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Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes for Drivers with a Bad Driving Record in California

Enter your California zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Nov 16, 2019

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The make and model of vehicle requiring coverage is probably the biggest factor when comparison shopping for the cheapest auto insurance for drivers with a bad driving record in California. Vehicles with higher performance characteristics, poor safety ratings, or high incidents of liability claims will cost more to insure than more economical and safe models. The next tables features car insurance rates for the cheaper vehicles to buy coverage for.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular Cars in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Chevrolet Malibu LT $4,626 $2,313 $386
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $4,762 $2,381 $397
Honda Accord EX 4-Dr Sedan $3,858 $1,929 $322
Honda Civic EX-L 2-Dr Coupe $5,758 $2,879 $480
Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon $4,150 $2,075 $346
Hyundai Sonata SE 4-Dr Sedan $5,178 $2,589 $432
Kia Optima SX $5,230 $2,615 $436
Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 2-Dr Coupe $5,470 $2,735 $456
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Prices based on married male driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-vehicle, and multi-policy. Premium costs do not factor in specific California garaging location which can decrease or increase premiums greatly.

Auto Insurance Rates for Popular SUVs and Crossovers in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Chevrolet Traverse LTZ 2WD $4,202 $2,101 $350
Ford Escape Limited 4WD $4,150 $2,075 $346
Ford Expedition Limited 2WD $4,442 $2,221 $370
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD $4,626 $2,313 $386
GMC Acadia SL AWD $4,334 $2,167 $361
Honda CR-V EX 4WD $3,910 $1,955 $326
Honda Fit $3,560 $1,780 $297
Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD $4,626 $2,313 $386
Hyundai Tucson GLS 2WD $4,282 $2,141 $357
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD $4,574 $2,287 $381
Subaru Forester XT AWD $4,494 $2,247 $375
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD $4,918 $2,459 $410
Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD $4,574 $2,287 $381
Volvo XC90 3.2 2WD $4,866 $2,433 $406
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Cost estimates assume married male driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, homeowner, and multi-policy. Information does not factor in specific garaging location which can increase or decrease rates greatly.

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Auto Insurance Rates for Popular Pickup Trucks in California
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Cost Semi-Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Chevrolet Silverado LS Crew Cab 4WD $4,866 $2,433 $406
Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab Laramie 2WD $5,762 $2,881 $480
Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab SLT 2WD $5,210 $2,605 $434
Dodge Ram Crew Cab Sport 4WD $5,282 $2,641 $440
Ford F-150 Lariat King Ranch 2WD $4,866 $2,433 $406
Ford F-250 King Ranch Crew Cab 2WD $5,470 $2,735 $456
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Extended Cab 2WD $5,470 $2,735 $456
GMC Sierra SLE Crew Cab 2WD $4,866 $2,433 $406
Toyota Tacoma 4WD $4,334 $2,167 $361
Toyota Tundra Limited Crew MAX 4WD $5,282 $2,641 $440
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Data based on married male driver age 50, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, homeowner, and multi-policy. Premium costs do not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can alter premium rates substantially.

When shopping for cheaper insurance for bad drivers, one of the many things that insurance companies take into consideration when calculating car insurance rates is where your car is garaged. Densely populated urban areas like Glendale, Oakland, and Sacramento tend to have more expensive car insurance rates, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates benefit from lower prices.

The illustration below ranks the more expensive cities in California for drivers with a bad driving record in which to purchase auto insurance.

How much does car insurance cost in California?
Rank City Premium Per Year
1 Glendale $2,121
2 Los Angeles $2,083
3 Oakland $1,755
4 San Francisco $1,693
5 Sacramento $1,669
6 San Bernardino $1,644
7 Long Beach $1,626
8 Stockton $1,603
9 Santa Clarita $1,595
10 Fontana $1,581
11 Moreno Valley $1,536
12 Modesto $1,532
13 Riverside $1,527
14 Garden Grove $1,508
15 Fresno $1,502
16 Santa Ana $1,483
17 Anaheim $1,474
18 San Jose $1,423
19 Bakersfield $1,394
20 Fremont $1,389
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Price information shown is approximated as the vehicle garaging location can increase or decrease rates greatly.

