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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 guide your next vehicle purchase.
What is a car make?
A car’s make is the company or brand that manufactured the car, such as Ford, Nissan, Honda, GMC or Tesla. Some manufacturers own and produce sub-brands or makes. For instance, Nissan is the parent company of Infiniti, but Infiniti is still the vehicle’s make. Similarly, Honda is the parent company for Acura vehicles. But Acura is the make for an Acura car, not Honda.
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 amount for car insurance coverage, even if they have identical driving records. In addition to selected coverage types, the following vehicle factors will also impact car insurance rates. Keep in mind that many other personal factors, as well as your chosen coverage types and levels, will also impact your auto insurance rates.
Age of vehicle
Newer cars typically cost more than older ones. For instance, a 2010 Ford F-150 would typically be worth a lot less than a brand new 2023 Ford F-150. The newer the car, typically the more expensive the insurance. This is based on the vehicle’s replacement cost. A newer vehicle would typically cost more for an insurance company to replace than an older vehicle. Therefore insuring a newer vehicle poses more risk for the insurance company. Additionally, newer vehicles are likely to have more complex features or electrical components, which may also drive up repair costs. Some exceptions to that rule include classic or rare cars, which may cost more to insure than their newer counterparts and may even require a specialized insurance policy.
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 may cost to insure because big cars can cause more damage. Additionally, small 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.
Conversely, however, larger vehicles may also provide better crash protection during an accident compared to smaller, lighter cars. This can mean reduced medical costs associated with an accident claim.
Sunroofs, leather interiors, sound systems, Bluetooth and internet connectivity can make driving more enjoyable and convenient, but they also might add to your 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 lower premiums for vehicles with certain safety features because they reduce the risk of accidents and may better protect occupants in the event of a collision. Additionally, some safety features may reduce the chance of theft or even deter vandalism. Insurance providers often look at safety features like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft systems and curtain airbags.
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 and foreign vehicles are usually more expensive to insure.
Average cost of car insurance by make and model
The following table shows average 2023 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||Avg. annual full coverage rate||Avg. annual min. coverage rate|
|Honda Odyssey||$ 1,735||$ 575|
|Ford F-150||$ 1,753||$611|
|Honda Civic||$ 1,963||$ 619|
|Chevy Silverado||$ 1,989||$ 621|
|Chevy Bolt||$ 2,007||$611|
|Toyota Prius||$ 2,117||$ 602|
|Audi Q5||$ 2,257||$ 572|
|BMW I3 Electric||$ 2,373||$589|
|Dodge Challenger||$ 2,483||$ 641|
|BMW 300i||$ 2,513||$598|
|Tesla Model 3||$2,577||$605|
|Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury||$ 2,743||$648|
|Dodge Charger||$ 2,824||$668|
|Tesla Model X||$4,364||$803|
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 you may take to get quotes online:
- Visit the insurance company’s website.
- Find the option to request a quote online.
- 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 may 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. You may also want to investigate each carrier’s customer service, claims handling, financial strength and digital experience. 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.
Based on average rate data, the Subaru Outback, Honda Odyssey, Ford F-150 and Toyota RAV4 are some of the cheapest models to insure of the vehicles we analyzed. These models tend to have high safety ratings and accessible repair options which may contribute to their low average rates.
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 what 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. Remember that other rating factors impact your insurance rates in addition to your vehicle type. Maintaining a clean driving record and improving your credit score (in states that allow credit as a rating factor) may also help you save.
Yes, even though liability only car insurance does not provide physical damage coverage for your vehicle, car insurance companies still consider your car’s make and model when determining rates. Certain types of cars, like sports cars, are linked to riskier driving behavior, so you’ll likely pay more to insure one, even if you’re just carrying liability coverage.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Model: To determine cost by vehicle type, we evaluated our base profile with the following vehicles applied: BMW 300i, Toyota RAV4, Honda Odyssey, Ford F-150, Subaru Outback, Honda Civic, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Bolt, Toyota Prius, Audi Q5, BMW I3 Electric, Dodge Challenger, BMW 300i, Tesla Model 3, Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury, Nissan Leaf, Dodge Charger, Tesla Model X and Toyota Camry (base). For new vs used vehicles, we also included the following years in our calculations: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 (base) and 2020.