Los Angeles Car Insurance Guide (Comprehensive) 

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

Full Bio →

Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

Full Bio →

Reviewed byJeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyerhttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/carinsurance-live/2020/03/jeffrey-johnson.jpg

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

STATISTICSDETAILS
Population3,976,324 (2016)
Density8,477 people per square mile
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles$7,260.97
Cheapest Insurance CompanyUSAA
Road ConditionsPoor
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Los Angeles: home to Hollywood, endless sunshine, and some of the best eats in the world. LA is also a car city. With so many neighborhoods and its signature urban sprawl, getting from Point A to Point B for most Angelinos means driving.

Whether you’re cruising down Sunset Boulevard, taking in the views on Mulholland, or stuck on the 405 — you’re going to need car insurance.

But, even though everyone needs insurance, finding the right policy can seem impossible. With so many factors involved and every company claiming to offer the best rates and service, how do you decide? Well, that’s where we come in.

In this LA car insurance guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to find the coverage, company, and service you deserve. In a city renowned for bad drivers, premiums can be expensive, so finding deals is even more critical.

There are deductibles and premiums, comprehensive and collisionGAP coverage, and so much more. Though it might seem complicated, we’re going to break everything down so you can call yourself a car insurance master.

So let’s get started. If you want to get right to comparing quotes, go ahead and check out our free rate comparison tool.

Table of Contents

The Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles

Los Angelinos pay considerably more on average for car insurance than the rest of the country. On average, you can expect annual premiums of $7,261.

But, don’t lose it just yet. Rates can massively vary between companies and because of several personal factors. Plus, by shopping around, you can claim huge savings.

Some of the deciding factors when it comes to your car insurance rates are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Credit history
  • Where you live

Each provider uses its own systems to determine rates. So, a company that’s perfect for your neighbor could end up costing you way more than you want to (or should) pay.

Exactly how much do these factors affect rates? And how do you figure out which company is best for you? Let’s get to comparing.

Male vs. Female vs. Age

The first factor insurance companies consider when determining rates is your age. In general, younger drivers are assumed to be less experienced, more risk-prone, and thus more likely to get into accidents, at least in the eyes of insurance companies.

In Los Angeles, the median age is 35.8.

So the average LA driver will get the second-least expensive rates on average, thanks to their experience on the roads. Here’s a table breaking down the cheapest rates:

35601725CHEAPEST RATECHEAPEST AGE
$3,562.33$3,164.93$10,073.54$4,578.97$3,164.9360
Get Your Rates Quote Now

By age, 60-year-olds have the lowest average premiums in LA. Gender also comes into play here; insurance companies believe, and studies agree, women are more safety-conscious and overall better drivers than men.

Statistically, men have higher probabilities of filing claims, higher probabilities of getting in accidents (including fatal ones), and higher probabilities of receiving citations.

Because of that, in most states, men face higher premiums, even though some studies have shown that good driving doesn’t necessarily follow gender lines.

  • Men’s average premium in LA: $5,344.94
  • Women’s average premium in LA: $5,088.38

Though California banned using gender as a means of determining car insurance rates, these factors still play a role when it comes to averages.

Companies also take marital status into account. If you’re married, you’ll likely see discounts. The logic here is that married drivers are more financially stable and more likely to operate their vehicles safely, especially with family in the car. Here’s a chart splitting up age, gender, and marital status.

DEMOGRAPHICSAVERAGE RATES
Married 60-year old female$3,162.95
Married 60-year old male$3,166.90
Married 35-year old male$3,526.99
Married 35-year old female$3,597.68
Single 25-year old female$4,509.64
Single 25-year old male$4,648.29
Average$5,344.94
Single 17-year old female$9,083.26
Single 17-year old male$11,063.83
Get Your Rates Quote Now

As we’ve mentioned, 60-year-old drivers see the lowest premiums — by almost $400 less than their 35-year-old counterparts. Los Angeles teens also see a considerable increase in rates, nearly $8,000 annually. That’s about the price of a high-quality used car.

Cheapest ZIP Codes in Los Angeles

Strangely enough, your rates can be vastly different from an identical driver just a few blocks away. Insurance companies claim that people living in certain ZIP codes have a higher risk of filing a claim.

Factors that raise premiums in certain ZIP codes include:

  • Higher rates of vehicle theft
  • Statistically bad drivers or high rates of filed claims
  • High rates of ticketed drivers

In LA, with so much variance (and distance) between ZIP codes, rates can be dramatically different depending on where in the city you park your car.

ZIP CODEAVERAGE RATES
90001$6,668.83
90002$6,880.20
90003$7,216.78
90004$8,152.00
90005$8,303.29
90006$8,008.26
90007$7,804.44
90008$7,324.43
90010$8,529.77
90011$7,015.39
90012$7,585.79
90013$7,484.92
90014$7,996.90
90015$7,984.60
90016$7,666.96
90017$8,115.53
90018$7,691.95
90019$7,892.49
90020$8,434.59
90021$7,317.97
90023$5,961.50
90024$7,859.78
90025$7,018.22
90026$7,407.32
90027$8,112.12
90028$8,339.09
90029$8,166.29
90031$6,574.62
90032$6,257.72
90033$6,641.77
90034$6,938.01
90035$7,723.27
90036$7,859.43
90037$7,442.40
90038$8,323.32
90039$6,666.43
90041$6,408.45
90042$6,342.79
90043$7,151.68
90044$7,199.59
90045$5,866.67
90046$8,322.74
90047$6,990.32
90048$8,094.05
90049$7,318.65
90057$8,100.73
90058$7,034.66
90059$6,638.38
90061$6,680.53
90062$7,554.63
90064$6,790.13
90065$6,606.33
90066$6,263.93
90067$7,924.85
90068$7,907.31
90071$7,263.26
90073$6,442.82
90077$8,095.60
90079$7,356.48
90089$7,299.04
90248$5,547.61
90292$6,639.76
90731$5,785.84
90732$5,443.97
91304$7,210.43
91307$6,911.28
91311$6,856.34
91330$7,471.96
91342$6,669.47
91345$6,711.32
Get Your Rates Quote Now

As you can see, the gap between the cheapest and most expensive ZIP codes is huge. An area near the harbor, 90732, has average premiums of about $5,400, the lowest in LA.

Meanwhile, 90010, a ZIP code between downtown LA and Beverly Hills, has average premiums of around $8,500. Not only is this the most expensive ZIP code, but its average rates are more than $3,000 higher than the cheapest ZIP code.

What’s the best car insurance company in Los Angeles?

“Best” can mean something different to every driver. With each company, you’ll find some benefits and drawbacks, depending on what kind of driver you are and what’s most important to you. We understand that for most drivers, the most important factor is affordable premiums.

Price varies a lot depending on which company you choose to do business with.

How much you drive, your driving history, desired coverage level, and much more can all leave you with very different quotes from each provider.

In this section, we’ll break down what the major companies charge based on several factors and help you determine which providers might be right for you.

Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company

As we’ve discussed, rates vary from company to company. Beyond factors on your end, companies charge differently based on:

  • The cost of doing business (employee salaries, operational costs in and out of state)
  • The statistical likelihood of clients filing claims
  • Levels of coverage offered (deductibles, etc.)
  • Rates of insurance fraud

Here’s how some of the top providers in Los Angeles stack up:

GROUPMARRIED 35-YEAR OLD FEMALEMARRIED 35-YEAR OLD MALEMARRIED 60-YEAR OLD FEMALEMARRIED 60-YEAR OLD MALESINGLE 17-YEAR OLD FEMALESINGLE 17-YEAR OLD MALESINGLE 25-YEAR OLD FEMALESINGLE 25-YEAR OLD MALEAVERAGE
Allstate$4,440.80$4,431.31$3,211.59$3,235.18$12,526.09$15,746.23$5,675.19$6,203.58$6,933.75
Farmers$4,006.28$4,006.28$3,640.26$3,640.26$12,797.29$20,810.33$4,751.88$5,298.50$7,368.89
Geico$2,491.48$2,490.71$2,340.16$2,340.16$7,615.45$7,734.42$3,584.13$3,653.83$4,031.29
Liberty Mutual$3,172.36$2,975.30$2,974.72$2,869.00$6,853.08$7,392.56$3,547.93$3,615.08$4,175.00
Nationwide$4,984.81$4,748.21$4,371.12$4,108.92$12,865.63$14,217.34$5,955.49$5,869.86$7,140.17
Progressive$2,542.54$2,618.94$2,173.29$2,582.03$6,935.09$8,359.95$3,706.13$3,990.25$4,113.53
State Farm$4,591.64$4,591.64$4,106.31$4,106.31$8,499.31$10,546.13$5,085.40$5,243.41$5,846.27
Travelers$3,644.32$3,512.51$3,208.00$3,173.32$7,851.28$8,932.09$4,804.82$4,680.00$4,975.79
USAA$2,504.85$2,368.01$2,441.10$2,446.92$5,806.10$5,835.43$3,475.77$3,280.14$3,519.79
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Farmers, Nationwide, and Allstate are the most expensive, with premiums of $6,900 or above.

