When looking for cheap car insurance in San Diego, it’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three different insurance companies.

Not only does this give you a good idea of what your rates will look like, but it can also help you determine what type of coverage is best for your needs.

Keep in mind there are other factors to consider besides price.

You should also read online insurance reviews for different companies, look into each lender’s, and consider the level of customer service they provide.

Cheap Car Insurance in San Diego

Here are the 6 best providers of cheap car insurance in San Diego:

  1. Progressive
  2. Liberty Mutual
  3. Esurance
  4. Allstate
  5. American Family
  6. MetLife


progressive logo

Founded in 1937, Progressive originally set up to offer a drive-in claims service.

It has since expanded to offer a wide range of services along with its auto policies, including 24/7 claims processing.

It also extends an upfront competitor rate processing that shows you how much your premium would be if you purchased a policy from its competitors.

Learn More: Progressive Car Insurance Review

Get Rates with Progressive

Liberty Mutual

liberty mutual insurance logo

Liberty Mutual offers auto, home, and renter’s insurance to consumers in 17 different countries.

When you get car insurance from Liberty Mutual, you get a 12-month rate guarantee that locks in your rates for the year.

Learn More: Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Review



esurance car insurance logo

Backed by Allstate, Esurance provides auto insurance to more than 5.2 million drivers across the United States.

The company focuses on using technology to make processing a claim simple for its policyholders.

With Esurance, you can manage your policy online, file a claim through a mobile app, and customize your policy limits with its Coverage Counselor®.

Learn More: Esurance Auto Insurance Review



usaa car insurance

USAA provides auto insurance to military personnel and their family members.

The company started in 1922, and it insures all types of vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, and recreational vehicles.

Learn More: USAA Car Insurance Review



allstate car insurance logo

Allstate was founded in 1931.

The company’s financial outlook is strong, as it insures over 16 million U.S. households and owns about $1.5 billion in assets.

It offers standard auto insurance, but you have the option to add additional services to your policy and take advantage of various discounts such as the Safe Driving Bonus®.

Learn More: Allstate Auto Insurance Review


American Family

american family insurance logo

American Family Insurance was originally known as Farmers Mutual.

It was founded in 1927 and offers homeowners, personal, and auto insurance.

Its auto insurance policies include services like 24/7 claims processing and safe driver discounts.

Learn More: American Family Auto Insurance Review


MetLife Auto & Home:

metlife logo

MetLife offers auto and home insurance throughout the United States.

Policyholders can take advantage of the company’s discounts, which include a safe driver discount, a good student discount, and several vehicle-related discounts.

It also offers gap coverage to cover the difference between the value of your vehicle and the amount left on your loan.

Learn More: MetLife Auto Insurance Review

Average Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego

driving in San Diego

You’re probably wondering, “How much is car insurance in San Diego?”

Although that’s an important question to ask, keep in mind that your rates will depend on several different factors.

  • Average Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego: $1,030.00
  • National Average Cost of Car Insurance: $889.01

You can see that car insurance rates in San Diego are higher than the national average.

What Affects the Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego?

When searching for the best cheap car insurance in San Diego, you should also consider some external elements.

In addition to factoring in your driving history, insurers will look at certain conditions in your local area when determining your rates, these may include:

Traffic Conditions

According to the NAIC, the traffic density in California in 2014—which is calculated by the number of vehicle miles per highway mile—was 1,475,882.

This figure is well above the national average for traffic density, which is 724,348.

The NAIC’s comparison of vehicle miles per registered vehicle for 2014 in California was 11,942, lower than the national average of 12,010.

Of course, traffic conditions vary by city too.

In most cases, you can expect denser traffic in major cities, including San Diego, and lighter traffic in more rural areas.

Increased traffic density increases a driver’s chances of being involved in traffic accidents or collisions.

Therefore, if you live in San Diego proper or a similarly populated city center, the increased traffic could slightly increase your insurance rates.

Vehicle Theft Rates

According to the Insurance Information Institute, California had the highest number of vehicle thefts in 2016.

Five of the Top 10 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas for Motor Vehicle Theft were located in California—Redding, Bakersfield, Modesto, Stockton-Lodi and Yuba City —and auto theft in the state occurred at a rate of 450 vehicles per 100,000 residents.

This rate is almost double the national average of 236 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents.

While San Diego wasn’t a city included in the Top 10 list, the fact that California tops the charts for vehicle theft in the nation could have a negative impact on your insurance premiums.

You can try to offset these added costs by choosing a vehicle that’s not considered one of the most commonly stolen vehicles in the nation.

According to the FBI’s Hot Wheels Report, the following cars are the most frequently stolen in California:

  • 2000 Honda Civic
  • 1997 Honda Accord
  • 2004 Chevy Pickup
  • 2006 Ford Pickup
  • 2017 Toyota Camry
  • 2017 Toyota Corolla
  • 2000 Honda CR-V
  • 2015 Nissan Altima
  • 1995 Acura Integra

Read more: Acura Insurance: Cost, Companies, and What to Know

Population Density

According to the NAIC, population density doesn’t directly affect your auto insurance rates.

