It would sure be easy if we could tell you the one company in California that has the cheapest rate quotes for drivers under 25 in California. Unfortunately, it's not that simple as there are a whole slew of unknown factors like your age, if you have a lapse in coverage, if full coverage is needed, and the performance level of your vehicle, that all impact the cost of coverage. The content below will cover the types of things that cause high car insurance rates and educate you enough to have a good start in finding the cheapest car insurance for young drivers.

The vehicle you are seeking coverage for is one of the primary factors when comparing the cheapest insurance for drivers under 25. Vehicles with lots of horsepower, a lack of safety features, or high incidents of liability claims will cost significantly more to insure than safer models.

The list below showcases car insurance premiums for a number of the most budget-friendly automobiles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for Drivers Under 25 in California
Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford Escape XLS 2WD $2,988
Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan $2,997
Honda CR-V EX 4WD $3,033
Toyota Prius $3,265
Dodge Grand Caravan SE $3,350
Ford Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan $3,495
Chevrolet Equinox LT 2WD $3,540
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD $3,545
Chevrolet Malibu LS $3,540
Ford Explorer Limited AWD $3,583
Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab Laramie 2WD $3,590
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off-Road Package 4WD $3,583
Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab 4WD $3,590
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Data rating is based on single female driver age 20, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Information does not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can lower or raise prices noticeably.

Looking at the numbers, you can expect models like the Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Prius are most likely to be some of the most budget-friendly vehicles to insure for drivers age 25 and younger. The cost of auto insurance will tend to be more expensive anyway because of the fact that there is more risk for drivers under 25, but in general those particular vehicles will have the lowest prices available.

Deciphering which company has the lowest-priced insurance rates for drivers under 25 in California requires a tad more effort than just quoting one company's rates.

Each auto insurer has a different process for establishing rates, so we need to take a look at the overall cheapest insurance companies in California. It's important to understand that California insurance rates are impacted by many factors which can substantially decrease or increase the policy price. Simply turning a year older, increasing liability limits, or getting a few speeding tickets may cause policy rate changes resulting in some companies being cheaper than competitors.

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Rankings for the cheapest California auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,121
2 Wawanesa $1,146
3 Century National $1,214
4 CSAA $1,234
5 Nationwide $1,250
6 21st Century $1,379
7 Grange $1,433
8 Mercury $1,503
9 GEICO $1,513
10 Allied $1,541
11 Allstate $1,543
12 Progressive $1,558
13 The Hartford $1,575
14 MetLife $1,590
15 Esurance $1,688
16 State Farm $1,733
17 Unitrin $1,750
18 Bristol West $1,831
19 Travelers $1,842
20 Farmers $1,946
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USAA generally has some of the lowest car insurance rates in California at around $1,121 a year. This is $530 less than the average premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide also qualify as some of the cheapest California insurance companies.

In this example, if you currently have a policy with Century National and switched to USAA, you may realize an annual savings of in the vicinity of $93. Customers with CSAA may save as much as $113 a year, and Nationwide customers might cut rates by $129 a year.

Be aware that those premium estimates are averages across all ages of drivers and types of vehicles and do not factor in a rate increase for drivers under 25. So the car insurance company that can offer you the best price may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That emphasizes why you need to get rate quotes from many companies using your own individual information.

Ending up with a good quality company can be challenging considering how many companies are available to choose from in California. The company ratings in the lists below may help you decide which companies to look at purchasing coverage from. The ratings below include large nationwide companies, so companies that focus mainly on California business are not factored into the list.

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Providers in California Ranked by Value

  1. USAA
  2. American Family
  3. The Hartford
  4. AAA of Southern California
  5. Titan Insurance
  6. The General
  7. AAA Insurance
  8. State Farm
  9. Mercury Insurance
  10. Nationwide

Top 10 Large Auto Insurance Providers in California Ranked by Claims Service

  1. AAA of Southern California
  2. State Farm
  3. Esurance
  4. AAA Insurance
  5. Progressive
  6. Liberty Mutual
  7. GEICO
  8. Allstate
  9. Titan Insurance
  10. The Hartford

The diagram below shows how choosing a deductible can impact premium costs when trying to find cheap insurance for drivers under 25 in California. The premiums assume a married female driver, comp and collision included, and no other discounts are factored in.

A 30-year-old driver could save $350 a year by increasing from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $530 by choosing a $1,000 deductible. Even younger insureds, like the Age 20 category, could save up to $750 or even more just by using higher deductibles.

When increasing deductibles, it will be necessary to have plenty of discretionary funds to satisfy the extra out-of-pocket expense, which is the main drawback of higher deductibles.

Violations and accidents raise rates

The best way to score low insurance premiums in California for drivers age 25 and younger is to drive cautiously and avoid getting tickets or having accidents. The chart below highlights how speeding tickets and accident claims raise yearly insurance costs for different ages of insureds. The premiums assume a married male driver, comp and collision included, $250 deductibles, and no discounts are taken into consideration.

The data charted above shows the average cost of car insurance in California per year with no accidents or violations is $2,633. Add in two speeding tickets and the average cost jumps to $3,643, an increase of $1,010 each year. Then add in one accident along with the two speeding tickets and the annual cost of insurance for drivers under 25 in California goes up to an average of $4,673. That's an increase of $2,040, or $170 per month, just for not being a responsible driver!

The benefit of shopping around

California insurance rates are impacted by many factors that may substantially change the cost of a policy. Turning one year older, getting married, or having a fender bender may generate price changes that can make some companies cheaper than competitors.

Not only may your situation change, but companies amend pricing without warning to adjust for gains or losses. An unexpected high level of claims may cause more expensive premiums, while better underwriting can cause cheaper California car insurance rates.

To help illustrate this point, the chart below shows the companies that have the cheapest car insurance in California for a 40-year-old female driver with a clear driving record, no claims, and great credit. If we compare prices based on her personal profile, USAA might quote the lowest car insurance rates in California at $1,121 each year. This is $530 less than the average price paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Nationwide, Century National, and CSAA are the remaining top five cheapest California auto insurance companies.

Let's now give the driver from the first example a chargable accident, a lower credit score, and a stop sign violation. Because each company has a unique approach for setting prices, getting updated rate quotes may now result in a significantly different list of companies as shown below.

Grange now has the cheapest rate in California with Mercury, Allied, Progressive, and Allstate also being competitive. This demonstrates why it is so important to perform a complete rate comparison to find the most budget-friendly insurance rates for drivers under 25.

Insurance prices are influenced by many risk factors and can decrease or increase without notice, so the lowest-price company the last time you checked may now be costing you a lot of money.