Car insurance is a huge consideration for many Car Pro shoppers when buying a new set of wheels. Things like your age, where you live and driving history make a difference, as do different makes and models and even trim levels. The age of a vehicle matters, too, as well as crash test ratings and even vehicle theft rates. The list goes on.
Quote Wizard by Lending Tree compiled some interesting data to give you a better idea of how some of these factors can impact the rate you pay for insurance.
Let's start off by talking about average insurance rates.
Quote Wizard reports that according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, car insurance costs an average of $935.80 per year.
NerdWallet's 2020 assessment of average car costs puts that figure a little higher at $1,427 a year. That boils down to $119 a month for 40-year-old drivers with good credit and clean driving records. (That number goes up to $1,781 after a speeding ticket.) A 50-year-old married couple with two cars is looking at $2,106 in car insurance a year. (By the way, rates can also be determined by your credit. )
Mainstream vs Luxury
It will come as no surprise that higher-priced luxury cars cost more to insure than more mainstream, lower priced models. Quote Wizard gives this example:
Trim Levels and Body Types
Trim levels can also determine auto insurance rates. Take the 2018 Honda Accord as an example. It has five trim levels, including LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The base model is the cheapest to purchase and insure - while the top of the line the most expensive.
Don't forget that body types are factors insurers consider- too.
You'll definitely want to get quotes on how different trims and body styles will impact your rates for the same year, make, and model car.
Other influencing, car-specific factors:
Age of the car: Typically, insurance is cheaper for older vehicles. They are less valuable. Quote Wizard says another reason is that if your older model vehicle is totaled in an accident you might not get it repaired and the actual cash value is less than the repairs. This means you could go with just liability coverage, which is cheaper. Also since new cars have higher value they are generally more expensive to fix.
Price of the car: This one is no surprise either. According to Quote Wizard, the more expensive the car is, the more it will cost to repair or replace. And if it's a sports car or luxury vehicle, that number goes even higher. That's why premiums are so much higher for expensive cars.
Engine Size: Here something you may not think about, and that's the size of the engine. Sporty cars with large V8s for example will be higher, since these cars are typically deemed riskier to insure.
Crash test scores: Auto insurers also take into account crash test scores. Other factories would be how frequently this type of vehicle is involved in accidents, and the extent of the damage.
Vehicle theft rate: You'll also want to consider how popular the car you are choosing is with car thieves. Car thefts can drive insurance costs up. Quote Wizard says vehicles with high theft rates will be expensive to insure. Also a classic, collector, or exotic vehicle is pricey to insure, because it costs a lot to replace if stolen. While Quote Wizard notes older vehicles are generally cheaper to insure, that isn't always the case. They also often have less robust security features, making them easier for thieves to break into which can raise insurance rates.
Quote Wizard's List of Most Expensive Cars to Insure
|Make & Model
|Annual Insurance Cost
|Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
|Porsche Panamera 4S AWD
You'll notice right away that there are few things the cars on this list have in common. They are luxury vehicles that cost a lot to repair, plus are often targeted by thieves. They are also sporty, with powerful engines under the hood. Insurers tend to relate sporty cars with damaging high-speed crashes, thus raising rates.
According to Quote Wizarddata, the BMW M5 is the most expensive car to insure out of the vehicles it ran quotes for. The 2019 BMW M5 starting MSRP is $102,700, and the insurance price is also high. Quote Wizard says that's because this car goes from zero to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and is made of expensive material like carbon fiber, making it risky to drive and pricey to repair.
Quote Wizard's List of Least Expensive Cars to Insure
|Make & Model
|Annual Insurance Cost
|Honda Odyssey LX
|Jeep Wrangler Sahara
|Subaru Outback 2.5 I AWD
|Ford Escape SE
Here's what these vehicles have in common. They are medium-sized vehicles like sedans or small SUVs. Quote Wizard says these vehicles are generally cheapest to insure. Smaller cars don't get as much love from insurers since they associate them with being faster on the road. They are also "subtle", not flashy. Showy cars will generally result in higher insurance rates.
Cheapest Car to Insure
Ok so we know you're wondering which vehicle Quote Wizard found was cheapest to insure. Based on its quotes, Quote Wizard says it's the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, at $1,306.94 per year for insurance. It starts from $28,045, and also has technology for safe driving in all terrain and weather. The combo gives it the honor of having the lowest insurance rate according to Quote Wizard research.
Cheapest Cars to Insure for Teenage Drivers
We know many parents have teen drivers headed out on the road on their policies. Quote Wizard compared quotes for a 19-year-old malem full-time student living in Seattle as a full-time student. Guess what vehicle wins again? The car with the cheapest insurance for a young driver is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, which is also the cheapest car to insure for our 30-year-old. Quote Wizard says young men tend to have the highest insurance rates, so the premiums were significantly higher for this profile. The annual insurance cost for the 19-year-old totals $3,932.32, which is $2,625.38 more than it costs to insure the same vehicle with 11 more years of driving experience.
Cheapest Sports Cars to Insure
So you know sports cars are the most expensive cars to insure. They are fast and pricier to buy. Here is Quote Wizard�s list of those with the cheapest insurance:
|Make & Model
|Annual Insurance Cost
|Chevrolet Corvette Z06 3LZ
|Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
|Audi TT Quattro
Researchers say the 2018 Audi TT Quattro is the cheapest fast car to insure with the annual insurance cost around $2,481. That's $1,175 more yearly than the cheapest car to insure, and $3,061 cheaper yearly than the most expensive car on our list. This puts the Audi right in the middle between your average commuter car and a faster, pricier sports car.
Back to the older versus new vehicle Older vehicles are less valuable than new cars, so they're generally cheaper to insure. If you're in an accident in an old car, repairs are cheaper. But depending on how old your car is, it may cost more than its actual cash value to repair your car. If you're in the market for a new car, it's important to know how trim level and body style will impact your rates for the same year, make, and model car.