Did you know that the greater San Diego metro area has more than 3,000,000 residents with more than 300 miles of freeway and 7,150 surface streets? In fact, studies show that there are more than 68 million vehicle miles driven each day in America’s Finest City. Whether you are new to San Diego or are simply bushing up your driver’s knowledge, here are some things you need to know about driving in San Diego.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires a California drivers license if you are a resident. You are considered a resident for driving purposes if you have rented an apartment, are being paid money and will be paying income tax in San Diego or if you are attending one of the universities in the area.
Laws to Know
All drivers and their passengers are required to wear seatbelts per the 1986 Seat Belt Law. Those who do not comply will be subject to a fine if caught. Similarly, there is also a Motorcycle Helmet Law that requires motorcyclists and their passengers to wear an appropriate helmet on all roads and highways. Along with keeping motorcyclists safe, those who obey these laws and are free of tickets may be qualified for reduced auto and motorcycle insurance rates in San Diego for safe vehicle operation.
If you are purchasing auto insurance in San Diego, then there are a few things you must keep in mind. The state of California requires that all drivers have certain minimum levels of insurance. If the government of California can’t verify your auto insurance minimums, they will cancel your vehicle’s registration.
- Liability Coverage -In the San Diego area, you must have liability coverage in two main areas. You must first purchase what is known as bodily injury liability coverage. The minimum amounts for this coverage are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. You must also purchase property damage liability coverage. Your coverage must be at least 5,000 dollars on this matter.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Many states now require uninsured motorist coverage, and California is one of them. This simply means that you and the other passengers in your car will be protected and covered if you are ever hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver. The minimum for this is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. You must also protect yourself from financial disaster. You will need minimum levels of uninsured motorist property damage coverage. The minimum amount for this coverage is $3,500 dollars.
The penalties for not having the correct insurance minimums are costly. You might lose your license and pay a fine up to $1,000 if a police officer finds that you don’t have adequate California driver’s insurance.
Unfortunately, San Diego has one of the highest rates of automobile theft in the United States. When parking or leaving your car, it is important to take the proper precautions such as always closing and locking your car, never leaving the keys in the ignition (even if you are leaving for a short period of time), parking in well lit areas at night and investing in security devices such as car alarms or steering wheel clubs to provide greater protection for your car. Some of these additional devices may even help you qualify for lowered insurance rates. Click here to learn more about cheap car insurance in San Diego.
For more information about driving in San Diego or to request a cheap car insurance quote, call 619-272-2100 and speak with theauto insurance specialists at American Tri-Star Insurance. We’re here to find you the coverage that meets the California requirements, your individual needs and your budget.