Los Angeles Car Insurance 101 [Coverage + Rates]
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UPDATED: Apr 1, 2021
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|Density||8,477 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles||$7,260.97|
|Cheapest Insurance Companies||USAA and Geico|
|Road Conditions||Poor Share: 57%
Mediocre Share: 22%
Fair Share: 11%
Good Share: 10%
Vehicle Operating Cost: $921
Los Angeles, California is home to over 3 million people. This densely-populated city is most commonly known as the City of Angels, although the streets you drive on won’t exactly be filled with angelic people with perfect driving skills.
If you are just beginning the process of looking for car insurance or moving to Los Angeles, or you already have insurance and need a new provider, this guide is for you.
Finding car insurance and navigating a new city can be overwhelming, but this guide will make the process as easy as possible. We cover everything from the cost of car insurance in Los Angeles to unique parking and driving laws.
So keep scrolling to learn about the City of Angels. If you want to jump right into comparing rates, enter your ZIP code in our free online tool above.
The Cost of Car Insurance in Los Angeles
Car insurance is expensive, but there are many ways to lower your costs. To help you find the right provider and the right rate, we are going to go through multiple rates and what causes insurers to raise prices.
All of our data is from our partnership with Quadrant so that we can bring you the most accurate and complete data on rates.
So keep reading to learn how you can save on car insurance.
Male vs. Female vs. Age
One of the very first factors insurers use to determine rates is the age you put down on an application. Gender is also a factor, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Data USA lists the median age in Los Angeles as 35.8.
If you fit into Los Angeles median age, you are probably receiving the second-cheapest rates possible. Basically, the older you get, the less you will pay for car insurance.
|Los Angeles Average Premium||$10,073.54||$4,578.97||$3,562.33||$3,164.93||60|
60-year-old drivers pay about $7,000 less than 17-year-old drivers. Seeing as age is directly related to driving experience, this price difference makes sense.
However, a factor that isn’t as clear cut as age is gender. People are often taken aback to learn that their gender is even a consideration when it comes to car insurance. So why do insurers use gender?
Often, the gender rate differences are based on what accident data an insurer has collected. So if insurers see males are getting into more accidents than females, they will charge males more.
However, California has recently banned insurers from using gender to determine rates.
Although you will see price differences between genders, it is due to factors like accident history, credit score, and other factors (not because an insurer saw male or female circled on an application).
- Male Average Premium: $5,344
- Female Average Premium: $5,088
In Los Angeles, males tend to pay more on average than females. However, the average price difference between genders will vary with age.
|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|
|Single 17-year old female||$9,083.26|
|Single 17-year old male||$11,063.83|
While there is only a $4 difference between 60-year-old males and females, 17-year-old males pay $2,000 more than 17-year-old females. It’s clear that insurers in Los Angeles found young males to be riskier drivers than young females.
Cheapest ZIP Codes in Los Angeles
Rates vary by ZIP code for various reasons.
- Accidents in area
- Crime (vehicle theft and vandalism)
- Natural disasters and inclement weather
Depending on where you live, you could save hundreds or thousands on car insurance.
|Zip Code||Average Rates|
There is a $3,000 difference between the cheapest and most expensive ZIP codes in Los Angeles. That’s basically the price of a car insurance policy.
So if you want to save money, try to get a place in one of the cheaper ZIP code areas.
What’s the best car insurance company in Los Angeles?
One of the ways to answer this question is to see what insurers charge. Prices can be drastically different, depending on a driver’s demographic, record, and more.
By shopping around, you can find the company with the best rate for your specific needs. So keep reading to see what insurers charge in the city of Los Angeles.
Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
Let’s begin by seeing which companies have the cheapest rates for various demographics.
|Group||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Average|
For example, the insurance provider Farmers charges 17-year-old males $15,000 more than USAA and $13,000 more than Geico.
These enormous price differences show how important it is to shop around. Your current provider could be charging you a lot more for your demographic than you realized.
Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
How far do you drive every year? If you are like most Californians, you travel an average of 13,414 miles. Unfortunately, this also means that you may be paying a higher premium for a long commute.
|Group||10 Miles Commute. 6,000 Annual Mileage.||25 Miles Commute. 12,000 Annual Mileage.|
All of the companies on the list charge for a longer commute (sometimes insurers don’t change rates). USAA, Geico, and Liberty Mutual have the cheapest rates for a long commute. A few of the rate increases are surprising, though. The normal rate increase for a long commute is under $200, but the average increase in Los Angeles is about $1,000 (if not more).
That is a significant price increase. If you have a long commute, it is worth looking into companies with cheaper rates.
Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
Have a long commute? There is more risk of getting into an accident if you are the road often. While high coverage is the best way to protect yourself, it can be expensive.
So take a look at the table below to see which insurers charge the least for high coverage.
As usual, Geico, USAA, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual have the cheapest rates. High coverage at one of these companies will cost about $3,000 less than high coverage at Allstate, Farmers, and Nationwide.
Remember that high coverage protects you best in an accident. If you have low or medium coverage and are in a bad accident, you will probably have to pay out of pocket for some of the accident costs.
Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
In California, the law prohibits insurers from using your credit score to determine rates. However, this will not be the case in other states.
If you have a good credit score, insurers will keep your rates low. However, if your credit score drops, you’ll find that your insurance rates go up. When this happens, it is essential to find an insurer with low rates for poor or fair credit scores.
Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Have you ever had your rates increase astronomically after an accident, speeding ticket, or DUI? All of these mishaps wind up your driving record, which is extremely important to providers.
Your driving record tells insurers how risky you are to insure, and if insurers deem you to be a risky driver, they will charge you more.
|Group||Clean record||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 speeding violation|
Have a speeding ticket or at-fault accident on your record? Check what providers charge for different offenses.
For example, Farmers charges the most out all the companies for a speeding ticket, but other companies charge more than Farmers for a DUI. Shopping around can save at least $1,000 (depending on the offense), which makes it well worth your time.
Car Insurance Factors in Los Angeles
The economy of a city also has an impact on your rates. In a city with a poor economy, it’s likely that your car insurance rates will be higher.
Not only that, but it’s important to know what the economy of a city is like to gauge what your income and living conditions will be. Stick with us as we go through the Los Angeles’ economy.
– Metro Report – Growth and Prosperity
Brookings has an extensive study that looks at the growth and prosperity of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. As a major city, Los Angeles is included in this study.
Let’s take a look at how Los Angeles fared in prosperity from 2016 to 2017.
- Prosperity: 13th of 100
- Productivity: +1.3 percent (30th of 100)
- Standard of living: +2.4 percent (17th of 100)
- Average annual wage: +2.5 percent (6th of 100)
Los Angeles did very well in increasing the average wealth produced by the city’s economy. However, it didn’t do as well in growth (entrepreneurial activity) from 2016 to 2017.
- Growth: 54th of 100
- Jobs: +1.2 percent (55th of 100)
- Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP): +2.6 (42nd of 100)
- Jobs at young firms: +2.9 percent (58th of 100)
While growth didn’t score as good as prosperity, there were still incremental increases in jobs and GMP. This is good, as the last thing you want is a decrease in jobs.
Median Household Income
Brookings found that the average annual wage increased from 2016 to 2017, so let’s see what that wage was.
Statistics from Data USA show that the 2017 average household income in Los Angeles was $60,197, a 10.6 percent increase from 2016.
However, this income is still less than the U.S. average income ($60,366) and California’s average income ($71,805). Still, the boost in income in 2017 helped the average income only be a few hundred dollars lower than the U.S. income.
Although the average cost of car insurance in Los Angeles is $7,260, which means that 12 percent of Los Angeles residents’ income is spent on car insurance. When you consider the other costs of maintaining a car, such as gas and repairs, a car can quickly become too expensive to keep.
However, 12 percent of your income may not be going to car insurance. Depending on what you make and how much you pay for insurance, your percentage will be different.
If you are curious about how much you are spending, use our free insurance as a percentage of income calculator below.
Homeownership in Los Angeles
Owning your own home is a big step, and it also means that you could save on car insurance. Not only do insurers view homeowners as more financially responsible, but a number of insurers offer home and auto discounts.
So if you have a home policy and an auto policy at the same insurer, that insurer should offer a discount. After all, it means more business and revenue for them. However, Los Angeles has a low rate of homeownership.
Data USA found that the rate of homeownership was 36.6 percent in 2017.
This is low, about half of the national average of homeownership (63.8 percent). This low rate of homeownership, though, isn’t surprising given the high cost of living in California.
In Los Angeles, Data USA found the median value of a home is $647,000. This is extremely high. For example, the average cost of a home in the U.S. is $193,500, and the average cost of a home in California is $443,400.
When you look at these costs, it’s clear why Los Angeles has such a low rate of homeownership. The homes are too expensive.
Education in Los Angeles
To afford housing in Los Angeles, you’ll either need to win a lottery or have a great education to get a high-paying job. Below is Data USA’s information on universities and colleges in the city.
