Trying to buy low-cost car insurance is not the easiest thing to accomplish, and figuring out which companies have the most affordable car insurance rates for first-time drivers will involve even more rate comparisons. Every car insurance company uses a little different formula for setting prices, so first we will examine the car insurance companies that tend to be cheaper in California.
Cheapest Insurance Rates for Inexperienced Drivers
|Rank||Company||Cost Per Year|
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USAA offers some of the most affordable car insurance rates in Irvine at around $1,109 a year. This is $542 less than the average premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Century National, Wawanesa, CSAA, and Nationwide are also some of the cheapest Irvine, CA auto insurance companies.
As the example above demonstrates, if you are insured with CSAA and switched to USAA, you could see a yearly price reduction of upwards of $113. California drivers with Nationwide might save as much as $117 a year, and 21st Century policyholders might reduce rates by $270 a year.
To see if your current coverage is too expensive, click here or visit any of the companies below.
These estimates are averaged across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and and are not calculated with an exact vehicle garaging location for first-time drivers. So the car insurance company that can offer you the best price may not even be in the top 24 companies in the list above. That is why you need to compare rates from multiple companies using your own individual information.
The type of vehicle needing coverage is probably the most important factor when consumers are trying to find economical insurance for first-time drivers. Vehicles with average performance, advanced safety features, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost substantially less to insure than fast, unsafe models.
The table below shows auto insurance premiums for some of the most economical automobiles to buy insurance for.
|Make and Model||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Honda CR-V LX 4WD||$3,072|
|Ford Escape XLS 4WD||$3,081|
|Ford F-150 XL Super Cab 2WD||$3,420|
|Dodge Grand Caravan SE||$3,449|
|Ford Edge SEL AWD||$3,615|
|Honda Odyssey EX W/Rear Entertainment||$3,620|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$3,615|
|Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan||$3,625|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD||$3,644|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD||$3,652|
|Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD||$3,644|
|Toyota RAV4 2WD||$3,654|
|Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD||$3,675|
|Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab Laramie 2WD||$3,680|
|Chevrolet Malibu LT||$3,675|
|Hyundai Elantra Blue 4-Dr Sedan||$3,809|
|Toyota Corolla LE||$3,838|
|Nissan Altima Hybrid 4-Dr Sedan||$3,869|
|Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 4-Dr Sedan||$3,879|
|Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD LT Crew Cab 2WD||$3,898|
|GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE Extended Cab 2WD||$3,906|
|Kia Optima LX||$3,946|
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Premium data assumes single female driver age 17, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rates do not factor in vehicle location which can influence prices significantly.
Based on these rates, we can conclude that cars like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota Prius, Ford F-150, and Dodge Grand Caravan are likely to be the most affordable vehicles to insure for new drivers. Auto insurance rates will be more expensive just because there is a higher risk for first-time drivers, but generally speaking those models will probably have the cheapest car insurance rates possible.
One of the more important components that aid in calculating the cost of insurance is where you keep your car in Irvine. Areas with increased crime or more people likely pay more, whereas areas with less people or fewer weather incidents have the luxury of lower rates.
The illustration below sorts the highest-priced areas in California for first-time drivers in which to buy car insurance. Irvine shows up at #19 with a yearly cost of $1,384 for car insurance, which is about $115 monthly.
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Table data uses estimated as the vehicle garaging location can lower or raise premiums considerably.
Discounts on Irvine insurance
Insurance providers that sell policies for first-time drivers may provide discounts that can lower rates by as much as 35% or more if you meet eligibility requirements. A list of car insurance companies and a selection of discounts are included below.
- Esurance offers discounts for emergency road assistance, anti-theft, Pac-12 alumni, claim free, and paid-in-full.
- The Hartford includes discounts for anti-theft, good student, bundle, driver training, and defensive driver.
- AAA offers premium reductions for education and occupation, anti-theft, pay-in-full, good driver, multi-policy, and AAA membership discount.
- GEICO has discounts for military active duty, driver training, multi-policy, federal employee, air bags, and seat belt use.
- State Farm may include discounts for student away at school, anti-theft, Drive Safe & Save, good driver, and good student.
The illustration below illustrates the comparison of insurance premiums with and without discounts applied to the policy premium. The price estimates are based on a female driver, no accidents or driving violations, California state minimum liability limits, full coverage, and $1,000 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The lower bar shows the rates with anti-theft, passive restraint, paid-in-full, paperless filing, continuous coverage, and vehicle safety discounts applied. With discounts applied, the average amount saved each year on car insurance for first-time drivers is 28% or $673.
Driving violations and accidents
The common sense way to snag cheap car insurance premiums in California for new drivers is to drive carefully and avoid accidents and traffic violations. The illustration below illustrates how violations and at-fault accidents can affect insurance premiums for different insured age categories. The information is based on a single male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $250 deductibles, and no discounts are taken into consideration.
The data charted above shows the average cost of a car insurance policy in California per year with no accidents and a clean driving record is $3,093. Receive one speeding ticket and the average cost increases to $3,488, an increase of $395 each year. Next add one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of car insurance for first-time drivers increases to an average of $4,604. That’s an increase of $1,511, or $126 per month, just for being a careless driver!
Full coverage rates compared to liability only
Finding the cheapest car insurance is the goal of most drivers, and one of the quickest ways to reduce the cost of insurance for first-time drivers is to not buy comprehensive and collision coverage. The chart below visualizes the comparison of annual premium costs with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying the minimum liability limits required in California. The price estimates are based on no tickets, no at-fault accidents, $100 deductibles, drivers are single, and no other discounts are factored in.
Averaged out for all age groups, full coverage costs an additional $3,385 per year more than just buying liability insurance. Lot’s of drivers question if buying full coverage is a waste of money. There is no written rule to eliminate physical damage coverage, but there is a broad guideline. If the annual cost of your full coverage insurance is more than 10% of the vehicle’s replacement cost less your deductible, then you might consider buying liability only.