Just like your gender, age, driving history and credit score, your car’s make and model can affect your car insurance premium – sometimes drastically. On average, BMW 880i drivers spend an eye-popping $2,225 per year on full coverage auto insurance, while Jeep Wrangler drivers spend only $1,358, according to 2021 data pulled from Quadrant Information Services. It may seem unfair that BMW 880is cost $867 more per year to insure than Jeep Wranglers, but car insurance companies actually use a straightforward model to calculate these premiums.
Even the best car insurance companies charge higher premiums to insure vehicles with more features or that cost more to fix. Below, Bankrate’s editorial team breaks down why and how your car’s make and model affect your insurance premium – and how to find cheap car insurance for any vehicle.
Why some makes and models cost more than others
The make of a car is the manufacturer who makes it, like Chevrolet or Ford. The model is the specific vehicle you choose from that manufacturer’s lineup. For example, if you are looking for a truck, Chevrolet offers the Colorado and Silverado while Ford offers the Ranger and F-series from F-150 to F-750.
When getting quotes for car insurance, it is not enough to just provide the make and model of the vehicle. Manufacturers offer different trim packages for each model with unique offerings for each package option. The features and equipment offered in the trim packages will affect the cost of car insurance, which is why it is important to provide the vehicle identification number (VIN) and as much information as you can provide about the vehicles, like safety features and options.
The more features included to drive up the cost of a vehicle, the more you may pay for car insurance. Rates are based on how much it costs to fix a vehicle. The more expensive it is to fix, the more you will pay for auto insurance.
Car insurance averages by make and model
In the table below, you can see several manufacturers and models they offer. The average rates are annual premiums for full coverage and state minimum insurance. Your rate may be higher or lower based on your driving history, where you live and the type of coverage you need.
|Model||Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||$1,623||$503|
|Dodge Ram 1500||$1,697||$527|
|GMC Sierra 1500||$1,555||$503|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$1,531||$516|
|KIA Forte LX||$1,682||$544|
How to get car insurance estimates
To get an accurate auto insurance estimate, follow these car shopping steps:
- Narrow down your vehicle choices: Before you start test driving cars, determine what your needs are. Can you get by with a coupe or do you need a sedan or something larger to accommodate your family? Do you need a truck to haul materials or for towing capacity? Once you determine your needs, the next step is narrowing down your car choices. If you are not brand loyal, consider all makes and models based on your needs and important features.
- Decide how much coverage you need: With a new car, you will most likely want comprehensive and collision coverage. If you are financing your vehicle, your lender will likely require you to purchase full coverage insurance. Consider your individual circumstances to determine which level of coverage will make you the most comfortable. At this stage, talking with an insurance agent can be helpful.
- Get quotes with the same coverage: Now that you have narrowed down your make and model and determined your coverage needs, it is time to get quotes. Getting multiple quotes from different car insurance companies with the same coverages can help you make a decision.
Other factors that influence your car insurance rate
The make and model of the car you buy are not the only criteria auto insurance companies use to determine your rate. Other factors include:
- Coverage: The type of coverage you choose will also influence how much you pay for car insurance. The more coverage you have, the more you will pay for insurance.
- Location: Where you live matters when it comes to car insurance costs. Crime rates, population density and crash statistics are used to create rates for each zip code.
- Personal information: Your age, gender, marital status, credit score and driving history can be used to determine your rate in most states. If there are other drivers in the household, their information matters, too. Keep in mind that Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania prohibit the use of gender to determine car insurance rates. In addition, the following states ban or restrict the use of credit score to determine car insurance premiums: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Utah.
- Your car insurance history: Maintaining continuous insurance can help keep your car insurance costs low. Lapsing insurance, filing claims and the length of time you have been insured with a carrier also make a difference.
How to save on car insurance
Employing money-saving strategies when purchasing a new car is a great way to stay on budget. One way to save is considering the make and model you choose. Here are a few more ways to save on car insurance:
- Ask about discounts. Insurance companies offer discounts as a way to lower car insurance prices. Most can be stacked together to maximize savings, so make sure you ask about any you are eligible for to get the best car insurance estimate.
- Be a safe driver. People with good driving habits tend to get into less accidents and avoid getting tickets, which can make you eligible for additional discounts and keep rates low.
- Increase deductibles. Increasing deductibles can save on your premium and also prevent you from making small claims, which could affect your car insurance costs.
- Pay in full. Some car insurance companies offer a discounted rate if you pay the premium in full rather than in monthly installments.
- Shop around. Even if you get quotes for the same coverages, you will likely get a different price for car insurance from each company. The carriers have their own formulas to create rates, so one may be more expensive than the other for the same coverages.
Which car model has the cheapest insurance?
Of the cars Bankrate analyzed, Jeep Wrangler drivers scored the cheapest annual full coverage insurance premiums on average. However, you can find competitive insurance premiums for countless other vehicle models. Keep in mind that typically, luxury cars cost more to insure than more basic models.
Which car insurance company is the cheapest?
The cheapest car insurance company will vary on individual factors such as your credit score, age, location and vehicle make and model. To find the cheapest car insurance, you may want to compare quotes from several providers and research company discounts. Car insurance providers offer substantial discounts for safe drivers, students, teachers, loyal customers, those who bundle their policies and more.
How much does car insurance cost?
The national average cost for full coverage car insurance is $1,674 per year. However, the actual car insurance premium you will pay varies based on countless factors such as driving history, credit score and vehicle make and model.
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 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
Model: To determine cost by vehicle type, we evaluated our base profile with the following vehicles applied: BMW 330i, Ford F-150, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Prius 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.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.