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|SAN DIEGO STATISTICS||DETAILS|
|City Density||4,377 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance||$4,414.64|
|Cheapest Car Insurance Provider||Progressive|
|Road Conditions||Poor Share: 34%|
Mediocre Share: 30%
Fair Share: 19%
Good Share: 17%
Serving as a home to roughly 1.42 million people, San Diego is a city full of life and energy. Whether you’re heading to work in the morning or taking a weekend trip down to one of the city’s many public beaches, you’ll be able to soak in the gorgeous weather and bustling noise of urban life.
There’s a reason, after all, that San Diego is called the City in Motion – it may not be the city that never sleeps, but it gets pretty close.
As you might imagine, any city with 1.42 million residents is going to be full of cars. No matter how safe a driver you consider yourself to be, you’re going to need car insurance to protect your vehicle and your finances when you take to the road.
Shopping for car insurance, however, is never easy. There are so many factors that go into rate variation; you may find yourself more confused during your research phase than informed.
That’s why we’re here to help. If you’re looking for car insurance in the San Diego area, why not take advantage of our city guide? We’ll guide you through the city’s statistics and the various factors that contribute to the area’s changing car insurance rates.
Also, for more information about California as a state — check out our complete guide to driving from No Cal to So Cal.
Want to get a jump on your research? Just enter your zip code into our FREE online tool to start comparing rates in your area. From there, you can consult our San Diego car insurance guide to learn more.
The Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego, California
Car insurance rates vary based on a plethora of factors. It’s difficult to stay on top of those factors, not to mention, combine them all in a sort of formula that’ll tell you what you should, on average, be paying for your coverage. At a bare minimum, car insurance providers will take the following into consideration when assigning you a rate:
- Driving Record
- Zip Code
- Credit Score
Before you try and suss out these factors’ impact on your car insurance yourself, let us do some of the work. We’ll go over each of these factors so you can develop a better idea of how much you should have to pay while living in the City in Motion.
Male vs. Female vs Age
The myths surrounding gender and car insurance vary. Many claim that women have to pay more for their coverage due to their emotional range, while others suggest that men have to pay more due to their desire to drive recklessly. California has since moved to disband these myths. The state banned the practice of using gender as a car insurance factor in January 2019.
You’ll more readily find that car insurance premiums vary by age. Teenagers always have to pay more for their car insurance than older or married couples do.
|Age||17-year old||25-year old||35-year old||60-year old|
|Average Annual Rate||$6,423.69||$2,975.17||$2,319.96||$2,065.66|
You’re also in luck if you’re over 60 in the City in Motion. Residents 60 years old tend to have the lowest car insurance rates, as you can see in the table below;
|DEMOGRAPHIC||AVERAGE ANNUAL RATES|
|Single 17-year old female||$5,804.91|
|Single 17-year old male||$7,042.47|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,930.89|
|Single 25-year old male||$3,019.45|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,340.99|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,298.94|
|Married 60-year old female||$2,063.00|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,068.32|
Comparatively, 17-year old male drivers are expected to pay almost $5,000 more than their 60-year old counterparts.
Cheapest ZIP Codes in San Diego
Age may have a significant impact on car insurance rates, but it’s not the only factor changing how much you’re expected to pay to stay covered. The neighborhood you live in can raise or lower your rate. Take a look at the table below to see where your ZIP code falls:
|ZIP CODE||AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE|
Scripps Ranch, as you can see, brings in the lowest annual rates for car insurance, whereas NAS North Islanders are expected to pay significantly more for their coverage. This fluctuation based on location makes it even more important for San Diego residents to ask their providers about any applicable discounts that may lower their rates.
What’s the best car insurance company in San Diego, California?
With those factors in check, you can probably determine which car insurance company will serve you best as a San Diego resident, right? Not necessarily. Determining who the best provider for you depends almost entirely on your personal needs.
While you’re shopping for car insurance, ask yourself: what kind of coverage will keep you safe? How many drivers will be using your car? Will you operate as a career driver, or will you just commute to and from work in the morning?
We can make sense of these questions and turn them into concrete data. Keep on reading to learn a little more about how these factors and others vary rates by company.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
While car insurance in California doesn’t take your gender into account, providers do consider your marital status. As mentioned before, married couples tend to pay less than single individuals, but that’s not always the case. As you can see in the table below, rates will vary based on the company you want to work with:
|Group||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male|
On average, a married woman nearing 35 years old will pay nearly $1,000 less for her car insurance than a 25-year-old unmarried driver. Naturally, teen drivers are still the demographic that has to pay the most for their car insurance.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
Beyond marital status, most car insurance providers will take your commute into consideration when assigning you a rate. Driving over 12,000 miles a year can see your rates spike by a significant amount. But San Diego is a fairly compact city, right?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t face a significant commute to and from work every day. On average in 2014, Californians drove 13,414 roadways miles each.
So, how do San Diego’s active car insurance providers vary their available rates by commute? Take a look at the table below to see how your drive may impact the amount of money you have to pay for your coverage:
|Group||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||Average|
In terms of commute, USAA seems to offer the most affordable rates. We can’t stop there, though. That listed rate may vary based on a number of other factors, including those that we’ve yet to cover.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
The amount of coverage you want to invest in is also going to change how much a car insurance provider expects you to pay. Paying for state minimum liability coverage will, of course, cost you less in the long run. However, you’ll want to explore your other options so you can be protected from any potential accidents.
Take a look at the table below to see how each provider varies their average rates based on the amount of coverage you want to invest in:
As you might have guessed, you’ll be expected to pay more for your coverage if you want a more comprehensive package. Even so, it’s worth investing in some extra car. If you happen to get caught up in a localized earthquake or other natural disasters, comprehensive coverage can help you regain some of your car’s lost value.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
Your credit history reflects your ability to pay back money that you owe to a bank or another source. While you might not think this number would factor into your car insurance payment, it does.
Car insurance providers want to be certain that you can make your annual payments. As such, they’ll look to your credit history to see how well you’ve kept your financial compromises in the past.
If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit history and current credit score, you can use tools like Equifax or Experian. These tools will offer you a free copy of your credit report on a 12-month cycle, ensuring that you stay in-the-know.
All that said, San Diego and other cities in California are legally prohibited from taking your credit score in to account when assigning you a car insurance rate. However, California’s car insurance provider rates still vary on average, as you can see in the table below:
|Group||Average Annual Rate|
Once again, USAA looks like it would offer you the most affordable car insurance rates in the City in Motion. You have to consider your own needs, though, not to mention the other factors we’ve already touched on, before making the leap.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Your driving record, as you might expect, reflects your ability to drive safely on Californian roads and to stay on top of roadway legalities. The more closely you abide by the laws set forth by the state, the better your car insurance rate will be.
While a speeding ticket won’t be the end of the world, it will still impact your offered car insurance premium. Take a look at the table below to get a better idea of how each type of infraction change raises your rate:
|Group||Clean record||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 speeding violation||Average|
As you can see, even a speeding violation can raise your rate by nearly $1,000, especially if you’re partnered with a provider like Nationwide. Your best course of action, then, is to drive safely, both to stay safe yourself and to keep your rates low.
Car Insurance Factors in San Diego, California
If you’re looking to find the most affordable San Diego car insurance for your budget, there’s more to the equation than the aforementioned factors. San Diego is a bustling hub full of change and activity. Car insurance providers take a city’s growth into account when adjusting their average rates.
With that in mind, let’s touch on San Diego’s status and some of the other factors that may raise or lower your offered car insurance premium.
Metro Report – Growth & Prosperity
You can learn a little more about a city’s likely car insurance rates by assessing how much it grows on average. San Diego is a fairly large city, and statistics say that it’s only getting bigger. The Bookings Institute ranks San Diego as the 33rd largest city in America in terms of growth. It is also ranked the 25th in prosperity.
The City of Motion’s other notable growths between 2005 and 2015 include:
- A 6.7 percent rise in productivity between
- A 7.1 percent growth in local government, the federal government, and hospitality careers
- An annual average wage increase of 11.1 percent
- A standard of living improvement by 1.8 percent
The good thing about growth is that it inspires competition. This means that you’ll likely find car insurance rates in the area that are lower than the national average thanks to the increased market size.
Median Household Income
With more jobs and greater flexibility of funds come a profitable housing marketing. San Diego now draws in homeowners who have a little more to spend on their houses – but that doesn’t mean that they want to spend more on their car insurance.
The national average income comes in around $60,336. In San Diego, the median household income comes in at $76,662. This difference between the national average and city average translates into a variation in local car insurance rates.
Think of it this way: the average home in San Diego has $76,662 at its disposal after taxes. The cost of living in the area comes in at roughly $4.414.64 per month.
On average, residents spend $368 of their monthly budget on car insurance. This means that the average San Diego resident will have to dedicate 5.76 percent of their annual budget to car insurance costs. In perspective, that’s not too much.
If you want to see for yourself how much of your annual income you’re spending on your car insurance, you can use the calculator below:
Homeownership in San Diego
Whether or not you own a home will also contribute to the car insurance rate that you’re offered by San Diego providers. If you don’t own a home, your rates may be up to 47 percent higher than those of drivers who do own a home, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
What’s the reason for this price spike? Most car insurance providers believe that people who own their own home have more money at their disposal as well as a history of responsible purchases. As a result, these drivers will be considered more reliable than their peers – and charged less.
That said, the laws in San Diego work in the renter’s favor. According to the CFA,
Consumer protection laws in California prohibit auto insurance companies from considering drivers’ homeownership status or other socio-economic factors such as level of education or credit score when setting premiums.
This means that San Diego car insurance providers will present you with a rate that fits your car and driving history, regardless of whether or not you own your own home. That said, how many San Diego residents do own their own homes?
According to Data USA, 41.7 percent of San Diego residents are proud homeowners. This means that the remaining 48.3 percent are renting their homes or finding other means of living.
It’s worth noting that owning a home in San Diego is pretty expensive. The average property value in San Diego comes in at $600,300. The housing market is slowly growing, too, meaning that homeowners in San Diego typically have money to go around.
If you do own a home in San Diego, there are still ways for you to benefit, in terms of your insurance. Speak with your insurer to see if you can’t bundle your car and home insurance for an overarching discount on both.
Education in San Diego
As mentioned in the listings above, car insurance providers operating out of San Diego are legally prohibited from basing their rates on a driver’s educational status. These consumer protections extend to other forms of insurance, as well.
That said, a significant percentage of San Diego’s population prefers to obtain a higher level of education.
According to Data USA, Early Childhood Education and General Business and Administration are among the most popular majors for bachelor degree holders operating out of San Diego.
It’s worth noting, too, that women in San Diego tend to seek out higher education more frequently than their male peers. As of 2016, 30,353 of the 51,124 degrees earned in San Diego were given to female students.
San Diego isn’t what many would call a college town, given its size. That said, several large universities and community colleges operate out of the area. The most notable include:
- Ashford University
- San Diego State University
- University of California-San Diego
If you’re a student looking to insure your car in San Diego, you’ll want to ask the providers you’re considering any student discounts that they may be able to make available to you. After all, paying for student life is never easy, and you need your breaks where you can get them.
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs
Asian and Caucasian individuals tend to make up the majority of San Diego’s working population. Likewise, the majority of San Diego’s workforce is made up of miscellaneous managers, with educational employees coming up in a close second.
That said, let’s look at how much these positions pay in regards to how much each employee has to spend on car insurance over the course of a year:
|Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Retail Salespersons||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Cashiers||Premiums as Percentage of Income|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||$128,245||3.44%||$48,953||9.02%||$42,284||10.44%||$25,712||17.17%||$17,167||25.72%|
|Two or More Races||$110,079||4.01%||$52,813||8.36%||$38,941||11.34%||$26,840||16.45%||$15,090||29.26%|
|Other Native American||$72,969||6.05%||$40,539||10.89%||$16,935||26.07%||$6,238||70.77%|
In general, if you make less money over the course of a year, you’ll spend a higher percentage of that income on car insurance. As a result, you’ll want to talk to your insurance provider of choice about the kinds of discounts that they may be able to make available to you.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
While California has implemented laws designed to bridge the gender wage gap, there is still a discrepancy between the amount of money men make over the amount that women do.
As you’ll see in the table below, the average amount of money men in San Diego make outpaces the amount that women make by a fair margin. As a result, women have to spend a higher percentage of their income on their car insurance premiums than their male counterparts.
|Gender||Miscellaneous Managers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Retail Salespersons||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers||Premiums as Percentage of Income||Cashiers||Premiums as Percentage of Income|
Poverty by Age and Gender
Your age may also impact the percentage of your income that you have to spend on your annual car insurance premium. According to Data USA, males and females ages 18-24 are the largest population living below the poverty level, followed by those ages 25-34 and 35-44. In all three cases, there are more females than males living in poverty.
Poverty is a trying state in which to live, as 14.5 percent of San Diego’s residents can attest to. When you live below the poverty line, a higher percentage of your annual income is going to go towards your car insurance payment. Complicate that factor by taking gender into account — as women are more likely to live below the poverty line than men — and you’ll find that a fair percentage of San Diego’s residents would benefit from the car insurance discounts many providers make available.
Poverty by Race & Ethnicity
There’s also the fact of race to consider. According to ProPublica, minority races are often charged more for their car insurance than their peers. Even though California has instituted legislation deeming this practice illegal, Data USA’s statistics note that some car insurance providers fail to cooperate.
Because San Diego is primarily white, the data in this table suggests that those residents pay more for their car insurance on an annual basis.
This is not the case. Instead, the collective white population contributes the majority of the listed payment because they make up the larger chunk of the population. When comparing the rate at which these races pay for their car insurance, you’ll find that non-white populations have to pay for their coverage at a higher premium than their white companions.
Employment by Occupations
On a lighter note, let’s explore where are people employed when they come to San Diego, and what industries are looking for more people.
The biotech industry is on the rise in the City in Motion. Though it sounds educationally-comprehensive, you do not always need a degree to enter into this field. However, if you’re not interested in a career in biotechnologies, you can dive into management occupations, office administration, sales, or any of the other fields that Data USA highlights.
What kind of jobs can you expect to get in San Diego? Your opportunities may depend mostly on your education, but the city opens itself up to a variety of options.
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Driving in San Diego, California
Making your way around San Diego is an adventure all on its own. The different roads, their conditions, and your traffic options all play into the decisions that get you from Point A to Point B. Those same factors — and more — also contribute to your car insurance rates.
How, exactly, does the pothole in the road impact the amount of money you have to pay to keep yourself safe? Let’s dive into the details so you can make a car insurance purchase with more information in hand.
Roads in San Diego
San Diego is called the City in Motion for a reason. The city thrives on its trolleys, trains, and other forms of transportation. Even with these public forums available, though, San Diego is a primarily a car-driven city. The city itself is home to four major interstates and state highways designed to limit congestion.
This is helpful in more ways than one. Not only can you avoid lengthy morning commutes, but you can lower the cost of your car insurance if you spend less time on the road during a year.
Major Highways in San Diego
San Diego, as we mentioned, is home to several major highways. Your driving option in the area include:
- Interstate 5
- Interstate 805
- Interstate 15
- Interstate 8
- State Route 94
- State Route 163
- State Route 78
- State Route 56
- State Route 52
If you’re interested in committing to the costs of a toll road to avoid traffic, you can. San Diego lets you purchase a FastTrak, which will let you move down State Road 125 a little faster. The I-15 also has several express lanes available, so long as you’re willing to pay the toll.
To qualify for a FastTrak membership, you need to pay $3.50 in tolls per month, at a minimum. You’ll be charged an additional dollar for each transponder fee attributed to your account.
In addition to these routes, you’ll be able to access the trolley service that the Metropolitan Transportation System has made available for tourists and residents alike. Alternatively, you can take the COASTER Commuter Rail Service if you want to make your way from the suburbs to the inner city. The SPRINTER Hybrid Rail System will provide you with similar options at a higher rate of speed.
Popular Road Trips and Sites
If you do happen to save a few dollars on your car insurance, you can use them to visit some of the attractions that have made San Diego so popular with tourists. These include the San Diego Zoo, a number of the local beaches, and the U.S.S. Midway Museum.
Beaches in the area include:
Road Conditions in San Diego
Before you take off on your day-trip, though, you’ll want to make sure that you’re driving on cars that are good to your road. This means assessing the road condition of your preferred route. The last thing you want to do is run into a pothole and lose a day at the beach to tire expenses.
On average, San Diego residents will spend $694 on car upkeep over the course of a year. This includes the cost of insurance, but primarily refers to the cost of vehicular maintenance.
When it comes to the care and keeping of your vehicle on San Diego roads, you can turn to the Department of Public Works. This sector notes that the 2,000 miles of county roads in San Diego are somewhat difficult to manage — which is why 34 percent of them are in poor condition.
Unfortunately, there is yet to be an app or equivalent function that lets you know where potholes are on your daily routes. Instead, you’ll have to keep a close eye on the road to ensure that you don’t endure any unnecessary maintenance costs.
Does San Diego use speeding or red light cameras?
The state of California overall allows for individual cities to make use of red-light cameras at their leisure. San Diego does not use red-light cameras at the behest of once-major, Bob Filner. Because the cameras weren’t generating revenue for the city, they proved to be an unnecessary expense.
That said, the city does still use photo enforcement to track cars that may be guilty of speeding violations. If you’re caught speeding or violating California law at a red light, you may receive a ticket and have to endure the consequences noted therein.
Vehicles in San Diego
Your behavior behind the wheel isn’t the only thing that could result in a change in your car insurance premium. Some car insurance companies will vary your rate based on the kind of vehicle you’re interested in covering, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Vehicles Most Popular Vehicles Owned
Among these vehicles is the Toyota Pickup Truck. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, purchases of this vehicle outpaced all other passenger cars sold in the San Diego area as of 2017 and beyond.
To a point, this purchasing pattern is understandable. The Toyota Tacoma, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is one of the safer trucks on the highway thanks to security features like:
- Driver’s Side Airbags
- Passenger’s Side Airbags
- 4-Wheel ABS
- Electronic Stability Control
- Lane Departure Warning System
Partner this with the truck’s reasonable gas mileage (18 MPG in the city, 22 MPG on the highway), and you can start to see why so many San Diego residents are fond of it. The vehicle’s dedication to safety can help you lower your car insurance costs, as can the safety measures placed on other vehicles you may be interested in purchasing.
How Many Cars Per Household?
How many vehicles, though, can you typically find in the average San Diego household? According to Data USA, over 40 percent of homes see two cars in the garage. The number of homes with a single car makes up roughly 20 percent of the car-owning population, as does the number of homes with three vehicles in the garage.
Households Without A Car
That said, it is possible to make your way around San Diego without a vehicle. Roughly 6.6 percent of the homes in San Diego, according to Governing.com, were car-free as of 2015.
The question is: do you need car insurance if you don’t own a vehicle? The answer will vary based on your situation. If you rely solely on public transportation, then you won’t need to worry about purchasing car insurance. However, if you frequently drive a friend or relatives’ vehicle, then you may want to consider investing in non-owner car insurance.
Speed Traps in San Diego
Most urban areas have their fair share of speed traps. These spots are areas in which police officers will try to hide their cars so as to better respond to problems of speeding in the area.
The good news — sort of — is that Google Maps allows drivers to report the areas in which they most frequently spot or fall victim to a speed trap. You can use the app to try and keep yourself ticket-free while on the road.
Alternatively, it is legal in California to use a radar detector while in your car. You should take care, though, not to violate California’s hand-held device laws while keeping an eye out for speed traps. Your best course of action is to drive within the realm of the speed limit to keep yourself and others safe.
Vehicle Theft in San Diego
For the most part, you and your vehicle will both be safe in San Diego. That said, the city still is a city. Compared to the national average, San Diego may see less crime on average, but that crime is still there.
Overall, San Diego is safer than 27 percent of the United State’s other cities.
Your vehicle is also going to be safer in San Diego than it would be in many other cities across the nation. In 2013, the FBI reported 6,143 vehicle thefts — less than the national average, but enough to make you consider purchasing comprehensive car insurance. This sort of coverage can help you replace your vehicle if yours happens to get stolen.
You may also need comprehensive car insurance to help you overcome:
- Falling objects
- Animal-related accidents
- Natural disasters
- And more
Traffic in San Diego
So, you have a better idea of how San Diego is growing and what crime in the city looks like. What is an average day in the City in Motion like, though?
According to the INRIX, San Diego is among one of the worst cities in the United States for traffic. The city ranks at number 45 out of 1,360 cities, meaning that it is in the upper echelons of locations with bad traffic records.
To break that down on a more comprehensive level, the average San Diego resident will spend 56 hours in traffic per year. That time will, in turn, cost them $781.
Naturally, there will be times of day when it is worse to drive. The early morning and late afternoon will be bustling with drivers trying to get to and from work. If you have an appointment somewhere in the city, you’ll likely want to schedule it for some time in the middle of the day.
That said, not all commutes in San Diego are so bad. According to Data USA, the average San Diego commute takes 23 minutes. This actually comes in below the national average, which settles in at 25.5 minutes.
Even so, some commutes will be extended to the sure number of drivers on the road. Seventy-five percent of drivers in San Diego prefer to drive to and from work or other commitments on their own. This does mean more control over your radio, but it also means more time spent in traffic.
How safe are San Diego streets and roads?
Safety in San Diego is a complicated thing. The city sees its fair share of traffic fatalities over the course of a year. Let’s break down those fatalities as reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:
|COUNTY||2013 FATALITIES||2014 FATALITIES||2015 FATALITIES||2016 FATALITIES||2017 FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||18||21||18||19||19|
As evidenced here, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles see the most traffic fatalities a year. A five-year trend suggests that this will not change any time soon.
Naturally, these counties are home to the majority of California’s population, so their fatality counts would be the largest. But let’s break those numbers down by assessing how many of the aforementioned fatalities involved alcohol:
|COUNTY||2013 ALCOHOL FATALITIES||2014 ALCOHOL FATALITIES||2015 ALCOHOL FATALITIES||2016 ALCOHOL FATALITIES||2017 ALCOHOL FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||4||8||12||11||13|
According to Responsibility.org, 113 of the fatalities that took place in California as of 2017 involved alcohol as well as a driver who was under 21 years old.
Traffic fatalities in California frequently also involve a single vehicle, as you can see in the table below:
|COUNTY||2013 SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH FATALITIES||2014 SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH FATALITIES||2015 SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH FATALITIES||2016 SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH FATALITIES||2017 SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||18||21||18||19||19|
Distracted driving does contribute to some of these accidents, but speeding does more so. Take a look at the table below to see how speeding fatalities pan out across the state of California:
|COUNTY||2013 SPEEDING FATALITIES||2014 SPEEDING FATALITIES||2015 SPEEDING FATALITIES||2016 SPEEDING FATALITIES||2017 SPEEDING FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||8||11||7||8||13|
However, drivers are as likely to get into an accident when getting off of the road as they are when speeding:
|COUNTY||2013 ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES||2014 ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES||2015 ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES||2016 ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES||2017 ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||20||20||22||21||18|
Intersections, too, have proven perilous for many drivers:
|COUNTY||2013 INTERSECTION FATALITIES||2014 INTERSECTION FATALITIES||2015 INTERSECTION FATALITIES||2016 INTERSECTION FATALITIES||2017 INTERSECTION FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||6||9||6||8||8|
Person type also contributes to the different types of fatalities California and San Diego see over the course of a year. Here, “person type” refers to the person’s relationship to the car in question as opposed to a demographic.
Passengers are the ones who most often see the brunt of an accident’s consequences, as the table below details:
|COUNTRY||2013 PASSENGER CAR OCCUPANT FATALITIES||2014 PASSENGER CAR OCCUPANT FATALITIES||2015 PASSENGER CAR OCCUPANT FATALITIES||2016 PASSENGER CAR OCCUPANT FATALITIES||2017 PASSENGER CAR OCCUPANT FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||7||10||9||16||14|
However, pedestrians will also see some of an accident’s consequences:
|COUNTY||2013 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES||2014 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES||2015 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES||2016 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES||2017 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES|
|San Luis Obispo||0||2||2||4||2|
Finally, note that the type of road a person is driving on will, and has, contributed to the number of fatalities the state of California sees over a year:
|CALIFORNIA ROAD TYPE||FATAL CRASHES|
|Freeway and Expressway||459|
|Total Fatal Crashes||3,304|
Freeways and expressways are more likely to see fatalities in California than many other types of roads. That said, urban areas — like San Diego — are also more prone to fatalities than rural areas.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
The good news is that driving isn’t always scary in San Diego, despite what the previous statistics might suggest. In 2019, the city ranked as the 119th safest city in the United States, according to Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report.
If you don’t feel up to driving during the day, you can reach out to any of the ridesharing services that operate in the city of San Diego. These ridesharing options include:
- Traditional Taxi
It’s worth noting that anyone looking to make a career out of driving as a rideshare driver will need specialized insurance to protect themselves and their passengers. Some providers will make that insurance readily available, whereas others will ask you to rely on your employer.
EStar Repair Shops
Regardless of whether or not you work for a ridesharing company, you’re going to want to be able to find garages that will treat your car with care. It’s much easier for you to do so when you can locate an EStar Repair Shop. These shops are recommended by the majority of car insurance providers in the area. You’ll be able to find them courtesy of the EStar Repair Shop Finder Tool.
Take a look at the table below for a full display of the EStar Repair Shops in the San Diego area:
|SHOP NAME||ADDRESS||CONTACT INFO|
|ALL-AMERICAN PAINT & BODY, INC.||8315 BUCKHORN ST|
SAN DIEGO CA 92111
P: (858) 467-0700
F: (858) 541-1101
|ELITE AUTO COLLISION REPAIR CENTER||4949 BALTIMORE DR|
LA MESA CA 91941
P: (619) 667-3788
F: (619) 667-3981
|PHILIP THEARLE'S AUTOWERKS, INC.||8809 MISSION GORGE ROAD|
SANTEE CA 92071
P: (619) 449-0111
F: (619) 562-8009
|CARRILLO AND SONS COLLISION CENTER||4680 OLD CLIFFS ROAD|
SAN DIEGO CA 92101
P: (619) 287-7200
|CALIBER - SAN DIEGO - MIRAMAR||6598 MIRAMAR RD|
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
P: (858) 453-3800
F: (972) 906-7164
|SE COLLISION||2175 HANCOCK STREET|
SAN DIEGO CA 92110
P: (619) 260-1167
|CALIFORNIA AUTO BODY||1921 ROOSEVELT AVE|
NATIONAL CITY CA 91950
P: (619) 477-9141
F: (619) 477-8253
|AUTO BODY EXCELLENCE||13907 POWAY RD|
POWAY CA 92064
P: (858) 486-4476
F: (858) 486-4477
|TORREY PINES COLLISION||11633 SORRENTO VALLEY ROAD|
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
P: (858) 350-0397
|ABX COLLISION CENTERS, INC.||11875 SORRENTO VALLEY ROAD|
SAN DIEGO CA 92121
P: (858) 486-4476
F: (858) 486-1706
EStar Repair Shops have some of the best customer service ratings in all of San Diego, all but guaranteeing that you’ll leave with your car looking brand new.
Weather in San Diego
The weather in San Diego isn’t all that predictable. It’s safe to say, though, that it’s going to be warm. According to U.S. Climate Data, the city sees an average temperature of 64 degrees all year round. Comparably, only 43 of 365 days a year see rain.
You should be warned, though, that San Diego sees significantly more natural disasters than average. The city averages 35 a year, whereas the national average comes in at 13. These disasters are more often fires than they are earthquakes but know that you’ll likely encounter both if you live in San Diego for long enough.
Public Transit in San Diego
For folks who don’t want to drive, there’s the Metropolitan Transit System. This trolley system will get you around San Diego for minimal cost, depending on your use of MTS Rapid or MTS Rapid Express versus an MTS standard.
Costs break down as follows:
- MTS Bus: $2.25 for adults, $1.10 for seniors
- MTS Standard: $2.20 for adults, $1.25 for seniors
- MTS Rapid and Express: $2.50 for adults, $1.25 for seniors
- MTS Rapid Express: $5.00 for adults, $2.50 for seniors
You don’t necessarily need to carry your pass of choice in person. In recent years, MTS has enabled its users to share their passes via Compass Cloud.
Alternate Transportation in San Diego
If you don’t own a car and would prefer not to commute to work via public transportation, there are other ways for you to ride around San Diego. These include many bike rental services or Lime.
Alternatively, Vespa scooters are available to those who may be interested, although you will need to sign up for renter’s insurance should you choose to use one.
Be respectful whenever you’re using a transportation service. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself enduring more than just their rental costs.
Parking in San Diego
Drivers not only have to endure the difficulties of San Diego traffic. Once you’re in town, you’ll need to find a place to park. The good news is that there are several tools that may serve you well during this process. Parkopedia and Parking Panda can help you find available parking spots no matter where you are in the city.
You’ll also be able to park for free on several of the streets in the City of San Diego. Alternatively, you can use any of the metered parking options in the area, forgoing the use of a credit card, and instead of using your phone to pay for your stay.
If you have an electric vehicle, you can access any of the EV charging stations that the City in Motion has installed, too. These systems take several forms of payment, including credit, debit, or OpConnect Card. Rates tend to vary between $1.50 and $1.80 an hour.
Note that, regardless of where you park, you will receive a citation should you overstay your time. If you fail to pay off your citation, then you may have a block placed on your vehicle’s registration. That said, there are ways you can pay for your fines if you happen to have a lower income.
The city has a payment plan in place designed to make its citations easier to pay for. If you can prove that your car was stolen before it received its citation, then you may not have to pay for the ticket at all.
If all else fails, you can take your ticket up with Parking Administrations to see if you can’t explain your situation.
Air Quality in San Diego
Unfortunately, one person alone cannot eliminate carbon emissions in a city like San Diego. Regardless of whether you bike or drive, you’re going to run into the consequences of such prevalent car culture.
Take a look at the table below to understand San Diego’s air quality break down better:
|SAN DIEGO-CARLSBAD AIR QUALITY INDEX||2016||2017||2018|
|Days Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||40||56||35|
|Days Very Unhealthy|
San Diego has far more moderately healthy air quality days than it does any other. This means that everyone in the city faces a moderate health risk by going outdoors these days.
While behaviors, like driving an electric vehicle or limiting your idling time, can help carbon emissions on a personal level, wider change is needed if San Diego is ever going to see a real improvement in its air quality.
The best thing you can do is check in with the weather before heading out for the day and try your best to limit the amount of fossil fuels you consume. It will be difficult, but small changes are the best way to invoke larger ones.
The good news is that driving an electric car or driving with green habits in mind could net you a discount through your car insurance provider. Be sure to talk to an agent to see if you can’t get a few dollars knocked off of your rate.
Military Members and Veterans
San Diego is home to over 100,000 active-duty members of the military and over 240,500 veterans. The active-duty members may find themselves at one of the areas seven major military bases, which include:
- Camp Pendleton
- The Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar
- The Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego
- The Coronado Naval Base
- The San Diego Naval Base
- The Point Loma Naval Base
- And the U.S. Coast Guard Station at San Diego
With such an expansive military population, you’d imagine that several of the car insurance providers in the are would make military discounts available – and you would be correct. The following providers will offer active-duty military and veterans a discount on their care insurance:
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- The General
Note that these providers may only provide coverage to active duty military members. Talk to an available agent to see if your location or military status may have an impact on any discounts that you may otherwise qualify for.
Unique San Diego Laws
Every city has things about it that make it unique. Some of those elements include extremely unique legislation. Some of the strange and unusual laws you might come across as a driver in San Diego include:
- Municipal Code 59.0502 – no one can toss a football, baseball, or Frisbee while tailgating
- Municipal Code 85.10 – neither drivers nor passengers in a moving vehicle can drink and drive
Additionally, all food truck owners need to have a permit and approval from the city before starting out on their entrepreneurial journeys. Likewise, if you have a mobile office, you’ll need to check in with the city to determine what kind of car insurance you’re going to need.
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San Diego Car Insurance FAQs
Do you still have questions about how drivers make their way around San Diego? Our FAQ should be able to help you parse your remaining questions.
What’s the state minimum car insurance?
California, as a state, requires that all of its drivers retain at least the following bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance:
- $15,000 – bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 – total bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 – property damage liability
What type of car insurance will suit me best in my neighborhood?
As mentioned, your car insurance rate may vary based on your zip code. That said, there are other factors that will contribute to variations in rate, including the crime rates in your neighborhood.
The best kind of insurance for you, based on your neighborhood, will depend on your environment. Are you living in an area that’s likely to see a natural disaster? Is your car likely to get stolen, based on its make or model?
Do your research before you move, and you’ll have a better idea of what kind of car insurance you’ll need in San Diego.
Do I need car insurance if I don’t own or use a car?
If you don’t own a car in California, then no, you won’t need car insurance. That said, if you’re driving someone else’s car, you will need to be included on their car insurance policy in case you get into an accident. These sorts of policies are known as non-owner car insurance policies.
How can I get my license reinstated?
You may find that your license is suspended if you:
- Fail your vision test
- Fail to renew your insurance coverage
- Receive a DUI
Naturally, you’ll want to have your license reinstated as soon as possible. You’ll need to wait through the applicable waiting period before moving forward. Afterward, you’ll need to pay out your reinstatement fee and make sure that you have the appropriate documentation available to prove that you have insurance coverage.
How can I overcome a block on my registration?
Registering your vehicle in California is fairly straightforward — all you need to do is speak with a representative at your local DMV. That said, there are certain occurrences that could result in your registration to be blocked. If you have several tickets on your driving record or don’t re-instate your registration in a timely manner, then you may find that it’s significantly more difficult to move forward as a driver.
If you find that your registration has been blocked, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles will let you appeal the obstacle in your way. Visit their website to determine whether or not you need to reach out in person or by mail. That said, you can also use the online portal provided by the organization for the sake of ease.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of our guide to insurance in the City of Motion. Want to start comparing the rates available to you in your area? You can use our FREE online tool to find the affordable premiums near you by entering your ZIP code below.