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Car insurance rates are calculated based on many factors, which include personal and vehicle details. The make and model of your car is one factor that impacts how much you pay for car insurance. Whether you’re shopping for a new or used car, or just reviewing your policy to see if you might be able to lower your rate, understanding how make and model affect your auto insurance rates may help you decide on your next vehicle purchase.
What is a car make?
A car’s make is the company that manufactured the car, such as Ford, Nissan, Honda, GMC or Tesla.
An easy way to remember this terminology is that whenever asked for a car’s make, simply name the company that makes it.
What is a car model?
A car’s model is the specific product line that the manufacturer sells. In the case of a Honda Civic, the make is Honda, and the model is a Civic. With a Tesla Model S, Tesla is the make and Model S is the model.
Products such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited are considered different models, even though they have similar names. Each model has different features, which factors into the auto insurance premium for each.
How car make and model affects insurance rates
While two drivers might have the same car make and model, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will pay the same for car insurance coverage, even if they have identical driving records. In addition to the kind of coverage selected, other vehicle factors will also impact car insurance rates.
Age of vehicle
Newer cars typically cost more than older ones. For instance, a 2010 Ford Fusion would be worth a lot less than a brand new 2022 Ford F-150. The newer the car, typically the more expensive the insurance. This is based on the vehicle’s replacement cost. Some exceptions to that rule include classic or rare cars. The year the car was manufactured plays just as big a part in the premium as the make and model itself.
Size of vehicle
Besides the make and the model of the car, the size also impacts the annual premium. The bigger and heavier the construction of a vehicle, the more it usually costs to insure because big cars can cause more damage. For instance, smart cars generally pose less of a risk to other vehicles on the road for accidents than standard vehicles might, often resulting in less expensive premiums.
Sunroofs, leather interiors, sound systems, Bluetooth and internet connectivity can make driving more enjoyable and convenient, but they also might add to the insurance premium. These options may be found in the standard trim style, but are typically options when you upgrade to a luxury or sport trim level. There are usually several sport or luxury trim models to choose from, which may provide the option to customize your vehicle to your needs and wants while simultaneously making a vehicle more expensive to repair or replace. With this in mind, base models that lack additional features may be cheaper to insure.
The car’s body style can also determine your cost of car insurance. Body styles include coupe, sedan, SUV, minivan and truck. Sporty coupe body styles will usually cost more to insure than a sedan or minivan because insurers tend to associate sports models with riskier driving habits and a higher chance of accidents.
Car insurance companies typically charge slightly lower premiums for vehicles with certain safety features because they reduce the risk of accidents and prevent hefty damages in case of collisions. Insurance providers look at safety features like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft systems.
Cost of repairs
The price of parts and repair costs vary by make and model. In general, domestic vehicles have cheaper parts than foreign vehicles. Luxury vehicles, too, are generally more expensive to fix and have more expensive parts than lower-end vehicles. As a result, luxury vehicles are usually more expensive to insure.
Type of coverage
Keep in mind that the type of car is only one of several factors that determine the cost of auto insurance. Your driving record, insurance history and more will also factor into your insurance premiums. It also matters what type and how much coverage you select.
The following table shows average 2021 minimum and full coverage car insurance premiums for popular vehicle makes and models, gathered from Quadrant Information Services. Although your individual rates will vary based on your personal characteristics, these rates may be helpful for the sake of comparison. We have sorted the list by cheapest to most expensive full coverage rates. Although it may be tempting to keep costs low by only purchasing the minimum amount of auto insurance required, most insurance professionals recommend purchasing higher coverage limits to better financially protect yourself.
|Car make and model||Average annual full coverage rate||Average annual minimum coverage rate|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$1,531||$516|
|Tesla Model 3||$2,283||$513|
How to get quotes for your make and model
You can generally get quotes for your make and model over the phone, in person or online. Here are the steps to take to get quotes:
- Visit the insurance company’s website.
- Find the option to request a quote.
- Enter the requested personal information, such as your full name, date of birth and driver’s license number.
- Enter the same information for any household drivers.
- Enter your vehicle information, including year, make, model, VIN and mileage.
- Select your coverage choices.
- Receive quote.
Getting several quotes from different carriers can help you find the best rate for your make and model.
Frequently asked questions
The best car insurance company depends on your individual policy needs and preferences. If you are looking for the lowest premium, you may want to start by getting car insurance quotes from the cheapest car insurance companies. If you care about solid customer service, claims handling, financial strength and digital experience, you may want to get quotes from the best car insurance companies in your area. An independent insurance agent may be able to help you narrow down which companies offer the policy types you’re looking for at a price that’s right for you. You can also get quotes from exclusive local agents that only represent one carrier.
To lower your car insurance premium, you may want to shop around and request quotes from multiple auto insurance providers. You may also want to see which of the best car insurance discounts apply to you. If you’re a good student, a safe driver or a member of certain professional groups, you may be able to qualify for significant savings. Several companies offer big discounts for bundling your car insurance policy with a home or renters policy from the same company. Also, if you own an older vehicle, you may want to consider dropping full coverage and only maintaining liability insurance. An insurance agent can walk you through specific deals that apply to you.
Several factors can cause an increase in your car insurance. Moving violations such as speeding tickets or DUIs can cause your car insurance to spike, depending on the severity of the violation. Car accidents, changing the vehicle you drive, moving to a different geographic location, and several other factors may also cause your premium to increase.
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 clean 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 owns a 2019 Toyota Camry, 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.