|University||Sector||2016 Degrees Awarded|
|Associated Technical College-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||228|
|ZMS The Academy||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||64|
|Westchester College of Nursing & Allied Health||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||6|
|United Healthcare Careers College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||56|
|California State University-Los Angeles||Public, 4-year or above||7018|
|ABCO Technology||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||87|
|California State University-Northridge||Public, 4-year or above||9890|
|SAE Institute of Technology-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||120|
|American Jewish University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||53|
|Marian Health Careers Center-Van Nuys Campus||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||22|
|Aveda Institute-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||66|
|Occidental College||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||533|
|International College of Beauty Arts & Sciences||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||48|
|University of Southern California||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||15664|
|Academy for Salon Professionals (462062)||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||62|
|Southern California Health Institute||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||306|
|Loyola Marymount University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||2895|
|Galaxy Medical College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||26|
|Mount Saint Mary's University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||1013|
|Career Development Institute Inc||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||56|
|Borner's Barber College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||15|
|Woodbury University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||418|
|Shepherd University (487667)||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||64|
|The Colburn Conservatory of Music||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||27|
|Paul Mitchell the School-Sherman Oaks||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||146|
|Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad West Coast Talmudical Seminary||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||20|
|Palace Beauty College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||134|
|Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||77|
|World Mission University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||50|
|Marian Health Careers Center-Los Angeles Campus||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||37|
|Academy for Jewish Religion-California||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||10|
|Diversified Vocational College||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||405|
|UEI College-Gardena||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||521|
|Phillips Graduate University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||97|
|United Education Institute-Encino||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||431|
|Dongguk University-Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||78|
|Universal College of Beauty Inc-Los Angeles 2||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||9|
|Universal College of Beauty Inc-Los Angeles 1||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||4|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||492|
|Newberry School of Beauty||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||152|
|Pacific States University||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||74|
|Elegance International||Private for-profit, less-than 2-year||278|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Public, 4-year or above||12961|
|American Film Institute Conservatory||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||117|
|Annenberg School of Nursing||Private not-for-profit, less-than 2-year||0|
|Columbia College-Hollywood||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||73|
|Hypnosis Motivation Institute||Private not-for-profit, less-than 2-year||123|
|Advanced Computing Institute||Private for-profit, 2-year||268|
|Otis College of Art and Design||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||271|
|Concorde Career College-North Hollywood||Private for-profit, 2-year||507|
|Southern California Institute of Architecture||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||167|
|American Career College-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 2-year||990|
|Theatre of Arts||Private for-profit, 2-year||43|
|Southwestern Law School||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above||357|
|Learnet Academy Inc||Private for-profit, 2-year||222|
|Bryan University||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||240|
|National Career College||Private for-profit, 2-year||168|
|Eagle Rock College||Private for-profit, 2-year||88|
|Los Angeles Film School||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||699|
|Valley College of Medical Careers||Private for-profit, 2-year||70|
|Gnomon School of Visual Effects||Private for-profit, 2-year||70|
|California Career College||Private for-profit, 2-year||14|
|Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||108|
|Hussian College-Relativity Campus California||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||0|
|Abraham Lincoln University||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||19|
|West Coast University-Center for Graduate Studies||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||29|
|Brightwood College-North Hollywood||Private for-profit, 2-year||497|
|West Coast University-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||384|
|American Academy of Dramatic Arts-Los Angeles||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||126|
|Angeles College||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||124|
|Casa Loma College-Van Nuys||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||186|
|CBD College||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||246|
|Southern California University SOMA||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||14|
|Los Angeles ORT College-Los Angeles Campus||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||75|
|FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||1517|
|Los Angeles ORT College-Van Nuys Campus||Private not-for-profit, 2-year||61|
|Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health||Public, 2-year||89|
|Musicians Institute||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||536|
|Los Angeles Trade Technical College||Public, 2-year||1933|
|Los Angeles City College||Public, 2-year||1849|
|Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Hollywood||Private for-profit, 4-year or above||313|
|Los Angeles Valley College||Public, 2-year||2398|
|Los Angeles Harbor College||Public, 2-year||1197|
|Los Angeles Mission College||Public, 2-year||1244|
|Los Angeles Pierce College||Public, 2-year||3241|
The largest universities in Los Angeles are:
- University of Southern California: (15,664 degrees given in 2016)
- University of California-Los Angeles: (12,961 degrees given in 2016)
- California State University-Northridge: (9,890 degrees given in 2016)
If you want to save your money for a house, though, there is also a community college.
The Los Angeles City College offers one or two-year accreditation programs. It is also great if you want to attend community college to save money before transferring to a private university.
Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs
In every city, races and ethnicities earn different salaries. Let’s see how different wages are in Los Angeles (data from Data USA).
|Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers||Percentage of Income Spent on Car Insurance||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||Percentage of Income Spent on Car Insurance||Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers||Percentage of Income Spent on Car Insurance|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||$128,245||5.66%||$48,953||14.83%||$42,284||17.17%|
|Two or More Races||$110,079||6.60%||$52,813||13.75%||$38,941||18.65%|
|Other Native American||n/a||n/a||$72,969||9.95%||$40,539||17.91%|
While Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are the highest paid in the category of miscellaneous managers, they are not the highest paid in other job categories.
As you can see, this has an impact on the percentage of income spent on car insurance.
Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
Gender is another demographic that shows significant differences in wages. There’s little chance you haven’t heard about the gender wage gap before, but we want to show just how much wages change between genders in California.
|Occupation||Male Salary||Premium as % of Income||Female Salary||Premium as % of Income|
|Elementary & Middle School Teachers||$68,823||10.55%||$63,657||11.41%|
Data USA’s information shows that male employees consistently earn more than female employees. In fact, the average male salary in California is $75,050, while females only earn an average salary of $59,658. The result? Males only spend 9.6 percent of their income on car insurance, while females spend 12.1 percent of their income.
