Rachael Brennan headshotAndrew Hurst


Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

 & Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.


Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

The average cost of full coverage car insurance in San Diego is $1,775 per year, which is $203 less than the average cost of car insurance in California, which is $1,978. Car insurance rates in San Diego are somewhat lower than the state average, but drivers in San Diego can still save even more money on their insurance.

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The best way to save money on your car insurance is by comparing multiple quotes before choosing a policy. Policygenius can help you compare rates from multiple companies to find the coverage that meets your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Wawanesa has the lowest average rate for full coverage in San Diego

  • The cheapest ZIP code for car insurance coverage in San Diego is 92154 at 902

  • California’s state minimum liability requirements are $15,000 per person/$30,000 per person in bodily injury liability and $5,000 in property damage liability

Cheapest car insurance companies in San Diego, CA

There are dozens of factors that influence your insurance rates, including:

  • Driving history

  • ZIP code

  • Age

  • Claims history

  • Marital status

  • The type of car you drive

Every company has their own process for setting insurance rates, which means no two companies will offer the same rate, even for identical coverage. This is why comparing quotes from multiple companies is the best way to save money on your car insurance.


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Cheapest car insurance rates by ZIP code in San Diego, CA

One of the biggest factors insurance companies use to set your rates is your ZIP code. Rates vary in each ZIP code based on a number of factors, including:

  • Secure parking options

  • Amount of available street parking

  • Population density

  • Number of accidents reported each year

  • How many traffic tickets are issued

  • Reported car thefts

The number of people in an area is a big factor when setting rates by ZIP code. This means San Diego residents, who live in an area with fewer people than larger metropolitan areas, are charged less for coverage than drivers in larger cities like L.A. or San Francisco.

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Choosing the right car insurance company in San Diego, CA

The right car insurance policy isn’t necessarily the cheapest one, it is the one that meets your needs. Our experts at Policygenius help you compare quotes from multiple companies. Having more than one or two options is the most effective way to find the right policy at the right price.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in San Diego, CA

Your driving record has all of the same personal information as your driver's license, including your identifying information (height, hair color, etc.) and your license number. It also contains information about any driving violations you may have on your record, including:

  • Accidents

  • Tickets

  • Suspensions

  • Revocations

  • Points

  • DUIs

  • Fines

One of the simplest ways to keep your insurance costs low is to keep your driving record clean. Having a violation like a car accident or a moving violation can increase your rates, sometimes significantly, potentially adding hundreds of dollars to your annual premiums.




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Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in San Diego, CA

Though there are some states that allow insurance companies to use your credit score to set your rates, California isn’t one of them. The state of California passed a law in 2003 that prevents insurance companies from using your credit score to help set your rate, which means that even if your credit score changes over time, it won’t impact your insurance rates.

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Buying car insurance in San Diego, CA

California requires all drivers to carry some form of liability insurance, including:

  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV

  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate

  • Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California

  • Motor vehicle liability insurance policy

Out of all the options listed above, the vast majority of drivers choose to carry the state minimum levels of liability insurance (at least), which are:

  • $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability

  • $5,000 for property damage liability

The minimum levels of liability insurance are enough to fulfill your legal obligations, but those limits often aren’t enough to cover the amount of damage caused in an at-fault accident. Choosing the highest levels of liability insurance that you can afford is the best way to make sure you are financially protected in an accident. 

Drivers who can’t afford to repair or replace their car in the event of an accident should also purchase comprehensive and collision insurance. These coverages protect you financially if you are at fault in an accident, but they can also step in to pay for damage to your vehicle if you are hit by an uninsured motorist or your car is damaged or stolen in a non-collision situation.

How to get cheap car insurance in San Diego, CA

There are multiple discounts available to drivers in San Diego, no matter which car insurance company you choose, including:

  • Safe driver discount

  • Accident free discount

  • Low mileage discount

  • Military discount

  • Good student discount

  • Bundling discount

  • Group/employer/professional discount

If a discount isn’t enough to make your insurance affordable, you may be eligible to apply for California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in San Diego?

The cheapest car insurance in San Diego is offered by Wawanesa, but drivers may also find affordable coverage with GEICO.

How much does car insurance cost in San Diego?

The average cost of car insurance in San Diego is $148 per month. Compared to the cost of coverage in California, San Diego's rates are more affordable.

Is car insurance cheaper in San Diego or Los Angeles?

San Diego is a much cheaper city for car insurance than Los Angeles. The cost of coverage in San Diego is nearly $1,000 cheaper per year than it is in Los Angeles.

What is the minimum car insurance required in San Diego?

To drive legally in San Diego, you must get at least $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 of property damage liability coverage.


Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.