Los Angeles, California Driver Insurance Guide (Coverage + Costs)
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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021
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|Density||8,527 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles||$7,260.97|
|Cheapest Insurance Companies||USAA + Geico|
|Road Conditions||Poor Share: 57%
Mediocre Share: 22%
Fair Share: 11%
Good Share: 10%
Vehicle Operating Cost: $921
With a population of just under 4 million people, Los Angeles is the second-biggest city in the United States.
It’s situated in a beautiful natural basin, with easy access to Venice Beach and a great view of Mount Baldy. The city is the nexus of the entertainment industry and a tourist destination that attracts 50 million visitors each year from all over the world.
While many think of L.A. as a place of freedom and possibility, the average driver here may have a different view. As the fifth most congested city in the country, traffic can be slow-going.
And if you’re planning to cruise the beautiful streets of Los Angeles, you’re going to need car insurance. There’s a lot of information to keep track of when you’re preparing to buy a car insurance policy, but we’re going to make this process much easier by telling you everything you need to know.
If you want to start shopping for car insurance right now, enter your ZIP code above to get started. If you want to learn more and potentially save yourself some money, keep reading.
The Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles
When you’re trying to find the best price for car insurance in La La Land, it’s important to know how car insurance companies determine their rates.
You might find yourself asking how does my Los Angeles, CA stack up against other top metro auto insurance rates? We’ve got your answer below.
You may know that things like age, gender, and credit history can affect rates, but that’s not all.
Car insurance companies also look at where you live and what it’s like there. If you live in a high-crime area, your insurance is probably going to be more expensive than it would be if you lived in a safer neighborhood.
We’re going to go over each of the factors that determine your car insurance rate, starting with age and gender.
Do gender and age affect my car insurance in Los Angeles?
Most people know that teenagers are going to be paying more for insurance. They’re new to driving, so they’re more of a risk to insure.
These states no longer using gender to calculate your auto insurance rates — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. But age is still a significant factor because young drivers are often considered high-risk. California does use gender, so check out the average monthly auto insurance rates by age and gender in Los Angeles, CA.
The data below is from 2018 and shows a variety of average insurance rates.
|Single 17-year-old female||$9,083.26|
|Single 17-year-old male||$11,063.83|
|Single 25-year-old female||$4,509.64|
|Single 25-year-old male||$4,648.29|
|Married 35-year-old female||$3,597.68|
|Married 35-year-old male||$3,526.99|
|Married 60-year-old female||$3,162.95|
|Married 60-year-old male||$3,166.90|
As you can see, 17-year-old males pay a lot more than any other demographic.
In 2018, males paid about $300 more than females for their car insurance. However, that will no longer be the case going forward.
Los Angeles, CA auto insurance rates by company and age is an essential comparison because the top auto insurance company for one age group may not be the best company for another age group.
As of 2019, the Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation prohibits insurers from basing rates upon gender.
The video below will tell you a little more about this.
California has also enacted legislation that allows drivers to choose a non-binary gender designation for their license.
Age is still a big part of what determines rates. Take a look at the rates below, broken down by age alone.
|Age||Annual Average Rate|
|17 years old||$10,073.54|
|25 years old||$4,578.97|
|35 years old||$3,562.33|
|60 years old||$3,164.93|
That’s a steep price for teens — or their parents — to pay. It certainly seems daunting, but premiums do decrease steadily with age.
In fact, the average price for car insurance decreases about 55 percent in the eight years between ages 17 and 25.
The average age for Los Angeles residents is 35.8, which means the average Angeleno is paying closer to the $3,562.33 rate.
What are the cheapest ZIP codes in Los Angeles?
California may have enacted legislation that makes it illegal to charge you more based on your gender, it’s still okay for insurers to base your rates on where you live.
Check out the monthly Los Angeles, CA auto insurance rates by ZIP Code below:
These companies look at crime rates (like vehicle thefts and break-ins) and fraudulent claims, and all of that information gets figured into your bill.
Here are the average rates for each ZIP code in L.A.
|ZIP||Average Annual Rate|
Los Angeles does have an overall rate that is higher than the California state average, but it does vary quite a bit by ZIP code.
There’s a difference of more than $3,000 between the most expensive ZIP code (90010) and the least expensive in the city (90732).
What’s the best car insurance company in Los Angeles?
Different people want different things, but we all want to find the best car insurance company. What does that mean to you?
Which Los Angeles, CA auto insurance company has the cheapest rates? And how do those rates compare against the average California auto insurance company rates? We’ve got the answers below.
Keep reading as we go over some of the factors that influence the biggest concern most people have — the price.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
Let’s look at the data broken down by some of the demographics we’ve been discussing.
