What are the Cheapest Cars to Insure for Teenagers?

When picking out the best cars for teens, safety is usually the biggest concern for parents. The cost of insuring a car is tied to the risk of causing injury or property damage. Using insurance costs as a proxy for risk and safety we examined 125 cars for a sample 18 year-old driver living in Pennsylvania to see which cars were seen as least risky / safest by insurers. Our study found a wide range of insurance costs in the sample with the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the cheapest car to insure, Subaru Outback came second, and Volkswagen Golf GTI taking the third place. For the best cars to insure for adults, visit here.

Best Cars for Teens

The table below shows the 20 cheapest models to insure for our 18 year-old sample driver. Smaller compact cars, such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, made into the top 20 list. SUVs and larger cars were also represented, including the Subaru Outback and the Honda Odyssey.

Rank

CarMSRPAverage Annual Car Insurance
1Mazda MX-5 Miata$23,720$2,640
2Subaru Outback23,4952,735
3Volkswagen Golf GTI25,3852,740
4Mini Countryman19,9502,766
5Volkswagen Routan28,3752,769
6Smart Fortwo13,2702,776
7Fiat 500L19,1952,786
8Honda Odyssey28,8252,788
9Subaru Legacy20,2952,792
10Mini Paceman23,3002,807
11Toyota Sienna26,9202,808
12Ford Mustang22,5102,821
13Fiat 50016,8452,824
14Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback18,9952,826
15Buick Encore24,1602,831
16Subaru Forester21,9952,833
17Subaru XV Crosstrek21,9952,838
18Volkswagen Jetta15,6952,850
19Volkswagen Beetle Convertible25,5952,860
20Dodge Grand Caravan20,8952,865

Most Expensive Cars to Insure for Teens

The list of the most expensive cars to insure is largely made up of compact cars and vans. The amount of annual insurance premium varied by more than $640 between the cheapest (Mazda MX-5 Miata) and most expensive (Kia Forte) to insure. Surprisingly, some of the most expensive cars to insure had sticker prices less than $20,000, including the Kia Forte and Honda Civic.

RankCarMSRPAverage Annual Car Insurance

1

Kia Forte$15,900$3,282
1Mini Cooper Hardtop23,1623,282
3Mitsubishi i-MiEV22,9953,282
4Scion tC19,2103,268
5Kia Rio13,9003,217
6Hyundai Accent14,6453,202

7

Mitsubishi Lancer17,1953,152
8Ford F-15025,0253,146

9

Honda Civic18,1903,138
10Hyundai Elantra17,2003,125

How We Conducted the Study

The ranking was based on the most purchased cars in 2014 that cost less than $30,000; there were a total of 125 cars included in the study. We used as our example driver an 18 year-old male, who had a clean driving record and good credit score, and used his car mostly for commuting to school or work. The average cost for insuring each car was calculated by getting quotes from 20 different auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania. We used requirements for auto insurance in Pennsylvania for the policy coverage in the study.

Pennsylvania Required Car Insurance Coverage

PA Required Min. Limits

Bodily Injury (BI)

$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident

Property Damage (PD)

$5,000 per accident

Medical Benefits (PIP)

$5,000 per accident

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