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Compare car insurance by fuel type

Find how insurance costs change when you own a gas, hybrid, diesel or electric car.

The type of fuel that your car uses can have a significant impact on your car insurance rates, though insurers don’t set premiums directly because of fuel type. Instead, the higher rates are related to your car’s ticket price, the availability of car parts and how much technology is involved in repairs. Based on fuel types alone, gas vehicles cost the least to insure versus hybrids, diesels or electrics.

How does my car’s fuel type affect 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. Gas-powered vehicles cost less to insure than other fuel types due to the wide availability of labor and relatively low cost of parts. This might not apply to luxury cars or vehicles made in other countries.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid models vary greatly but generally cost more than gas-powered cars to insure because of the higher cost of electrical components.
  • Diesel. Diesel vehicles aren’t common in the US, which makes parts and labor more expensive than gas-powered models.
  • Electric. Since electric cars have a high sale value, include high-priced luxury elements and electrical parts, you can expect the highest insurance rates of all other fuel types.

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, or $108 a month. This average includes all types of vehicles, but most vehicles in the US are gas-powered.
  • Hybrid. A hybrid’s car insurance rates are the most variable of these fuel types, with some models costing 5% to 10% more than their gas-powered cousin, while others cost less.
  • Diesel. You can expect to pay an average of 10% to 15% more to insure your diesel vehicle, or $118 to $124 a month, compared to a gas vehicle.
  • Electric. You could pay as much as 20% or more to insure your electric vehicle, around $130 a month, compared to a similar gas model. The increased cost can be partially offset with the federal tax credit on electric vehicles.

What if my car is a luxury model?

Your luxury car is more expensive to insure across all fuel types. Luxury cars cost more to fix and replace than standard vehicles — gas-powered included.

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How to save on car insurance by 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.
  • 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.
  • Diesel. If you put less than 8,000 miles a year on your diesel, it may be eligible for a low mileage discount. Not all insurance companies offer this, but it might be worth shopping around to get it.
  • 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.

Do all insurance companies insure diesel or electric cars?

Yes. You shouldn’t have problems finding a regular car insurance policy for a diesel or electric car. The company will pay out your claim like any other vehicle, by determining the value of the car and paying you that amount. The only difference you may see will be your car’s insurance rates.

Bottom line

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.

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