What Insurance is Cheapest for First-time Drivers in Oakland?

For new drivers, one of the largest considerations that determine insurance cost is where you live. Cities with larger populations likely pay more, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates profit from lower rates.

The next table shows the most expensive areas in California for first-time drivers to buy auto insurance in. Oakland is listed at #4 with an annual cost of $1,738 on average, which is approximately $145 per month.

How much is auto insurance in Oakland, CA?
Rank City Annual Premium
1 Los Angeles $2,146
2 Glendale $2,142
3 San Francisco $1,745
4 Oakland $1,738
5 Sacramento $1,652
6 Long Beach $1,626
7 San Bernardino $1,596
8 Fontana $1,566
9 Stockton $1,556
10 Garden Grove $1,554
11 Moreno Valley $1,536
12 Santa Clarita $1,533
13 Modesto $1,502
14 Riverside $1,497
15 Fresno $1,457
16 Anaheim $1,444
17 Santa Ana $1,439
18 Fremont $1,403
19 Huntington Beach $1,402
20 San Jose $1,395
21 Bakersfield $1,394
22 Irvine $1,384
23 San Diego $1,368
24 Oxnard $1,344
25 Chula Vista $1,311
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Premium costs are comparative as vehicle location can lower or raise coverage rates greatly.

Finding decent, low-priced insurance is not always easy, and figuring out which insurers offer the most affordable insurance rates for first-time drivers involves a bit more work. Every car insurance company has their own formula to determine rates, so let’s begin by examining the insurance companies with the overall cheapest rates in California.

It’s a good idea to be aware that Oakland insurance rates are calculated based on many things that may substantially change the cost of your policy. Simply turning a year older, buying a safer car, or getting a driving violation can trigger changes in premium that can cause some rates to be more affordable than before.

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USAA offers some of the lowest car insurance rates in Oakland at around $1,155 per year. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide also make the cut as some of the most economical Oakland, CA car insurance companies.

In the above rates, if you currently have a policy with Century National and switched to Wawanesa, you could realize a yearly price reduction of roughly $9. Customers with Nationwide might save as much as $45 a year, and 21st Century insureds might see rate reductions of $185 a year.

Understand that those estimates are averaged for all insureds and vehicles and do not factor in an exact zip code location for first-time drivers. So the car insurance company that can offer you the best price may not even be in the list above. That is why you need to get car insurance quotes using your own specific driver and vehicle information.

Difference between full coverage and liability only rates

Reducing premiums for insurance is probably important to the majority of people, and an easy way to reduce the cost of insurance for first-time drivers is to not buy comprehensive and collision coverage. The chart below illustrates the difference between auto insurance costs when comparing full coverage to liability only. The data is based on a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, single status, and no other discounts are factored in.

If the expense is averaged for all age categories, full coverage on your policy costs an additional $1,849 per year more than insuring for liability only. That is a large expense and it proposes the question when is the right time to remove full coverage. There isn’t a steadfast formula to drop physical damage insurance, but there is a guideline you can consider. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than around 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, then you may want to consider only buying liability coverage.

Picking a high-quality company is hard considering how many choices drivers have in Oakland. The company information in the lists below may help you pick which car insurance companies to look at when comparing auto insurance rates for first-time drivers.

The rankings below are for companies that insure vehicles nationwide, so companies that may only write in California will not be included in this list. To compare rates from these companies and more, just click here.

Best 15 Insurance Companies for First-time Drivers in California
Company Value Customer Service Claims Customer Satisfaction A.M Best Rating Overall Score
USAA 98 100 100 94% A++ 98.6
American Family 98 89 100 86% A 95.4
AAA of Southern California 91 94 97 92% A+ 94.1
State Farm 88 93 96 90% A++ 92.4
The Hartford 94 92 90 89% A+ 91.7
AAA Insurance 88 89 95 91% A 91.2
GEICO 84 93 93 89% A++ 90.3
The General 89 91 89 88% A- 90
Titan Insurance 90 87 91 95% A+ 89.6
Progressive 84 91 93 87% A+ 89.5
Mercury Insurance 88 91 90 85% A+ 89.4
Allstate 85 90 92 88% A+ 89.3
Nationwide 87 88 84 90% A+ 88.7
Liberty Mutual 84 87 93 88% A 88.5
21st Century 85 86 87 88% A 86.7
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Data Source: Insure.com Best Car Insurance Companies

Impact of citations and accidents on insurance rates

The common sense way to enjoy the best insurance prices in Oakland for new drivers is to drive carefully and avoid accidents and traffic citations. The chart below demonstrates how citations and at-fault accidents drive up premium costs for different categories of driver ages. The price estimates are based on a married female driver, full physical damage coverage, $1,000 deductibles, and no discounts are applied.

The data in the chart shows the average cost of car insurance per year with no accidents and a clean driving record is $1,418. Receive one speeding ticket and the average cost surges to $1,657, an increase of $239 each year. Now get two accidents along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of insurance for first-time drivers goes up to an average of $3,897. That’s an increase of $2,480, or $207 per month, just for not driving attentively!