Poverty by Age and Gender
Given the wage gap between genders, it’s not surprising that more females than males are living in poverty. In fact, Data USA found that the largest demographics living in poverty are:
- Females ages 25 to 34
- Females ages 18 to 24
- Females ages 35 to 44
Below, you can see the exact percentages of the females and males living in poverty in Los Angeles.
|Los Angeles Percentage of Males and Females Living in Poverty by Age||Male||Female|
|6 - 11 years||5.31%||5.07%|
|12 - 14 years||2.46%||2.44%|
|16 - 17 years||1.63%||1.66%|
|18 - 24 years||6.33%||7.51%|
|25 - 34 years||6.41%||8.12%|
|35 - 44 years||5.44%||7.48%|
|45 - 54 years||4.76%||5.47%|
|55 - 64 years||3.81%||4.61%|
The wage gap could definitely have something to do with the poverty rates. After age 18, when some teenagers begin supporting themselves, more females than males are living in poverty.
In a city with such high living costs, there will be more poverty than normal, though.
In fact, Data USA discovered that out of those living in poverty in Los Angeles, 20.4 percent are living below the poverty line. The U.S. average of those living below the poverty line is only 13.4 percent.
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Poverty by Race and Ethnicity
Another demographic besides age and gender is race/ethnicity.
|Race or Ethnicity||Number of People Living in Poverty (2017)|
|Two or More||20,415|
Hispanics have the most people living in poverty, followed by whites. Native Americans have the least amount of people living in poverty.
However, these numbers are relevant to how many people are living in a city. There are more Hispanics than Native Americans living in Los Angeles, which means Hispanics will have more people living in poverty.
Employment by Occupations
The good news is that Data USA found the employment rate increased by 2.26 percent from 2016 to 2017, which may help Los Angeles poverty levels.
If you want to be part of Los Angeles’ 2.05 million employees, the most common occupations are:
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations (242,700 people)
- Management Occupations (202,053 people)
- Sales and Related Occupations (201,130 people)
Acting or being a star aren’t common jobs in Los Angeles, but there are plenty of office, management, and sales jobs.
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Driving in Los Angeles
Driving in Los Angeles can be tough. From long, snaking lines of traffic to poor drivers, there are plenty of frustrations out on the road.
To help you prepare for what you’ll face on Los Angeles roads, we are going to go through everything from major highway routes to vehicle theft.
Let’s jump right in.
Roads in Los Angeles
To begin, we want to look at the conditions of Los Angeles roads. This section will cover everything from highway routes to potholes, so you are aware of what risks and costs you’ll be facing. So keep scrolling to see what your vehicle will be traveling on.
There are 12 active routes in California, making up 2,457 miles of roadway. If you want to jump on one of these routes, I-5, I-10, I-110, and I-405 pass by or through Los Angeles.
So which of these highways will you have to pay tolls on? Take a look at the table below.
|Interstate/Highway||Length (Miles)||Toll Road||Nickname|
|I-405||72.42||No||San Diego Freeway|
|I-10||2460.34||No||Santa Monica & San Bernardino Freeway (near LA)|
|US 101||1,540||No||The one-oh-one (near LA)|
|SR 134||78.7||No||Ventura Freeway|
|SR 170||16.6||No||Hollywood Freeway|
|I-110 - SR 110||31.82||No||Harbor Freeway|
|I-5||308||No||Golden State Freeway & Santa Ana Freeway (near LA)|
|SR 60||76||No||Pomona Freeway|
None of the highways above charge tolls, which is good news. However, you will likely run into toll roads in adjacent counties and cities.
If you want the convenience of not having to pay cash and wait in lines, there is the option to get a FasTrak account.
This account is free to set up (unless you want tolls billed monthly, for which there is a $2 fee). You simply place a sticker on your windshield and deposit money from a debit or credit card into your account.
When you pass through a toll, the amount will automatically be taken from your FasTrak account. There is also a frequent driver benefit where users can get discounted tolls. The FasTrak works in all of California, so if you pass through tolls often it is a convenient way to save time. As well, if you qualify for the frequent driver discount, you could also save money.
Popular Road Trips and Sites
There are obvious attractions in Los Angeles, such as visiting Hollywood or the beach.
However, there is also plenty to do outside the city. Below is a list of fun road trips to take in Southern California.
- Abandoned Places Road Trip: One of the spots on this list is a zoo in Los Angeles.
- Castle Road Trip: This trip will take you to some of the most visually stunning castles in Southern California.
- Small Towns Road Trip: Enjoy charming spots? This trip covers the best small towns near Los Angeles.
- Waterfall Road Trip: Tired of the beach? Take this road trip to see the prettiest waterfalls.
Hopefully, you now have a few ideas of what to do in and around Los Angeles.
TRIP, an independent research group, is dedicated to researching transportation issues to improve road safety. Let’s see what conditions TRIP found Los Angeles roads in.
- Poor Share: 57 percent
- Mediocre Share: 22 percent
- Fair Share: 11 percent
- Good Share: 10 percent
The poor road conditions in Los Angeles result in drivers having to spend an average of $921 on vehicle operating costs (VOC). With only 10 percent of Los Angeles roads in good condition, the city definitely needs to work on road repairs.
Does Los Angeles use speeding or red light cameras?
The Insurance Insitute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that the state of California only allows the use of red-light cameras.
You will likely see red-light cameras at intersections in Los Angeles, but these cameras are no longer active. Los Angeles shut down the red-light program in 2011, so any cameras you see at intersections will no longer be on to issue tickets.
As well, Los Angeles does not use speed cameras, as they aren’t allowed in California.
