Your premium is the product of many factors, and the car you drive is a huge part of the equation. One of the best ways to save money on car insurance is by choosing a car that’s cheap to insure when you’re buying your latest ride. Compare the cheapest car models for insurance and what plays into the most expensive cars to insure.
Which car models are cheapest to insure?
Insurance rates not only reflect the car’s sticker price, but its safety and reliability, claims history and estimated repair costs. With that logic, cheaper cars usually have lower premiums because they cost less to repair or replace if they’re totaled after an accident.
You can also expect to pay cheaper rates for models that score top marks in crash tests conducted by the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And models with a positive claims history, which includes the likelihood and cost of claims, tend to be cheaper to insure.
The cheapest cars to insure
Your location is a major factor in determining car insurance rates. Even a change in ZIP code without leaving the state can affect your premium. Keep that in mind when comparing quotes for any of the models we ranked in your area.
Here, we’ve zeroed in on rates in New York. These are the premiums a driver with good credit and an accident-free driving record can expect to pay for insuring a 2017 model with basic coverage.
Why did these cars make the list?
Safer cars get lower rates. Let’s look at the Honda Odyssey. Year after year, it consistently appears on lists for the cheapest cars to insure for a few key reasons. For starters, it has an overall five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and is equipped with sophisticated safety features.
Next, it’s a minivan, which is likely to be driven by parents with children who typically are cautious drivers. This means fewer accidents and fewer claims, which is music to an insurer’s ears.
Find the cheapest insurance for your car
Which car brands are cheapest to insure?
Let’s talk about car makes. In the US, these popular car brands tend to have cheaper insurance. We used the same driver profile as above to compare rates across models of the same make to find the cheapest cars to insure in New York.
Keep in mind that these are averages, and some models are exceptions. For example, Nissans are among the most cost-effective cars to insure, unless you have a Nissan GT-R Nismo — a high-performance sports car with over 500 horsepower.
For luxury cars, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles are surprisingly cheap to insure, until you get to the convertibles and very expensive models.
Types of cars with the cheapest insurance
In general, several types of cars stay low on the cost-of-insurance spectrum.
However, for the costs in each category, you may not see these exact car insurance rates if you buy and insure one of these models. This can happen because different insurance companies offer varying rates and because insurance reflects how safely you drive.
- Station wagon
- Classic and exotic car
- Diesel car
- Luxury car
- Mini car
- Modified car
- Sports car
Is it cheaper to insure a new or used car?
In many cases, older cars are cheaper to insure thanks to their lower value to repair and replace.
Sophisticated safety, GPS and antitheft features only help so much when it comes to driving down the cost of insurance for new cars. A model that’s only a year or two older can end up saving you on both sticker price and insurance.
However, a car’s specific insurance rate comes down to its safety and the make and model. If it’s foreign-made, commonly stolen or has replacement parts that are pricey or hard to track down, it may cost more to insure than a new car. If the car comes with antitheft devices or modern safety features like multiple airbags, you might be privy to a cheaper premium.
Cheapest sedans to insure
You’ll see a range of insurance rates for sedans because these cars come in a variety of sizes. The cheapest sedan models include:
Cheapest trucks to insure
It’s possible to muscle around in a pickup truck with low insurance rates, and these models attest to that:
Cheapest SUVs to insure
The sleek and sporty vehicles can get where you’re going without breaking the bank in insurance rates:
Cheapest luxury cars to insure
If you’re looking for the right luxury car but don’t want the hassle of high maintenance, these rides cut down on insurance costs:
Cheapest family cars to insure
Pack the family in your ride while keeping monthly car expenses at bay:
What makes a car cheap to insure?
Cheaper cars for insurance generally cost less to buy, maintain and repair. Switching cars is one of the best things you can do for your car insurance rates.
Cheapest cars to insure
- Safer. Cars with more safety features cost less to insure because they hold up better in accidents.
- Good fuel economy. You might get a break on your rates if you drive electric or hybrid cars.
- Lower claims risk. Sedans and minivans tend not get in as many crashes, which means they’re lower risk cars.
- Cheaper MSRP. High-end luxury cars are more expensive to repair and replace.
- Less powerful engine. The higher the horsepower, the more you’ll pay for your car insurance.
- Easy to repair or replace. The more it costs to repair your car after an accident, the more risk it presents to an insurer.
Expensive cars to insure
- High-theft vehicle. Some cars are targeted by thieves because they’re easier to steal or sell.
- Diesel cars. Diesel cars often cost more to repair than cars that need gasoline.
- Convertibles. Convertible roofs tend to need more repairs than standard car roofs, and they can be easier to break in to.
- Luxury cars and sports cars. If your car is expensive or has a higher crash risk, you’ll usually see higher insurance rates.
- Modified cars. Cars with modifications like more horsepower or tinted windows can have higher rates.
- Vintage cars and exotic cars. Spare parts can be much harder to track down for vintage and classic cars and imports.
Which cars are expensive to insure?
Some cars are automatically slapped with higher insurance rates. Typically, the most expensive models to insure are high-performance, luxury and sports cars. They’re expensive to repair and designed to be driven fast, so insurers compensate for that risk by charging higher premiums.
Most expensive cars to insure
We compared rates for some of the most common cars that are the priciest to insure. Convertibles and luxury cars are typically more pricey to insure because they’re prone to theft and robberies and they also tend to cost more.
The price of insurance varies between states, so factor in your location when you’re shopping around. We used the same driver profile as above to source these rates for the costliest cars to insure in New York.
|5||BMW 2 Series||$238|
|6||BMW 4 Series||$238|
Which car brands are more expensive to insure?
In the US, the most expensive car brands are those that manufacture luxury, sports and specialty cars. These cars have sky-high sticker prices, usually in the six-figure bracket, and a high cost of insurance to match. Why? It all comes down to risk. These brands attract enthusiasts: those drivers who are likely to test the speed and power of their rides, as well as thieves. And if something happens, their cars are costly to repair or replace.
These brands tend to have the priciest premiums.
Generally, the cheapest cars to insure are practical, safe, conventional and affordable — both to buy and repair. In addition, they typically have fewer claims and accidents. To cover their own risk, insurers usually jack up the rates for expensive, luxury and high-performance cars.
While the car you drive affects your insurance rates, it’s not the only factor. Shop around and compare rates with different car insurance companies to get the best possible value for your coverage.
Common questions about cheap cars to insure