Looking for a new pickup truck?
Here’s some good news, it turns out many trucks are cheaper to insure than cars.
Are trucks cheaper to insure than cars?
We ran the numbers and found that the nationwide average for pickups was only $1,662 compared to the average for cars at $2,072. This means that on average, pickups are an astounding 20% less expensive to insure than cars.
While pickups are cheaper to insure overall, there is a wide range in insurance costs. The most expensive trucks on our list are up to 11% more expensive than the national average for cars and a whopping 69% more expensive to insure than the cheapest pickup on our list.
We ran quotes on just about every 2019 pickup truck in the market and found huge differences.
Why are pickups cheaper to insure?
There are many reasons why it is cheaper (insurance wise) to cruise around town in a pickup.
“One of the main reasons that a pickup truck is cheaper to insure than other types of vehicles is the bed of the truck, which often makes up more than half of a pickup. The bed is typically made from sheet metal and not much else. Sheet metal is easy and affordable to repair, which makes a big impact on the bottom line of insurance rates,” points out Jake McKenzie, content manager at Auto Accessories Garage.
A pickup’s sheer size and height can also help lower (or in some cases, raise) insurance rates. Pickups (especially the heavy-duty models) can often absorb a crash impact better than a car, which leads to fewer injuries and less damage to the vehicle.
On the other hand, they can do tremendous damage to a smaller car in an accident. “Liability costs may be higher on a truck since an at-fault crash with a smaller car can result in more costly repairs and more severe injuries to victims,” says Carole Walker, executive director of theRocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
Pricing can impact rates as well. Pickups have a wide range of prices. “Pickups in particular have a huge value spread from the stripped-down work truck to fully loaded executive editions. It’s not uncommon for the same truck to cost anywhere from $20,000 to over $66,000 depending on the trim levels. Therefore, the cost of insuring would vary dramatically as well,” says Brandon Gehring with Insurance Werks Services.
Finally, pickups are more popular in rural areas where accident rates tend to be lower.
To find auto insurance rates for 2019 models, and to compare by state and model for up to 10 pickups, use our tool below.
Average insurance rates for your 2020 Truck
The cheapest trucks to insure
Trucks that fall into the least expensive to insure category aren’t heavy duty work horses with a V-18 under the hood. They are light to mid duty pickups with a four- or six-cylinder engine. “Generally speaking, the trucks that are least-expensive to insure are among the lower trim levels of light-duty pickups used primarily for everyday driving and maybe for hauling the occasional loveseat for a friend,” points out Matt Schmitz, assistant managing editor of Cars.com.
(To find insurance costs for all types of vehicles, see the Insure.com list of the most and least expensive cars to insure.)
2019 Nissan Frontier S
Average annual premium: $1,361
The Nissan Frontier is usually near the top of the list for cheapest pickups to insure. It topped this list back in 2017, fell to second in 2018 but regained the top spot this year. The Nissan Frontier’s sticker price is the main reason this entry level pickup is so cheap to insure. The Frontier is one of the cheapest pickups available, it starts at a mere $19,090.
A vehicle’s price directly affects the cost of insurance as the insurance company may need to pay for a new one if it’s destroyed in an accident or by a covered peril. In addition, it has been around for many years so there are plenty of parts available.
Michael Satterfield with TheGentlemanRacer.com said Nissan has produced the Frontier since
2004 in the U.S. Since it’s an established vehicle, the price of parts is inexpensive compared to other vehicles. One reason is that parts for the Frontier can fit a wider range of model years. That’s helps keep down insurance costs.
This bargain basement truck is definitely not loaded with luxury or power but it’s considered a solid choice for light to medium work duty. The S is the base model and comes with a 2.5 Liter 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that puts out 152 HP. This version is a 4×2 but 4×4 is available on more expensive trim levels. The Frontier can tow up to 3,800 pounds and has a maximum payload capacity of 900 lbs.
It managed a 4-star overall rating (out of 5) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
2019 GMC Canyon SL
Average annual premium: $1,369
The Canyon is the second most affordable pickup to insurer. The vehicle managed a fourth place finish back in 2017 and claimed first place in 2018. The SL is the base model for this midsize pickup, so it is a rear wheel drive with a 2.5 L 200 HP In-Line 4 cylinder, which cranks out 200 hp. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
The SL is considered a great choice in the midsize segment. However, it lacks the luxury features and performance of some of the higher Canyon trim levels, which is what makes it so cheap to insure.
