Cheap Car Insurance in Los Angeles for 2020

Hold on to your wallet if you have to insure a car in Los Angeles. On average, insuring a car in Los Angeles County is going to cost you somewhere around $1,900 per year, slightly higher than the California average, but that’s heavily weighted to the number of cars here.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles?

  • GEICO
  • Nationwide
  • State Farm
  • Century National

We pulled data from a number of sources to try and figure out what insurance cost in Los Angeles, on average, for a male driver in his 40s with a clean driving record and no accidents. Remember, this is a GUIDE to what insurance is going to cost. Your mileage is going to vary widely depending on what you drive, where exactly in LA you live, and a number of other factors.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.

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Who has the best cheap car insurance in Los Angeles?

  • Best Large Insurance Carrier: GEICO - Every single source showed GEICO as the price leader.
  • Cheapest Insurance from a Smaller Carrier: Wawanesa - This San Diego-based insurer was more expensive than the big national firms, but still provided a competitive price.
  • Cheapest Insurance with One Accident: GEICO - No matter what your situation, GEICO comes out on top for CHEAP insurance. It may not be the BEST insurance for your particular needs, though.
  • Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage: GEICO - The large national insurance carrier dominates the list of cheapest insurance in the state of Los Angeles.

How much does car insurance cost in Los Angeles?

In our larger story on car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,341. In Los Angeles, you can easily tack $500 onto that figure. There are something like 6 million cars jammed into 2,980 square miles, and accidents are a regular part of life.

Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) onlineAverage (annualAdjusted average* (annual)
GEICO$1,080-$1,899$1,485$1,480
Wawanesa$1,239-$2,140$1,610$1,595
Nationwide$1,280-$1,644$1,462$1,451
State Farm$1,200-$1,593$1,397$1,293
Mercury$1,920-$2,026$1,973$1,952

(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.

What causes rates to go up in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is enormous and applying a one-size fits all answer doesn’t make any sense. When you’re researching insurance in Los Angeles, you actually need to get more granular and start researching down to which neighborhood in the county your car is registered in. The difference between Carson and Lancaster can be $450 a year.

After your specific location, all the other things that affect the cost of car insurance everywhere else in the country apply: Accidents and citations are the big ones. Your age and gender are the others. Be sure to check our main story on insurance to learn more, and take a look at available discounts, too.

How do accidents affect rates in Los Angeles?

If you’re in an accident in Los Angeles, your insurance rate can go up as much as 82%. That’s almost like you’re paying for insurance twice, just for one at-fault accident. For that reason, driving a car with advanced safety technology like auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control can be worth the added expense to help keep you out of accidents.

Range of Rate Increases for One AccidentAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
33%, 49%, 93%58%49%

Keep in mind that this is a guide. Your actual rate increase could vary a lot, especially if you’ve enrolled in an insurer’s optional “Accident Forgiveness” program, which allows you one accident without being surcharged.

How do tickets affect rates in Los Angeles?

Tickets might seem like they’re less expensive than accidents, but consider that every point on your license is going to stay there for three years and three months.

Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding ViolationAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
5%, 20%, 22%, 32%, 37%23%25%

How can you get car insurance discounts in Los Angeles?

We have an exhaustive story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available for insurers across the country, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. California offers a Good Student discount for younger drivers that keep their grades above a B average. Mature drivers, families with students who are away and not driving, and teens who take driver safety courses can also get discounts in Los Angeles.

What’s the minimum coverage allowed in Los Angeles?

Do not get stopped without insurance in Los Angeles. By state law, you’re required to have at least the following auto insurance coverages: Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum. Property damage liability coverage: $5,000 minimum. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage¹: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum. Driving without insurance means you’ll have your license revoked, and you’ll have to pay to have it reinstated.

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FAQ

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles?

Insurance rates can vary wildly, depending on where you live and on the state of your driving record. On average, GEICO offers the best rates, landing at just under $1,500 annually.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in California?

GEICO offers the best rates across the state of California unless you’re active military and can take advantage of USAA insurance.

How much is car insurance per month in Los Angeles?

The cheapest rates are around $115 per month.

Why is insurance in California so expensive?

It’s really not. Insurance in Los Angeles is competitive with most other major cities across the country. You’re not going to get rates like in Maine because there are about 1000x more cars driving around with that much greater risk.

How can I get super cheap car insurance?

The best way to get super cheap insurance in LA is to not live in LA. Beyond that, you need to be an exceptional driver, not get any tickets, and scramble for every single discount you can find.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

Again, GEICO is the only option if “cheap” is your only requirement. They’re hundreds of dollars cheaper in all the research we did, either online or off. There may be reasons to purchase insurance from other insurers: you like the agent, they may have a better policy of using OEM parts, they offer better spiffs like roadside assistance, or whatever. But you’re not going to find insurance that’s less expensive, unless you’re in the military and USAA is an option.

What’s important in a car insurance company besides the rates?

Outstanding customer service is worth paying money for. Buying cheap insurance only to find out that they drag their feet on claims and are hard to deal with when they have to pay out is hardly worth the discount.

Does credit score affect car insurance?

NO. California is one of a handful of states that bans the use of credit scores in calculating insurance cost.

Is there low income car insurance?

Yes. California's Low Cost Automobile Program (CLCA) was established in 1999. It’s a program designed to provide income eligible drivers with liability insurance protection at affordable rates.

Can I buy one day car insurance?

One-day, or temporary car insurance can be handy if you’re moving a car from one location to another. It’s going to be way more expensive per day than a regular insurance policy, but if you truly only need it for a day, it’s better than having your license revoked.

How can I get my insurance quote cheaper?

Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.

Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

If you live in Los Angeles, the answer is probably “You live in Los Angeles”. Drivers in LA have some of the most expensive insurance in the state.

Is an older car cheaper to insure?

It might be, but then again it might not, depending on the car’s value. And if it’s truly valuable, you want to insure it through a program that specifically covers vintage cars.

Why does car insurance cost so much?

Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.