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Single-car drivers in San Francisco pay an average of $2,943 annually for car insurance. That’s about $245 per month to insure your car.
San Francisco has evolved from a hippy haven to a tech industry hub with some of the highest costs of living in the country—and it has above-average car insurance rates to match. A growing population, congested and ill-maintained roadways, and skyrocketing property crime rates make finding cheap car insurance a challenge.
Whether you stick to your state’s minimum liability requirements or opt for a full-coverage policy with comprehensive and collision insurance, your home state plays a big role in determining how much you pay to protect your wallet against car-related expenses.
To find the best coverage options for your vehicle in California, download Jerry, the world’s first super app for car owners and your key to optimized insurance!
Best car insurance companies in San Francisco
There’s no single company that offers the best rate to everyone in San Francisco . If you’ve recently moved or are looking to optimize your coverage, the best option is to compare multiple quotes from different companies. Sound like a drag? The Jerry app can get it done in a matter of seconds, saving you time and money while setting you up with the best coverage available!
Take a look at the table below for comparison of real Jerry customers’ rates in San Francisco :
No matter what provider you choose, you’ll need to meet your state’s minimum legal requirements for car insurance. In most cases, that means buying a certain amount of liability insurance, but you may also need to carry uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, or personal injury protection.
State requirements and risk assessments associated with zip codes mean your rate could vary not just from state to state or city to city, but block to block! With so many factors at play, finding the best coverage becomes dizzyingly complex. That’s why Jerry exists: to simplify car insurance comparison with authoritative quotes from over 55 top insurance providers.
Why is car insurance so expensive in San Francisco?
Driving in San Francisco can be stressful—it ranked as the 7th most congested city in the country, with drivers losing an average of 103 hours per year to traffic. More traffic on the road increases the risk of accidents, which means higher premiums for San Fran drivers.
The average driver in San Francisco pays between 10 and 20% more for insurance premiums than the national average—and the city's insurance rates are some of the highest in the country. Where you live in San Francisco also influences car insurance rates. Specific ZIP codes are associated with higher crime rates, which means your vehicle is more likely to be stolen. Because car theft claims are expensive, insurers charge higher premiums to compensate.
Is having a car in SF worth it?
Having a car in San Francisco may be worth it, depending on what you plan to do and where you want to go. Most locals will advise against driving in San Francisco as the city’s layout takes some practice to get used to and parking can be a major chore, thanks to the high population density and expensive costs.
If you plan on exploring the Bay Area outside the city limits, having a car would be helpful. But if you plan to stay within city limits, getting around via foot, bicycle, or public transportation helps you avoid traffic, aggressive drivers, high parking costs, and the city’s confusing layout.
If you need alternative methods of transportation, here are some options:
1. MUNI public transit (buses, light rail trains, and streetcars)
3. Hop-on, hop-off tours
4. Rideshares (Uber, Lyft)
How much does car insurance in San Francisco cost?
Rates for car insurance in the same state can fluctuate wildly depending on your specific zip code. Depending on your city’s demographics—including population density, average age, and accident rate—your car insurance premiums may be much higher or lower than a neighboring city.
Here’s what real Jerry customers paid for car insurance in San Francisco:
How do San Francisco insurance rates compare to similar areas? Take a look at the table below to see.
Let’s break down what makes car insurance in San Francisco so expensive. The graph below shows how much California drivers pay, on average, for liability insurance, comprehensive coverage, and collision insurance—the three main elements of what’s called “full coverage car insurance.”
Liability coverage, which is the bare minimum required by law, covers repairs and medical expenses for other drivers if you’re in a collision
Comprehensive insurance covers repairs to your car caused by something other than a collision (e.g. vandalism, natural disasters, or theft)
Collision insurance covers repair costs for your vehicle following a collision with another car or a stationary object
So, how much car insurance does California require?
How much insurance do I need in California?
In California, minimum insurance requirements are $15,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 of bodily injury liability for each accident, and $5,000 of property liability for each accident. These minimum requirements are known as the 15/30/5 rule.
What do you need if you’re pulled over?
If you’re involved in an accident or pulled over by law enforcement, you are required to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration. Thankfully, digital insurance ID cards are accepted by police and the DMV so you will always have your stored proof of insurance available 24/7 in the Jerry app.
