Who Has Cheap San Diego Car Insurance Rates for 16 Year Olds?

For new drivers, one of the big considerations that are looked at to help calculate auto insurance rates is where your residence is in San Diego. Areas with a lot of weather claims or more people will most likely pay more, whereas areas with lower vehicle theft rates and fewer weather claims have the luxury of lower rates.

The table below ranks the highest-priced places in California for 16 year olds in which to buy car insurance. San Diego makes the list at #21 with a yearly premium of $1,368 for the average insured, which is about $114 per month.

How much is auto insurance in San Diego, CA?
Rank City Premium Per Year
1 Los Angeles $2,168
2 Glendale $2,079
3 Oakland $1,755
4 San Francisco $1,693
5 Sacramento $1,669
6 San Bernardino $1,628
7 Long Beach $1,626
8 Fontana $1,581
9 Stockton $1,556
10 Moreno Valley $1,536
11 Santa Clarita $1,533
12 Riverside $1,527
13 Garden Grove $1,524
14 Fresno $1,517
15 Modesto $1,502
16 Santa Ana $1,483
17 Anaheim $1,430
18 Fremont $1,403
19 Bakersfield $1,394
20 San Jose $1,381
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Premium costs are comparative as zip code location can raise or lower coverage rates considerably.

The vehicle that needs insurance is one of the largest considerations when comparing quotes for low-priced coverage for 16 year olds. Vehicles with high performance, poor passenger safety features, or a track record of large liability claims will cost quite a bit more to insure than more economical and safe models. The data below illustrates insurance rates for the cheapest automobiles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in San Diego, CA
Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V EX 2WD $3,197
Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan $3,204
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $3,226
Toyota Prius $3,450
Ford Explorer XLT 4WD $3,596
Ford F-150 FX2 Super Cab 2WD $3,603
Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T Station Wagon $3,645
Honda Odyssey EX $3,761
Ford Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan $3,770
Chevrolet Equinox LS 2WD $3,790
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD $3,797
Toyota RAV4 2WD $3,790
Toyota Camry LE $3,795
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Data based on single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Estimates do not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can change premium rates significantly.

Based upon the table data, we can expect makes and models like the Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, Ford Escape, Toyota Prius, and Ford Explorer should be the most economical vehicles to insure for new drivers. Rates will tend to be more expensive because there is more inherent risk for 16 year olds, but in general those makes and models will probably have the cheapest auto insurance rates compared to other vehicles.

Shopping around for low-priced auto insurance is tough enough, and deciding which company has the lowest-priced car insurance rates for 16 year olds will take more quotes for comparison. Each auto insurer uses their own calculation for determining prices, so let’s take a look at the most affordable car insurance companies in San Diego, CA.

It’s important to understand that California car insurance rates are impacted by many factors which can substantially decrease or increase the cost of coverage. Things like having a birthday, marrying your spouse, or getting a couple of tickets can trigger rate changes that can make some companies cheaper than others.

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California car insurance ranked by cost per year
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,121
2 Wawanesa $1,157
3 CSAA $1,198
4 Century National $1,226
5 Nationwide $1,250
6 21st Century $1,379
7 Grange $1,477
8 Progressive $1,512
9 GEICO $1,529
10 Mercury $1,548
11 Allied $1,556
12 Allstate $1,559
13 The Hartford $1,591
14 MetLife $1,654
15 State Farm $1,733
16 Unitrin $1,733
17 Esurance $1,739
18 Travelers $1,788
19 Bristol West $1,795
20 Farmers $2,026
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USAA quotes some of the cheapest car insurance rates in San Diego at around $1,121 a year. This is $530 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide also rank well as some of the best San Diego, CA auto insurance companies.

In the above example, if you are currently insured with Nationwide and switched to Wawanesa, you may see annual savings of upwards of $93. California drivers with 21st Century might save as much as $222 a year, and Grange customers might lower prices by up to $320 a year.

If you want to find out if you’re overpaying, click here to get a free quote or visit any of the companies below.

Bear in mind that those policy rates are averaged for all ages of drivers and types of vehicles and and are not figured with a vehicle location for 16 year olds. So the auto insurance company that fits your age and vehicle best may not even be in the top 24 companies in the list above. That helps illustrate why you need to compare as many prices as possible using your own personal information and vehicle type.

Impact of careless driving on car insurance rates

The ideal way to obtain the best car insurance prices in San Diego for new drivers is to be a safe driver and avoid accidents and traffic citations. The chart below illustrates how traffic citations and at-fault claims raise insurance rates for different age groups of insureds. The price estimates are based on a married male driver, comp and collision included, $250 deductibles, and no discounts are applied.

The data above shows the average cost of auto insurance per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $2,633. Receive one speeding ticket and the average cost hikes up to $3,028, an increase of $395 each year. Now throw in one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of car insurance for 16 year olds goes up to an average of $4,144. That’s an increase of $1,511, or $126 per month, just for not driving responsibly!

Full coverage rates compared to liability-only

Finding the cheapest car insurance should be important to the majority of drivers, and one easy way to pay less for insurance for 16 year olds is to only buy liability coverage. The chart below shows the difference between yearly insurance costs with full coverage and liability only. The price estimates are based on no driving violations, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, drivers are single, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

On average, comp and collision coverage costs an additional $2,467 per year over and above liability coverage. That proposes the question if full coverage is worth the money. There is no definitive guideline for phasing out physical damage coverage, but there is a general guideline you can use. If the annual cost of having full coverage is more than about 10% of the vehicle’s replacement cost less your deductible, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.

There are a few situations where dropping physical damage coverage is not financially feasible. If you still owe money on your vehicle, you have to keep full coverage to protect the lienholder’s interest. Also, if your savings is not enough to buy a different vehicle in case of an accident, you should not drop full coverage.

Here’s why you should shop around

San Diego, CA car insurance rates are influenced by many factors which can significantly increase or decrease the cost of coverage. Turning one year older, buying a home instead of renting, or having a fender bender can cause premium changes that can cause some rates to be cheaper than competitors.

In addition to those changes, insurance companies amend pricing as often as every three months to adjust for unexpected claims or profits. Significantly higher claims may cause higher prices, while less frequent claims may result in cheaper San Diego car insurance rates.

To illustrate this point, the chart below shows the cheapest car insurance in San Diego, CA for a 30-year-old male driver with a good driving record, no prior claims, and a good credit history. If we compare prices based on his current situation, USAA quotes the most affordable car insurance rates in San Diego at $1,163 annually. This is $488 less than the average policy premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. CSAA, Wawanesa, Century National, and Nationwide are the remainder of the cheapest San Diego, CA auto insurance companies.

Now we will give the driver from the first rate comparison a chargeable accident, slightly worse credit, and a few blemishes on his driving record. Since every car insurance company has a proprietary formula for determining rates in each state, comparing rates may result in a substantially altered list of the cheapest San Diego car insurance companies as shown below.

Grange now has the lowest car insurance rate in San Diego with Allstate, GEICO, Mercury, and Allied completing the list. This illustrates why it is critical to perform a complete rate comparison to find the best car insurance quotes for 16 year olds.

Car insurance prices can be determined by many different factors and change dramatically, so the best company six months ago may now be one of the higher cost companies.