drivers in San Diego, CAInsurance providers that sell policies for inexperienced drivers may also give you policy discounts that may potentially lower prices by as much as 35% or more if you qualify. Large car insurance companies and the discounts they provide are included below.

The example below shows the difference between annual premium costs with and without discounts applied to the policy rates. The data is based on a male driver, no claims, a clean driving record, California state minimum liability limits, comprehensive and collision coverage, and $500 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with passive restraint, multiple policy, multiple vehicle, anti-theft, homeowner, and accident-free discounts applied. When drivers qualify for the discounts, the average savings per year on car insurance for inexperienced drivers is 28% or $787.

Why you should be shopping around

California car insurance rates are impacted by many things that control the cost of coverage. Improving your credit score, increasing liability limits, or having a fender bender may cause policy rate changes that can now make some companies cheaper than competitors. Additionally, car insurance companies change the rates they charge in California as often as every quarter as an adjustment for underwriting gains or losses. Unexpectedly high claims may cause higher rates, while better underwriting may produce more affordable San Diego car insurance rates.

To illustrate this point, the bar chart below shows a variety of companies that have the cheapest car insurance in San Diego, CA for a 40-year-old female driver with a good driving record, no prior claims, and good credit. If we estimate rates based on her current risk profile, USAA might offer the lowest car insurance rates in San Diego at $1,145 per year. This is $506 less than the average price paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Nationwide, and Century National round out the rest of the cheapest San Diego, CA auto insurance companies.

The chart below compares rates after we give the driver from the above example an accident surcharge, slightly worse credit, and a few blemishes on her driving record. Since every insurance provider uses their own method for setting prices, getting updated rate quotes may now result in a different ranking of the cheapest car insurance companies in San Diego as shown below.

Grange now has the best insurance rate in San Diego, CA with Allstate, Mercury, Allied, and Progressive now being in the top five. This example shows why San Diego drivers need to shop around with many companies when trying to find the most budget-friendly insurance quotes for inexperienced drivers.

Insurance prices consist of many different factors and change dramatically, so the lowest-price company the last time you shopped your coverage around may now be one of the higher cost companies.