As in much of California, we found GEICO offered the most affordable car insurance for San Diegans with an average rate of $1,252 for full coverage insurance for our sample driver. The next cheapest was Nationwide which was only $20 more expensive. The city average was $1,950 per year for our sample driver, about 17% more expensive than the California state average.
In a city as large as San Diego, car insurance rates will actually change from within the city. Some parts, like Sunset Cliffs near the coast, are less expensive than Downtown San Diego by around $60 per year for our sample driver. Below you can see how a select few San Diego neighborhoods compare for car insurance rates.
San Diego Vehicle and Driving Safety Requirements
Seat Belt Law
Children under age 2 must ride facing the rear of a vehicle in an appropriate child passenger safety seat, according to the California Highway Patrol. Children weighing at least 40 pounds or standing at least 40 inches tall are exempt. Children under age 8 must be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.
Motorists can’t hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communication device while driving a vehicle, the California Highway Patrol says; however, hands-free use is allowed. Instead of a device being held, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option: Attach the device to the dashboard where it does not block the driver’s view of the road and does not hinder airbag deployment.
Anyone under age 18 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle on a street, bikeway or public bike path or trail. Helmet use also is mandated for anyone under 18 who’s riding a scooter or skateboard or using inline skates.
Best Car Insurance Quotes in San Diego 2019
AAA (Auto Exchange Club Group) – Best San Diego Car Insurance Companies
AAA offers a pretty standard range of discounts — a total of 13, including multi-policies like Auto+Home. And because it’s technically a “reciprocal inter-insurance exchange” rather than a single corporation, AAA customers are also eligible for dividends (a discretionary sum out of the company’s surplus). In 2017, policyholders received an average of $182 just for ensuring with AAA.
State Farm – Best San Diego Car Insurance Companies
State Farm is the provider of choice for 14% of California’s insured drivers — more than any other company. According to both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, those customers are fairly satisfied. However, we were a little concerned to see that among all the insurers we profiled, State Farm had the highest number of “justified complaints” leveled against it in 2017. While this is no guarantee that you’ll have a bad experience with State Farm — clearly, a lot of California drivers are happy with this insurer — it’s something to keep in mind.