Vehicles in Los Angeles
Owning a vehicle can be risky, as there is potential for high operating costs or vehicle theft. In this section, we will cover everything you need to know about owning a vehicle in Los Angeles.
Keep reading to see what the most popular vehicle is, average car ownership, vehicle theft, and more.
Most Popular Vehicles Owned
Curious what other Los Angeles residents have parked in their driveways? According to YourMechanic, the most common makes of cars in Los Angeles are:
|Car Type||Percentage Serviced by YourMechanic in Los Angeles|
|Muscle Cars with V8 Engines||12.4%|
Most of the cars that YourMechanic serviced were American made. As for the most unusually popular car in Los Angeles, the Mitsubishi Montero wins that award.
This vehicle only rated okay on the IIHS’s crash rating, which could cause insurers to raise rates. Insurers look at the safety rating of vehicles, as well as the expense of repair parts when basing rates.
So the safer your vehicle is, the lower your rates will be.
Cars Per Household
Let’s take a look at Data USA’s information on car ownership.
|Number of Cars||Los Angeles Household Percentage|
The most common number of cars owned is two. However, some people in Los Angeles who own five or more cars, which requires quite a bit of garage space.
Households Without a Car
Let’s take a closer look at the number of households without cars in Los Angeles.
|2015 Households without Vehicles||2016 Households without Vehicles||2015 Vehicles per Household Rate||2016 Vehicles per Household Rate|
The number of households without cars remained fairly steady at 12 percent from 2015 to 2016, with only a slight increase.
Speed Traps in Los Angeles
Good news. Los Angeles isn’t on the list of the 10 worst cities for speed traps in California. As well, there are no speed cameras in California. However, this doesn’t mean cops won’t be out with radar guns to catch speeders.
It just means that the area isn’t notorious for speed traps. As you grow more familiar with the area, too, you will learn which roads and highways are prone to speeding enforcement.
Not that this is a reason to speed, of course. If you slam on your brakes every time you see a speed trap, you could get into an accident. It’s better to simply not speed at all.
– Vehicle Theft in Los Angeles
In 2017, the FBI recorded 17,316 stolen vehicles in Los Angeles. That’s a high number.
So what steps can you take to keep your vehicle safe?
One of the things you can do is purchase comprehensive coverage, which protects in cases of vehicle theft, vandalism, and natural disaster damages.
Another thing you can do is park your car in one of Los Angeles’ safer neighborhoods. In fact, according to Neighborhood Scout, the safest neighborhood you can be in is Victory Blvd / Balboa Blvd.
Want more options? Other safe neighborhoods in Los Angeles are as follows:
- Topanga Canyon Blvd / S Topanga Canyon Blvd
- Mulholland Dr / Sepulveda Blvd
- Reseda Blvd / Rosita St
- De Soto Ave / Chatsworth St
- Palisades Dr / Ave De Santa Ynez
- W Sunset Blvd / N Kenter Ave
- Sesnon Blvd / Reseda Blvd
- Balboa Blvd / Westbury Dr
You may be wondering why you should live in one of these neighborhoods when you can simply park your car in a locked garage. Well, there are other crime risks in Los Angeles beyond simple theft.
|Area||Murder (Total)||Murder Rate||Robbery (Total)||Robbery Rate||Assault (Total)||Assault Rate|
Los Angeles has higher crime rates than the U.S. in every violent crime category. In fact, you have a one in 130 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Los Angeles.
In comparison, California’s average chance is one in 223. Los Angeles crime rate also isn’t that great.
The City of Angels has a crime index rating of 14 (safer than only 14 percent of U.S. cities).
Let’s take a look at Los Angeles’ annual crimes for 2017.
|Los Angeles Total Crimes||Violent||Property||Total|
|Number of Crimes||30,809||103,554||134,363|
|Crime Rate |
(per 1,000 residents)
The overall crime rate per 1,000 residents in Los Angeles is over 30, which is fairly high.
Los Angeles traffic is difficult. Congestion and traffic risks can make for a frustrating and dangerous drive. However, preparing yourself beforehand can help limit frustration, such as downloading the audio version of that book you’ve always to read.
So keep scrolling to learn about Los Angeles traffic congestion, commute time, road risks, and more.
Traffic Congestion in Los Angeles
Inrix is a major provider of data on traffic worldwide. Below is Inrix’s data on Los Angeles’ traffic congestion.
|2018 Impact Rank (2017)||Hours Lost in Congestion||Year Over Year Change||Cost of Congestion (Per Driver)||Inner City Travel Time (Minutes)||Inner City Last Mile Speed (mph)|
|47 (48)||128 (76)||0%||$1,788||4||14|
Los Angeles commuters waste an average of 128 hours a year sitting in traffic. They also spend an average of $1,788 a year because of traffic congestion.
So just how much time do Los Angeles residents spend sitting in traffic each day? According to Data USA, the average commute time in Los Angeles is 29.8 minutes or an hour each day.
This is higher than the average U.S. commute (25.5 minutes), which means Los Angeles commuters will need to leave a little earlier for work.
