You have most likely seen the captivating commercials from auto insurance companies like The General, Farmers, and Progressive promising enormous savings. So you just need to choose one randomly, right?
It’s not quite that easy, unfortunately, as there are a whole slew of unknown aspects like the annual mileage you drive, if you are currently insured, and whether you are married or single, that all have an effect on the price of a policy. We will try to cover some of these topics and will hopefully give the reader a good beginning to your quest for cheaper car insurance in California.
The car, truck, or SUV you are seeking coverage for is probably the most important factor that determines the availability of cheaper coverage for 18 year olds. Vehicles with higher performance characteristics, poor crash test ratings, or a high likelihood of having liability claims will cost quite a bit more to insure than more modest models.
The data below showcases coverage costs for a selection of the cheapest automobiles to insure.
|Vehicle Insured||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Ford Escape XLS 2WD||$3,492|
|Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan||$3,502|
|Honda CR-V EX-L 2WD||$3,531|
|Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2-Dr||$3,636|
|Ford F-150 STX Super Cab 2WD||$3,870|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$4,103|
|Toyota RAV4 Sport 2WD||$4,142|
|Toyota Camry LE||$4,149|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD||$4,142|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD||$4,148|
|Dodge Grand Caravan Crew||$4,182|
|Ford Explorer Limited 4WD||$4,191|
|Chevrolet Malibu LT||$4,182|
|Hyundai Elantra Blue 4-Dr Sedan||$4,337|
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Cost estimates assume single male driver age 18, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Premium costs do not factor in specific location information which can revise insurance rates substantially.
Based upon the table data, we can infer that models like the Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Jeep Wrangler are the more affordable vehicles to insure for teen drivers. The price for an auto insurance policy will tend to be higher just because there is a higher risk for 18 year olds, but overall those vehicles will tend to have the lowest insurance rates compared to other vehicles.
One of the many components that aid in calculating the amount you pay for auto insurance is where you normally keep your vehicle in San Jose. Areas with increased crime or more people tend to pay slightly more, whereas less populated areas can boast about having cheaper rates.
The illustration below sorts the most expensive cities in California for 18 year olds to purchase a policy in. San Jose is ranked #19 with an annual cost of $1,395 for the average policy, which is approximately $116 per month.
|Rank||City||Premium Per Year|
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Annual rates are approximated as specific San Jose garaging address can raise or lower premium rates substantially.
Figuring out which company has the cheapest auto insurance rates for 18 year olds calls for a little more sweat than just getting one or two price quotes. Each company has a unique approach for establishing rates, so we will examine the overall cheapest auto insurance companies in California.
It’s important that readers know that California auto insurance rates are impacted by many things that control the price you have to pay. Simply having another birthday, adding a teenager to your policy, or getting a driving violation can trigger changes in premium that can cause some rates to be more affordable than the competition.
Cheap Insurance Rates for Teens
Wawanesa may have some of the cheapest car insurance rates in San Jose at around $1,146 annually. This is $505 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. USAA, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide also are some of the lowest-priced San Jose, CA insurance companies.
As shown in the table above, if you are insured with Century National and switched to USAA, you could realize savings of in the neighborhood of $59. Policyholders with Nationwide might save as much as $95 a year, and 21st Century policyholders might see rate reductions of $170 a year.
Understand that those policy rates are averaged for all ages of drivers and types of vehicles and and are not figured with an exact location for 18 year olds. So the company that can offer you the lowest price may not even be in the list above. That illustrates why you need to get quotes using your own driver information and specific vehicle type.
Buying coverage from a highly-rated car insurance company is difficult considering how many different companies there are to choose from in San Jose. The rank data shown next can help you select which car insurance providers you want to consider when insurance shopping for 18 year olds. These ratings are only comprised of the largest companies in the United States, so smaller companies that only insure vehicles in California are not included in these rankings.
Top 10 Major Auto Insurance Companies Overall in San Jose
- American Family
- AAA of Southern California
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- AAA Insurance
- The General
- Titan Insurance
Get discounts on San Jose car insurance rates
Auto insurance companies that offer coverage for 18 year olds may also give you price discounts that could lower prices by as much as 25% or more if you qualify. Companies and their possible discounts are shown below.
- State Farm policyholders can earn discounts including multiple autos, passive restraint, good student, defensive driving training, and accident-free.
- American Family may offer discounts for TimeAway discount, mySafetyValet, early bird, good student, defensive driver, and multi-vehicle.
