The best car insurance in San Jose, CA

Rachael Brennan headshot


Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. She worked for 21st Century Insurance, BlueCross BlueShield Massachusetts, and HealthPass New York. She also spent two years working as a content expert for dozens of auto insurance websites through 360Quote LLC.

Published October 14, 2021

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 Jose is $1,829 per year, which is $149 less than the average cost of car insurance in California, which is $1,978. Car insurance rates in San Jose are a little lower than the state average, but there are still ways you can save even more money on your insurance.

Ready to shop car insurance?

Start calculator

The best, most effective way to save money on your auto insurance is by comparing multiple quotes. Our experts at 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 Jose

  • The cheapest ZIP code in San Jose is 95118 at $977

  • 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 Jose, CA

There are multiple factors that can influence your insurance rates, including your driving history, ZIP code, age, and claims history. Your insurance rates can even be impacted by some things you might not expect, such as your marital status.

Each insurance company has their own process for setting rates, so two different companies can offer the same coverage with vastly different prices. Because of this, comparing quotes from multiple companies can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your car insurance.


Average cost

JD Power Rating










National General



Mercury Insurance



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

Your ZIP code is one of the biggest factors insurance companies use to set your rates. Rates vary from one ZIP code to another based on a number of factors, including:

  • Population density

  • Number of accidents reported each year

  • How many traffic tickets are issued

  • Reported car thefts

  • Secure parking options

  • Amount of available street parking

The number of people in an area is a big factor when setting rates by ZIP code, which means San Jose residents are charged less than drivers in larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Below are the average rates based on ZIP code in San Jose.

ZIP code

Average cost

















Choosing the right car insurance company in San Jose, CA

The right car insurance policy is the one that meets your needs, which is why our experts at Policygenius help you compare quotes from multiple companies. Seeing more than one or two options is the best way to find the right policy at the right price.

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

Your driving record has a significant amount of information about you, including your identifying information (height, eye color, etc.) and your drivers license number. It also contains information about any driving violations you may have on your record, including:

  • Accidents

  • Tickets

  • Points

  • DUIs

  • Fines

  • Suspensions

  • Revocations

One of the best ways to keep your insurance costs low is to keep your driving record clean because having a car accident or a moving violation can increase your rates, sometimes significantly.





National General

Mercury Insurance

At-fault Accident












Driving with a suspended license






Driving with an open container






Driving with expired registration






Driving without Lights






Failure to show documents






Failure to stop at a red light






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

Some states allow insurance companies to use your credit score to set your rates, which means having a low credit score can cost you more on your insurance. California, however, 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, your insurance won’t be impacted by it.

Ready to shop car insurance?

Start calculator

Buying car insurance in San Jose, CA

Like most states, California requires 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

Rather than leaving a large cash deposit or a bond with the state, most people choose to carry the state minimum levels of liability insurance, which are:

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

  • $5,000 for property damage liability

While carrying the minimum insurance levels in California is enough to meet the state’s legal requirements, it often isn’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. 

Also, drivers who can’t afford to repair or replace their car in the event of an accident should purchase comprehensive and collision insurance. Not only do these coverages protect you if you are at fault in an accident, they can also step in to pay for damages to your vehicle if another driver hits you but doesn’t have insurance or your car is damaged or stolen in a non-collision situation.

How to get cheap car insurance in San Jose, CA

There are a variety of discounts available to drivers in San Jose, including:

  • Safe driver discount

  • Accident free discount

  • Low mileage discount

  • Military discount

  • Good student discount

  • Bundling discount

  • Group/employer/professional discount

If you’ve taken advantage of these discounts and your rate still isn’t low enough, you may want to apply for California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program.

Frequently asked questions

Why is car insurance so expensive in San Jose?

Comparatively, rates in San Jose are lower than some of the other big cities in California, but they are higher than the average rates in many other states in the United States. Insurance companies take local laws and regulations into consideration when setting rates, which is part of the reason rates in California are higher than the national average. Population also plays a large part in setting rates. For example, densely populated states like CA have higher rates than sparsely populated states like WY.

Does my gender impact my insurance rates?

The state of California made it illegal for insurance companies to base your rates on gender, which means your gender should have no impact on how much you pay for insurance. Several other states have passed similar laws, including Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

What is the best car insurance for new drivers in California?

Our best data indicates that Wawanesa offers the lowest average rates in California. However, just because they have the most affordable coverage doesn’t mean it will meet your needs. It's possible that your rates could be lower with another company or that another company might offer coverage that is a better fit for your needs. It is important to compare quotes from multiple companies to find the right insurance coverage for you.


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.