Is California a no-fault state?
No, California is an at-fault state This means the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for the not-at-fault driver’s and passengers' injuries, once the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts liability and confirms that there is enough coverage.
Take a look at the graph to visualize how much your expenses could increase if you opt for full coverage.
But those are just the minimum requirements you need to avoid a violation. If you’re in an accident, state minimum insurance might not cover all your expenses—especially if you or anyone in your vehicle is injured, or your car sustains significant damage.
That’s why experts generally suggest carrying more than the minimum required coverage. As previously mentioned, so-called “full-coverage” policy typically includes liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
On top of that coverage, you can check out special add-ons to fit your situation, vehicle, and unique needs. Do a lot of driving on remote back roads? Towing and labor coverage could get you out of a tight spot. Work for a rideshare company? Be sure to invest in rideshare insurance. You can even add specialized insurance for your car’s sound system if you’ve got a premium audio setup.
Best car insurance for bad drivers in San Francisco
Listen, we’re not here to judge. Maybe you had a bad day and ended up with a reckless driving charge or a DUI. Maybe you had a really good day and landed yourself an accidental speeding ticket.
No matter the reasons behind your tickets, even minor traffic violations can have an outsize impact on your insurance premium, especially if they’re repeated. And just one major offense (think DUI) could get you labeled as a “high-risk driver” by your insurance company. Worst of all, that label can follow you for years in some cases—even if you’ve cleaned up your act and drive like a saint.
Here’s where Jerry comes in. Even if your driving record is less than stellar (like, a lot less), there are still ways to optimize your rates and coverage to get the policy you need. Here’s how much Jerry customers in San Francisco with a history of violations saved on insurance:
How much is car insurance in San Francisco with a DUI?
If you have a DUI on your record, your car insurance premium in San Francisco could increase by as much as 80%.
How much does your car insurance increase after a speeding ticket in San Francisco?
If you’re caught speeding through San Francisco and end up with a ticket, you can expect to see your insurance rate jump by about 21%. And keep in mind—repeated speeding tickets could cause an even bigger increase!
How many drivers in San Francisco have been in an accident?
About 8.81% of drivers in San Francisco have been in an accident - resulting in an average rate increase of 21%.
How many fatal accidents happen in San Francisco each year?
According to local accident statistics, there are roughly 9.7 fatal accidents per 100,000 residents in the city of San Francisco each year. Insurance won’t protect you against accidents like this, so be sure to drive safely!
Best car insurance in San Francisco by age
Young people get stereotyped all the time—but when insurance companies do it, it can cost you hundreds of dollars a year!
Best car insurance in San Francisco for young drivers
That’s because insurance companies use age as a metric for risk. Providers see young drivers as less experienced and more likely to submit claims (i.e., cost them money) than older drivers—so they tend to hike rates for anyone under 25.
Of course, you know that no magic switch it going to flip when you turn 25 to make you a safer driver. You might even be the safest driver you know! But that won’t stop insurance companies from saddling you with a high rate.
To keep your rates low at a young age, check out these simple hacks:
Plenty of insurance companies offer good student discounts to anyone under age 25 with a B average or higher. If you’re still in school, your grades could be the key to insurance savings!
If you can get on a family plan with an older relative or friend, you’ll benefit from their lower risk rating and get a lower rate on the same coverage.
Check for state-approved defensive driving courses. Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you can prove that you’ve attended a course.
Play the long game and stick with one insurance company for a few years. If you maintain a good driving record, you could score multiple discounts for loyalty and safe driving!
Telematics programs like Jerry’s Drive Well, Earn Perks offer discounts and rewards for safe driving—and instead of basing your savings on your age, it’ll be based directly on how you actually drive!
Want to see how much more you might pay for car insurance in San Francisco based on your age? Check out the table below.
Car insurance in San Francisco for your car
Your age and driving record aren’t the only things that determine your car insurance rates in San Francisco. The vehicle you drive also plays a role.
The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars in California—and it’s cheaper to insure than a lot of the SUVs and electric cars on the road today. But if you drive a minivan, a truck, or a sports car, you might be looking at a higher premium than your other San Francisco neighbors.
Take a look at the table below for a full rundown of how much insurance for different makes costs in San Francisco.
More people in San Francisco drive a Toyota Sienna Xle than any other car! On average, these drivers pay $2,680 for their auto insurance.
