Determining which companies have the cheapest auto insurance rates for drivers with a bad driving record will require more time than just picking a company at random.
Every car insurance company uses a slightly different approach to set their prices, so let's look at the rankings for the overall cheapest auto insurance companies in Santa Ana.
Find the Cheapest Car Insurance for Imperfect Drivers
|Rank||Company||Cost Per Year|
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USAA generally has some of the most affordable car insurance rates in Santa Ana at around $1,155 annually. Century National, Wawanesa, CSAA, and Nationwide also are some of the lowest-priced Santa Ana, CA auto insurance companies.
In the rate table above, if you currently have coverage with CSAA and switched to USAA, you might see annual savings of upwards of $43. Policyholders with Nationwide could save as much as $95 a year, and 21st Century policyholders might reduce rates by $211 a year.
To see how much you can save, click here to get a free quote or quote prices from the following companies.
Be aware that those policy prices are averages for all insureds and vehicles and and are not calculated with an exact vehicle garaging location for drivers with a bad driving record. So the company that can offer you the best price may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That point stresses why you need to get auto insurance quotes using your own driver data and vehicle information.
The vehicle on the policy is one of the largest considerations that determines whether or not you can buy low-cost car insurance for drivers with a bad driving record. Vehicles with reasonable performance levels, good safety features, or a low likelihood of liability claims will cost substantially less to insure than higher performance models. The information below showcases coverage prices for some of the most affordable automobiles to insure in California.
|Make and Model||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Honda CR-V EX 4WD||$3,864|
|Ford Escape Limited 4WD||$4,022|
|Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon||$4,061|
|Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4WD 2-Dr||$4,138|
|Ford F-150 XL Crew Cab 4WD||$4,179|
|Honda Civic DX 4-Dr Sedan||$4,296|
|Toyota Camry LE||$4,337|
|Nissan Altima 2.5 4-Dr Sedan||$4,344|
|Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid||$4,337|
|Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD||$4,346|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$4,465|
|Dodge Grand Caravan Hero||$4,467|
|Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD||$4,515|
|Dodge Ram Quad Cab ST 2WD||$4,523|
|Ford Explorer Limited 4WD||$4,563|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off-Road Package 4WD||$4,571|
|Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT Crew Cab 4WD||$4,575|
|Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 4-Dr Sedan||$4,584|
|Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan||$4,659|
|Ford Edge Sport 2WD||$4,675|
|Toyota Corolla XLE||$4,682|
|Honda Odyssey EX-L||$4,709|
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Premium data assumes single male driver age 30, two speeding tickets, two at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-policy, and multi-vehicle. Prices do not factor in specific location information which can impact prices greatly.
Based upon these rates, we can conclude that models like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, and Toyota Prius are most likely going to be the most affordable vehicles to insure for bad drivers. Rates will trend higher because there is more exposure for drivers with a bad driving record, but in general those vehicles will most likely have the lowest insurance rates that you are likely to find.
Types of discounts on Santa Ana insurance rates
Car insurance companies that provide coverage for drivers with a bad driving record may also provide rate discounts that could lower prices by as much as 35% or more if you meet specific criteria. A few of the larger companies and their offered discounts include:
- 21st Century policyholders can earn discounts including driver training, early bird, student driver, air bags, theft prevention, anti-lock brakes, and teen driver.
- Progressive has discounts for online quote discount, online signing, continuous coverage, multi-policy, and homeowner.
- State Farm has savings for multiple policy, safe vehicle, defensive driving training, anti-theft, good student, Drive Safe & Save, and passive restraint.
- Nationwide includes discounts for easy pay, accident-free, good student, business or organization, and multi-policy.
- Esurance may have discounts that include multi-policy, DriveSense, Switch & Save, renters, safety device, Pac-12 alumni, and paid-in-full.
- The Hartford discounts include driver training, anti-theft, defensive driver, bundle, good student, and vehicle fuel type.
The diagram below compares insurance costs with and without discounts applied to the premium. The premiums assume a female driver, one accident and two citations, California state minimum liability limits, comprehensive and collision coverage, and $500 deductibles.
The first bar for each age group shows the average annual price with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with multiple policy, multiple vehicle, homeowner, paid-in-full, marriage, and continuous coverage discounts applied. When drivers qualify for the discounts, theaverage amount saved on auto insurance for drivers with a bad driving record is 28% or $1,019.
Liability-only versus full coverage
Saving on auto insurance is the goal of most vehicle owners, and an easy way to buy cheap insurance for drivers with a bad driving record is to not buy comprehensive and collision coverage. The information below shows the comparison of insurance costs with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying the minimum liability limits required in California. The information is based on no accidents, no driving violations, $250 deductibles, drivers are single, and no discounts are taken into consideration.
If averaged out across all ages, full coverage costs $3,147 per year more than insuring for liability only. At some point, about every driver wonders if buying full coverage is a good investment. There is no definitive formula of when to exclude full coverage, but there is a general convention. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is more than around 10% of the vehicle's replacement cost less your deductible, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.
For example, let's say your vehicle's book value is $3,000 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most your company would pay you is $2,000 after you pay the deductible. If you are paying in excess of $200 annually to have full coverage, then you may need to consider dropping full coverage.
There are some conditions where removing full coverage is not a good plan. If you have an outstanding loan on your vehicle, you are required to maintain full coverage in order to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Also, if you cannot afford to purchase a different vehicle if your current one is damaged, you should keep full coverage on your policy.
Reckless driving habits raise auto insurance rates
One of the best ways to find the cheapest auto insurance prices in California for bad drivers is to be an attentive driver and maintain a clean driving record. The illustration below highlights how speeding tickets and at-fault fender-benders increase car insurance rates for each age group. Data assumes a single female driver, comp and collision included, $1,000 deductibles, and no discounts are applied to the premium.
The data in the chart shows the average cost of car insurance per year with no accidents or violations is $2,386. Get written up for two speeding tickets and the average cost surges to $3,182, an increase of $796 each year. Now add two accidents along with the two speeding tickets and the 12-month cost of auto insurance for drivers with a bad driving record jumps again to an average of $6,489. That's an increase of $4,103, or $342 per month, just for not being more responsible behind the wheel!
What aren't you shopping around?
California auto insurance rates are impacted by many things which can substantially decrease or increase the cost of having a policy. Getting older, moving to a different location, or getting a ticket for careless driving can cause premium changes that can now make some companies cheaper than competitors. Not only may your risk profile change, but insurance companies change prices at least once a year to reflect underwriting profits or losses. Higher than normal claim frequency or severity may cause price increases, while profitable underwriting can produce cheaper Santa Ana car insurance rates.
To illustrate this example, the graph below compares the cheapest car insurance in Santa Ana, CA for a 40-year-old male driver with no prior claims, no tickets, and a good credit rating. If we estimate prices based on his current risk factors, USAA might offer the best car insurance rates in Santa Ana at $1,319 each year. This is $332 less than the average price paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide are the remaining best Santa Ana, CA auto insurance companies.
Now we will give the driver from the first set of rates a chargeable claim, a lower credit rating, and a couple of points charged on his driving record. Since each auto insurer has their own unique process for setting prices, getting updated rate quotes may now present a completely different list of affordable companies as shown below.
Grange now has the best price on car insurance in Santa Ana, CA with Progressive, Mercury, Allstate, and GEICO completing the list. This example proves why consumers need to compare many different companies to get the lowest insurance rates for drivers with a bad driving record.
Auto insurance prices can be altered by many things and can increase or decrease at any time, so the lowest-price company a year ago may now be priced much higher than other options.