State Farm at $5,800 and Travelers at $5,000 are two of the mid-range options.

On the lower end, with premiums around $4,000-$4,100, we have Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and Geico.

USAA is the cheapest provider by far at $3,500. However, they are only available to U.S. military personnel and their families.

While more than just demographics are at play in these rates, there are some clear takeaways from this data. Especially if you are a driver in the 17-year-old group, the top three most expensive providers are going to cost you.

Regardless of their gender, these companies will charge over $12,000 annually to younger drivers. For instance, if you go with Farmers: $21,000 per year for a single 17-year-old male.

In comparison, the same driver could receive the same coverage from USAA for $5,800, or $7,700 from Geico. While these general numbers give you a good idea of which companies you might want to get a quote from, other factors are worth considering too. Let’s keep moving.

Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates

Your total of annual miles driven can affect rates, too. The logic is pretty simple: more driving means a greater likelihood of getting into accidents, receiving citations, or filing a claim. But some companies charge you less of an increase than others. Let’s take a look:

GROUP10 MILES COMMUTE. 6000 ANNUAL MILEAGE.25 MILES COMMUTE. 12000 ANNUAL MILEAGE.
Allstate$6,239.26$7,628.23
Farmers$6,682.86$8,054.91
Geico$3,661.25$4,401.33
Liberty Mutual$3,826.67$4,523.34
Nationwide$6,289.10$7,991.24
Progressive$3,729.65$4,497.40
State Farm$5,633.47$6,059.06
Travelers$4,459.95$5,491.64
USAA$3,240.71$3,798.88
Get Your Rates Quote Now

No matter who you choose, if you drive more in LA, your rates will increase.

  • Nationwide has the most significant increase in rates at $1,800, though Farmers and Allstate (at $1,400) trail closely behind.
  • State Farm charges the smallest increase in rates, around $350.

If you’re among the many California drivers spending several hours in their cars on the way to work, it might be worth seeing how much your provider charges for increased annual miles. You should be able to score some considerable savings by finding the right company.

Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates

With more coverage comes a higher premium, right? Well, sort of. While additional coverage does often increase your premiums, sometimes, one company will charge you less than a competitor for more comprehensive coverage.

More coverage is never a bad idea, especially in LA, where you run the risk of crashing into so many luxury vehicles. If you just carry liability, damages can quickly surpass your deductible and leave you paying out of pocket.

Here’s how premiums vary by coverage level across providers:

GROUPLOWMEDIUMHIGH
Allstate$6,518.17$6,999.88$7,283.19
Farmers$6,802.49$7,434.30$7,869.87
Geico$3,579.19$4,080.91$4,433.77
Liberty Mutual$3,835.18$4,215.28$4,474.55
Nationwide$6,366.35$7,268.81$7,785.36
Progressive$3,648.91$4,243.53$4,448.14
State Farm$5,242.92$5,951.74$6,344.14
Travelers$4,268.80$5,122.16$5,536.42
USAA$3,176.34$3,591.24$3,791.79
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Overall, companies don’t tend to increase rates more than $1,000 between high-level and low-level coverage. But, there are some exceptions:

  • Nationwide ($1,400 difference)
  • Travelers ($1,250 difference)
  • State Farm ($1,100 difference)

On the other hand, USAA and Liberty Mutual only charge $600 for high coverage.

Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates

One of the quickest ways to send your rates skyrocketing is to drive dangerously. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, accident, or DUI, once you lose that clean record, your monthly bills can shoot up by hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

Here’s how different providers’ rates increase based on a variety of infractions:

GROUPCLEAN RECORDWITH 1 SPEEDING VIOLATIONWITH 1 ACCIDENTWITH 1 DUI
Allstate$4,149.84$5,465.62$7,025.57$11,093.95
Farmers$5,457.32$7,366.05$7,424.13$9,228.04
Geico$2,811.80$3,489.34$4,369.58$5,454.45
Liberty Mutual$3,624.85$3,841.35$4,850.21$4,383.60
Nationwide$4,967.15$6,379.89$6,379.89$10,833.75
Progressive$2,674.38$3,864.37$4,583.08$5,332.27
State Farm$4,174.95$4,843.42$4,977.11$9,389.60
Travelers$3,235.94$4,891.24$5,455.96$6,320.04
USAA$2,330.45$2,555.44$3,485.00$5,708.26
Get Your Rates Quote Now

With just one DUI, four companies increase rates to more than $9,000: Nationwide, Farmers, Allstate, and State Farm.

  • The cheapest company for a driver with a DUI infraction is Liberty Mutual at $4,383.
  • The cheapest company for a (non-military/veteran) driver with a speeding ticket on their record is Geico at around $3,500.
  • The cheapest company for a (non-military/veteran) driver who has gotten into an accident is also Geico at around $4,300.

In general, a speeding ticket will increase your rates the least; however, they are still costly, increasing prices by $1,000 per year higher in comparison to a clean record.

Everyone makes mistakes; unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you’ve received an infraction, comparing insurers can save you a lot over the years.

Car Insurance Factors in Los Angeles

Outside of personal factors, structural and economic aspects of the city can affect rates, too. In this next section, we’ll take a look at some data involving the economy, growth, and housing market in LA.

Plus, facts on median income, education, and poverty statistics.

Metro Report – Growth and Prosperity

Each year, the Brookings Institute, a non-profit organization in Washington D.C., issues a report assessing the prosperity and growth of 100 metro areas in the country.

The metro areas range from the largest (Los Angeles and New York) to some of the smallest (McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission, Texas).

The LA metro area, which includes Long Beach and Anaheim, ranks 30th-largest in the world and is the second-largest metro area in the United States.

Between 2005 and 2015, LA ranked 11th overall in prosperity. What does “prosperity” mean? Brookings breaks it down into three major categories—productivity, standard of living, and the average annual wage.

  • Productivity: +10.9 percent (10th of 100)
  • Standard of living: +9.2 percent (ninthof 100)
  • Average annual wage: +8.9 percent (34th of 100)

In comparison to the national average, the LA metro area outperformed in productivity and standard of living significantly. In terms of annual wage, it was about on par with the national average.

As for overall growth, it ranked 49th. The three deciding categories were growth in jobs, growth in gross metropolitan product, and jobs at young firms.

  • Jobs: +3.2 percent (62nd of 100)
  • Gross metropolitan product (GMP): +14.5 percent (31st of 100)
  • Jobs at young firms: -16.3 percent (51st of 100)

Based on the Brookings Institute’s projection for the LA metro area over the 10-year period, it underperformed by 3.5 percent when it came to expected job growth.

A few of the sectors that performed under expectation were the motion picture and video industries (a 7.3 percent swing), employment services (9.9 percent swing), and local government (5.4 percent swing).

Due to these swings, the LA metro area performed below the national average for job growth.

Jobs at young firms, on the other hand, were about even with the national average, and GMP was a bit above the national average.

Median Household Income

Ask nearly anyone in Los Angeles and they will all agree on one thing: living in LA is expensive. This is especially true for young professionals and low-income families. Living costs can be difficult to meet.

On average, a one-bedroom apartment goes for $2,000. Two-bedroom apartments don’t fare much better, at $2,850, 147 percent above the national average.

So, in general, do Los Angelinos have an above-average median income level to meet these costs? On average, the median income in LA is $60,197, which is just around the national average.

As for income distribution, LA varies from bracket to bracket, though the majority of people are clustered between $50,000 and $125,000.

Unsurprisingly in this city known for incredibly uneven wealth distribution, there is a sizable portion making $200,000 or more, as well as a considerable number of people making below $50,000. A little over 6 percent of residents earn less than $10,000 per year.

Regardless of where you fall on this scale, figuring out how much of your income you need to set aside for insurance is important. If you want to figure out what percentage of your income goes toward car insurance premiums, you can check out this handy calculator.

Homeownership in the Los Angeles

With 1.38 million households in Los Angeles, this city has one of the highest numbers of houses and apartment complexes in the country. Of all these residents, how many are homeowners?

36.6 percent of occupants were homeowners in 2017, up from 35.9 percent in 2016. Compared to the rest of the United States, this percentage is incredibly low. Nationwide, homeowners occupy 63.9 percent of properties.

This is likely caused by the incredibly high housing prices in Los Angeles, which make it very difficult to purchase a home, especially if you work a minimum wage job.

Also, there is a massive market for renters, and property is in high demand. In 2017, LA’s median property value was $647,000, a steep increase from the 2016 average of $593,500.

Education in Los Angeles

Education is another big industry in Los Angeles. With three major universities (two of which hold the coveted title of most expensive tuition in the country) doing business in the city, educating a lot of young (and old) people, and handing out thousands of degrees, this is hardly a surprise.

  • University of Southern California: (15,664 degrees awarded)
  • University of California-Los Angeles: (12,961 degrees awarded)
  • California State University-Northridge: (9,890 degrees awarded)

Across these universities, the degrees are divided pretty evenly among fields of study, with some social sciences holding large chunks and hard sciences and business keeping pace.

In 2016, the top three degrees awarded were General Business Administration and Management (around 2,800 degrees), General Psychology (2,000 degrees), and Sociology (1,800 degrees).

As for post-secondary one- to two-year certificates, concentrations were a little less balanced, the majority being Liberal Arts and Sciences (2,800 degrees awarded) and Medical Assistant (1,000 degrees awarded).

Unfortunately, with slower growth than expected, getting a well-paying job in LA can be difficult for these college grads.

Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs

As with the rest of the United States, wage inequality in Los Angles across race and ethnicity lines is problematic. Although miscellaneous managers have the highest wages overall, they are also the most imbalanced in terms of wages by race.

Depending on the field, different races get paid better than others. Here is a chart:

ETHNICITYMISCELLANEOUS MANAGERSPAPIELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERSPAPIDRIVER/SALES WORKERS & TRUCK DRIVERSPAPI
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander$128,2455.66%$48,95314.83%$42,28417.17%
Asian$118,8846.11%$56,74312.80%$36,33719.98%
White$114,2496.36%$58,91712.32%$42,98216.89%
Two or More Races$110,0796.60%$52,81313.75%$38,94118.65%
American Indian$87,4478.30%$53,58813.55%$43,82316.57%
Black$76,2629.52%$52,62013.80%$39,48818.39%
Other$65,06711.16%$46,47115.62%$41,31917.57%
Other Native Americann/an/a$72,9699.95%$40,53917.91%
Get Your Rates Quote Now

The differences in the percentages of income going toward insurance are particularly significant for the miscellaneous manager category. The top-earning race/ethnicity pays 5.66 percent of their income, while the lowest earners are paying 11.16 percent.

As for teachers, the numbers are more balanced. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers also see relatively stable numbers, as there is a $6,500 difference between the lowest paid race/ethnicity and the highest. However, that is still quite a large gap when trying to make ends meet in Los Angeles.

Wage by Gender in Common Jobs

In recent years, the gender pay gap has been well-documented, with women only earning on average 79 cents to every dollar men make.

Los Angeles, unfortunately, follows this same trend.

Across the board, women earn less than men. There is a significant difference in salaries for managerial positions, even in the female-dominated industry of teaching.

OCCUPATIONMALE SALARYPREMIUM AS % OF INCOMEFEMALE SALARYPREMIUM AS % OF INCOME
Miscellenous Managers$125,7065.78%$94,6997.67%
Elementary & Middle School Teachers$68,82310.55%$63,65711.41%
Get Your Rates Quote Now

In terms of insurance, on average, women pay nearly 2 percent more of their income on premiums than men when they are both managers.

The gender pay gap is even more pronounced when you take race into account; Latina or Hispanic women make around 53 cents per every dollar men make, and black women make around 61 cents.

With the diversity of demographics in LA, those numbers have a significant impact.

Poverty by Age and Gender

Poverty is one of LA’s most pressing issues, with ever-growing populations of people experiencing homelessness. Currently, 20.4 percent of LA residents live below the poverty line — 7 percent higher than the national average.

Alongside rising housing costs, lack of available shelter is affecting millions in LA. One of the prime examples of this is tucked right into the “booming” downtown area: Skid Row. This is a community of thousands of people living out of tents, doing their best to get by in this divided city.

Women between the ages of 25-34 face the highest percentages of poverty, with women between 35-44 and women between 18-24 following close behind.

Except for those 14 years old or younger, across the board, women are more likely to be living in poverty. Some of the reasons, aside from the gender wage gap, that women are 35 percent more likely to fall into poverty than men include higher rates of violence and abuse and lack of a safety net.

Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

Poverty rates also vary by race and ethnicity. In Los Angeles, Hispanic people make up 37.8 percent of the people living in poverty. White people are the next most likely group to be under the poverty line, making up 29.1 percent, according to DataUSA.

Pacific Islanders make up the smallest share of LA residents living in poverty at 0.128 percent. However, considering only 0.3 percent of the total population are Pacific Islanders, this is a relatively large portion living in poverty.

Employment by Occupations

When LA comes to mind, most people might think of movie sets, the Hollywood signs, and maybe the Kardashians. They probably don’t have images of paperhangers or cartographers. However, LA has a diverse economy spread across hundreds of different jobs.

Jobs in LA are incredibly varied, as no category holds more than 6 percent (other management occupations except farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers) of the population.

The largest categories are managers, building and pest control workers (4.34 percent), and other office and administrative support workers (2.52 percent).

With so many struggling actors working in the service industries, we decided to look a little further into the numbers. The three largest categories are building cleaning and pest control workers: 20.5 percent, personal care and service workers: 15.2 percent, and cooks and food preparation workers: 11.9 percent.

A distant fourth is waiters and waitresses at 6.98 percent.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Driving in Los Angeles

There is nothing quite like driving in Los Angeles. From some of the biggest (and most congested) highways in the world to the twists and curves in the Hollywood Hills to the packed retail blocks of Melrose: if you drive in LA, you’ll see all kinds of things you couldn’t find anywhere else.

In this next section, you’ll find info on the major highways in Los Angeles, traffic, vehicle theft, and how safe the roads are — by looking at fatality statistics.

On we go!

Roads in Los Angeles

The quality and conditions of the streets in your city mean a lot. There are few things worse than having to pay for the damage of running into a bad pothole.

Here we’ll discuss all you need to know about the highways, popular road trip destinations, and red light cameras.

We’ll look at the best and worst-case scenarios, wherever you find yourself cruising in LA.

Major Highways in Los Angeles

The LA metro area is home to 13.4 million people, and the Greater LA area houses 18.7 million as of 2015.

With so many places to visi t— Downtown LA, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, etc . —LA drivers use a lot of routes. Which ones are the largest?

INTERSTATE/HIGHWAYLENGTH (MILES)TOLL ROADNICKNAME
I-40572.42NoSan Diego Freeway
I-102460.34NoSanta Monica & San Bernardino Freeway (near LA)
US 1011,540NoThe one-oh-one (near LA)
SR 13478.7NoVentura Freeway
SR 17016.6NoHollywood Freeway
I-110 - SR 11031.82NoHarbor Freeway
I-5308NoGolden State Freeway & Santa Ana Freeway (near LA)
SR 6076NoPomona Freeway
Get Your Rates Quote Now

People in LA are so dependent on the roadways they’ve even nicknamed their highways for easy reference.

In total, eight major highways and interstates run through LA. 

These include I-10 (known as the 10), which runs across the nation, ending up in Florida, and the 101, which runs up the west coast to Washington.

