The Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2021

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People want to shop smart when purchasing a new car. They consider their budget, the price of the vehicle, number of miles they expect to drive and fuel efficiency. But not everyone considers the premium they will have to pay to insure the vehicle. While it might seem like a good idea to take advantage of a great deal on a new vehicle, not all cars are cheap to insure. Bankrate assessed auto insurance rates for the most popular car models of 2020 to determine the cheapest cars to insure.

Top 10 cars with the cheapest car insurance

While a cheaper car will not guarantee lower insurance premiums, there are affordable vehicle that are also affordable to insure. By comparing the top-selling models of 2020, Bankrate found the Subaru Outback to be the cheapest for minimum coverage at only $510 and $1,475 for full coverage. Close on its heels is the Honda CR-V at an annual premium of $527 for minimum coverage and $1,366 with full coverage, including optional comprehensive and collision. These sport utility vehicles have been a customer favorite for years due to their seating capacity and fuel efficiency.

Vehicle Average Minimum Coverage Average Full Coverage
Subaru Outback $510 $1,475
Honda CR-V $527 $1,366
Toyota RAV4 $535 $1,451
Hyundai Tucson $544 $1,394
Toyota Highlander $547 $1,585
Ford F-150 $556 $1,432
Ram Pickup $558 $1,555
Jeep Wrangler $567 $1,462
Nissan Rogue $579 $1,501
Chevrolet Silverado $582 $1,517
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Cars to avoid for cheap insurance

While price isn’t everything, budget vehicles with high safety ratings and low claim-filing rates usually offer the cheapest auto insurance premium. Expensive sports and luxury cars are costly to own and typically come with the highest annual premiums. A Honda CR-V compact SUV will always be cheaper to own and insure than high-end luxury vehicles such as a Lamborghini or a Porsche.

It is best to avoid the following kinds of vehicles to save on auto insurance:

  • High-end luxury cars
  • Expensive compact cars
  • Cars with specialty parts
  • Vehicles with low safety ratings

How a car’s make and model impacts insurance rates

The vehicle’s price is only one of the several factors that determine how much it costs to insure. Besides your driving record, age, ZIP code and credit-based insurance score, the vehicle’s make and model are also significant rating factors when calculating the premium, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Insurers determine what premiums to charge on certain makes and models based on factors such as claim filing rate, repair costs and incidences of theft. If a certain model has had a large volume of claims in the recent past, insurers tend to charge a higher premium for it, regardless of the vehicle’s price or the driving record of the insured. Some cheap vehicles have high repair costs, which can lead to heftier insurance premiums. On the flip side, some higher-priced cars might not cost as much to insure due to a favorable claims history, good safety ratings, driver assistance technologies and minimal repair costs.

Some other attributes of a vehicle that can affect the premium are:

  • Age: The older the car, the cheaper it might be to insure compared to newer models.
  • Size: Bigger, heavier vehicles are capable of causing more damage on the road, leading to a higher auto insurance premium.
  • Trim level: Upgraded features in a vehicle affect the purchase price and the cost of insurance.
  • Safety features: Better safety features installed in a vehicle minimize the risk of collision and theft and are often associated with lower insurance premiums.

Frequently asked questions

What is the average cost of car insurance?

The average cost of auto insurance in the U.S. is $1,738, but the price varies from one driver to another, depending on location, ZIP code, credit-based insurance score, driving record and type of car. It’s a good idea to compare quotes from multiple insurers offering the same coverage options to find the best value for your unique needs.

How do I lower my car insurance premium?

Since auto insurance premiums depend on multiple factors related to driver and vehicle, there is no one specific way to lower the cost. Some best practices for getting lower auto insurance premiums include buying a cheaper vehicle with good safety ratings, keeping an eye on your credit standings and maintaining a good driving record. Speak with your auto insurer or a licensed insurance professional to determine what factors might be driving your insurance rates up.

What are the best car insurance companies?

There is no one best car insurance company for everyone. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare carriers, then speak with a licensed insurance professional before purchasing a policy.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male driver with a cleaning driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample driver commutes five days a week and drives 12,000 miles annually.

The vehicles analyzed are the 25 top-selling models in the U.S. in 2020, as reported by Kelley Blue Book.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Cynthia Widmayer
Insurance Contributor
Cynthia Widmayer has over two years of experience as a personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, the Simple Dollar, and Coverage.com, among others.
Edited by
Loans Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute