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A Guide to Cheap Car Insurance in San Jose, CA

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance San Jose, California, you’re in luck. There are a variety of insurance carriers who can help you save money on your car insurance. San Jose is the third-largest city in California, and big cities generally pay more for auto insurance. 

However, you can save a great deal of money by shopping around and comparing rates online. We compared a variety of providers to see which one truly offered the lowest prices without sacrificing quality.  Let’s take a look at the best companies for cheap car insurance in San Jose. 

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Quick Look: Cheap Car Insurance in San Jose

  • Cheapest Car Insurance in San Jose: GEICO – Get a quote
  • Car Insurance in San Jose For Multiple Cars: Esurance – Get a quote
  • Best Premium Car Insurance in San Jose: State Farm – Get a quote
  • Best for Military and Military Families: USAA – Get a quote

Overview: Car Insurance in San Jose

It’s important to remember that the price you pay for auto insurance in San Jose is going to depend on several different factors. California law requires that you carry a certain minimum amount of insurance, however, it’s a good idea to carry more than just the minimum, since your car may be damaged by things outside of your control other than an accident. 

Things like fire, vandalism and theft aren’t typically covered by the minimum limits of car insurance, so you’ll want to look at having collision damage coverage and comprehensive car insurance too.

Here are some quick facts about finding car insurance in San Jose:

  • Bodily injury requirements: $15,000 of bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 of bodily injury liability per accident
  • Property damage requirements: $5,000 worth of property damage liability 
  • Average car insurance rates: $1,698 annually or $141.50 per month

What You’ll Need to Know Before You Get Covered

An informed consumer is a powerful one. Make sure you fully understand state minimums and car insurance laws before you get covered. A little research will save you some money in the long run.

San Jose Insurance Minimum Explained 

Even though these numbers are the minimum legal requirements and may seem to fit the bill for cheap car insurance San Jose, you are definitely at risk if you carry only the minimums.

When you consider the high cost of hospital, medical injury and related bills, as well as the pitifully low amount of money legally required to hold for property damage, the minimum requirements can seem like they barely cover anything.

San Jose Driving Laws You Should Know

San Jose and California as a whole have their own driving laws. So if you haven’t driven in San Jose before and you’re wondering about the rules of the road in this large and bustling city, it’s a good idea to brush up on the basics 

Cell phone use. Under San Jose and California law, it is illegal to drive while using a cell phone unless it is operated in hands-free mode. This applies to texting, dictation, and email. If you’re under the age of 18, you are prohibited from using a cell phone (even a hands-free device) while driving.

Seat belt use. In San Jose and in California, both the driver and their passengers must be properly restrained by a seat belt. Children under the age of eight years old need to be in an appropriate child safety seat in the rear of the car. 

Drinking and driving laws. If you are convicted of a DUI in California, depending on the severity, you may be subject to a variety of penalties, including fines ranging from $390-1,000, up to three years of probation, a six-month license suspension, and anywhere from two days to six months in jail. Successive DUIs incur much harsher penalties. 

What You Can Expect to Pay in San Jose

Your rate will largely depend on your current credit score, driving history, and your car’s make and model. These are estimates based on averages, so you’ll have to get a quote to get an exact number.

Insurance Rates Per Vehicle

You may be surprised to learn what factors actually influence the rates you pay for cheap car insurance in San Jose. Some are within your control, such as the vehicle you drive or your credit score, while others are beyond your control, like your age and gender. 

Every insurance company has a different formula that they use to calculate the rate you pay, so it’s a good idea to seek out the top companies mentioned here and get a free quote that’s customized to your situation. You may even find that you can pay less than the rates quoted here based on a good credit score, a good driving record, as well as other savings, such as being a student or being in the military. 

Generally speaking, special editions of cars tend to cost more to insure than their base model counterparts. Special editions are noted by letters like GT or SE. In addition, foreign models of cars tend to typically be more expensive to insure because parts may be harder to get and mechanics may not have as much experience with foreign vehicles as they do with better known American brands. 

Insurance Rates by Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the many things that influence how much you pay for cheap car insurance in San Jose. The better your credit score, the less you can expect to pay for auto insurance. However, there are several insurance providers that can still help you save money even if your credit score isn’t the greatest. 

Below are the rates for state minimum coverage from the best providers of cheap car insurance in San Jose based on your credit score: 

Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate For State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300-579GEICO$1,976
Fair 580-669Esurance$1,770
Good 670-739Esurance$1,630
Excellent 740+Esurance$1,509

Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record

If you’re a careful and conscientious driver and you have a spotless record, you can expect to pay less in terms of your car insurance. How much less depends on how much insurance you want, as well as insurance from various companies operating in San Jose. 

See the table below for details on the average costs of San Jose car insurance including standard and full coverage compared to state minimum insurance: No matter what your driving record is, it’s a good idea to learn more about car insurance to understand the basics of how it works, so you can find the best approach to save money without missing out on crucial coverage. 

Insurance AgencyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
Auto Club of Southern California$1,204$1,736$1,929
21st Century$1,330$1,639$1,820

Insurance with Driving Infractions

Even if you don’t have a perfect driving record, it’s still a good idea to compare rates. Searching for “cheap car insurance San Jose CA” will provide you with a number of local insurance providers who can give you a more accurate number when you get a quote.

In the meantime, however, you can get a clearer idea of the cost of car insurance in San Jose with driving infractions in the table below: 

Insurance Agency At-Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI
State Farm$3,576$3,480$6,755

The Best Affordable Auto Insurance Providers in San Jose

There is no “one size fits all” insurance that works for everyone in every situation. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to get an individualized quote from a variety of insurance companies.

Since each one calculates insurance rates differently, to a different formula, you may find that you can qualify for cheap car insurance in San Jose even if you don’t have a perfect credit score or driving record! 

Cheapest Car Insurance in San Jose: GEICO

If you have a solid driving record and a good credit score, GEICO is the way to go.

Not only do they provide excellent service but rates are very good even areas like San Jose where cheap car insurance can be hard to find.

In addition, GEICO has been serving the San Jose area for many years and consistently ranks as a top insurance provider. 

Read Benzinga’s full GEICO’s Auto Insurance Review

Car Insurance in San Jose For Multiple Cars: Esurance

Whether you’ve got a new teen driver on the road or you want to save money by insuring multiple cars on one policy, Esurance is a reputable and reliable company that can help you save money with insurance for multiple cars.

Esurance is backed by Allstate, a company with decades of experience handling all types of car insurance, so you can rely on their expertise when it comes to saving money by bundling cars on one policy. 

Best Premium Car Insurance in San Jose: State Farm

State Farm is a great option for premium or luxury cars.

Not only do they offer many different types of policies, but they go into a great amount of detail about each one and what’s covered.

In a city like San Jose, if you own a premium or luxury car, it’s a good idea to get the best insurance you can afford so that you can enjoy the greatest range of coverage possible in case of an accident or other incidents with your luxury vehicle. 

Best for Military and Military Families: USAA

Even if you specifically haven’t served in the military, if you have a spouse or close family member such as a parent or grandparent who served or is currently serving, you may still be able to qualify for USAA car insurance.

And if you do, you can enjoy savings right away, making this a great option for cheap car insurance in San Jose for military families.

Beyond providing great car insurance, the company is also well known for its financial strength as well as its excellent customer service. 

Read Benzinga’s full USAA Auto Insurance Review

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Choosing The Right Car Insurance in San Jose

Because there is no definitive “perfect” car insurance when it comes to saving money on your auto insurance in San Jose, the right car insurance is one that’s custom-tailored to fit your needs and budget. The best way to find out which company has the cheapest car insurance without losing the crucial coverage options that you need for a well-rounded policy is to seek out quotes from the top insurance providers profiled here.

Not only will this give you a range of accurate quotes to choose from, but specialized insurance experts can also let you know if you qualify for specific discounts. By taking the time to get individualized quotes from the best insurance companies in the area, you’ll be able to enjoy personalized pricing and services that are made for your vehicle, your needs, your budget and your lifestyle.

Want to learn more about finding the best insurance coverage? Check out Benzinga’s guides to the best cheap car insurance in San Francisco, San Diego or Los Angelesbest homeowners insurance in Californiabest classic car insurance, the best commercial car insurance companies.