As for how Los Angeles residents get to work, the most common commute methods are:
- Drove Alone: 69.7 percent
- Carpool: 9.11 percent
- Public Transit: 8.94
About nine percent of Los Angeles residents use public transit to get to work each day. As for the remainder of the commute methods (making up less than 13 percent of residents), Los Angeles commuters take bikes, motorcycles, taxis, walk or work from home.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) has collected data on which highways in the U.S. are the busiest. It is a brief list, but unfortunately, Los Angeles made it onto the list several times.
- Highway 91
All of these highways have 12 lanes, which means they handle extremely high volumes of traffic.
How safe are Los Angeles streets and roads?
We aren’t talking about gun violence or drugs, but how safe it is to drive in Los Angeles. To determine this, we are going to look at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) data on crashes in Los Angeles.
Let’s start by seeing how many crashes occur in Los Angeles County.
|Los Angeles County All Crashes||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
The number of crashes has increased in Los Angeles County. To find out why this is happening, we are going to look at NHTSA’s data on fatalities by crash type.
|Los Angeles County Fatalities by Crash Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+)||172||149||242||206||198|
|Single Vehicle Crash||359||389||472||423||399|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||190||209||262||215||205|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||234||242||307||273||239|
The leading cause of crashes in Los Angeles County are:
- Single Vehicle Crashes
- Intersection (or Intersection Related Crashes)
- Speeding Crashes.
As well, it’s not just car occupants killed in these crashes. Pedestrians and pedalcyclists are also at risk.
|Los Angeles Fatalities by Person Type||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Passenger Car Occupant||200||202||263||211||191|
There has been a marked increase in pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles County. Pedalcyclist deaths have also increased.
So what can you do to reduce your risk of being hit near roadways? Practicing proper pedestrian safety is one way, such as obeying crosswalk signs, but it also helps to avoid dangerous roads.
According to the NHTSA, the most dangerous road types in California are the following:
|Road Type||Fatal Crashes|
Wondering what an arterial road is?
- Arterial road: handles a high volume of traffic. Examples include highways and interstates.
- Minor arterial road: handles a high traffic volume, but less than a highway.
- Collector arterial road: collects local traffic and takes it to minor arterial or arterial roads.
Basically, the busier the road is, the more likely it is is to get into an accident with another vehicle.
Before we end our discussion on Los Angeles’ road safety, we want to look at the US DOT’s data on railroad and highway crash incidents.
|Highway User Speed||Calendar Year||County||Highway||Highway User Type||Rail Equipment Type||Non Suicide Fatality||Non Suicide Injury|
|-||2012||LOS ANGELES||103 RD STREET||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||1||0|
|45||2012||LOS ANGELES||92 ND STREET||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||0||0|
|-||2012||LOS ANGELES||IMPERIAL||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||0||0|
|0||2012||LOS ANGELES||FRONT STREET||Pick-up truck||B||0||0|
|-||2012||LOS ANGELES||STOCKWELL||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||1||0|
|0||2013||LOS ANGELES||SUNLAND BOULEVARD||Automobile||C||0||0|
|0||2014||LOS ANGELES||VAN NUYS BLVD.||Pedestrian||Freight Train||0||0|
|25||2014||LOS ANGELES||NORTH MAIN STREET||Automobile||B||0||0|
|15||2015||LOS ANGELES||ALCOA AVENUE||Automobile||Yard/Switch||0||0|
|20||2015||LOS ANGELES||N. HENRY FORD AVE.||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
|0||2016||LOS ANGELES||DE SOTO ST||Automobile||Psgr Train||0||0|
|30||2016||LOS ANGELES||37TH & ALAMEDA ST||Truck-trailer||Yard/Switch||0||0|
|-||2016||LOS ANGELES||48TH PLACE||Pedestrian||Freight Train||1||0|
|-||2016||LOS ANGELES||TAMPA AVE||Pedestrian||Psgr Train||0||1|
|0||2016||LOS ANGELES||NADEAU||Automobile||Freight Train||0||0|
When driving near a railroad, pay attention to signs and line-markings. Sometimes people pull up and stop to close to an upcoming train and get side-swiped.
Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Every year, Allstate releases a report on the drivers in the 200 largest U.S. cities. Below, you can see how Los Angeles ranked in 2019.
|2019 Best Drivers Report Ranking||Average Years Between Claims||Relative Claim Likelihood Compared to National Average|
Los Angeles dropped one ranking from 2018 to 2019. As well, Los Angeles has a poor rating, ranking at the bottom of the 200 cities. This is probably because only an average of six years passes between collision claims.
By looking at rate comparison sites like RideGuru, you can find the best rideshare option to your event. If you want to see which rideshare companies are the cheapest in Los Angeles, we have them listed below in order from cheapest to most expensive.
- Uber (rideshare car)
- Lyft (rideshare car)
- RideYellow (traditional taxi)
- Taxi (traditional taxi)
- Flywheel (traditional taxi)
- Curb (traditional taxi)
- Carmel (traditional taxi or limo)
While Uber and Lyft are the cheapest options in Los Angeles, upgrading beyond a basic ride at either company will be more expensive.
