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When shopping for a large purchase, like a new car, it’s not surprising that consumers want to find the best deals. When trying to budget for a vehicle, you probably consider the overall price, especially if you plan to get a loan. You might also consider the resale value and the fuel efficiency, given the higher cost of gasoline. But not everyone considers the premium they will have to pay to insure the vehicle. Some vehicles cost more to insure than others and overtime, insurance rates can add up. Bankrate assessed auto insurance rates for the most popular car models 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 lower-priced vehicles that are affordable to insure. By comparing the top-selling models of 2020 and partnering with Quadrant Information Services, Bankrate found the Subaru Outback to be the cheapest for minimum coverage at only $510 annually and $1,475 annually 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. These sport utility vehicles have been a consumer favorite for years due to their seating capacity and fuel efficiency.
|Vehicle||Average annual minimum coverage premium||Average annual full coverage premium|
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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.
Cars with more expensive car insurance
The cost of the vehicle is not the only factor in determining insurance rates. Vehicles with high safety ratings and low claim-filing rates usually come with the cheapest auto insurance premiums. Because expensive sports and luxury cars are costly to own, the insurance premiums are typically higher because it can cost the insurance company more to repair parts or replace the vehicle after an accident. However, insurance companies use several other factors when determining their rates so the best way to know how much your vehicle will cost to insure is to get multiple quotes.
The following vehicles may have higher insurance premiums:
- High-end luxury cars, due to the overall cost of the vehicle as well as the cost and difficulty of getting replacement parts, or the need to go to specialty mechanics.
- Expensive compact cars, because replacing a totaled vehicle may cost more than replacing a cheaper car.
- Cars with specialty parts, due to the cost and difficulty to repair or replace parts after an accident.
- Vehicles with low safety ratings, because they may be more likely to be involved in accidents.
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, location and claims history, the vehicle’s make and model are also significant rating factors when calculating the premium.
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. Sometimes, an older, cheaper vehicle without modern safety features can 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 due to a lower actual cash value.
- 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
The 2021 average cost of auto insurance in the U.S. is $1,674, but the price varies from one driver to another, depending on location, driving record and type of car, among other factors. 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.
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.
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.