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Best cheap car insurance in San Diego for 2022

Iconic bridge leading into San Diego.
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When looking for cheap car insurance, San Diego drivers have many options. California might have slightly higher average car insurance rates than the rest of the nation, but San Diego drivers can still find competitive rates below the national average cost of car insurance. Of the top providers mentioned, the cheapest car insurance company in San Diego is Geico, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

In San Diego, the average cost of car insurance for full coverage is $1,898 per year, or $158 per month. For minimum coverage car insurance, the average annual premium is $692 per year. While minimum coverage insurance is often cheaper because of its lower levels of financial protection, insurance professionals typically recommend purchasing higher limits when possible to better protect your finances. For this reason, Bankrate looked at a variety of features, in addition to cost, to find the best and cheapest car insurance companies in San Diego.

Best cheap car insurance companies in San Diego

Geico and Wawanesa offer some of the cheapest car insurance for full coverage in San Diego based on 2021 average rate data from Quadrant Information Services. Affordable rates are a priority for many drivers when it comes to car insurance, but there are other factors to consider than just the cheapest rates.

To aid in finding the best car insurance in the nation and San Diego, Bankrate utilizes its Bankrate Score. The Score operates on a five-point scale, with Scores closer to five indicating stronger performance across several key categories. To calculate a company’s performance, we review each company’s average quoted annual premiums, trusted third-party industry ratings, coverage options, discounts and accessibility. Considering these aspects can help to understand the strength of an insurance company’s customer service, financial standing and policy personalization for each customer.

Insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power score (California) Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage
Geico 4.7 828/1,000 $1,428 $488
Wawanesa 2.0 853/1,000 $1,466 $609
Mercury 4.2 816/1,000 $1,575 $626
Travelers 4.7 Not rated $1,631 $635
Progressive 4.4 819/1,000 $1,666 $641


Geico isn’t just one of the cheapest auto insurance companies in California, but in San Diego too. It offers the cheapest full coverage auto insurance policies in San Diego on our list. Compared to other insurance carriers, Geico has the fewest number of local in-person agencies, which may make it an ideal option for drivers who prefer self-service and need a standard auto policy with little personalization.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review


Wawanesa auto insurance ranks at the top for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, making it an attractive option for those prioritizing a quality customer experience at an affordable cost. Renters may be able to qualify for a multiple policy discount by bundling their renters and auto insurance policies, but Wawanesa doesn’t currently offer homeowners insurance in California, which means homeowners are not able to receive the same savings.

Learn more: Wawanesa Insurance review


Mercury’s auto insurance is only slightly more expensive than the top two options in San Diego. Based on its third-party rankings for customer service, Mercury does not perform very well. Its car insurance is also fairly standard compared to other carriers, but it does have a special policy for drivers participating in services like Uber, Lyft and other rideshare and ride-hailing companies.

Learn more: Mercury Insurance review


Travelers’ standard auto policy is comparable to its competitors, but may be a standout option for families with young drivers. Among the many discounts offered, Travelers has a good student discount, student away at school discount and driver training discount to help make the cost of adding a young driver to a policy more affordable. However, unlike other insurance companies on this list, Travelers does not rank in California for J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review


Progressive focuses on personalizing auto insurance through its Name Your Price tool, which helps drivers see what coverage choices are available within their designated budget. Despite the personalization, Progressive is the most expensive option on this list for full and minimum coverage.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in San Diego

There are a few steps to take to ensure that you’re getting the most competitive auto insurance rates. When looking for the quotes, it’s best to do the following:

  • Shop around. Obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies to get a sense of what your rate might be. When reviewing quotes, make sure to check that the coverage selections for each company are the same so that you can compare accurately.
  • Know your coverage limits. While it is best to buy coverage that is higher than California’s state minimum liability limits for more financial protection, it can also help to understand what liability limits are right for you and your situation. A licensed insurance professional can help you determine this if you are unsure.
  • Review your driving record. To obtain an auto insurance quote, insurance companies will review your driving record to get the most accurate rate. If there are any incidents you do not recognize, you can work with the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) to have them removed from your record.

After you’ve obtained your car insurance, here are a few tips to help keep the rates low:

  • Be mindful of location. ZIP codes play an important factor in calculating your insurance rates. If you know your new address, you can use it to update your policy and get an estimate of what the change in premium might be.
  • Re-shop when live events occur. Major life events like adding a new driver or purchasing a new vehicle could be great opportunities to review your auto insurance policy to see if your policy needs any adjustment to keep the best rate.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance companies for 2022 receive top scores for financial stability and customer service with widespread coverage throughout the U.S. However, the best car insurance company for you will depend on factors like where you live, the kind of car you drive and your claims history.

How much does car insurance in San Diego cost?

According to recent rate data gathered from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost for car insurance in San Diego is $692 per year for minimum coverage and $1,898 for a full coverage policy.

What is gap insurance?

Many car buyers choose to finance their vehicle instead of buying it in cash. If the car is stolen or totaled, the buyer is responsible for paying off the loan, in addition to purchasing a replacement vehicle. Gap insurance pays the difference between the amount due on the loan and the depreciated value of the new car.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor