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Compare car insurance by fuel type
Expect to pay more for diesels and electrics – with hybrids being a wildcard.
The type of fuel that your car uses can have a significant impact on your car insurance rates. Based on fuel types alone, vehicles running on gas typically cost the least to insure, but you can still find ways to save with diesels, hybrids and electrics.
How does my car’s fuel type affect my car insurance?
The type of fuel your car uses has a significant impact on the rating factors that insurers use to calculate risk, here’s how:
- Gas. Generally, gas-powered vehicles cost less to insure than other fuel types due to the wide availability of labor and relatively low cost of parts. But this might not apply to luxury cars or vehicles made in other countries.
- Diesel. Diesel vehicles are less common in the US than in other countries, which makes parts and labor more expensive than gas-powered models.
- Hybrid. Hybrid models vary greatly but generally cost more than diesels to insure because of the higher cost of electrical components.
- Electric. Electric vehicles are usually more expensive to insure than all other fuel types. Since electric cars are newer and cost more, have higher-priced luxury elements and electrical parts you can expect to dig deep with insurance rates.
How much does car insurance cost based on fuel type?
Gas-powered vehicles are generally the cheapest fuel type to insure. Your exact rates will also depend on your age, location, driving history, discounts, credit score and the type of vehicle you drive.
- Gas. The average cost of car insurance in the US is slightly over $1,300 a year. This average includes all types of vehicles, but most of the vehicles in the US are gas-powered.
- Diesel. You can expect to pay an average of 10% to 15% more to insure your diesel vehicle compared to a gas vehicle.
- Hybrid. Hybrid rates are the most variable of these fuel types, with some models costing 5% to 10% more than it’s gas-powered cousin, while other models can cost the same or less than gas.
- Electric. You could pay as much as 20% or more to insure your electric vehicle, compared to a similar gas model. The increased cost can be partially offset with the federal tax credit on electric vehicles and electric car discounts through your insurance company.
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How can I save on car insurance for each fuel type?
No matter which type of fuel your car uses, you can lower your car insurance premiums by enrolling in a defensive driver course, proving you’ve been accident- and violation-free for at least three years, bundling your home and auto or enrolling in telematics.
In addition to those, here are specific tips to help you save money based on what fuel type you use:
- Gas. Since gas vehicles are the standard, there aren’t any fuel-related discounts available. However, your car may be eligible for safety feature or low-mileage discounts.
- Diesel. If you put less than 8,000 miles a year on your diesel, it may be eligible for a low mile discount. Not all insurance companies offer this, but it might be worth shopping around to get it.
- Hybrid. Most insurance companies offer an electric car discount for hybrids, sometimes called an alternate fuel discount. Many hybrids also come stacked with safety features, so check with your company to make sure you’re maximizing savings.
- Electric. You can receive up to a $7,500 federal tax credit when you buy an electric vehicle, which doesn’t help with insurance premiums but reduces your overall annual cost. This credit only applies to carmakers that have sold less than 200,000 electric cars — which only excludes cars from Tesla and GM as of this writing. And if your insurance company offers it, you may also be eligible for an electric car discount.
Your vehicle’s fuel type plays a role in determining your car’s insurance rates. Diesels, hybrids, and electric vehicles are typically more expensive to insure than gas vehicles, though electric vehicles may qualify for a discount to help you save up front. And until your car’s manufacturer sells more than 200,000 electric vehicles, you’ll still be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
To find the best car insurance for any car, compare your car insurance options.
Common questions about vehicle fuel type and insurance
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