EStar Repair Shops
Need a reputable repair shop? Esurance’s EStar repair shop program helps drivers find a reputable shop near them. Let’s see what EStar shops are in Los Angeles.
|Name of Facility||Address||Contact Information|
|AGC COLLISION CENTER||3424 W SUNSET BLVD|
LOS ANGELES CA 90026
P: (323) 663-8076
F: (323) 663-1675
|AUTO-TECH COLLISION CENTER_CF||1116 W WASHINGTON BLVD|
LOS ANGELES CA 90015
P: (213) 748-8228
F: (213) 748-8789
|CALIBER - GLENDALE||3829 SAN FERNANDO RD|
GLENDALE CA 91204
P: (818) 243-3206
|WESTERN COLLISION||709 N GRAMERCY PLACE|
LOS ANGELES CA 90038
P: (323) 465-7126
F: (323) 957-0975
|NOAH'S COLLISION CENTER||5235 YORK BLVD|
LOS ANGELES CA 90042
P: (323) 258-4000
|SERVICE KING MONTEREY PARK||999 S. MONTEREY PASS RD.|
MONTEREY PARK CA 91754
P: (323) 262-7415
F: (323) 262-7418
|HARRY'S AUTO COLLISION CENTER||1013 S. LA BREA AVE.|
LOS ANGELES CA 90019
P: (323) 933-5824
F: (323) 935-7054
|BELLWOOD AUTO BODY||4625 GAGE AVE|
BELL CA 90201
P: (323) 771-3429
F: (323) 771-6464
|Pacific Elite - Los Angeles||4610 CRENSHAW BLVD|
LOS ANGELES CA 90043
P: (323) 298-6282
F: (323) 296-0804
|ALL CITY COLLISION BURBANK||1020 S. VICTORY BLVD.|
BURBANK CA 91502
P: (818) 343-9999
If you want to look for more shops in your neighborhood, use the EStar locator map.
If you live in Southern California, you can expect lots of sunny days. Weather does vary from city to city, though, so let’s take a look at US Climate Data’s information on Los Angeles’ weather averages.
|Average Annual Precipitation||18.67 inches|
With an average low temperature of 55.9 Fahrenheit, there aren’t going to be blizzards in Los Angeles.
However, Los Angeles residents have had to deal with natural disasters like fires, floods, storms, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes, winter storms, freeze, heavy rain, hurricanes, tornados, and wind.
Fires are common in Los Angeles, with a total of 34 fires occurring in the city.
In fact, the city has seen a total of 52 natural disasters, which is much higher than the national average of 13 natural disasters.
With such a high rate of disasters, we highly recommend getting comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage also protects you in case of theft or vandalism.
If you don’t want to brave Los Angeles roads, you can always take public transit. The city of Los Angeles has Metro buses and rails.
The fares to ride a Metro bus or rail are:
- One-Way Pass: $1.75
- One-Day Pass: $7
- Seven-Day Pass: $25
- 30-Day Pass: $100
- LIFE (Low Income) 30-Day Pass: $76
Fares are discounted for students, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Don’t feel like taking a bus to travel a few blocks away? Los Angeles has the electric scooter and bike rentals Lime and Bird. With both companies, you download the company’s mobile app onto your phone to unlock a ride.
You then pay-per-minute to ride at both Bird and Lime. This can add up at the end, so if you frequently want to ride a bike or scooter, it may be worth it to invest in your own.
Parking in Metro Areas
There is plenty of street parking in Los Angeles, as there are roughly 40,000 on-street and off-street metered spots. There are time limits on these spots to encourage parking turn-over.
Cost varies by area, but generally, it will be $1 to $2 per hour. If you are having trouble finding parking, you can use the LA Express Park app. The app allows you to check where parking is, as well as pay from your phone. If you don’t feel like fumbling for change or walking to a parking kiosk, the app is a convenient way to street park.
However, there are time limits on parking on the street. If you are going to be somewhere longer than a few hours, you may want to find a parking garage instead.
There is also satellite parking available at places like airports and hotels if you are leaving Los Angeles and need somewhere to park your car for an extended time.
As for electric vehicle charging, there are plenty of spots to park and charge in Los Angeles. If you want to search for one in your area, you can use free sites like PlugShare. Just make sure to check for a station near you before you run low on battery. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road.
Air Quality in Los Angeles
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is dedicated to studying pollution and cleaning up our air. Since transportation is a significant cause of pollution, we want to take a look at the EPA’s data on Los Angeles’ air quality.
|Los Angeles Air Quality||Days With AQI||Good Days||Moderate Days||Unhealthy Days for Sensitive Groups||Unhealthy Days||Very Unhealthy Days|
Unfortunately, Los Angeles’ air quality isn’t great. There have been a number of unhealthy and very unhealthy days over a three year period.
In such a large city, with multiple vehicles emitting pollutants, this isn’t surprising. But poor air quality can have a determinantal effect on people’s health, which is why it’s important that Los Angeles works on cleaning up its air.
Military and Veterans
Often, insurers offer military members and veterans a discount for their service. However, it can be hard to determine if a discount is worth switching providers.