Deciphering which companies offer the lowest-priced auto insurance rates for drivers with a bad driving record involves more time than just comparing rates from one or two companies. Every car insurance company has a different formula to establish rates, so let’s take a look at the most affordable auto insurance companies in California.

It’s important to understand that California auto insurance rates are impacted by many factors which can significantly increase or decrease the price of coverage. Turning one year older, moving across town, or getting a couple of tickets may generate price changes that can make some companies cheaper than competitors.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in California?
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 Wawanesa $1,146
2 USAA $1,155
3 Century National $1,214
4 CSAA $1,234
5 Nationwide $1,250
6 21st Century $1,379
7 Grange $1,433
8 Mercury $1,488
9 Progressive $1,496
10 Allstate $1,497
11 GEICO $1,529
12 Allied $1,541
13 The Hartford $1,591
14 MetLife $1,654
15 Unitrin $1,682
16 Esurance $1,739
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Travelers $1,788
19 Bristol West $1,849
20 Farmers $1,966
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Wawanesa offers some of the best car insurance rates in California at around $1,146 per year. USAA, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide also qualify as some of the best California insurance companies.

As the example above demonstrates, if you currently have a policy with Nationwide and switched to USAA, you could realize a yearly savings of in the neighborhood of $95. Policyholders with 21st Century might save as much as $224 a year, and Grange policyholders might cut rates by $278 a year.

Be aware that those premiums are averaged for all types of insureds and vehicles and do not factor in a rate surcharge for drivers with a bad driving record. So the insurer that fits your situation best may not even be included in the list above. That point stresses why you need to get auto insurance quotes using your own driver data and vehicle information.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

The chart below demonstrates how deductibles can affect insurance premiums when trying to find cheap insurance for drivers with a bad driving record. The premium estimates are based on a single female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, and no additional discounts are factored in.

The data above shows that a 40-year-old driver could lower their policy premium by $476 a year by increasing from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $712 by choosing a $1,000 deductible. Young drivers, like the 20-year-old, could potentially save $1,216 or even more just by using higher deductibles.

When increasing deductibles, it will be necessary to have spare funds to allow you to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense. This is the primary disadvantage of choosing high deductibles.

Best rates: Progressive, Geico, Allstate, or State Farm

If you are looking for the best auto insurance, four companies to take a look at are Progressive, Geico, Allstate, and State Farm. If you put them all together, they insure about half of the car insurance market in the United States. The data below compares price, claims, and customer service ratings, as well as some optional coverages shoppers can expect to find with each one.

Comparison of Progressive, Geico, Allstate, and State Farm
Progressive Geico Allstate State Farm
Discounts Offered 4th 2nd 1st 3rd
Client Satisfaction 3rd 1st 2nd 4th
Claims Service 4th 3rd 1st 2nd
Price Ranking 3rd 1st 4th 2nd
U.S. market share 8.8% 11.4% 10% 18.3%
Rating from A.M. Best A+ A++ A+ A++
Standard & Poor’s financial rating AA AA+ AA- AA
Roadside assistance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accident forgiveness Yes Yes Yes No
Usage-based insurance Yes No Yes Yes
Uber and Lyft insurance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mechnical breakdown Yes Yes No No
New car replacement coverage No No Yes No
Insure in California Yes Yes Yes Yes
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Find the cheapest auto insurance for drivers with a bad driving record in California

It’s not impossible to find cheaper rates, and here are some penny-pinching ideas that can help drivers quote lower-cost auto insurance.

  • Increase deductibles to save money
  • Bundle home and auto and save
  • Claim-free drivers earn discounts
  • Improve your credit rating
  • Save money by only buying liability coverage for older vehicles
  • Get cheaper liability coverage by choosing a safer vehicle
  • Check for cheaper rates once a year

The last tip is incredibly vital, as we noted in the article above. Auto insurance rates in California go up and down frequently, so don’t hesitate to change insurance companies if a better rate can be found.

Sticking with a specific company is fine, but it isn’t a good idea if that loyalty ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. If you have a few minutes, shop around and find cheaper car insurance for drivers with a bad driving record.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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