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Car insurance in San Jose costs $2,406 per year for full coverage – $200 per month. In 2024, Geico offers the cheapest car insurance policy at $146 per month.

The City of San José – or San Jose – is located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Northern California. It is the state’s third-largest city by area and population, behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Drivers in the San Jose metro area – which includes Santa Clara and Sunnyvale – lose 72 hours per year due to commute time; that’s 26th in the nation.

Learn about the cheapest car insurance companies in San Jose, how much car insurance you need in San Jose and how its insurance rates compare to other large U.S. cities.

Key Takeaways

  • Full coverage car insurance in San Jose is $2,406 annually, higher than the nationwide average of $1,895.
  • The cheapest car insurance company for a full coverage policy in San Jose is Geico.
  • Car insurance in San Jose is $10 a year cheaper than the California statewide average of $2,416 for a full-coverage policy.

How to find the best car insurance in San Jose

When looking for the best car insurance in San Jose, getting multiple quotes is the best way to save money. Make sure you get quotes from at least three companies comparing similar coverage limits and options, and ask about any discounts you qualify for. It’s always best to buy as much coverage as you can afford.

Cheapest car insurance company in San Jose

Geico offers the cheapest insurance coverage in San Jose, California, with an annual average rate of $1,749 for full coverage. The next cheapest company is USAA at $1,830 per year. Remember, USAA is only available to members of the military community and their families. 

See other cheap car insurance rates in San Jose in the table below.

Company Average annual rates for state minimum Average annual rates for full coverage
Allstate$685$2,411
Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)$628$2,498
CSAA Insurance (AAA)$459$2,532
Farmers$743$3,007
Geico$338$1,749
Kemper Insurance$525$2,478
Mercury Insurance$456$2,069
Nationwide$757$3,005
Progressive$446$2,179
State Farm$577$2,702
Travelers$629$2,412
USAA$415$1,830

How much is car insurance in San Jose per month?

Car insurance in San Jose costs $46 per month for a state minimum policy and $200 per month for a full coverage car insurance policy, on average, according to 2024 data. See monthly rates from California insurers in the table below.

CompanyAverage monthly rates for state minimumAverage monthly rates for full coverage
Allstate$57$201
Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)$52$208
CSAA Insurance (AAA)$38$211
Farmers$62$251
Geico$28$146
Kemper Insurance$44$206
Mercury Insurance$38$172
Nationwide$63$250
Progressive$37$182
State Farm$48$225
Travelers$52$201
USAA$35$152

How do rates in San Jose compare to other large cities in the U.S.?

Car insurance is cheaper in San Jose than in other California cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Compare San Jose’s rate of $2,406 to Los Angeles’ $3,149 or a rate of $2,600 in New York, New York.

James Brau, professor of finance at Brigham Young University, says that the more risk the insurance company must bear, the higher the premium they must charge to stay in business and make a profit. 

“Large cities tend to present more risk to the insurance companies than rural areas. Large cities have more people, more cars and higher chances of getting in wrecks or having other damage done to vehicles,” Brau says. “As such, insurance firms must charge higher premiums in cities. Cities that are relatively more dangerous, in turn, must charge higher premiums than cities that are not as risky. Insurance companies study damage losses per metropolitan area and assign premiums depending on the number of wrecks in an area.”

See how much you can expect to pay for car insurance in several major U.S. cities below.

CityFull coverage cost
Chicago$1,930
Dallas$2,278
Houston$2,317
Los Angeles$3,149
New York$2,600
Philadelphia$2,782
Phoenix$2,251
San Antonio$2,181
San Diego$2,324
San Jose$2,406

Here’s what you need to know when driving in San Jose

Motorcycle riders in California can legally split lanes, so keep that in mind when driving along the freeways in San Jose. During busy traffic times, motorcycles will whoosh past you along center lane lines, so don’t ride the line. There are many cars, so be patient and polite but aggressive when needed.

Here are a few tips for drivers in San Jose:

  • Use a map app to get directions even if you know where you’re going – the map can reroute you to avoid traffic.
  • Most tech companies have returned to the office, so Apple employees are commuting during the peak times of 8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.
  • Avoid driving into the city in the morning and to the South Bay in the evening.
  • If possible, avoid driving on the 280 to east San Jose after 4 p.m. on a weekday.
  • Avoid driving into San Francisco in the morning and into the South Bay at night.
  • Parking spots are small – if you have a large vehicle, be prepared to park and walk.