|Demographic||Allstate||Farmers||GEICO||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide||Progressive||State Farm||Travelers||USAA|
|Single 17-year-old female||$12,526.09||$12,797.29||$7,615.45||$6,853.08||$12,865.63||$6,935.09||$8,499.31||$7,851.28||$5,806.10|
|Single 17-year-old male||$15,746.23||$20,810.33||$7,734.42||$7,392.56||$14,217.34||$8,359.95||$10,546.13||$8,932.09||$5,835.43|
|Single 25-year-old female||$5,675.19||$4,751.88||$3,584.13||$3,547.93||$5,955.49||$3,706.13||$5,085.40||$4,804.82||$3,475.77|
|Single 25-year-old male||$6,203.58||$5,298.50||$3,653.83||$3,615.08||$5,869.86||$3,990.25||$5,243.41||$4,680.00||$3,280.14|
|Married 35-year-old female||$4,440.80||$4,006.28||$2,491.48||$3,172.36||$4,984.81||$2,542.54||$4,591.64||$3,644.32||$2,504.85|
|Married 35-year-old male||$4,431.31||$4,006.28||$2,490.71||$2,975.30||$4,748.21||$2,618.94||$4,591.64||$3,512.51||$2,368.01|
|Married 60-year-old female||$3,211.59||$3,640.26||$2,340.16||$2,974.72||$4,371.12||$2,173.29||$4,106.31||$3,208.00||$2,441.10|
|Married 60-year-old male||$3,235.18||$3,640.26||$2,340.16||$2,869.00||$4,108.92||$2,582.03||$4,106.31||$3,173.32||$2,446.92|
17-year-old males paid almost $21,000 with Nationwide, and they had a much cheaper option with Liberty Mutual.
Overall, USAA — which is only available to military personnel and their families — and Geico have the cheapest rates.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
It may not seem fair, but some companies change their rates based on how far you drive to work. The way they figure it, the more time you spend behind the wheel, the more likely it is you’ll get into an accident.
The average driver in California racked up 13,414 miles in 2014. That’s a lot of time on the road, and a good bit of it was spent going to and from work.
Angelenos had an average commute of 30.3 minutes, which is higher than the U.S. average of 25.7 minutes.
|Group||10 Miles Commute / 6,000 Annual Mileage||25 Miles Commute / 12,000 Annual Mileage|
Rates increase between eight percent and 27 percent, with State Farm winning out on price.
It’s something to consider if you find yourself queuing up an audiobook for the drive to work. It always pays to shop around.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
As you’ve probably already noticed, prices vary a lot by the company. You might be able to find a better level of coverage from one company for a cheaper price than you’re paying for basic coverage from another.
Your coverage level will play a major role in your Los Angeles, CA auto insurance rates. Find the cheapest Los Angeles, CA auto insurance rates by coverage level below:
In Los Angeles, you can get a higher level of coverage through insurers like Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and Geico for less than a low level of coverage through Allstate or Farmers.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
In most places, credit has a big impact on your car insurance policy’s price. That’s not the case in California anymore.
According to Experian, the nation’s average credit score reached a record high of 703 in 2019.
California’s average was even a little higher at 708. While there are many reasons to keep an eye on your credit score, your car insurance premium isn’t one of them.
It is now illegal in California for companies to base their rates on a person’s credit score.
That’s really good news. Sometimes, people with low credit scores are disadvantaged and have to make a choice between driving illegally or not getting to work. Higher rates only hurt people who are trying to stay above water.
It’s still important to keep up with your credit score or work on pulling that number up, but insurance companies won’t penalize you in California based on this factor.
Let’s take a quick look at the average rates for the biggest insurance companies in L.A.
Geico and USAA — which, again, is only available to military personnel and their families — are the cheapest in L.A. Meanwhile, Farmers’ insurance is nearly 83 percent more expensive than Geico’s.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
If you’ve ever had a DUI, been in an accident, or received a speeding ticket, you may have noticed your rates climb sky-high afterward.
Your driving record will play a major role in your Los Angeles auto insurance rates. For example, other factors aside, a Los Angeles, CA DUI may increase your auto insurance rates 40 to 50 percent. Find the cheapest Los Angeles, CA auto insurance rates by driving record.
Some companies will penalize you more than others for these infractions, as you can see in the table below.
|Company||Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding Violation|
If any of these things happen to you, you’re likely to see a big increase in your bill. Once your record is no longer clean, your rates are going to go up:
- 19 to 71 percent for one accident
- 21 to 163 percent for one DUI
- six to 51 percent for one speeding ticket
Progressive is harshest on accidents, Allstate will not forgive DUIs readily, and Travelers has the highest increase for speeding violations.
For many reasons, it’s best to stay safe and follow the law out on the road. Keep your hands at nine and three on the wheel and your eyes forward, obey all posted speed limits, and never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
What are some car insurance factors in Los Angeles?
It’s not all about your age, gender, or ZIP code. There are a ton of factors that go into determining your rate.
Factors affecting auto insurance rates in Los Angeles, CA may include your commute, coverage level, tickets, DUIs, and credit. Controlling these factors will help you maintain cheap Los Angeles, California auto insurance.
The growth and prosperity levels of your city are important, but so is your educational background and whether or not you own your home.
If you’re trying to snag the best deal (and who isn’t), the next sections will show you how these things factor in.
Metro Report — Growth and Prosperity
Brookings looks at the growth and prosperity of the 100 largest cities in the United States. As the second-most populous city in the country, Los Angeles certainly qualifies for this list.
The extensive study ranked L.A. 54th for growth in 2017.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights regarding how Los Angeles prospered from 2016 to 2017.
- Prosperity — ranked 13th out of 100
- +1.3 percent productivity (ranked 37th out of 100)
- +2.4 percent standard of living (ranked 17th out of 100)
- +2.5 annual wage (ranked sixth out of 100)
While you can see Los Angeles did well in increasing the average wealth produced in its economy, it didn’t do as well in entrepreneurial activity growth within the same timeframe.
- Growth — ranked 54th out of 100
- +1.2 percent job increase (ranked 55th out of 100)
- +2.6 percent Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) (42nd out of 100)
- +2.9 percent jobs at young firms (58th out of 100)
Growth didn’t do quite as well as prosperity, but any increase is good. There was a 1.2 percent increase in the number of jobs, which is a sign of a strong economy.
