The Best Pasadena, CA Car Insurance (Apr 2024)

Pasadena car insurance rates start at $15 per month for minimum coverage, but full coverage costs around $119 per month on average.
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Kianna Walpole
Expert Insurance Writer & Editor
Reviewed by Josh Damico, Vice President Insurance Operations
Edited by Sarah Gray, Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Just 11 miles northeast of downtown
Los Angeles
, Pasadena combines the best of urban and suburban life in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. A booming college town and the home of the Rose Bowl, this Southern
city is the quiet side of L.A. County. 
While the cost of living in Pasadena is fairly low compared to the rest of the Greater Los Angeles area,
auto insurance rates
can be steep here, thanks to rampant speeding and unsafe driving. Find out how to lower your car insurance costs—and find the right insurer for your needs—with help from the

Pasadena Car Insurance: Quick Facts

  • Average cost of full coverage insurance: $119/month
  • Average cost of state minimum insurance: $46/month
  • Average number of cars per household: 2 cars
  • Average savings with Jerry: $600/year

How much does car insurance cost in Pasadena?

Auto insurance in Pasadena is typically cheaper than the
California state average
, which itself is lower than the
national average cost of car insurance
Coverage type
United States
Full coverage
Minimum coverage
But the average cost of car insurance in your city won’t always reflect your own rates. Car insurance rates are highly individualized, with every insurance company reviewing dozens of factors to set your premium. And because
each company calculates rates a little differently
, every driver is eligible for a wide range of prices. 
To find out how much you should be paying for car insurance in Pasadena, start by comparing
auto insurance quotes
from at least a few different companies in the area. 
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Compare different plans and pricing to find the best insurer for your profile in Pasadena.
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Estimate your Pasadena car insurance costs

Every driver is different—and so is every car insurance policy. 
To understand how much you can expect to pay for car insurance in the Pasadena area, it’s important to understand the factors that impact insurance rates in this city. 

Distracted drivers can expect high rates

Distracted driving
—particularly texting and driving—is a serious problem in Southern California. The California Office of Traffic Safety found that over 13% of SoCal drivers admitted to “regularly” using a cell phone while driving in 2023, while just over 18% texted or made calls behind the wheel “sometimes.”1
Distracted driving isn’t just dangerous—according to the same study, 54% of California drivers say they’ve nearly been hit by a texting driver this year—it can also cause your insurance rates to go up if you cause an accident or get a distracted driving ticket. 
Just how much can your insurance go up if you lose your clean driving record? The table below compares average rates from various Pasadena-area insurers for drivers with violations on their driving history. 
Insurance company
Average annual cost of full coverage
Rate increase vs. clear record

Drivers under 25 pay more

Your age and driving experience are two of the most important factors on your insurance profile. Insurance companies offer lower rates to drivers with more experience—especially if their driving record shows no accidents or violations. 
But if you’re under age 25, you haven’t had a chance to prove that you’re a safe driver—and statistics say young drivers have significantly higher accident and violation rates. Because of that risk factor,
expect to pay high rates until you turn 25
Age group
Average annual full coverage rate
Struggling to fit auto insurance into your budget as a young driver? Stick to a family plan as long as possible. If you share an address with a family member, you should be on the same auto insurance policy, even if you own a car of your own. 

Your vehicle could raise your rates

Insurance companies base rates in part on the car you’re insuring. They’ll analyze safety ratings, replacement costs, and other factors to determine how much you pay for coverage. 
Here are the average rates for California’s five most popular vehicles: 
Average annual cost of full coverage
What makes a car cheap to insure? The short answer: safety, affordability, and size. Insurance companies favor low-cost vehicles with excellent safety ratings that aren’t too big—or too small. A budget car like the Toyota Corolla costs slightly more to insure than the larger RAV4 SUV in part because its size makes it less likely to survive a collision. 

The best car insurance companies in Pasadena 

No single car insurance company has the cheapest rates for every driver in Pasadena. But when we took a close look at average rates for drivers in Pasadena, we found a number of insurers whose average rates were less than the citywide average. 
  • For
    full coverage
    , the cheapest car insurance company in Pasadena is
  • For state minimum coverage, the cheapest car insurance company in Pasadena is

The cheapest Pasadena car insurance companies for full coverage

Insurance company
Average annual cost of full coverage
Mercury Auto

The cheapest Pasadena car insurance companies for state minimum coverage

Insurance company
Average annual cost of minimum coverage
Mercury Auto

Why is car insurance so expensive in Pasadena?

Insurance in Pasadena might be more affordable than in L.A., but it’s still one of the biggest expenses for most Pasadena residents. Here’s why. 

Pasadena is a major highway hub

Four major freeways run through Pasadena, bringing significant traffic woes to the area. The Arroyo Seco Parkway (also known as the Pasadena Freeway or the 110) connects Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles and is one of the most dangerous freeways in Southern California. 2
What’s more, serious car accidents are on the rise. The table below shows the rising number of accidents with fatalities and injuries in Pasadena since 2020. 3
While accidents are down compared to 2018 and 2019, a steady upward trend in the past three years coincides with an uptick in car insurance rates in the region. 

Pasadena is vulnerable to wildfires

Like the rest of L.A. County, Pasadena is at risk of serious wildfires from late spring to early autumn each year. Since 2013, Cal Fire has reported 71 separate fire incidents in the county, with a total of 238,525 acres burned. 4
Fire poses a serious threat to vehicles, and can raise the cost of all property insurance. During fire season, keep the following tips in mind: 
  • Practice defensive driving: When smoke is in the air and panic is rising, driving gets even more dangerous. Leave space and time to predict other drivers’ behavior. 
  • Keep your windows and mirrors clean: Smoke and soot can reduce visibility, especially if they build up on your vehicle’s glass and mirrors. Give them a thorough cleaning before you start to drive, and keep a cleaning kit on hand to stop and clean whenever necessary. 
  • Invest in roadside assistance: Wildfire can damage your car’s engine and make it hard to start. To avoid being stuck in a seriously bad situation, add towing and labor coverage to your auto policy. 