However, areas with more vehicles tend to have higher accident and crime rates.

California is considered the nation’s most densely populated state.

In 2014, there were 248 residents per square mile, which is much higher than the national average of 90 people per square mile.

In California, 97.5 percent of the state’s population lives in a metropolitan area such as San Diego, so it’s not surprising that this city’s population density is a lot higher than the state average.

San Diego is home to a total of 1,374,812 people and has a population density of 4,233 people per square mile.

With a population density so high, there’s a good chance that vehicle theft rates and accident rates are higher within the city limits.

You might be able to obtain a lower insurance rate if you opt to live outside the city proper.

Disposable Income

Disposable income also affects auto insurance rates indirectly.

Drivers with more disposable income, tend to drive higher-priced vehicles.

These types of vehicles require more insurance coverage, and because they cost more to replace and repair, their rates are also higher.

In California, the disposable income per person in 2014 was $43,978, which is higher than the national average of $40,859.

However, average incomes tend to vary slightly from city to city, and larger cities tend to have higher median incomes than rural areas.

For 2018, the median household income for San Diego is $68,117, which is higher than the national median household income of $55,322.

What is Mandatory for Car Insurance in San Diego

In San Diego, you’re required to carry the minimum amount of car insurance mandated by the state of California.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are required to carry liability insurance with at least the following rates:

  • $5,000 property damage
  • $15,000 bodily injury for a single injury or death
  • $30,000 bodily injury for accidents that result in injury and/or death to multiple people

You are also required to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times.

The state won’t let you renew your vehicle’s registration or register a new vehicle without providing proof of insurance.

California does provide the option of allowing drivers to forgo auto insurance as long as they submit a $35,000 cash deposit or surety bond to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

How to Reduce the Cost of Your Car Insurance in San Diego

While you’ll never be able to eliminate your auto insurance premium, most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts and opportunities for policyholders to reduce the cost of their policy.

When you obtain a quote from an agent, have the pertinent information on hand to make sure you get all the discounts for which you qualify.

In most cases, you need the following information:

  • Vehicles: make, model and year, Vehicle Identification Number, a list of safety features, a list of anti-theft devices and a rough estimate of the average annual miles you drive
  • Drivers: Name, age, a list of any driver’s safety courses completed, driving record, and if any drivers in your household are students, you should have a copy of their most recent report card on hand—some companies offer discounts to students with good grades
  • Household: Your address, your parking accommodations, the number of drivers in your household, the amount of liability coverage you need, and the deductible you’d like to have on your policy

You can also try to lower your car insurance premium by adjusting the type and level of coverage you have and modifying some of your driving habits.

To obtain the lowest possible insurance rates you should:

  • Limit the number of miles you drive annually
  • Increase your deductible
  • Remove comprehensive and collision coverage from older model vehicles
  • Obtain auto and home insurance from the same company

What Can Increase the Cost of Your Car Insurance in San Diego

Just as there are elements that can decrease your insurance rates, there are other elements besides your location that can increase them.

It’s important to be aware of these factors before you start looking for the best car insurance in San Diego.

This way you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.

Driver’s Age

Most people expect teen drivers to have increased auto insurance premiums because they don’t have a lot of experience behind the wheel, yet, drivers over the age of 70 also see rate increases.

To offset any added costs, consider taking a defensive driver’s course.

Some insurance companies provide discounts after receiving proof of course completion.

Poor Driving Record

Traffic violations and accidents are a part of your driving record, and they affect insurance rates.

However, not all violations and accidents are treated the same.

For example, if you get a speeding ticket or a ticket for driving under the influence, it’s likely to raise your rates a lot more than a ticket for changing lanes without signaling.

Your best bet is to follow the traffic laws in San Diego to avoid tickets and collisions altogether.

If you do get a ticket, you should consider contesting it in court to keep it from appearing on your driving record.

Vehicle Type

The more expensive your car, the higher your insurance premiums will be, since it costs more to repair or replace high-end vehicles.

Other vehicle-related factors that affect your insurance premium include the likelihood of theft, the engine size, and the overall safety record for your car.

Finding the best car insurance in San Diego doesn’t have to be difficult.

As long as you obtain quotes from several different companies and have all of your information ready when talking to an agent, it’s easy to get an accurate, affordable quote.

Shopping For Car Insurance in San Diego

When shopping for cheap car insurance in San Diego, it’s important to do a bit of research and obtain several quotes before making a decision.

Several auto insurance companies write policies for San Diego residents, so comparison shopping helps you get the best deal for your situation.

It’s important to remember that auto insurance companies base rates on your location, but that is not the only factor.

They also factor in personal information including your age, driving record, claims history, and the type of car you drive.