Median Household Income
You saw that Brookings noted the annual wage increasing, but what does that data look like in real numbers?
According to DataUSA, the median household income in L.A. was $62,474 in 2018, which was a 3.78 percent increase from the year before.
Compare that to California as a whole, though. The state’s total median household income was $75,277, so there are definitely more prosperous areas in the Golden State. However, L.A. does edge out the nationwide median of $61,937.
With the typical Angeleno making $62,474 and paying $7,260.97 for their insurance, that’s 11.62 percent of your money going toward car insurance alone. Once you add in gas, maintenance, and repairs, cars can get expensive fast in L.A.
Of course, that number varies based on your income and the factors that determine your price, so we have a calculator below that you can use to figure out your individual percentage of income for car insurance.
Homeownership in Los Angeles
Angelenos know Los Angeles is an expensive place to live. The video below shows some of the most extravagant homes in L.A.
The median household property value in L.A. is very high at $682,400, especially when you compare it to the median income of $62,47. That’s a big reason that homeownership is so low at just 36.3 percent. For comparison, the national rate is 63.9 percent.
However, if you do own a home in the city, you’ll probably be paying less for auto insurance than your fellow city-dwellers who rent.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released a study where they found that car insurers charged renters up to 47 percent more than homeowners.
Although it is illegal for insurers in California to base their rates on a consumer’s credit score, they can and do take homeownership into account. It’s for much the same reason, as they believe that those who own property are more financially secure.
If you can’t afford to buy a house right now in L.A., you may be fighting an uphill battle with more expensive premiums.
Education in Los Angeles
So, we just went over how expensive homes are in L.A. How are you going to afford one? You’ll either need to get lucky or get an education that will lead to a high-paying job.
Fortunately, there are a lot of higher education institutions in the area.
|University||Sector||2017 Degrees Awarded|
|Abraham Lincoln University||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||25|
|Academy for Jewish Religion-California||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||11|
|Academy for Salon Professionals (462062)||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||62|
|Advanced Computing Institute||Private for-profit, 2-year||261|
|America Evangelical University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||7|
|American Academy of Dramatic Arts-Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||148|
|American Career College-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 2-year||972|
|American Film Institute Conservatory||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||116|
|American Jewish University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||52|
|Angeles College||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||154|
|Annenberg School of Nursing||Private not-for-profit, less-than 2-year||10|
|Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Hollywood||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||282|
|Associated Technical College-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||259|
|Aveda Institute-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||134|
|Borner's Barber College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||20|
|Brightwood College-Los Angeles-Van Nuys||Private for-profit, 2-year||450|
|California Career College||Private for-profit, 2-year||15|
|California State University-Los Angeles||Public, 4-year or above||6,336|
|California State University-Northridge||Public, 4-year or above||10,434|
|Career Development Institute Inc||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||48|
|Casa Loma College-Van Nuys||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||91|
|CBD College||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||283|
|Columbia College Hollywood||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||53|
|Concorde Career College-North Hollywood||Private for-profit, 2-year||380|
|Diversified Vocational College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||320|
|Dongguk University-Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||33|
|Eagle Rock College||Private for-profit, 2-year||52|
|Elegance International||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||281|
|FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||1,335|
|Galaxy Medical College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||42|
|Gnomon School of Visual Effects||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||64|
|Hussian College-Relativity Campus California||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||0|
|Hypnosis Motivation Institute||Private not-for-profit, less-than 2-year||68|
|International College of Beauty Arts & Sciences||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||77|
|Learnet Academy Inc||Private for-profit, 2-year||195|
|Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||3|
|Los Angeles City College||Public, 2-year||2,317|
|Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health||Public, 2-year||90|
|Los Angeles Film School||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||570|
|Los Angeles Harbor College||Public, 2-year||1,825|
|Los Angeles Mission College||Public, 2-year||1,808|
|Los Angeles ORT College-Los Angeles Campus||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||258|
|Los Angeles ORT College-Van Nuys Campus||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||130|
|Los Angeles Pierce College||Public, 2-year||3,953|
|Los Angeles Trade Technical College||Public, 2-year||2,020|
|Los Angeles Valley College||Public, 2-year||2,648|
|Loyola Marymount University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||2,729|
|Marian Health Careers Center-Los Angeles Campus||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||51|
|Marian Health Careers Center-Van Nuys Campus||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||26|
|Mount Saint Mary's University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||1,093|
|Musicians Institute||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||478|
|National Career College||Private for-profit, 2-year||147|
|Newberry School of Beauty||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||123|
|Occidental College||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||549|
|Otis College of Art and Design||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||244|
|Pacific States University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||63|
|Palace Beauty College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||129|
|Paul Mitchell the School-Sherman Oaks||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||149|
|Phillips Graduate University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||158|
|SAE Institute of Technology-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||121|
|Shepherd University (487667)||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||66|
|Southern California Health Institute||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||236|
|Southern California Institute of Architecture||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||156|
|Southern California University SOMA||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||7|
|Southwestern Law School||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||312|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||538|
|The Colburn Conservatory of Music||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||46|
|Theatre of Arts||Private for-profit, 2-year||26|
|Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||182|
|UEI College-Gardena||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||449|
|United Education Institute-Encino||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||437|
|Universal College of Beauty Inc-Los Angeles 2||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||16|
|Universal Healthcare Careers College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||74|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Public, 4-year or above||13,684|
|University of Southern California||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||16,227|
|Valley College of Medical Careers||Private for-profit, 2-year||66|
|Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||147|
|West Coast University-Center for Graduate Studies||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||54|
|West Coast University-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||472|
|Westchester College of Nursing & Allied Health||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||16|
|Woodbury University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||416|
|World Mission University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||56|
|Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad West Coast Talmudical Seminary||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||25|
|ZMS The Academy||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||72|
The largest universities in Los Angeles are:
- University of Southern California: (16,227 degrees given in 2017)
- University of California-Los Angeles: (13,684 degrees given in 2017)
- California State University-Northridge: (10,434 degrees given in 2017)
If your major is offered at a community college, you should give some serious thought to this option. The video below talks about LACC.
