How does your car make and model impact your insurance rates?

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The make and model of the vehicle you drive are influential in determining your auto insurance rates. Crash statistics vary by vehicle make and model, making certain vehicles riskier for auto insurance companies to insure. Drivers typically experience higher insurance premiums if their vehicle has expensive parts or repair costs. On the other hand, vehicles equipped with certain safety features are cheaper to insure since safety features typically make the vehicle less prone to accidents, theft and certain damages.

In addition to your vehicle’s make and model, your insurance costs are determined by a mix of factors, including your driving history, ZIP code (except in California and Michigan) and the coverage options you choose. For instance, purchasing liability insurance alone is cheaper than purchasing full coverage insurance, which typically includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

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.

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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. There are other factors to consider. The kind of coverage selected will also impact car insurance rates. Insurers also consider the following factors when determining policy rates.

Age of vehicle

Newer cars cost more than older ones. For instance, a 2010 Ford Fusion will be worth a lot less than a brand new 2022 Ford F-150. The newer the car, typically the more expensive the insurance. 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, a smart car is less of a risk to other vehicles on the road than a Jeep Wrangler, which is why it might be more expensive to insure the latter.

Trim level

Modern car owners love bells and whistles. Sunroofs, leather interiors, sound systems, Bluetooth and internet connectivity make driving more fun and convenient, but they also add to the insurance premium. Base models that come without fancy add-ons help keep the car’s cost and the insurance down.

Safety features

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 credit history, ZIP code and more are also likely to factor into your insurance premiums in most states. It also matters what type and how much coverage you select.

The following table provides minimum and full coverage car insurance rates for popular vehicle makes and models. 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 experts recommend purchasing more coverage to better protect your investment.

Car make and model Average annual full coverage rate Average annual minimum coverage rate
Jeep Wrangler $1,358 $517
Subaru Outback $1,361 $456
Honda CR-V $1,369 $487
Subaru Forester $1,419 $459
Ford Escape $1,430 $495
Ford F-150 $1,442 $499
Hyundai Tucson $1,455 $491
Chevrolet Equinox $1,467 $495
Toyota RAV4 $1,510 $501
Toyota Highlander $1,511 $498
Mazda CX-5 $1,522 $484
Jeep Grand Cherokee $1,531 $516
Ford Explorer $1,536 $492
Toyota Tacoma $1,539 $486
GMC Sierra $1,555 $503
Nissan Rogue $1,560 $507
Ford Fusion $1,674 $508
Toyota Camry $1,674 $565
Chevrolet Silverado $1,682 $585
Toyota Corolla $1,695 $531
Ram Pickup $1,697 $527
Honda Accord $1,733 $509
Honda Civic $1,733 $509
Nissan Altima $1,788 $526
Tesla Model 3 $2,283 $513

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

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.

What are ways to help lower car insurance premiums?

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. An insurance agent can walk you through specific deals that apply to you.

What can cause your car insurance premium to go up?

Several factors can cause an increase in your car insurance. Driving 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.

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 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 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
Lizzie Nealon
Insurance Writer
Lizzie Nealon is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Her favorite part of the job is making home, auto and life insurance digestible for readers so they can prepare for the future.
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