Although none of these major roads are toll roads, you may run into tolls, or FasTrak lanes as you travel throughout LA and greater California.

The toll roads are State Routes 73, 133, 241, and 261 in Orange County (adjacent to Los Angeles County) and State Route 125 in San Diego.

There are also some smaller towns with toll roads and some expressways that have them throughout the state. Drivers have one option as of October 2019 to pay for the State Route toll roads: FasTrak.

FasTrak works via a transponder you receive in the mail and attach to your vehicle. It is connected to a debit or credit card, from which you deposit funds into your account. When you pass through a toll station, the machine reads the transponder and deducts the payment automatically from your account.

Toll rates vary according to the toll road you use, day of the week, time of day, numbers of axles, and whether you are an account holder or not.

Popular Road Trips/Sites

Looking for a break from the traffic and hustle of LA? You’re in luck. There are some incredible day trips or weekend getaways worth visiting.

These four destinations are just hours from LA and are beloved by LA county residents.

  • Joshua Tree: One of the most popular national parks in the country, Joshua Tree is home to the unique tree it’s named for. You can also take in some of the best stargazing in Southern California and check out the one of a kind rock formations.
  • Temecula: Though Napa in Northern California gets most of the publicity when it comes to California wines, Temecula has some great tastings to try out just a few hours outside LA. You can even try your luck at Pechanga Resort Casino.
  • Big Bear Lake: If you’re looking for a complete change of pace (and climate) from LA, head to Big Bear Lake. Just a short drive from LA, Big Bear Lake features a huge range of outdoor activities — mountain biking, hiking, fishing, zip-lining, and more. Plus, throughout the winter months, you can go visit some of the best slopes and snow (yes, snow!) in California.
  • Catalina Island: At Catalina Island, you can take in some more of California’s natural splendor and relax with a drink in hand. Whether you’re interested in zip-lining, boat tours, scenic driving, or heading to a club, Catalina has it all.

Road Conditions in Los Angeles

Though LA can boast about its incredible sights and activities, its road conditions leave a lot to be desired.

POOR SHAREMEDIOCRE SHAREFAIR SHAREGOOD SHAREVEHICLE OPERATING COSTS
57%22%11%10%$921
Get Your Rates Quote Now

The majority of the roads in LA are designated as poor condition; just 21 percent are ranked fair or better.

What exactly makes a road “poor?” Edgar Snyder and Associates, a law firm, has a good description:

  • Clear zone issues: Items fixed that are obstructing part of the roadway
  • Positive guidance: Signs that are hidden or lines that have been poorly painted or are broken
  • Potholes: Where a hole has developed in the road, leading to flat tires and accidents
  • Wheel ruts: When a road hasn’t been resurfaced in a while, leading to grooves where tires dig in and struggle to get out

Stay careful on those roads, and keep your eyes peeled for potholes to hopefully avoid damage to your vehicle.

Does Los Angeles use speeding or red light cameras?

Speeding and red light cameras both capture images of a driver’s license plate if they speed or run a red light — no police officers needed. Does Los Angeles use them?

As of 2019, there are no red light cameras. In 2011, the Los Angeles City Council voted to terminate the program, following a great deal of controversy.

Some of these issues were judicial, and the fact that these devices cost drivers too much for minor infractions (as the majority of tickets were for turning right at a red light). Many called the program unconstitutional, as well.

Speeding cameras, on the other hand, have gained some traction in California since 2017, as San Francisco is considering implementing them.

Vehicles in Los Angeles

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how popular driving is as a means of getting around LA. But what kinds of vehicles do Los Angelinos use?

In this section, we’ll look at the most popular vehicles in LA, vehicle theft rates, and much more.

Los Angeles’s Most Popular Vehicles Owned

For data on the most popular vehicles in Los Angeles, we’ve turned to YourMechanic for some answers. They maintain a massive database of cars serviced by mechanics across the country.

With so many drivers, it’s unsurprising LA ranks high across several categories, including hybrids.

  • Mitsubishi Montero is the most unusually popular car
  • 1.8 percent of cars serviced were hybrids, fifth nationally
  • 12.4 percent were muscle cars, 48th nationally
  • 0.8 percent were Suburus, 48th nationally
  • 0.3 percent were Porsches, ninth nationally

As California is among the few states that have passed legislation to reduce air pollution and offered car rebates for individuals wanting to buy a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, it’s no surprise hybrids are so popular.

How Many Cars Per Household

With so much road travel, most families are probably going to need at least one car to get around Los Angeles. Do the numbers line up?

That they do; in LA, 37 percent of households own two cars. This follows the national trend, as the vast majority of American households own two vehicles. But in LA, the numbers are a little lower than the national average (perhaps due to the costs of housing and car insurance).

LA households are next most likely to own one car (27.4 percent), and then three (17.1 percent).

Households Without a Car

In one of the most spread-out cities in the world, living without a car can be difficult, to say the least. What percentage of drivers don’t own a car?

2015 HOUSEHOLDS WITHOUT VEHICLES2016 HOUSEHOLDS WITHOUT VEHICLES2015 VEHICLES PER HOUSEHOLD RATE2016 VEHICLES PER HOUSEHOLD RATE
12.10%12.20%1.591.62
Get Your Rates Quote Now

As of 2016, 12.2 percent of households didn’t own a car, a very slight increase from 2015 when it was 12.1 percent.

For families under the poverty line, owning a car can be nearly impossible. This causes families with low income to face mobility challenges, including the need to carpool, take public transportation, or walk to work. Food deserts are another major problem with being carless.

In Los Angeles, individuals in the $100,000+ income group travel 12.8 more miles per day than those in poverty. Access to the city, as you can see, is largely divided by income.

This distribution of space and access is partly the cause of LA’s stratified neighborhoods, as many people must live close to work to be able to travel back and forth.

Speed Traps in Los Angeles

Speed traps can cost you a lot of money — and not only because of tickets; they can also lead to rising insurance rates. Fortunately, we’ve done some research on how to avoid speed traps in LA.

Some good news, according to Speedtrap.org, LA isn’t one of the Top 10 Worst California Cities in terms of speed traps.

The not-so-good news? You can still run into LA speed traps. Some of the biggest ones are:

  • Tampa Ave. and Chatsworth St.: A motorcycle cop with LIDAR is on the southwest side of the intersection. There is a large tree on the north side of Chatsworth, so you might not see him from far off.
  • 110 freeway FasTrak lanes between downtown and 105 freeway: California Highway Patrol hides in the bus stations with radar guns. Watch that you do not go over 70 mph .
  • Grand (Between 7th and 8th): If you are going south on Grand (it’s one-way in this stretch), there’s a pedestrian crossing with a traffic light that blinks red lights. If you don’t stop and treat this light as if it were a “stop sign,” you may be ticketed.
  • La Brea and Coliseum: Coming down from the hill on La Brea when you’re approaching Coliseum, there’s a motorcycle cop with a radar gun. He says it’s a 40 mph zone, but everyone is going over 50 mph most of the time. (Using this as an excuse will not get you out of a ticket.)

Though some of these reports are dated, police speed trap locations often last for years.

Vehicle Theft in Los Angeles

Vehicle theft can be both stressful and frightening. While there are some common-sense practices to avoid vehicle theft, at the end of the day, if your vehicle is in the wrong place at the wrong time, there isn’t much you can do. So what are the stats for theft in LA?

AREAMOTOR VEHICLE THEFT (TOTAL)MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT RATE
Los Angeles19,5464.89
United States773,1392.37
Get Your Rates Quote Now

This data comes from NeighborhoodScout, an organization looking at crime, real estate numbers, schools, and demographics for different U.S. cities.

In 2017, just under 20,000 vehicles were stolen Los Angeles, making the city somewhat of a hotbed for vehicle thefts — that rate is more than twice as high as the national average.

If you’re concerned about vehicle theft, consider moving to some of the safer neighborhoods in the city if you can.

Safest Los Angeles Neighborhoods
  1. Victory Blvd / Balboa Blvd
  2. Topanga Canyon Blvd / S Topanga Canyon Blvd
  3. Mulholland Dr / Sepulveda Blvd
  4. Reseda Blvd / Rosita St
  5. De Soto Ave / Chatsworth St
  6. Palisades Dr / Ave De Santa Ynez
  7. W Sunset Blvd / N Kenter Ave
  8. Riviera
  9. Sesnon Blvd / Reseda Blvd
  10. Balboa Blvd / Westbury Dr

Most of these neighborhoods are between Downtown LA and Malibu, in the generally wealthier western parts of the city.

Total crime rates don’t paint a particularly pleasant picture of Los Angeles, either.

In 2017, there were nearly 31,000 violent crimes in LA. That means the average LA resident has an eight in 1,000 chance of being a victim of violent crime. As for property crimes, the numbers were over 100,000, meaning there was a 25 in 1,000 chance of being a victim of property crime in Los Angeles.

Across all violent crime — whether murders, robberies, or assaults — LA has a much higher rate than the average American city.

  • With 282 murders, LA’s murder rate is .02 higher than the U.S. average.
  • As for the nearly 11,000 robberies, LA’s robbery rate is almost triple the national average.
  • And with almost 17,000 assaults, LA’s assault average is about 60 percent above average.

As with most major cities, crime is generally concentrated in specific areas.

For LA, the majority of these neighborhoods are on the south side, though there are some higher crime rates throughout the city, including downtown with Skid Row.

For some tips to keep your car safe, check out this video:

Traffic in Los Angeles

If there’s one thing LA is notorious for, it’s traffic. Across movies, television, news broadcasts, and global reports, LA has become synonymous with sitting stuck for hours in your car.

For LA drivers, this can be one of the biggest daily challenges. We understand.

In this section, we’ll break down just how bad the traffic is in LA, and hopefully give you some tools to avoid the worst of it. Plus, we’ll look at some safety tips.

Traffic Congestion in California

Congestion is rampant in LA; in fact, it has the worst traffic stats in the United States and ranks 24th-worst globally.

We look to TomTom, the global traffic rating company that collects global statistics on congestion and road safety, for our data on LA driving. They examined around eight billion miles of highways and non-highways in Los Angeles, and found the following statistics:

  • Congestion was higher on highways than non-highways (45 percent to 39 percent)
  • The best day was December 25th; the worst was November 14th

As December 25th is Christmas Day, it’s no surprise the roadways are at their least congested. Beyond just what days are best and worst, we looked at some less-than-pretty rush hour statistics.

  • The most congested hours are 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • During mornings, congestion levels increase 64 percent, leading to an extra 19 minutes spent in the car (per 30-minute drive)
  • As for evenings, congestion levels increase 80 percent, leading to an additional 24 minutes spent in the car (per 30-minute drive)

On average, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the worst days of the week in terms of traffic.

Transportation

For the stats on transportation and commute times, we consulted DataUSA.io. Commutes vary pretty widely in LA.

  • A large portion of people commutes between 10 minutes and 24 minutes per day.
  • Another reasonably large group commute between 45 minutes and 89 minutes (near the border for the 90-minute super-commute).
  • However, the majority of drivers sit in the 30- to 34-minute commute range (just over 20 percent of LA’s drivers).

Overall, LA’s average commute time is 29.8 minutes, a bit longer than the U.S. average of 25.1 minutes.

With car upkeep, insurance costs, high gas prices, and the ever-elusive carpool lane, more people carpool to work in LA compared to the rest of the nation (76.4 percent rather than the U.S. average of 69.7 percent).

Across the board, LA sits a bit outside of national averages. This isn’t surprising, as the driving culture in city is certainly unique.

Busiest Highways

As we’ve mentioned, LA has the worst traffic in the country. A significant contributor to the congestion numbers is the vast highways that run through LA. A lot of these thoroughfares are among the biggest roads in the nation.

  • I-405: Colloquially known as “the 405,” the San Diego Freeway runs over 72 miles and has a total of 14 lanes at its widest.
  • I-5: The Golden State Freeway and Santa Ana Freeway near LA runs 308 miles up to Washington and has a total of 12 lanes at certain points.
  • SR-91: This highway runs 59 miles and has 12 lanes at its peak.
  • I-110: Known as “the 110,” the Santa Monica and San Bernardino highway runs 2,500 miles (from Florida to the West Coast) and has up to 12 lanes.

Even with so many lanes, these roads still face massive congestion.

How safe are Los Angeles’s streets and roads?

It’s clear traffic is an issue for LA drivers, but how do they fare in terms of safety? By looking at data on traffic fatalities, drivers can make informed decisions about how, when, and where they drive in this sprawling metropolis.

We’ve collected data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covering the five years from 2013 to 2017 across five counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Ventura.

Before we review our findings, it’s important to consider the total populations for each county.

  • Los Angeles County: 10.2 million
  • Orange County: 3.19 million
  • San Bernardino County: 2.16 million
  • Riverside County: 2.42 million
  • Ventura County: 850,000

As you can see, Los Angeles has almost 1.5 million more people than the surrounding counties combined (10.2 million to 8.6 million).

The stats on traffic fatalities can be broken down into several categories to gain a more accurate picture of what causes these tragic accidents.

COUNTY TOTAL FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles6256396518376583410
Orange186173183204178924
San Bernardino2622852602732711351
Riverside2282462422972941307
Ventura6646565747272
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 3,400 total traffic fatalities in Los Angeles County. This number is lower than that of the surrounding counties, which total almost 3,800 fatalities, even with LA County’s higher population. This can be attributed partly to slower road speeds within the city.

COUNTY ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles187172149240192940
Orange5141495547243
San Bernardino6789748076386
Riverside8171769295415
Ventura101511192075
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Alcohol-impaired crashes follow the same trend. However, by year, the numbers vary quite a bit in Los Angeles County, jumping up and down sometimes by 40 crashes.

COUNTY SINGLE VEHICLE FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles3793593894723681967
Orange12211810912382554
San Bernardino148165122157155747
Riverside122145128170169734
Ventura4533293119157
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Here again, LA County sees fewer total fatalities than the other four counties combined. Similarly to alcohol-impaired crash fatalities, LA County single-vehicle fatalities also jump up and down, sometimes by as much as 10 percent.

COUNTY SPEEDING FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles2452402313082141238
Orange6256515360282
San Bernardino9290827288424
Riverside6693879584425
Ventura19912161470
Get Your Rates Quote Now

As for which counties outrank LA in terms of traffic fatalities, it seems both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties have very high percentages of fatalities.

COUNTY ROADWAY DEPARTURE FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles2051902092621891055
Orange7260487349302
San Bernardino131126124142129652
Riverside117106114150135622
Ventura3621293225143
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Here again, we see the same trend of LA County compared to the surrounding counties. San Bernardino and Riverside Counties hold high rates again, more than doubling Orange County’s total, though they have significantly smaller populations.

By looking into the kinds of accidents, we can uncover part of the reason the rates are so much higher. Both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties have more rural roadways, which tend to have more curves and places for possible roadway departures. Roadway departures make up two-thirds of traffic deaths in rural areas.

This is a significant issue: over half of traffic fatalities occur in rural areas, though just 19 percent of the population lives there.

Though California doesn’t rate San Bernardino or Riverside as rural counties, they are apart of the Inland Empire and have plenty of roadways within a mountain range.

COUNTY INTERSECTION-RELATED FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles2182342423072341235
Orange5856676061302
San Bernardino4571584748269
Riverside4554576485305
Ventura1499101355
Get Your Rates Quote Now

As for intersection-related fatalities, Los Angeles County tops the charts by about 300, which is proportional to their population distribution and the number of intersections. With more urbanization comes more accidents at intersections, and thus higher risks of fatalities.

COUNTY PASSENGER CAR RELATED FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles2002002022631831048
Orange6351545859285
San Bernardino108871069692489
Riverside888795100113483
Ventura2615172624108
Get Your Rates Quote Now

These numbers are a bit more balanced, with LA County only slightly above the other four combined. LA County’s total dropped considerably from 2016 to 2017 (decreasing by a total of 80 fatalities). However, Riverside’s totals steadily rose from 88 in 2013 to 113 in 2017.

COUNTY PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles2092092092782351140
Orange5543586750273
San Bernardino5062606168301
Riverside4044426264252
Ventura1211146548
Get Your Rates Quote Now

When it comes to pedestrian fatalities, LA County again rises above the other four combined by about 270, in line with the distribution of the population.

The number of pedestrian fatalities over five years is shocking: 1,140 in five years in LA alone.

This is both a testament to the number of pedestrians traveling on foot, and to LA needing to increase safety measures. Currently, San Francisco is considering installing speed cameras to help lower the likelihood of pedestrian fatalities.

Perhaps LA will follow suit.

COUNTY PEDALCYCLIST FATALITIES20132014201520162017TOTAL
Los Angeles3024333729153
Orange818149958
San Bernardino101026533
Riverside812710845
Ventura7212012
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Here as well, the numbers stay pretty even, both in terms of population distribution and the overall trends (upward or downward) across five years.

ROAD TYPEFATAL CRASHES
Rural Interstate135
Urban Interstate296
Freeway/Expressway459
Other972
Minor Arterial685
Collector Arterial480
Other271
Unknown6
Total3,304
Get Your Rates Quote Now

This table sources its data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and looks at the traffic fatalities in California for 2017, based on the type of roadway. Most of the fatal crashes occurred on arterial roads rather than freeways and interstates (1,165 to 755). This makes sense, as freeway driving is often stop-and-go.

The Federal Highway Administration classifies major arterial roads as roadways serving major centers of metropolitan areas, providing a high degree of mobility, and also providing mobility through rural areas.

Minor arterials provide service for trips of moderate length, serve geographic areas that are smaller than their higher arterial counterparts, and offer connectivity to the higher arterial system.

In short, these are the roads that feed onto the highways and interstates; they move a large volume of drivers and have higher speed limits.

Between 2012 and 2016, there were also 90 railway incidents in Los Angeles County, which is high compared to national averages.

Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

As we’ve seen, traffic is a problem, car accidents are more common, and the likelihood of a claim shoots insurance rates up throughout the city. Are LA drivers really that much worse than the rest of the country on average?

To find out, we consulted Allstate’s annual report ranking the drivers in 200 American cities.

2019 BEST DRIVERS REPORT RANKINGAVERAGE YEARS BETWEEN CLAIMSAVERAGE YEARS BETWEEN CLAIMS (NATIONAL AVG)RANKING CHANGE (2018/2019)
1955.810.57-1
Get Your Rates Quote Now

In 2019, LA ranked 195th, going down one spot from 194th in 2018.

So, things are not looking too good on the driving front in Los Angeles this year.

LA residents file an insurance claim every 5.8 years on average, which is almost twice as often as the average U.S. driver. This is partly due to vehicle theft rates, which are significantly higher than the U.S. average.

Stay extra cautious on the roadways of LA to avoid filing a claim and causing your rates to rise.

Ridesharing

LA is one of the major hubs of ridesharing. Los Angelinos rely on rideshare services to get to and from nights out, and around the city if they don’t want to drive themselves.

With so much demand, LA residents have a much more extensive range of services to choose from other than just Uber and Lyft.

To loosely compare rates, we took an imaginary trip from LAX to the Griffith Observatory, about 27 miles in total. The prices were:

  • Uber: X $46 | Select $102 | Black $139 | Lux $205
  • Lyft: Regular $47 | Premier $105 | Luxury $144
  • RideYellow (traditional taxi): $86
  • Taxi (traditional taxi): $86
  • Flywheel (traditional taxi): $87
  • Curb (traditional taxi): $88
  • Carmel (traditional taxi or limo): $106

To find the cheapest rates, we recommend downloading a few services and comparing prices before you confirm a trip.

E-star Repair Shops

If you purchase insurance through Esurance.com, you’ll gain access to the E-star repair program, which shows you numerous high-quality repair shops in your area.

But, you don’t need to have a policy to check out the list of shops. Here are some of the options you can choose from:

NAME OF FACILITYADDRESSCONTACT INFORMATION
AGC COLLISION CENTER3424 W SUNSET BLVD
LOS ANGELES CA 90026
email: claims@agccollision.com
P: (323) 663-8076
F: (323) 663-1675
AUTO-TECH COLLISION CENTER_CF1116 W WASHINGTON BLVD
LOS ANGELES CA 90015
email: atcc@autotechcc.com
P: (213) 748-8228
F: (213) 748-8789
CALIBER - GLENDALE3829 SAN FERNANDO RD
GLENDALE CA 91204
email: Glendale@calibercollision.com
P: (818) 243-3206
WESTERN COLLISION709 N GRAMERCY PLACE
LOS ANGELES CA 90038
email: vera@westerncollision.com
P: (323) 465-7126
F: (323) 957-0975
NOAH'S COLLISION CENTER5235 YORK BLVD
LOS ANGELES CA 90042
email: edwing@noahscollision.com
P: (323) 258-4000
SERVICE KING MONTEREY PARK999 S. MONTEREY PASS RD.
MONTEREY PARK CA 91754
email: ccc@serviceking.com
P: (323) 262-7415
F: (323) 262-7418
HARRY'S AUTO COLLISION CENTER1013 S. LA BREA AVE.
LOS ANGELES CA 90019
email: info@harryscollision.com
P: (323) 933-5824
F: (323) 935-7054
BELLWOOD AUTO BODY4625 GAGE AVE
BELL CA 90201
email: assignments@bellwoodautobody.com
P: (323) 771-3429
F: (323) 771-6464
Pacific Elite - Los Angeles4610 CRENSHAW BLVD
LOS ANGELES CA 90043
email: losangeles@pacificelite.com
P: (323) 298-6282
F: (323) 296-0804
ALL CITY COLLISION BURBANK1020 S. VICTORY BLVD.
BURBANK CA 91502
email: allcityburbank@gmail.com
P: (818) 343-9999
Get Your Rates Quote Now

These are just a few, within a 50-mile radius of Los Angeles, drivers can find 84 E-star shops.

Weather in Los Angeles

Aside from traffic and the movies, LA is known for its idyllic weather. Residents enjoy sunny days, blue skies, incredible sunsets, and a perfect, dry temperature — around 70 to 80 degrees — almost year-round.

It can seem a lot like paradise.

TEMPERATURE FACTSDETAILS
Annual High71.7°F
Annual Low55.9°F
Average Temperature63.8°F
Get Your Rates Quote Now

In general, LA’s weather temperatures only vary about 15 degrees throughout the year. Its low is, well, not very low at 56 degrees. But don’t be surprised to see your fellow Los Angelenos breaking out the winter jackets on those relatively warm days.

WEATHER FACTSDETAILS
Average Sunshine284 days
Average Annual Rainfall18.67 inch
Get Your Rates Quote Now

A whopping 284 days of sunshine.

However, LA residents sign up for one major concern along with this perfect weather: natural disasters.

The number of disasters in Los Angeles County (52) is well above the U.S. average (13).

  • 26 of the 52 natural disasters have been designated major disasters.
  • Three were declared as emergencies.

According to City-Data.com, natural disasters can be classified in 80 categories (some can be assigned to more than one category).

  • Fires: 34
  • Floods: 14
  • Storms: 9
  • Landslides: 5
  • Winter Storms: 5
  • Mudslides: 4
  • Earthquakes: 3
  • Freeze: 1
  • Heavy Rain: 1
  • Hurricane: 1
  • Snow: 1
  • Tornado: 1
  • Wind: 1

On the minds of most Californians? Earthquakes.

Currently, under LA, there are five major fault lines and several more minor fault lines.

Major earthquakes (magnitudes seven or higher) can take untold lives and cost millions of dollars in property damage.

Fortunately, the California Earthquake Authority has put together a list of ways to be prepared, including the proper insurance policies to get and how to prepare your home.

Public Transit

Although many people complain about the often late buses, and minimal train and subway lines in Los Angeles, there are a surprising number of commuters and travelers alike who rely (successfully) on public transport. Especially the Metro.

Metro Bus: A network of 165 bus routes in the county, the Metro bus system can take you almost anywhere (though your bus may never come). Depending on where you’re going and how fast you want to get there, you can choose between four different buses. Payment requires exact change or the TAP card.

Metro Rail: The rail is extensive, with 93 stations in the system, all connecting to bus stops. The rail takes passengers to San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, South Bay, Eastside, and San Gabriel Valley, with LA the central point. You can check out listed fares here. A one-way ticket generally costs $1.75.