Attending community college is a great way to save money for a couple of years before transferring to a four-year university.
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs
Factors like race and ethnicity affect how much money people make, although it isn’t fair by any means.
|Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers||% of Income Spent on Car Insurance||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||% of Income Spent on Car Insurance||Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers||% of Income Spent on Car Insurance|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||$64,762||11.21%||n/a||n/a||$38,959||18.64%|
|Two or More Races||$108,808||7.53%||$56,183||12.92%||$43,389||16.46%|
Asian and white people have the highest wages for management positions, but not for the other categories.
As you can see, if you make more money, your percentage spent on premiums is lower.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
It probably isn’t news to you that there’s a gender wage gap. Males typically make more money than females doing the same job.
The table below shows how the wage gap plays out in L.A.
|Occupation||Male Salary||Premium as Percentage of Income||Female Salary||Premium as Percentage of Income|
|Elementary & Middle School Teachers||$67,223||10.80%||$64,889||11.19%|
Male managers make about 38 percent more than females. Because of this, women generally pay a higher percentage of their income toward car insurance, meaning they’ll have less of their paycheck leftover for other bills and discretionary spending.
Poverty by Age and Gender
Based on the information we just went over, it should come as no surprise that there are more females living in poverty in Los Angeles than males.
In fact, DataUSA found that the largest demographics living in poverty in 2018 were:
- Females ages 25-34
- Females ages 35-44
- Females ages 18-24
The information below shows the 2018 percentages of females and males living in poverty in Los Angeles.
|Age in Years||Percentage of Males Living in Poverty||Percentage of Females Living in Poverty|
Both genders have similar levels of poverty for minors, but women have higher poverty levels after turning 18 years old.
The state of California has the highest level of homelessness in the country, with 35,798 total unsheltered people in 2017. That’s seven times higher than the next worst state, which is New York.
The report below talks about the brutal reality of being unsheltered in Los Angeles.
L.A. has a high poverty rate, with an astounding 20.4 percent of residents living under the poverty line. The U.S. poverty rate is much lower at 13.1 percent.
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Poverty by Race and Ethnicity
Next, let’s take a look at the poverty rates for people of different races and ethnicities.
|Race or Ethnicity||Number of People Living in Poverty (2017)|
|Two or More||20,415|
As you can see, the greatest number of people living in poverty in L.A. in 2017 were Hispanic, with the next highest demographic being white people. Native Americans had the fewest number of people living in poverty.
Of course, these numbers are determined in part by the racial makeup of a city, and Los Angeles is 48.9 percent Hispanic or Latino. It then stands to reason that this demographic would have the highest number of people living in poverty.
Employment by Occupations
Do you work in “the Industry?” Outsiders tend to think L.A. is just one big movie studio, but that’s not quite the case.
In 2018, Los Angeles had 2.06 million employees, up 0.509 percent from 2017.
The most common occupations for the city are:
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations (213,234 people)
- Management Occupations (194,390 people)
- Sales and Related Occupations (207,910 people)
Some of these are within the entertainment industry, but L.A. is just like any other city and has a wide variety of jobs. Obviously, not all Angelenos are movie stars.
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Driving in Los Angeles
Driving in Los Angeles has a reputation for being frustrating. There is a lot of congestion, and it can seem like some drivers are practicing their stuntwork.
Choosing the right car insurance coverage is crucial, but you probably also want to know more about the city and what it’s like to drive there.
Next, we’re going to go over major routes in the area and conditions in the city.
Let’s jump right in.
What are the major roads in Los Angeles?
First, we’re going to look at the roads in Los Angeles. We’ll talk about red-light and speeding cameras, road trips, and how bumpy the roads are.
Fasten your seat belt, we’re hitting the road in L.A.
Major Highways in Los Angeles
There are 12 active routes in the Golden State, totaling 2,457 miles of roadway.
Check out these highways that go through city limits.
|Interstate/Highway||Length (Miles)||Toll Road|
Luckily, most of these don’t have tolls.
However, the I-10 and I-110 do have special toll lanes.
You can get a FasTrak device to electronically pay tolls. Watch the video below to learn more.
Some of these are switchable transponders that allow you to change the number of vehicle occupants. For some tolls, carpooling with three or more passengers is toll-free. You may qualify for additional discounts if you frequently drive on toll-lanes.
There are several ways to pay your tolls, as seen below.
|FasTrak Option||Payment Type||Account Fees||Discounted Tolls|
|Invoice||Monthly||$2 invoice fee||No|
They are planning to upgrade this system with new features, including an occupancy detector. This will measure how many people are in the car and compare that to your transponder setting.
Popular Road Trips/Sites
There’s so much to see and do in Los Angeles, especially if you have time to make a day of it.
