Some cars are more expensive to insure than others. While other factors also influence rates, sometimes to a much greater degree, we found the car which you drive can cost you upwards of $260 per year more on your insurance. We took a look at about 70 of the most popular models on the road today to see which were the best to insure for a sample 30 year old male driver.
What is the Cheapest Car to Insure?
We found the Toyota Tundra was the cheapest car of the 85 most popular models to insure. To analyze each car, we got quotes from multiple companies from the same five cities across the country for a sample 30 year old driver for 70 different types of cars. The following table shows which models were the cheapest to insure, using the average of the costs in the five cities.
|Rank||Car Name||Average Yearly Rate||Average Value||Type of Car|
|1||Toyota Tundra||$1,680||$35,617||CrewMax Cab|
|29||Toyota Tacoma||$1,791||$25,064||Double Cab|
|31||Nissan Frontier||$1,801||$22,476||King Cab|
|62||Chevrolet Colorado||$1,907||$26,890||Crew Cab|
Surprisingly, the most expensive cars were not always the most expensive to insure. Cars worth as little as $15,000 or as much as $40,000 can be found on both sides of the list. What we did find however were certain makes and car types tended to be priced differently when it comes to insuring them. The absolute dollar amount is the average across those five cities, and will fluctuate for other cities. The relative difference between models, however, remains constant.
Which Car Make Costs the Least to Insure?
Americans have a large list of car makes to choose from when it comes to shopping for a car. Our analysis found that some tend to skew a bit more expensive than others however. For example, we found Volkswagens and Kias tend to be cheaper to insure while more luxury style makes like BMWs and Acuras are on the more expensive side of things.
|Rank||Make||Average Yearly Rate|
|8||Mercedes - Benz||$1,801|
While there are many other types of car makes on the market, those above represent the ones driven most by Americans. Interestingly, there is little diversity among pricing for different models within a make. For example, the difference to insure the most expensive Chevy and the least expensive Chevy is only about $40.
What is the Best Type of Car to Insure?
Beside make and model, the type of car also plays a role in how much a car cost to insure. Below you can see which types of car are usually cheaper to insure:
|Rank||Type of Car||Average Yearly Rate|
Large or fast vehicles are usually more expensive to insure according to our findings. Crew cabs, or pick-up trucks, are often involved in more heavy duty and industrial operations, making them more expensive to insure. Interestingly however, a CrewMax Cab like the 2015 Toyota Tundra proved to be one of the cheapest cars to insure. Coupes on the other hand, like the Chevy Camaro or Dodge Charger, are fast cars that insurers tend to rate more cautiously.
Why Does the Type of Car You Drive Affect Your Rates?
Insurers set their prices based on the actions of a large "pool" of drivers. Thus, if one particular vehicle is getting into many accidents, everyone who drives that car, even if they themselves have a good driving record, will have to pay more. Other factors also make a particular car seem more "risky" to insurers. Drivers of cars like the Camaro and Charger are often times younger and riskier, thus more expensive to insure. As well, if a car is built with atypical parts, thus requires more money to repair, it will tend to cost more to insure. Larger SUV vehicles are prone to causing more damage in a car accident due to their size. More damage means more costly accidents, thus higher insurance pricing for that car. Lastly, car theft also plays a role on your rates. Some cars get stolen more than others, so if you are driving one of those cars your rates are probably going to be higher. The Honda Accord was the most stolen car of 2015, and despite being a sedan valued less than $25,000, it's one of the more expensive cars to insure in our analysis.
How We Got Our Data
Using a single 30 year old male driver with a clean driving record we got quotes from numerous companies from five cities located in Georgia, Washington, Florida, New York and Oregon. Everything about the driver was the same for each quote, except which car he drove. The average annual rate for each car is the average yearly rate for that vehicle across the five cities. The average value of the car was taken from the Edmunds.com True Market Value®^^ metric on 11/16/2016 via the Edmunds.com API Yearly rates reflect full coverage car insurance as per the limits below:
|Coverage Type||Study Limits|
|Bodily Liability||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Property Damage||$50,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property||$50,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive & Collision||$500 Deductible|
|Personal Injury Protection||Min. When Required by State|
^^The Edmunds.com TMV® (Edmunds.com True Market Value®) price is Edmunds.com’s determination of the current average base dealer price in the area indicated by the Zip Code provided, unadjusted for vehicle color or any options. (If no Zip Code was provided, this price is the national price. TMV® prices are copyrighted by Edmunds.com, Inc., which reserves all rights. Edmunds®, Edmunds.com True Market Value® and TMV® are registered trademarks of Edmunds.com, Inc. Edmunds.com, Inc. is not affiliated with this website.)