And there are a few city restrictions in San Jose. Miscellaneous driving restrictions in the city of San Jose, California:

  • No person shall leave a motor vehicle unattended on any street, alley, used car lot or unattended parking lot without stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the ignition key therefrom.
  • The driver of a vehicle shall not drive within any sidewalk area or any Furnishing Zone/Parkstrip except at a permanent or temporary driveway.
  • No person shall ride or drive any animal or any vehicle over or across any newly made pavement or freshly painted marking in any street when a barrier or sign is in place warning persons not to drive across such pavement marking or when a sign is in place stating that the street or any portion thereof is closed.
  • No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a pedestrian tunnel or on an overhead pedestrian crossing.

How much car insurance do I need in San Jose?

In San Jose, the car insurance requirements follow the state of California’s guidelines. Here are the types of acceptable insurance:

  • Motor vehicle liability insurance policy with 15/30/5 limits
  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV
  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate
  • Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California

For cash deposits or self-insurance information, contact the DMV Financial Responsibility Unit at 916-657-6677 and select Option 3. To locate a company that issues surety bonds, contact the Department of Insurance at insurance.ca.gov or 1-800-927-4357.

Average cost of car insurance in San Jose

The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance in San Jose is $2,406 – $10 cheaper than the California statewide average of $2,416. That’s quite a bit higher than the nationwide average of $1,895.

State minimum coverage in San JoseAnnual full coverage rates in San Jose
$554$2,406

How much does car insurance in San Jose cost with violations?

If you have a history of moving violations, you will likely pay more for car insurance. More serious types of violations — such as being convicted of a DUI — are especially likely to cause your costs to jump significantly.  

See rate increases in San Jose in the table below, by violation.

Violation typeRate increase percentage
Speeding ticket59%
DUI conviction255%
Bad creditNA
At-fault accident99%

Cheapest car insurance in San Jose by age

Car insurance for teens in San Jose is very expensive – the annual rate for an 18-year-old is $6,241 per year for a full coverage policy. Rates start to head down at age 25 and back up in your late 60s.

AgeState minimum coverageFull coverage
18$1,530$6,241
25$667$2,941
40$554$2,406
65$554$2,276

Compare auto insurance rates in San Jose by ZIP code 

Where you live also plays a role in car insurance costs. In San Jose, the cheapest ZIP codes for car insurance are 95124, 95130 and 95129. The most expensive are 95113, 95116 and 95192.

See the tables below for the cheapest and most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in San Jose. 

Cheapest ZIP codes for car insurance in San Jose

ZIP codeAverage annual rate for full coverage
95124$2,119
95130$2,164
95129$2,212
95139$2,214
95119$2,217
95118$2,224
95125$2,262
95120$2,271
95134$2,282
95131$2,299

Most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in San Jose

ZIP codeAverage annual rate for full coverage
95113$2,836
95116$2,700
95192$2,693
95122$2,684
95111$2,656
95110$2,543
95112$2,533
95148$2,532
95121$2,506
95127$2,487

Our recommendations: Car insurance for drivers in San Jose

On average, drivers get the cheapest car insurance with Geico.

However, purchasing coverage based on pricing alone can be a mistake. A cheap policy isn’t worth much if it does not include the coverage you want and need. 

So, shop around and gather quotes from several insurance companies. This is the best way to get the coverage you need at the best price. 

A full coverage insurance policy with liability limits of 100/300/100 is the best option for most drivers. Consider increasing your liability limits as you accumulate wealth and your net worth increases. Purchasing as much car insurance as you can afford will give you peace of mind as you navigate the roads of San Jose.

expert

What our expert says

Q: Why do insurance rates vary from city to city?

expert-image
Dr. James BrauDr. Brau teaches finance principles, entrepreneurial finance, financial planning, and corporate finance at Brigham Young University’s School of Business. His research includes issues related to initial public offerings, financial education, real estate, and entrepreneurial finance.
“Large cities tend to present more risk to the insurance companies than rural areas. Large cities have more people, more cars and higher chances of getting in wrecks or having other damage done to vehicles. As such, insurance firms must charge higher premiums in cities. Cities that are relatively more dangerous, in turn, must charge higher premiums than cities that are not as risky. Insurance companies study damage losses per metropolitan area and assign premiums depending on the number of wrecks in an area.”


Resources & Methodology

Sources

Methodology

In 2024, Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to pull rates for a 40-year-old who has a 12-mile commute and drives a 2023 Honda Accord LX 10k miles annually. The hypothetical driver has full coverage, carrying policy limits of 100/300/100 with $500 deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverages. We analyzed 51,088,003 insurance quotes from 167 companies across 34,588 ZIP codes in every state and Washington, D.C.

author image
Laura Longero
Executive Editor

 
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Laura Longero is a content strategist and communications leader with more than 15 years of experience in content development in journalism, marketing and communications for start-ups to global companies. She started her career as a reporter and editor and honed her journalistic skills at the USA Today Network, working in several roles, as well as managing content and writing at MoneyGeek and XYZ Media.