With so many options, what’s stopping you from getting in your car and taking a drive? Just make sure to have the right insurance coverage, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.
- Abandoned Places Road Trip: One of the spots on this trip is the Calico Ghost Town, an abandoned 1800’s silver mining town.
- Castle Road Trip: This trip will take you to some breathtaking castles in SoCal.
- Small Towns Road Trip: You’ll get acquainted with some of the cutest small-towns in the state.
- Waterfall Road Trip: If you’re tired of the ocean but still love water, why not check out some waterfalls?
Regardless of where you’re going, you’re going to need the right insurance. Peace of mind goes a long way when you’re trying to enjoy a few days of vacation.
Next, we’ll be looking at the conditions of L.A.’s roads.
Road Conditions in Los Angeles
Road conditions can impact your car insurance. If you hit the wrong pothole, you could blow out a tire. Low-profile tires can even pop on small potholes and bumps in the road.
|Poor Share||Mediocre Share||Fair Share||Good Share||Vehicle Operating Cost|
As you can see from this data from TRIP, the road conditions in Los Angeles really aren’t that great. Only 10 percent of the roads can be rated as good, whereas a whopping 57 percent are rated poor.
Does Los Angeles use speeding or red-light cameras?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, California allows red-light cameras.
However, Los Angeles voted unanimously to shut the program down in 2011.
If you actually see one in the city, it’s no longer active.
When the program was still running, there was a lot of controversy over the enforcement of tickets that resulted from these cameras. The Los Angeles Superior Court never aggressively collected tickets, so payment was more or less voluntary.
L.A. does not use speed cameras either, as they are not permitted in California.
What type of vehicles are in Los Angeles?
With high vehicle theft rates and heavy traffic, driving in Los Angeles can be a little intimidating.
You may be asking: where are the speed traps in L.A.? How bad is vehicle theft in the city? We’ll be going over all that and more in the next few sections.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
You’re in traffic every day, but are you paying attention to what kinds of cars are around you? Your Mechanic lists the most popular makes of cars in the area.
|Car Type||Percentage Serviced in L.A.|
|Muscle Cars with V8 Engines||12.4%|
Just 34 percent of cars in L.A. are American-made. Porsches are really rare in general, making up just one out of every 500 cars. However, they’re relatively popular in L.A.
The Mitsubishi Montero — which is a Japanese-made SUV — wins the award for the most unusually popular car in Los Angeles. You can see below that it can be pretty fun to drive.
It may be fun, but the vehicle didn’t rank very high on safety ratings.
Car insurers wil take safety ratings into account when they issue your premium.
Overall, the 2006 model received an “Acceptable” rating.
How many cars per household?
Across the country, most households own two cars, but what about in L.A.?
|Number of Cars per Household||L.A. Share||U.S. Share|
According to this information from DataUSA, Los Angeles follows the national trend, with two cars being most common.
However, it looks like more households in L.A. own four or more cars compared to the rest of the country. Those who can afford a house and a lot of cars probably have big garages.
Households without a Car
What about households without a car?
|2015 Households Without Vehicles||2016 Households Without Vehicles||2015 Vehicles per Household||2016 Vehicles per Household|
Nearly one out of every nine households in Los Angeles doesn’t own a car.
It seems like everything in L.A. is expensive, and car insurance is not an exception. That may be why some people opt out of owning a vehicle.
If you’re finding car insurance too expensive, California is one of only three states that offer a program designed to offset these costs.
California’s Low-Cost Auto insurance (CLCA) is designed to provide liability insurance to those who are income-qualified. You must meet the following requirements to sign up, but then you can buy policies to cover up to two vehicles.
- Have a valid California driver’s license
- Meet income eligibility
- Vehicles must be valued at $25,000 or less
- Be at least 16 years old
- Have a good driving record
Even if you don’t qualify for CLCA, you can probably save on your car insurance if you shop around.
Speed Traps in Los Angeles
If you’re driving over the speed limit and run into a speed trap, your rates are likely to increase. In the early 2000s, Speedtrap.org started a crowd-sourced list of speed traps across the country.
Luckily for residents, Los Angeles is not in the top 10 worst California cities for speed traps. However, L.A. does have 35 pages of traps listed. The last one was added in 2017, but cities don’t change that fast.
Ever since Waze became popular, people can see crowd-sourced real-time speed traps on their phones. Just be mindful and remember — police use Waze too.
It’s best to stay safe and follow the speed limit.
Vehicle Theft in Los Angeles
According to a report from the FBI, there were 17,316 motor vehicle thefts in Los Angeles in 2018. Granted, there are almost four million residents, but that’s still a big number.
According to this video, there’s been a recent spike in car thefts in SoCal.
So, how can you be prepared in case your vehicle is stolen?
One thing you can do is to get comprehensive coverage, which will protect you in case your vehicle is stolen. Bonus: it will also cover you if your car is vandalized or damaged by a natural disaster.
California has frequent earthquakes, so comprehensive car insurance can help you in more ways than one.
Here are the top 10 safest neighborhoods in L.A.
- Palisades Dr / Ave De Santa Ynez
- Victory Blvd / Balboa Blvd
- Topanga Canyon Blvd / S Topanga Canyon Blvd
- Sesnon Blvd/ Tuscan Dr
- Sesnon Blvd/ Crystal Ridge Ln
- Valley Circle Blvd/ Stagg St
- W Sunset Blvd/ N Kenter Ave
- Pacific Coast Hwy/ Entrada Dr
Most of the top 10 safest neighborhoods tend to be in the upper northwest, around Santa Monica or Beverly Hills.
|Number of Crimes||30,310||102,872||133,182|
|Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)||7.6||25.78||33.38|
In L.A., you have a one in 132 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. That’s considerably worse than the odds in the state as a whole, where you have a one in 224 chance of the same.
