The all-around least expensive to insure? The Buick Rendezvous, the study found -- a medium-sized, affordable SUV.M
Cars of this type "are probably living in a garage," which makes them less of a theft target. Plus they tend to be less desirable to thieves, he says.
"If you're going to pick out something to steal, what would you choose?" says Hazelbaker.
When bigger isn't better for premiumsBut larger vehicles don't automatically mean lower premiums. Some super-size vehicles could actually increase the cost of your insurance.
When two cars collide, the average repair cost for each is about $3,000, says Hazelbaker. But some larger vehicles are routinely linked to higher-dollar damage to other cars. And that could cost you in terms of more expensive insurance.
5 cars with highest-cost damage claims:
- Hummer H2 SUT 4dr 4WD
- Hummer H2 4dr 4WD
- Dodge Ram 1500
- Hummer H3 4dr 4WD
- Mitsubishi Raider ext. cab
The top five linked to highest dollar damages to other cars, according to the institute are as follows.
"They're big, heavy vehicles that tend to inflict a lot of damage on what they hit," says Rader. See the top 10 list.
Keeping premiums downWant to keep your premiums low? Talk to your agent before you buy your next vehicle, says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry organization. Once you've narrowed your choices to two or three models, ask if any of the premiums will be significantly different. Note if any of the models have high repair costs or theft rates, she says.
It can be tricky. Even different models of the same car can have different costs when it comes to insurance. "A different motor or different luxury items" can change your premium, says Worters.