- AAA offers premium reductions for pay-in-full, good driver, multi-policy, education and occupation, good student, anti-theft, and multi-car.
- GEICO may have discounts that include emergency military deployment, membership and employees, seat belt use, driver training, multi-vehicle, federal employee, and military active duty.
- Mercury Insurance discounts include age of vehicle, anti-theft, accident-free, professional/association, good student, good driver, and annual mileage.
- Farmers Insurance includes discounts for business and professional, switch companies, youthful driver, alternative fuel, distant student, teen driver, and bundle discounts.
- Progressive has savings for continuous coverage, online quote discount, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, homeowner, online signing, and good student.
The chart below illustrates the comparison of insurance prices with and without discounts applied to the rates. The premiums assume a female driver, no tickets, no at-fault accidents, California state minimum liability limits, full coverage, and $1,000 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows the average annual price with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with passive restraint, vehicle safety, paid-in-full, paperless filing, continuous coverage, and anti-theft discounts applied. When discounts are applied, theamount saved on auto insurance for 18 year olds is 28% or $809.
Full coverage rates compared to liability only
Buying cheaper auto insurance should be important to the majority of people, and one common way to find cheap insurance for 18 year olds is to not buy full coverage. The information below illustrates the difference between auto insurance costs with and without physical damage coverage. The rate quotes are based on no claims or driving citations, $1,000 deductibles, drivers are single, and no discounts are applied to the premium.
As an average for all age groups, comp and collision coverage costs $2,467 per year more than just buying liability only. At some point, every insured wonders when is the right time to remove full coverage. There isn’t a written rule for dropping comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a general convention. If the annual cost of having full coverage is more than around 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.
For example, let’s assume your vehicle’s claim settlement value is $7,500 and you have $1,000 physical damage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most you would receive is $6,500 after the policy deductible has been paid. If you are paying more than $650 a year for your policy with full coverage, then it’s probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.
There are some scenarios where dropping physical damage coverage is not a good idea. If you haven’t satisfied your loan, you have to carry full coverage in order to prevent your loan from defaulting. Also, if you can’t afford to buy a different vehicle in the event your current vehicle is totaled, you should not remove full coverage.
Comparing rates can save you money
San Jose auto insurance rates are calculated based on many things which can significantly increase or decrease the price you have to pay for coverage. Turning one year older, having a teenage driver, or getting into an accident can produce rate changes resulting in some companies being cheaper than others. Not only may your risk profile change, but car insurance companies change rates multiple times each year in order to protect their financial rating. Larger than normal claims may cause rate increases, while long-term profits may cause cheaper San Jose car insurance rates.
As an example, the bar chart below demonstrates which company has the cheapest car insurance in San Jose, CA for a 40-year-old male driver with a good driving record, no prior claims, and a decent credit rating. If we compare prices based on his current rating profile, USAA may have the best car insurance rates in San Jose at $1,260 annually. This is $391 less than the average price paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide are also included in the cheapest San Jose, CA auto insurance companies.
In this example, we will give the driver in the first example a claim or two, a lower credit rating, and a few blemishes on his driving record. Because each insurer uses their own formula to set premium rates, comparing quotes may result in a significantly different list of cheap San Jose auto insurance companies as shown below.
Grange now has the best price in San Jose, CA with Allstate, GEICO, Allied, and Progressive completing the list. This example proves why San Jose drivers need to shop around to find the most affordable auto insurance rates for 18 year olds.
Prices can be determined by many risk factors and change frequently, so the most affordable company six months ago may now be costing you a lot of money.
If you have coverage questions and would like to have a little guidance when shopping for cheaper insurance for teen drivers, the agencies below can aid you in deciding which is the best policy.
To locate a San Jose car insurance agency nearest to you, click the button following the list.
LNA Insurance Agency Inc
999 Story Rd – San Jose, CA 95122 – (408) 280-5815
Andre Nguyen – State Farm Insurance Agent
4990 Speak Ln #220 – San Jose, CA 95118 – (408) 265-8888
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency
543 W Capitol Expy – San Jose, CA 95136 – (408) 441-7777
Care Insurance Agency Inc
900 N 1st St E – San Jose, CA 95112 – (408) 292-2925
Steve Sosnowski – State Farm Insurance Agent
841 Blossom Hill Rd #102 – San Jose, CA 95123 – (408) 629-4700