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Berkeley and its neighbors San Francisco and Oakland have the third highest rate commuters who use public transport. Nearly 19% of area residents choose to leave their car at home. However, many drivers are still on the road, often causing security issues between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. For this reason, many people want to have the best, yet affordable, insurance they can find.

The average cost of auto insurance in Berkeley is $743 for minimum auto insurance and $2,109 for full coverage. Car insurance rates in Berkeley are high for the state of California. Fortunately, 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.

In order to narrow down the long list of car insurance companies available in the area, we’ve reviewed the premiums on offer, customer reviews, and policy options to bring you the best car insurance in Berkeley.

Best Car Insurance Companies in Berkeley

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

insurance company JD Power Customer Satisfaction Score
(California region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 828 / 1000 $466 $1,408
AAA 848 / 1000 $520 $2,117
barn Unclassified $544 $2,105
Mercury Unclassified $641 $1,708


Geico is known for providing low car insurance rates while maintaining a high level of customer service. Geico’s average rates for Berkeley car owners are the lowest of any carrier for basic and comprehensive car insurance.

One of the main reasons Geico car insurance rates are so low is the discounts offered by the carrier. You might get a discount based on your profession, such as military personnel or an employee of a participating affinity program. Plus, you could save on coverage when you qualify through automatic payments, vehicle safety equipment, safe driving, or being a good student.

Learn more: Review Geico Insurance


AAA members have access to award-winning roadside assistance, dedicated DMV and travel services, and auto insurance. For frequent travelers on the road, the convenience of having all your vehicle needs taken care of by one company can be a big selling point. Additionally, AAA’s minimum auto insurance in Berkeley is only $520 per year. If the annual club membership from $56 to $119 does not affect your budget, you will have access to one of the most complete levels of vehicle-related services.

Learn more: AAA Insurance Review


Grange Insurance isn’t as big as the other carriers that made the “Best Car Insurance in Berkeley” list. Its small size may mean that Grange is able to be more creative with its coverage and discounts.

Recently divorced Berkeley residents may be eligible for Grange Insurance’s New Beginning discount. It is designed to give divorced people a financial break until they find order in their lives. Another way to get a fresh start with Grange is through its OnTrack program. Downloading the app and turning on driver tracking could save you money on your car insurance if you drive safely.

Learn more: Barn Insurance Review


Mercury Insurance is well known in California for providing vehicle owners with affordable coverage despite being labeled as high-risk drivers. Coverage may be no-frills, but drivers struggling to find auto insurance due to a series of moving violations, impaired driving, or accidents may be fine with basic coverage. . Although Mercury is best known for its minimal auto insurance, comprehensive coverage from the Los Angeles-based insurance provider is also available. It is the second cheapest of all insurance companies in Berkeley. Average rates are $1,708 per year.

Learn more: Mercury Insurance Review

Cheapest car insurance in Berkeley

Bankrate’s quoted auto insurance premiums study provided a list of the cheapest auto insurance companies in Berkeley based on market share. The right car insurance company can make a big difference in how much car insurance will cost you. California’s average full insurance annual premiums of $733/$2,065 are higher than the national average of $1,674. Berkeley’s average bonus is $743/$2,109. Take a look at the following cheap car insurance companies in Berkeley:

insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $466 $1,408
AAA $520 $2,117
Mercury $641 $1,708
state farm $645 $1,830
progressive $667 $1,720

Geico Insurance offers the lowest rates for minimum or full auto insurance. Mercury is the second cheapest carrier for comprehensive coverage and a good option for high-risk drivers who need affordable coverage. AAA members receive many benefits with their membership, such as DMV services, travel discounts, and affordable auto insurance. State Farm and Progressive have optional coverages that may be worth the extra cost, such as carpooling insurance.

Berkeley Insurance Requirements

All Car Owners in California must have a minimum amount of liability insurance:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 in death/bodily injury per person
  • $30,000 in accidental death/bodily injury

The minimum amount may be a starting point but may not be sufficient coverage. In fact, leasing a vehicle or financing it will likely mean you’ll need to upgrade your car insurance to full coverage. Minimum car insurance only reimburses damage caused to others. Comprehensive car insurance also adds financial protection to your car in the event of an accident, fire, theft or extreme weather conditions.

Car insurance discounts in Berkeley

Even the smallest price discount on your Berkeley auto insurance can mean big savings over time. Some discounts to consider are:

  • defensive driving course: You could improve your driving skills and potentially receive a discount of up to three years after taking an online defensive driving course approved by your insurance company.
  • Multi-car: Bundling more than one vehicle into one auto insurance policy could lower your premiums.
  • Low mileage: If you make a habit of walking or using public transport, you could save money by driving less.
  • Security equipment: Newer vehicles with advanced crash prevention systems may qualify for lower rates. The same applies to vehicles equipped with airbags and anti-lock brakes.

Taking a defensive driving course can give you the biggest discount simply because the savings can continue for over a year. Bundling multiple cars into one policy can also save you a lot of money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company is often a personal decision that depends on what you are looking for. For some drivers, cheap coverage makes a company the best. Geico, AAA, and Mercury have the lowest average rates in Berkeley. For a range of coverage options, consider State Farm. Research providers to determine which is best for you.

How much auto insurance do I need in Berkeley?

To drive legally, you will need liability insurance for at least $5,000 in property damage, $15,000 in death/bodily injury per person, and $30,000 per accident. You may need to upgrade to comprehensive auto insurance, especially if you drive a newer vehicle or finance or lease your car.


Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates shown are based on a 40-year-old male and female with a clean driving record , good credit and the following complete coverage limits:

  • Civil liability of $100,000 in bodily injury per person
  • Civil liability of $300,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • Civil liability of $50,000 in property damage per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 aggregate deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate has used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week, and drive 12,000 miles a year.

These are sampling rates and should only be used for comparison purposes. Your quotes may be different.

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