How is traffic in Los Angeles?
You know how it goes. You leave home 30 minutes early on your way to a lunch date with a client. It’s one of those beautiful, sunny days that Southern California is known for. Your windows are down, music is blaring, and you’re getting hyped up to make a sale.
Then, the car in front of you brakes, and you realize there’s a long line of cars at a stand-still that are waiting to get on the I-10. It’s time to call your client and reschedule. That’s Los Angeles for you.
Let’s take a look at some data about L.A.’s congestion, road safety, and ridesharing services.
As California is the most populous state in the U.S., there is a lot of congestion on its roads. In fact, the state is home to seven of the world’s most congested cities.
The table below comes from INRIX and shows Los Angeles with its rankings, as well as the costs of congestion.
|City||U.S. Rank||World Rank||Hours Lost in Congestion||Cost of Congestion (per Driver)|
Los Angeles is the most congested city in the state and fifth in the entire country.
Congestion varies by the time of day. In free-flow hours, you may find yourself cruising at a cool 58 MPH, but that won’t be happening during rush hour.
- Peak hours: 28.37 MPH
- Off-peak hours: 42.07 MPH
- Free-flow hours: 58.39 MPH
According to TomTom, L.A. has a 42 percent congestion level.
Drivers spend an extra 44 minutes per day stuck in traffic. That works out to 167 hours per year — which is nearly seven full days — just stuck in traffic.
Commuters lose about 19 minutes for the morning commute. The drive home is worse, with about 25 minutes lost each evening.
Non-highways are typically 40 percent congested, while for highways it’s about 46 percent.
This video talks about why it’s so hard to fix the traffic problem.
In 2019, L.A.’s traffic index was 238.96, and its time index was 47.16. Los Angeles had an inefficiency index of 316.44.
- Traffic Index — Combined time in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, CO2 consumption estimation in traffic and overall ineffective traffic system
- Time Index — Average one-way time needed to transport (in minutes)
- Inefficiency Index — Estimation of inefficiencies in the traffic. High inefficiencies are usually caused by the fact that people drive a car instead of using public transport or long commute times
Let’s talk about commute times.
According to DataUSA, the average commute time for Los Angeles residents is 30.3 minutes.
|Commute Time (Minutes)||L.A. Share||U.S. Share|
There’s a higher percentage of commutes over half an hour long in L.A. compared to the percentage nationwide.
Let’s break down how commuters reported traveling to work in 2018:
- 69.6 percent drove alone
- 8.86 percent carpooled
- 8.74 percent used public transit
Commuters who used taxis to get to work have increased, overtaking motorcycles in 2017.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the L.A. metro area has four of the largest highways in the country.
- I-405: 14 lanes
- I-5: 12 lanes
- I-110: 12 lanes
- State Route 91: 12 lanes
California’s Caltrans Annual Vehicle Delay report shows that Los Angeles County is home to five state routes that amassed more than than a billion annual vehicle miles traveled in 2017. Those were State Routes 5, 10, 14, 60, and 91.
That same year, State Routes 5, 10, and 60 saw a total of 10,000 vehicle incidents each.
SR 5, 10, 60, and 91 all had over 1.5 million hours driven at 35 MPH or under. That speaks to a lot of congestion.
How safe are Los Angeles streets and roads?
When we say “safe,” we’re referring to how many fatalities happen on the roads.
Let’s look at some information about this for Los Angeles County from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
|Los Angeles County All Crashes||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
As you can see, there was a spike in the total number of fatalities in 2016, but the number has fallen since then. These numbers are broken down in more detail below.
|Los Angeles County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||172||149||242||206||198|
|Single Vehicle Crash||359||389||472||423||399|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||190||209||262||215||205|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||234||242||307||273||239|
Hundreds of people are killed in accidents caused by speeding and impaired driving every year in Los Angeles. These are senseless deaths — please obey the speed limits and never, ever drink and drive.
Of course, drivers aren’t the only ones that need to be cautious on the roads.
|Los Angeles Fatalities by Person Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Passenger Car Occupant||200||202||263||211||191|
Again, after the 2016 spike, fatalities for passengers, pedestrians, and pedalcyclists have decreased.
The video below talks about an overall increase in pedestrian fatalities.
The NHTSA also breaks down the data by road type.
|Road Type||Fatal Crashes|
You might be wondering, what’s an arterial road?
- Arterial road — Roads such as highways and interstates that handle a high volume of traffic
- Minor arterial road — Still handles a high volume of traffic, but less than a highway or interstate
- Collector arterial road — collects local traffic that then leads to minor arterial and arterial roads
As you can see, the busier the road is, the more likely it is to see fatal accidents.
