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Cheapest cars to insure
Find out how what you drive affects how much you'll pay to protect it.
Your premium is the product of many factors, and the car you drive is a huge part of the equation. While there are plenty of ways to cut the cost of car insurance, the best way to save is by choosing a car that’s cheaper to cover. Compare the car models that are cheapest and most expensive for car insurance.
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 (IIHS). And models with a positive claims history, which includes the likelihood and cost of claims, tend to be cheaper to insure.
Cheapest car models to insure
Your location is a major factor in determining car insurance rates, which vary from state to state. 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.
|Rank||Make & model||Average monthly premium|
|10||Volkswagen Golf R||$145|
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 means it’s 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.
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Cheapest for most cars: Progressive
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Find the cheapest insurance for your car
Which car brands are cheapest to insure?
Let’s talk car makes. In the US, these popular car brands tend to have cheaper insurance.
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, powerful 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.
Cheapest car makes to insure
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.
Which car types are cheapest to insure?
In general, this is where car types sit on the cost-of-insurance spectrum.
- Station wagon
- Classic and exotic car
- Diesel car
- Luxury car
- Modified car
- Sports car
What types of cars are cheapest to insure?
What goes into those rates? Cheaper cars to insure will 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 risk. Sedans and minivans tend not to be involved in as many crashes, which means they’re lower risk cars.
- Cheaper MSRP. High-end luxury cars are 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.
- Older cars and exotic cars. Spare parts can be much harder to track down for older cars and imports.
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 providers to get the best possible value for your coverage.
Common questions about cheap cars to insure
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