What is the most expensive car to insure in San Francisco?
At an average of $5,086 per year, a Mazda 3 Select is the most expensive car to insure in San Francisco. If you drive one, we’re sorry.
Car insurance cost based on where you live in San Francisco:
Now, we’ve been talking about “drivers in San Francisco” as if everyone sees the same rates—but in fact, your rate can vary by zip code, making it possible to have a completely different rate from your neighbor two blocks away.
Why? The simple answer: accident rates and property crimes. Maybe your zip code puts you closer to a major road with tons of accidents, or you’re in a hotspot for auto theft. Within San Francisco, drivers in the 94102, 94116, 94134, 94130 and 94115 zip code typically have the highest car insurance premiums, while the cheapest rates are found in the 94105, 94114, 94103, 94108 and 94132 code.
Want to see the average rates in your zip code? Take a look at the breakdown below.
Finding a good car insurance policy in San Francisco is just the beginning. If you’re new to the area, here’s everything you should know about driving in San Francisco.
San FranciscoDriving FAQs
What are the average gas prices in San Francisco?
The price of gas in San Francisco varies over time, but it’s typically about 32.8% higher than the national average. For tips to help save money on gas, check out our guide!
What is the rate of catalytic converter theft in San Francisco
On average, 6.85 catalytic converters are stolen annually in San Francisco per 1,000 cars.
What is the average commute time in San Francisco?
The city ranked #7 for most congested city in United States and #34 for most congested city in the world. The average San Francisco driver lost 64 hours in congestion in 2021.
How can you save money on car insurance in San Francisco?
Let’s face it: living in San Francisco means living with higher than average insurance rates. Add that to an already high cost of living overall, and saving money on insurance becomes a great way to free up space in your budget.
Sound impossible? Not at all! Here are a few simple ways to save money on car insurance in San Francisco.
Compare quotes and shop often
That’s right—shopping for car insurance doesn’t have to be a one-and-done. In fact, experts recommend comparing quotes from at least three companies and shopping for new rates every six months!
Okay, we agree: that sounds like a huge pain, especially if it’s only saving you a few extra dollars each month. That’s why we created Jerry, the world’s first super app for car owners. The Jerry app takes the time, effort, and hassle out of car insurance shopping through the power of technology.
In just 45 seconds, Jerry can collect quotes from a pool of 55+ top insurance providers to help you identify the best coverage at the best rate for you. Pick the quote you like, and Jerry will handle all the paperwork—we’ll even help you cancel your old policy! Best of all, Jerry conducts routine price monitoring so you never have to worry about shopping for new rates again.
And the savings? The average Jerry user saves over $800 a year just by letting the app do their shopping.
Hunt for discounts
Here’s the one insurance savings hack that requires a little legwork on your part: finding discounts. Every insurance company offers them, but they’re not all the same, and companies often won’t advertise them directly.
That means it’s on you to search for the best discounts for you. Call your insurance company and ask about the following types of discount:
Good driver discounts:
San Francisco drivers are in luck—state law mandates 20% insurance discounts for drivers with one or fewer points on their license who have continuously held a license for three years with no at-fault accidents responsible for injury or death.
You need to prove a long record of safe driving for a state-mandated good driver discount, but many companies offer easy-to-win discounts to drivers who use telematics to track their driving habits. You might even get a discount just for signing up!
Good student discounts:
Are you a full-time student in either high school or college? Do you have a B average or better? You probably qualify for a discount from your insurance company.
You’ve heard it before—bundle your home and auto insurance (or auto and renters) with the same company, and you could get a discount on both policies.
These are just some of the most popular car insurance discounts in California—but it’s not an exhaustive list! Call your agent and ask what other discounts are available.
Increase your deductible
If you’ve got full coverage car insurance, increasing your deductible is an easy way to keep your monthly expenses low without sacrificing coverage.
If you’re wondering “what is my deductible, actually?”, think of it as the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. Keeping your deductible low ensures you won’t have to pay much in the event of an accident—but it also means your monthly costs will be higher.
Raising your deductible will lower your regular payments, and if you’re already practicing safe driving for discounts, it’s a win-win! Just make sure that you have enough to cover the deductible if you do get into an accident—after all, there’s no way to predict and prevent every collision.