Best cheap car insurance in Berkeley

Berkeley and its neighboring San Francisco and Oakland have the third-highest rate of commuters who use public transit. Nearly 19% of residents in the area choose to leave their cars at home. However, many drivers are still on the road, often causing safety issues between pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Many people desire affordable, high-quality insurance.

Berkeley’s average car insurance cost is $743 for minimum coverage and $2,109 full coverage. Car insurance Berkeley rates are high for the State of California. Luckily, you may be able to find cheap car insurance when you get quotes from Bankrate’s selection of the best car insurance companies in Berkeley.

We compared the prices of the various auto insurance companies in Berkeley to narrow down the selection.

Berkeley’s best car insurance companies

The following four car insurance companies provide cheap car insurance and quality coverage.


Geico is well-known for offering low-cost car insurance rates and high levels of customer service. Geico’s basic and full car insurance rates are the lowest among all carriers.

Geico offers discounts that make car insurance rates so affordable. A discount could be available based on your occupation. For example, military personnel and employees of an affinity program. You could also save money if you are a good student, qualify for automatic payments, safe driving, or have vehicle safety equipment.


AAA members have access to AAA’s award-winning roadside and travel assistance, DMV and travel services, and auto insurance. A big selling point for frequent road travelers is the ease of having all your vehicle requirements handled by one company. AAA offers a $520 annual minimum car insurance policy in Berkeley. If the annual club membership fee of $56 to $119 does not affect your budget, you will have access to one of the most comprehensive levels of vehicle-related services around.


Grange Insurance isn’t as big as other companies that were on the “best car insurance in Berkeley”. Its smaller size may mean that Grange is capable of being more creative with its coverage and discounts.

Grange Insurance’s New Beginning discount may be available to recently divorced Berkeley residents. This discount is intended to provide financial relief for divorcing individuals until they can get their lives back on track. Grange’s OnTrack Program is another way to make a fresh start. If you drive safely, downloading the app could help you save money on your car insurance.


Mercury Insurance is known in California for offering affordable coverage to vehicle owners, even though they are high-risk drivers. Although coverage may not be extensive, drivers who have difficulty finding vehicle insurance because of a string of moving violations, DUIs, or accidents may be able to get basic coverage. Mercury is most well-known for providing minimum car insurance. However, Los Angeles-based insurance provider Los Angeles also offers full coverage. It is the second-cheapest among all Berkeley insurance companies. The annual rate is $1,708

Cheapest car insurance in Berkeley

Bankrate’s study of quoted car insurance premiums produced a list listing the most affordable car insurance companies in Berkeley, based on market share. It can make a huge difference in how much you pay for auto insurance. California’s average annual full insurance premiums of $733/$2,065 are higher than the nationwide average of $1,674. Berkeley’s average premium amounts to $743/$2,109. The following Berkeley insurance companies offer cheap car insurance:

Geico Insurance offers the best rates for full or minimum car insurance. Mercury is the second-cheapest full coverage carrier. This makes Mercury a great choice for high-risk drivers who need affordable coverage. AAA members get many perks as part of their AAA membership, including travel discounts, DMV services, and affordable car insurance. State Farm and Progressive have optional coverages that may be worth the extra fees, such as rideshare insurance.

Berkeley insurance requirements

All car owners in California must have a minimum amount of liability insurance:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 per person in death/bodily Injury
  • $30,000 per accident in death/bodily injuries

Although the minimum coverage amount is a good starting point, it may not provide enough coverage. Leasing a car or financing it will most likely require you to increase your car insurance to full coverage. Car insurance that covers only damages to other people is minimum. Full car insurance provides financial protection for your vehicle in the event of an accident, fire or theft.

Berkeley car insurance discount

You can save a lot of money by getting even the smallest price break on your Berkeley car insurance. These discounts are worth looking into:

  • Online defensive driving course: After completing an approved online defensive driving course by your insurance company, you could increase your driving skills and possibly earn a discount up to 3 years.
  • Multi-car: Combining more than one vehicle in a policy for car insurance could lower your premiums.
  • Low mileage: By walking or using public transport, you can save money on driving.
  • Safety equipment: Vehicles with the most recent models equipped with advanced accident prevention system may be eligible for lower rates. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes and airbags may also qualify.

A defensive driving course can provide the best discount because it lasts for more than one calendar year. You may be able to save significant money by bundling multiple vehicles into one policy.

Questions frequently asked

Which is the best auto insurance company?

The best car insurance company is often a personal decision that depends on what you are after. Some drivers prefer cheap coverage. The lowest rates in Berkeley are for Mercury, AAA, and Geico. State Farm offers a variety of coverage options. Compare providers to find the right fit.

Berkeley: How much do I need to insure my car?

Liability insurance must be at least $5,000 for property damage, $15,000 per person in death/bodily injuries and $30,000 per accident to legally drive a car. If you own a newer vehicle, finance your car or lease it, you may need full coverage.