It can be hard to sift through providers to discover which ones offer discounts. If you need some help finding a military provider, this section is for you. We will cover military discounts and USAA, as well as dive into the military culture in Los Angeles. Let’s begin.
Veterans by Service Period
To start, we want to see what the most common service periods are in Los Angeles (according to Data USA’s 2017 data).
- Vietnam: 27,880 veterans
- Gulf War (2001-): 15,343 veterans
- Gulf War (1990s): 10,948 veterans
- Korea: 8,689 veterans
- World War II: 3,847 veterans
Veterans from Vietnam and the Gulf War (2001-) are the most common service periods in Los Angeles.
Military Bases Within an Hour
There are a number of military bases near Los Angeles, but only one within an hour.
The Los Angeles Air Force Base is the only active military base in Los Angeles and is the headquarters for the Space and Missile Systems Center.
If you want to work here, it is a doable commute (depending on where you live in the city).
Military Discounts by Providers
It can be hard to know which providers offer discounts to military members. Below is a list of providers with military discounts, as well as the known percentage saved.
- Esurance: 25 percent
- Geico: 15 percent
- Liberty Mutual: four percent
- Metlife: 15 percent
- Safe Auto: 25 percent
- State Farm
- The General
Los Angeles has a good selection of insurers who offer military discounts. However, Esurance, Safe Auto, and The General are only available in Los Angeles. So if you have one of these insurers and move out of the city, you’ll have to find a new insurer.
We want to take a look at USAA’s rates compared to competitors, as it is one of the biggest military insurers.
|Company||Company Average Premium||Compared to State Average (+/-)||Compared to State Average (%)|
USAA is the cheapest company in California, costing almost 27 percent less than the state average. If you aren’t military, other cheap companies are Progressive, Geico, and Liberty Mutual.
Unique Los Angeles City Laws
While some cities have weird laws leftover from the 1800s that aren’t enforced, there are some important laws that everyone should know. If you are new to the city or haven’t need to know certain laws before, this section is for you.
Keep reading to learn about everything from cellphone laws to parking laws, so you can avoid a pricy ticket.
The IIHS lists out distracted driving laws by state. In California, drivers must obey the following laws:
- Hand-held ban: applies to all drivers
- Young drivers all cellphone ban: applies to drivers younger than 18
- Texting ban: applies to all drivers
Enforcement of the hand-held ban and texting ban is primary, allowing law enforcement to pull over and ticket anyone breaking the bans. However, enforcement of these bans is secondary if the driver is under 18.
This means law enforcement needs a primary reason other than cellphone use to pull over and ticket a driver, such as not using a turn signal.
To operate a food truck in Los Angeles, you will need a local permit. To get this, you will need to apply to the county and pass health and safety inspections.
If your vehicle is not up to local regulations you won’t be able to sell in Los Angeles.
When you apply for your health permit, you will need the following:
- Valid picture ID
- Articles of Organization / Articles of Incorporation (if applying as LLC)
- DMV registration for your vehicle
- Comissionary contract
- Completed Mobile Food Faculty Permit application
You will also need a business license. Once you have everything squared away, make sure you are selling in the proper zone allotted to you by the city.
As long as you prepare and follow all the steps, you should have your food truck up and running in no time.
If your tiny home is on wheels, it is classified as a mobile home. However, if it lacks wheels, it is known as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in Los Angeles.
- These tiny homes have to obey the following requirements:
- Be in a zone that allows single-family homes
- A legal single-family residence is on-site
- ADU meets development standards of Los Angeles
You will need to submit building plans to the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning, as the DRP makes sure your building is up to safety codes.
Once you get all the paperwork and approval out of the way, though, you can start building your dream tiny home.
There are multiple parking laws you need to follow in the city, such as not parking in front of fire hydrants or driveways. However, one important parking law is wrong direction parking.
The passenger side of your vehicle must always be curbside when you parallel park. If it’s not, it means you pulled into oncoming traffic to park and your vehicle is facing the wrong way.
If officers see this, they will issue a parking ticket. Try reserving a spot at a local parking lot or garage if you are having trouble finding a street parking spot.
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Los Angeles Car Insurance FAQs
Have unanswered questions still? This section covers the important questions that others are asking about living and driving in Los Angeles.
So keep reading to see what common questions others are asking.
What happens after I get into a car accident?
It depends on if you caused the accident. California is an at-fault state, which means that if you caused the accident, you are responsible for the other driver’s injury and property damage costs.
Likewise, if you are not at fault, the other driver has to cover your accident costs.
Is Los Angeles safe?
The City of Angels has a crime index rating of 14, meaning it is only safer than 14 percent of all cities in the U.S.
Where is Los Angeles located?
Los Angeles is in Southern California, near cities like San Diego. Popular areas in Los Angeles include Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
What is the Los Angeles climate?
Los Angeles climate is Mediterranean. You can expect long, hot summer and mild winters.
Is there a lot of homelessness in Los Angeles?
The short answer is yes. Homelessness is a prevalent problem in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles’ homelessness has increased over the years.
Did we answer all your questions about Los Angeles? We hope you are now prepared to live and drive in the City of Angels.
If you want to start comparison shopping for rates today, you can enter your zip code in our free tool below.