One more thing: let’s look at the U.S. DOTs data on railroad and highway traffic incidents.
|Highway||Calendar Year||Highway User Speed||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non Suicide Fatality||Non Suicide Injury|
|37th & Alameda St||2016||30||Truck-trailer||Yard/Switch||0||0|
|48th Place||2016||-||Pedestrian||Freight Train||1||0|
|92nd Street||2012||45||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||0||0|
|103 Rd Street||2012||-||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||1||0|
|De Soto St||2016||0||Automobile||Psgr Train||0||0|
|Front Street||2012||0||Pick-up truck||B||0||0|
|N. Henry Ford Ave.||2015||20||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|North Main Street||2014||25||Automobile||B||0||0|
|Tampa Ave||2016||-||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||0||1|
|Van Nuys Blvd.||2014||0||Pedestrian||Freight Train||0||0|
Always stop for trains. Pay attention to signs and road markings. It’s good practice not to pull past the barrier lever while in traffic or at a stoplight.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Each year, Allstate releases its Best Drivers Report, which is based on claims data from customers in cities all around the country.
|2019 Best Drivers Report Ranking||Average Years Between Claims||Relative Claim Likelihood Compared to National Average||Change in Ranking from
2018 to 2019
In 2019, L.A. ranked 195 out of 200. It fell one spot from the previous year.
Customers had an average of 5.8 years between claims.
The national average between claims is 10.57 years, but L.A. residents file claims far more often. This is something insurance companies take into account when issuing your rate.
Do you use Lyft or Uber when you’re out bar-hopping or at a late event?
Either way, you can find the best rideshare options on RideGuru. We’ve listed the rideshare companies available in L.A. in order from cheapest to priciest.
- Uber (rideshare car)
- Lyft (rideshare car)
- RideYellow (traditional taxi)
- Taxi (traditional taxi)
- Flywheel (traditional taxi)
- Curb (traditional taxi)
- Carmel (traditional taxi or limo)
This is based on the basic cars for Uber and Lyft. It gets more expensive if you choose a luxury option.
E-Star® Repair Shops
Are you looking for a reputable repair shop? Esurance’s E-star® Direct Repair Program can pair you with one in your area.
|Name of Facility||Address||Contact Information|
|AGC Collision Center||3424 W Sunset Blvd|
Los Angeles CA 90026
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 663-8076
F: (323) 663-1675
|Auto-Tech Collision Center CF||1116 W Washington Blvd|
Los Angeles CA 90015
|email: [email protected]
P: (213) 748-8228
F: (213) 748-8789
|Bellwood Auto Body||4625 Gage Ave|
Bell CA 90201
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 771-3429
F: (323) 771-6464
|Caliber - Glendale||3829 San Fernando Rd|
Glendale CA 91204
|email: [email protected]
P: (818) 243-3206
|Caliber - Los Angeles - Mid City||3412 Pico Blvd|
Los Angeles CA 90019
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 266-2222
F: (323) 641-7900
|Harry'S Auto Collision Center||1013 S. La Brea Ave.|
Los Angeles CA 90019
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 933-5824
F: (323) 935-7054
|Noah's Collision Center||5235 York Blvd|
Los Angeles CA 90042
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 258-4000
|Pacific Elite - Los Angeles||4610 Crenshaw Blvd|
Los Angeles CA 90043
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 298-6282
F: (323) 296-0804
|Service King - Monterey Park||999 S. Monterey Pass Rd.|
Monterey Park CA 91754
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 262-7415
F: (323) 262-7418
|Western Collision||709 N Gramercy Place|
Los Angeles CA 90038
|email: [email protected]
P: (323) 465-7126
F: (323) 957-0975
There are 84 E-Star® facilities within 50 miles of downtown; 10 are within seven miles.
What is the weather like in Los Angeles?
One of L.A.’s nicknames is the City of Flowers and Sunshine, and that’s no misnomer.
The average temperature range for the city is 55.9°F-71.7°F.
Over the course of a year, the average temperature is 63.8°F in L.A.
Annual precipitation totals just 18.67 inches. Let’s just call it rainfall, as snow is negligible in L.A.
What about natural disasters? It’s no secret that California has a lot of earthquakes, for one.
Los Angeles County has seen a total of 52 natural disasters, compared to the national average of 13.
Only three of these were earthquakes. L.A. is in an area that is susceptible to dry conditions that lead to fires, which made up 34 of these natural disasters.
Because of this high number, you should seriously consider getting comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. These policies often cover damage that you could incur from a natural disaster.
Is public transit available in Los Angeles?
The public transit system in L.A. is mostly a mix of buses and light rails.
Remember when we said that a fairly large percentage of Angelenos don’t have a car at all? Most of them probably rely on these services:
- Buses are mostly run by two companies, the Metro and the City of Los Angeles Transportation (LADOT). They travel along major city streets, freeways, surrounding suburbs, and more.
- The light rail system goes to parts of Los Angeles County that are a little far for buses, including San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Norwalk, and Redondo Beach.
Is other Alternate Transportation available in Los Angeles?
If taking the bus isn’t really your thing, you have options; Los Angeles has electric scooters and bike rentals.
Lime and Bird both operate in the city. All you have to do is download the app to unlock a ride.
It’s pay per minute for both, which adds up. If you’re doing this every day, you may want to just buy your own bike or scooter.
Is parking easy in Los Angeles?
With so many cars in the expansive city, you would think there’d be more options for parking in downtown L.A. There aren’t that many, though.
However, there is metered parking available in the city. After dark — or close to it — you can park at a meter for free.
- Green curbs — Parking for 15 to 30 minutes at no charge
- Yellow curbs — Only for commercial loading and unloading or for general loading and unloading with a maximum of five minutes
- Red curbs — No stopping, parking, or standing
- White curbs — General regulation: passenger loading only for a maximum of five minutes
- Blue curbs — Accessible parking zones
There are also off-site lots for events or hotel parking. Parking garages are available, but those will cost $8 or more.
How is the air quality in Los Angeles?
There’s no point sugar-coating it — air quality in Los Angeles is bad.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases an air quality index report every year for major metropolitan areas in the U.S.
The video below discusses the air quality issues in L.A.
The index measures air quality from good days to very unhealthy days.
|Year||Days with AQI||Good Days||Moderate Days||Unhealthy Days for Sensitive Groups||Unhealthy Days||Very Unhealthy Days|
In 2018, L.A. had a total of 35 good days. Most days were moderate, with 220 falling into that category.
Los Angeles has been making efforts to improve air quality in recent years with some success.
There are many veterans and military personnel who live in Los Angeles.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the veterans by conflict:
- Vietnam: 23,894 veterans
- Gulf War (2001-): 17,221 veterans
- Gulf War (1990s): 10,517 veterans
- Korea: 7,232 veterans
- World War II: 3,257 veterans
Active military personnel and veterans are often eligible for discounts on their car insurance.
The following companies offer military discounts:
- Esurance (25 percent)
- Geico (15 percent)
- Liberty Mutual (four percent)
- Metlife (15 percent)
- Safe Auto (25 percent)
- State Farm
- The General
In addition to these companies, active-duty military personnel and veterans can sign up for insurance with USAA.
|Company||Company Average Premium||Compared to State Average (+/-)||Compared to State Average (%)|
USAA often has the best rates, with the price of the average policy coming in almost 27 percent lower than the state average.
There are several military bases within driving distance of L.A., but there’s only one within city limits. That is the Los Angeles Air Force Base, which is home to the Space and Missiles System Center.
Unique City Laws
Each city has its own unique laws, and you’ll need to know them if you want to stay legal on the road. Let’s look at laws regarding hands-free driving, food trucks, tiny homes, and parking.
First up: let’s talk cellphones in the car.
California has several laws restricting the use of cellphones while driving.
Essentially, it’s illegal to make hand-held calls or text while driving.
Drivers under 18 are further restricted in that they can’t make hands-free calls while driving either.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 lives were lost as a result of distracted driving in 2017 alone.
These laws are designed to keep drivers safe, so it’s best to wait to send that text until you’re at your destination.
Food trucks are referred to as mobile food vending under Los Angeles regulations, and there are laws in place governing their operation.
If you’re thinking about opening up a food truck, you may want to check out the L.A. Business Portal, which is funded by the Mayor’s Office of Los Angeles.
If you need additional pointers, you can contact the following places:
- Office of Finance
Special Desk Unit
200 North Spring St. Room 205
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
- Dept. of Environmental Health and Safety
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA. 91706
- Los Angeles County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway
Los Angeles, CA. 90650
- Street Vending Compliance Program
You’ll need to create a business plan, research locations, secure financing, and obtain a vehicle, among other steps.
If you have a tiny home that is not on wheels, it’s classified as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in L.A.
These may become more popular in years to come as L.A.’s population continues to grow. This video talks a little about that.
These tiny homes have to meet the following requirements:
- Must be located in a zone that allows single-family homes
- A legal single-family residence must be onsite
- Home must meet development standards for Los Angeles
You will need to submit building plans to the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning so they can make sure your building is up to code.
The parking laws in Los Angeles are laid out in the Los Angeles Municipal Code Chapter 8 (Traffic) Division N (Parking Prohibited or Limited).
This legislation covers everything from oversized vehicles, private streets, and even washing your vehicle on the street. Here are a few highlights.
- No person shall park any vehicle in the front yard of any residential property.
- It shall be unlawful, when authorized signs are in place giving notice, to park any vehicle on any of the streets or portions of streets in the City’s Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in violation of the signs.
- No person shall dispense victuals from any portion of a catering truck on any street in any manner which causes any person to stand in that portion of the street which is between the catering truck and the center of the street.
- No person shall stand or park a vehicle upon any street for the purpose of displaying such vehicle for sale by sign or otherwise.
- It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or who has possession, custody or control of any vehicle to park that vehicle or leave it standing upon any highway, street or alley for 72 or more consecutive hours.
These are just a few. There are many more, so it’s worth looking over the code to make sure you’re up on your parking laws.
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Los Angeles Car Insurance FAQs
Hopefully, you’re feeling more prepared to get insured and drive in the City of Angels.
If you still have questions, take a look below. We’ve answered a few questions that people often ask about L.A.
How did Los Angeles get its name?
Los Angeles was named after the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Angels of the Porcincula River near Assisi, home of Saint Francis. The name is derived in part from Santa Maria degli Angeli, which is a small town in Italy.
What kind of climate does Los Angeles have?
The climate of Los Angeles is Mediterranean, meaning it is dry and subtropical.
You can expect long, hot summers and mild winters.
Is Los Angeles the same as Hollywood?
No. Hollywood is a district within Los Angeles — the centralized location of the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. West Hollywood is a separate city outside of L.A.
What languages are spoken in Los Angeles?
A hub of culture and growth, there are over 200 languages spoken in L.A. Some of the most commonly spoken languages in the city are English, Spanish, Korean, Filipino, Armenian, Chinese, and Persian.
Can Los Angeles have a tsunami?
It is possible. According to CBS News, the San Andreas fault, among a few others, has the potential to generate earthquakes that could trigger tsunamis up to 11 feet high near L.A.
Where is Los Angeles located?
Los Angeles is located in a basin on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains and the Death Valley and Mojave Deserts.
Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”
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