Auto thefts may be on the rise

Motor vehicle theft hit its peak in California in the past few years, as catalytic converter theft became a lucrative black market business and TikTok trends urged teens to steal Hyundai and Kia vehicles. 5 6 Insurance losses from stolen vehicles cost insurance companies millions of dollars, contributing to higher rates across the board. 7
Those trends may be easing off now, as catalytic converters lose their value and teens learn their lesson—but data from the Pasadena Police Department suggests that car owners still have something to worry about.
Summary reports from October and September of 2023 indicate a higher rate of motor vehicle theft compared to the previous year. 8 9  While this could be a temporary trend, car owners should still be vigilant. 

Auto insurance requirements in Pasadena

Every car insurance policy in Pasadena must include at least the following insurance coverage, according to
California state law

Minimum coverage often isn’t enough protection

Only carrying minimum coverage isn’t a good idea for most Pasadena drivers. Between dangerous drivers, wildfires, and ever-higher vehicle values, sticking to minimum coverage could leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs after a serious accident—or expose you to costly lawsuits. 
Instead, opt for at least $50k/$100k$50k liability limits—or more if you own your home or have significant income potential. That might sound like a lot, but it typically only costs a few dollars more than state minimum coverage. 
On top of those higher liability levels, you’ll likely need collision coverage and comprehensive coverage on your policy, especially if you have an auto loan. Full coverage car insurance costs more than liability-only state minimum coverage, but there’s no substitute for the physical damage coverage it provides for your vehicle. If you can’t afford to replace your vehicle out of pocket, you can’t afford to drop full coverage. 
Consider all of the following coverage options when buying car insurance in Pasadena: 
  • Collision coverage:
    Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by any type of collision, including single-car incidents like hitting a pothole. 
  • Comprehensive coverage:
    Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as fire, theft, or animals. 
  • Uninsured motorist coverage:
    Pays for costs that would normally be covered by liability claims if you’re hit by an at-fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance. 
  • Underinsured motorist coverage: Pays for medical bills if you’re hit by an at-fault driver whose liability insurance isn’t enough to cover all your costs. 
  • Medical payments (MedPay) coverage:
    Pays for medical bills for you, your family, and your passengers regardless of fault. 
  • Rental reimbursement:
    Helps to offset the cost of a rental vehicle if your car is in the shop following a covered insurance claim. 
  • Roadside assistance:
    Also known as “towing and labor coverage,” pays for on-site services and towing if your vehicle breaks down away from home. 
If you’re struggling to afford full coverage car insurance in Pasadena, you can lower your costs by bundling your policy with other insurance products like homeowners insurance or renters insurance, or by opting for paperless billing. 


Who is known for the cheapest car insurance?

GEICO and State Farm might be best known for offering cheap car insurance—but they’re likely not the best option for Pasadena drivers in 2024. Both GEICO and State Farm have pulled back from offering new auto insurance policies in California. 

What factors affect car insurance rates in Pasadena, California?

Car insurance rates in Pasadena, California depend on standard factors like age, gender, marital status, driving record, ZIP code, and more. The city’s high rate of speeding, distracted driving, and wildfire risks all impact the cost of coverage in Pasadena. 

Is car insurance more expensive in LA? 

Yes, LA has high car insurance rates compared to the rest of California. Car insurance in Los Angeles costs around $180 per month for a full coverage policy—considerably more than in Pasadena. 

Who has the highest auto insurance rates?

California’s car insurance rates are close to the national average. The most expensive states for car insurance are Louisiana and New York. 

What is the number 1 car insurance in California?

In Jerry’s survey of car insurance in California, Mercury Insurance received some of the highest ratings from real policyholders and offered competitively low rates compared to other Golden State insurers. 

How does the Jerry app work? 

Jerry is a licensed insurance broker backed by a user-friendly mobile app and a team of independent insurance agents. You can get free quotes from car and home insurance providers in your area simply by downloading the app and creating a profile. 


Meet our experts

Kianna Walpole
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Expert Insurance Writer & Editor
Kianna Walpole is an insurance writer and editor with a comprehensive background in consumer behavior and online publishing. With experience in car insurance, maintenance, and repair, she is dedicated to building informative content that helps customers reduce costs while achieving the best service. Prior to joining the Jerry editorial team, Kianna worked as a junior editor in the content marketing industry, using consumer data and key insights to create and edit content for an array of large-scale clients in the real estate, cybersecurity, and healthcare industries.
Sarah Gray
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.
Josh Damico
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Head Of Insurance Operations
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18+ Years Experience in Insurance
Josh Damico is Jerry’s vice president of insurance operations and a licensed insurance professional with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. Previously, Josh held executive roles at Geico, where he had vast regional oversight and leadership opportunities.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Medaille College, and has appeared on news channels including FOX and CBS to offer insurance expertise and tips to drivers across the country. His work has appeared in Business Insider, Kelley Blue Book, and Digital Insurance and been quoted in The Balance, GOBankingRates, and Inspiring Workplaces.
*Illustration only. For all the pricing information presented in this article (including various tables), please note that not all customers find savings and the information is for illustrative purposes only. Savings depend on type of car, location, policy features, driving history and other factors. Drivers who switch through Jerry save over $70/month on average.