According to the Metro website, over 60 percent of riders qualify for discounts. These include:

  • Seniors
  • People with disabilities
  • College/vocational students
  • K-12 students

If you don’t want to ride the Metro, you can always try DASH by the LA Department of Transporation. DASH serves 33 local communities in the area, shuttling passengers via small buses.

Soon, they will even offer on-demand service for four areas: Palms, Mar Vista, Venice, and Del Rey.

There are also local municipal buses in smaller cities. If you need a shuttle to the airport, you can contact FlyAway, a service provided by LAX.

Alternate Transportation

For folks looking to travel shorter distances without Uber or a car, scooters and electric bikes are popular options.

In particular, downtown and various cultural hubs are home to lots of scooter and bike riders, locations where restaurants and venues of interest are packed together, but walking takes a little too long.

In September of 2018, LA passed regulations to allow for scooters and bikes in the city, though there are some restrictions. In West Hollywood and Westside, riders won’t run into any trouble, but there are places where you can’t ride, such as Beverly Hills.

Bird and Lime offer scooters, and in some cases bikes (dockless, electric, and/or smart). The city of LA offers electric bicycles as part of the Metro Bike program.

Costs for all of these services are generally $1-$2 per trip, with additional fees for length and hours used.If you want to commit to more regular use, you can sign up for daily, weekly, monthly, and longer passes.

Parking in Metro Areas

Ah, parking in LA. Depending on where you are, this can be a breeze, or absolute evil incarnate (Koreatown and West Hollywood, we’re looking at you).

Garages are plentiful, especially in areas like Santa Monica. But they can fill up fast.

Depending on the spot, parking fees may vary from a few dollars per hour to upwards of eight, according to DowntownLA.com.

Many charge maximum fees for the day, ranging from $10 to $16 or above. But, finding a spot in the first place can be a challenge, especially in more congested areas, like downtown LA.

If you are lucky enough to find parking, be sure to very carefully check all posted signage. Parking times can be restricted by day, certain hours, parking limits, or during street cleaning. Watch out for the costly violation fees.

There are more than 40,000 metered parking spaces in LA, with prices ranging from 50 cents per hour to $4 per hour, depending on where you park.

Drivers can pay with cash or LA Express Park, the city’s app. You can find available street parking, costs, and more on the app’s website.

Air Quality in Los Angeles

Air quality is a serious issue across California, to such a degree that the state government created AirNow for locals to track air quality in their area (or wherever they may be).

The common causes of air pollution are often related to exhaust from cars:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Particulate matter

All of these sources can deplete the ozone layer and lead to air pollution in cities. This can cause higher rates of cancer, eye issues, and asthma and other respiratory problems.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles is known as one of the most polluted cities in America. Part of this is due to the surrounding geography, air conditions, and the mountains, but so many cars and machines emitting pollutants certainly don’t help the situation.

YEARDAYS WITH AQIGOOD DAYSMODERATE DAYSUNHEALTHY DAYS FOR SENSITIVE GROUPSUNHEALTHY DAYSVERY UNHEALTHY DAYS
20163663222683214
20173653820576388
20183653522090191
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Here’s a breakdown:

  • In 2018: 108 total unhealthy days
  • In 2017: the number increased to 122
  • In 2018: there was a slight decrease to 110

That means almost a third of the days in a year across three years were considered unhealthy according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s study. Some initiatives have been put in place to combat air pollution, mostly focused on building and implementing zero-emission equipment.

City officials want to see a reduction of 25 percent by the 2028 Summer Olympics, which would be fantastic for the city.

Military/Veterans

Whether you are an active military service member or a veteran, you and your family face a unique set of challenges. One thing that shouldn’t be a concern? Finding affordable car insurance.

That’s what this section is for — a guide for military service people in LA to find affordable policies easily.

Veterans by Service Period

Currently, in California, there are approximately 1.8 million veterans, the most in any state. As for LA, the largest number of vets served in Vietnam (nearly 28,000 in total).

Veterans of the Gulf Wars (1990s and 2001-present) number around 26,000 combined. While the number of veterans of these wars living in LA is slightly low compared to the national averages, there are more World War II and Korean vets in LA than there are in most places.

Military Bases within an Hour

Los Angeles’ nearest military base is the Los Angeles Air Force Base, home to the 61st Air Base Wing; it supports the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

The base houses several programs and initiatives, including the space-based infrared system, the launch enterprise systems directorate, and the Blue Grit podcast.

Their website writes: The center is responsible for on-orbit check-out, testing, sustainability, and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems.

It is the only active military base in Los Angeles County and supports all the active-duty personnel in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Military Discounts by Providers

Only four insurance companies in Los Angeles offer discounts to military personnel:

  • Allstate
  • Farmers
  • Geico 15 percent (for active or retired personnel)
  • Liberty Mutual (for active personnel only)

For more information, you can check out the websites for each of these companies.

USAA Available in State

As we’ve mentioned again and again above, USAA offers some of the best rates in Los Angeles. This provider is only available to military personnel (and their immediate families).

Let’s break down the exact numbers for Los Angeles.

GROUPAVERAGE PREMIUMDIFFERENCE (+/-)DIFFERENCE (%)
Allstate$4,532.96$844.0322.88%
Farmers$4,998.78$1,309.8535.51%
Geico$2,885.65-$803.28-21.78%
Liberty Mutual$3,034.42-$654.51-17.74%
Nationwide$4,653.19$964.2626.14%
Progressive$2,849.67-$839.26-22.75%
State Farm$4,202.28$513.3513.92%
Travelers$3,349.54-$339.39-9.20%
USAA$2,693.87-$995.06-26.97%
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Average annual premiums for USAA are around $2,700, nearly $1,000 below the average of all their competitors, 27 percent less.

USAA also gives servicemembers the option to add their children and spouse to their plan; however, extended family members, including parents, siblings, cousins, and grandparents, cannot be added.

Unique City Laws

Every city has its own quirky, odd, and sometimes out-of-date laws.

In this section, we’ll check out four categories of law that affect most drivers and vary widely from place to place. That includes laws related to food truck drivers and folks with tiny homes.

Hands-Free Laws

In 2017, California passed one of the strictest laws in the U.S. regulating cell phone usage while driving.

Bill 1785 made it illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless that device was attached to a dashboard or in voice activation mode. So, you need to stay hands-free.

Anyone found in violation of this law will be subject to a $20 first fine, followed by a $50 fine for each subsequent infraction. This legislation comes as no surprise, as the California Office of Traffic Safety found 80 percent of crashes in the state involved some kind of driver distraction.

Food Truck Laws

The food truck renaissance really came into its own in LA. Around 2008-2009, their popularity steadily began to grow as more entrepreneurs and chefs started food trucks rather than traditional restaurants.

Even though some say they are on the decline, they’re still very popular. So, what steps do you need to take if you want to start one?

The LA Business Portal put together a checklist, covering what you must do to register your business, how to store your food truck overnight, get ready to open, bring on staff, and more.

The Los Angeles City Council also passed the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (SB 946) fully legalizing food trucks, though also adding many regulations on them:

  • In city parks, there will be a two-vendor-per-acre rule.
  • Vendors will be required to obtain a business license, tax, and health permits.
  • There is no cap on the number of vendors.

Food trucks aren’t going anywhere, with so many options for flavors and styles, full legalization, and booming business opportunities.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes (unless on wheels) are categorized as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Los Angeles. They are legal as long as they meet zoning requirements.

According to the Planning Department of LA, an ADU can be built if it adheres to the following:

  • The zoning of the property is R-A, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, A-1 or A-2 (or any other zone where single-family homes are allowed).
  • One legal single-family residence exists on-site.
  • The ADU complies with the development standards of the provided summary.

This summary provides a full list of regulations about the size of the tiny home (both square footage and height), issues with fire hazards, and information on accessories, like porches.

Before building, a site application must be submitted to the Department of Regional Planning, along with copies of the building description and building permits.

Parking Laws

With so many complex parking laws differing across the city, the LA Department of Transportation created a page with helpful ordinances to let you know all the pertinent regulations.

Some common parking violations include:

  • Parking within 15 feet of a fire station driveway or fire hydrant
  • In front of a public or private driveway
  • On a sidewalk

National holidays and national polling days sometimes have exemptions.

You also might want to learn about these signs.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Los Angeles Car Insurance FAQs

Why is Los Angeles called La La Land?

La La Land originated in the 1970s and 1980s, originally in reference to Hollywood as a place out of touch with reality and looking at the world in a semi-dream state. It regained traction during the last few years after the popularity of the film “La La Land.”

What happens if I get into an accident in Los Angeles?

California is an at-fault state, meaning the driver who is found responsible for the accident will be liable for all the property damage and medical bills/lost pay for the other driver.

That’s why insurance is so important, as even a minor accident can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and if you can’t pay, the other driver can sue.

I’m a high-risk driver. How do I get car insurance in Los Angeles?

If you’ve been charged with several violations or have been caught driving without insurance, your local government may require you to get an SR-22. This is a certificate of insurance for high-risk drivers.

To receive it, you’ll need to talk to an insurance company or several; it’s expensive, so we encourage shopping around. If rejected by the normal market, you can contact the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan.

What is the cost of living in Los Angeles?

The cost of living in Los Angeles varies depending on where you live. But compared to the rest of the country, it is quite expensive.

Average rent prices are hundreds of dollars above national averages, utilities are on par with New York City, and a gallon of gas will run you around $4.75 per gallon. While money can be saved on locally grown produce, restaurants, and even coffee, cost more.

What is the minimum car insurance needed in Los Angeles?

Minimum insurance in California is a 15/30/5 insurance:

  • $15,000 for the injuries of one person
  • $30,000 for the injuries to more than one person
  • $5,000 for property damage

These values are rather low compared to what many states require. As such, getting additional coverage is a very good idea to protect you from paying out of pocket in case of an accident.

That’s everything! Now you’re ready to hit the roads and find the best possible car insurance policy in Los Angeles. The next step is to start shopping around for coverage! To begin comparing (and saving), go ahead and click here to try out our free comparison tool.

References:

  1. https://www.edgarsnyder.com/blog/2014/12/17-older-drivers-young-drivers.html
  2. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvdpgv/people-think-women-are-worse-drivers-than-menstatistics-say-otherwise
  3. https://www.good.is/articles/men-women-car-insurance#men-drive-more-dangerously
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/your-money/car-insurance-gender-california.html
  5. https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/metro-monitor-2017-dashboard/#V1G15980
  6. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-true-cost-of-living-in-los-angeles-2015-8
  7. https://www.epi.org/press/wage-inequality-continued-in-2018-disparities-by-race-and-gender-persist/
  8. https://www.payscale.com/data/gender-pay-gap
  9. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/02/the-explosion-of-women-teachers/582622/
  10. https://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/
  11. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/losangelescountycalifornia/RHI725218
  12. https://calmatters.org/poverty/2018/06/a-walk-along-skid-row-in-los-angeles-block-by-bleak-block/
  13. https://www.legalmomentum.org/women-and-poverty-america
  14. https://thetollroads.com/accounts/fastrak
  15. https://thetollroads.com/sites/default/files/FY20_RateCard_0.pdf
  16. https://www.bigbear.com/
  17. https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/things-to-do/traveler-types/first-timer/
  18. https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/bad-roads/hazardous-roads-types.html
  19. https://www.latimes.com/local/la-xpm-2011-jul-28-la-me-red-light-cameras-20110728-story.html
  20. https://www.sfexaminer.com/the-city/will-sn-francisco-finally-install-speeed-enforcement-cameras/
  21. https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/the-most-popular-cars-in-american-cities
  22. https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/msprog/lct/cvrp.htm
  23. https://nhts.ornl.gov/briefs/PovertyBrief.pdf
  24. https://www.propel.la/portfolio-item/food-deserts-in-los-angeles-county/
  25. https://www.speedtrap.org/
  26. https://www.speedtrap.org/california-speed-trap-cities/
  27. https://www.speedtrap.org/california/los-angeles/
  28. https://www.speedtrap.org/speedtrap/tampa-ave-chatsworth-st/
  29. https://www.speedtrap.org/speedtrap/110-fwy-fast-track-lanes-between-downtown-and-105-fwy/
  30. https://www.speedtrap.org/speedtrap/grand-between-7th-and-8th/
  31. https://www.speedtrap.org/speedtrap/la-brea-and-coliseum/
  32. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/crime
  33. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/
  34. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/victory-balboa#crime
  35. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/topanga-topanga#crime
  36. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/mulholland-dr#crime
  37. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/reseda-rosita#crime
  38. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/de-soto-ave#crime
  39. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/palisades-dr#crime
  40. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/sunset-kenter#crime
  41. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/riviera#crime
  42. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/sesnon-reseda#crime
  43. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/los-angeles/balboa-blvd#crime
  44. https://www.roadsnacks.net/worst-los-angeles-neighborhoods/
  45. https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/traffic-index/los-angeles-traffic#statistics
  46. https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/traffic-index/about/
  47. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/tables/01.pdf
  48. https://la.curbed.com/2019/5/6/18531505/405-widening-traffic-los-angeles-carpool-lane
  49. https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/stsi.htm#
  50. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/edc_5/roadway_departures.cfm
  51. https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/gambling/rural-areas.pdf
  52. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/processes/statewide/related/highway_functional_classifications/section03.cfm
  53. https://www.allstate.com/americas-best-drivers/index.htm
  54. https://ride.guru/estimate/Los%20Angeles%20International%20Airport%20(LAX),%201%20World%20Way,%20Los%20Angeles,%20California%2090045,%20United%20States/Griffith%20Observatory,%202800%20E%20Observatory%20Ave,%20Los%20Angeles,%20California,%2090027,%20United%20States%20of%20America
  55. http://www.esurance.com/
  56. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/e-star-direct-repair-program
  57. http://www.city-data.com/city/Los-Angeles-California.html
  58. https://la.curbed.com/2019/1/17/18183940/los-angeles-fault-lines-locations
  59. https://www.earthquakeauthority.com/California-Earthquake-Risk/Faults-By-County
  60. https://www.metro.net/
  61. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bus-ridership-falling-los-angeles-la-metro-20190627-story.html
  62. https://www.taptogo.net/
  63. https://www.metro.net/riding/fares/
  64. https://www.ladottransit.com/
  65. https://www.flylax.com/en/flyaway-bus
  66. https://la.curbed.com/2018/9/4/17818812/los-angeles-scooters-bird-lime-rules-regulations-vote
  67. https://www.bird.co/
  68. https://www.li.me/
  69. https://bikeshare.metro.net/
  70. https://la.curbed.com/2018/7/31/17623336/bird-lime-scooter-bike-app-locations-cost-hours
  71. https://www.downtownla.com/explore/getting-around/parking
  72. http://downtownla.com/
  73. https://www.spotangels.com/blog/complete-guide-to-la-street-parking-rules-and-tickets/
  74. http://www.laexpresspark.org/
  75. https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=5
  76. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/air-pollution-from-cars.htm
  77. https://www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data/air-quality-index-report
  78. https://www.dailybreeze.com/2018/09/13/reducing-air-pollution-in-la-by-25-percent-in-10-years-it-can-happen-clean-technology-nonprofit-says/
  79. https://laist.com/2018/09/11/los_angeles_cut_smog_2028_olympics.php
  80. https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/3525
  81. https://www.losangeles.af.mil/
  82. https://www.allstate.com/
  83. https://www.farmers.com/
  84. https://www.geico.com/
  85. https://www.libertymutual.com/
  86. https://www.psblaw.com/2017/11/22/what-is-latest-on-hands-free-phone-driving-law-in-la/
  87. https://www.thrillist.com/eat/los-angeles/history-of-la-food-trucks
  88. https://business.lacity.org/starter-kits/mobile-food-vending
  89. https://la.eater.com/2018/11/28/18116811/los-angeles-city-council-regulate-street-vendors
  90. http://planning.lacounty.gov/adu/
  91. http://planning.lacounty.gov/assets/upl/project/adu_summary.pdf
  92. https://ladot.lacity.org/what-we-do/parking/can-i-park-there
  93. https://ladot.lacity.org/what-we-do/parking/can-i-park-there/parking-signs
  94. https://www.aipso.com/Plan-Sites/California-ARP
  95. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr18

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your One-Stop Online Car Insurance Guide. Get a Free Quote Now!

(888) 394-1149