Insurers consider a variety of factors when setting a premium and luxury accessories quickly push up the cost to repair a vehicle, making it more expensive to insure. The Canyon SL starts around $21,000.
2019 Ford F150XL
Average annual premium: $1,374
The F-150 maintains the third spot for the second straight year after finishing second in 2017. The F-150 is the only truck in the top five that comes with a six-cylinder engine, but it also comes with a significant price jump. This beauty starts at $28,155 but only costs $5 more to insure than the Canyon SL.
The F-150 has a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine with Auto Start/Stop Technology, which produces 290 horsepower. This allows it to pull 7,700 pounds and haul almost 2,000 pounds.
Like the rest of the trucks on this side of the list, don’t expect to be overwhelmed by luxury when you slide into the interior but that is just one of the reasons that this pickup is cheap to insure. Insurers take repair costs into consideration when setting a premium because they have to cover repair costs when a claim is filed. Due to some smart thinking on Ford’s part, the F-150 is fairly cheap to repair.
“When Ford introduced the all-new aluminum F-150 in 2015, they intentionally included some manufacturing and body construction designs to make it easier to replace and repair different body parts of the truck,” says Mark Williams with Cars.com. “Ford worked pretty well with the repair industry to get the right tools and training to body shops so working on aluminum wouldn’t cost any more than previous steel bodies.”
2019 Chevrolet Colorado
Average annual premium: $1,375
The Colorado is the sister vehicle to the GMC Canyon SL so it’s not surprising that it’s also in the top five cheapest pickups to insure. Like the Canyon, the Colorado is a solid choice if you are looking for a base level pickup to get weekend jobs done. It nabbed fourthplace this year, the same as 2018.
Just like all the other vehicles on our list, luxury is not the number one priority of this truck. It has a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that generates 200 hp combined with a six-speed automatic transmission. This version of the Colorado starts around $22,00.
“An impressive array of safety features and a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA also helps to keep insurance costs affordable,” says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst with Insure.com. The vehicle offers four-wheel antilock disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control and a rear vision camera are all standard equipment.
2019 Toyota Tacoma SR
Average annual premium: $1,405
Toyota is known for building reliable cars and the Tacoma is no exception as it comes in fifth place for the second year running. This pickup is well regarded and will get the job done for many years. The Tacoma is a two-wheel drive with a four cylinder that manages 159 horsepower. This truck starts at $25,850.
There are a couple of reasons that the Tacoma made the list of cheap pickups to insure. First, the Tacoma is one of the most popular pickups in the midsize segment which means there are plenty of parts available for repairs and a lot of claim data for insurers to examine. A vehicle that is cheap to repair will always be less expensive to insure and plenty of claim data allows insurers to accurately price a policy.
Another possible reason this truck made the list is the fact that Toyota has put Safety Sense standard equipment on most of their vehicles. This package of safety features comes standard on the Tacoma and includes lane departure, Pre-Collision System, Lane Tracing Assist as well as other advanced safety systems.
Advanced safety features help prevent accidents which help prevent claims. Insurers love them and reward owners with lower insurance costs.
Most expensive pickup trucks to insure
On the other side of our list are the most expensive pickups to insure. These are not bare bones trucks, they all have a V-8 under the hood and are four-wheel drive (with two exceptions). “These are primarily larger heavy-duty pickups far more likely to be used as work trucks; heavy-duty truck implies heavy-duty use and that, in turn, translates to greater wear and tear,” says Schmitz.
“These trucks can also cause more damage in a collision, subjecting them to greater liability. Likewise, the trucks that are more costly to insure also cost more to buy, as most of the pickups on this list are among the highest trim levels, and the more luxurious the truck the more injurious the repair bill,” continues Schmitz.
2019 Ford F-450 SD King Ranch
Average annual premium: $2,296
The F-450 is the top of the heap when it comes to expensive pickup trucks to insure. This is a one-ton truck that has a 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel, which is capable of putting out an impressive 450 horsepower. It can tow up to 35,000 pounds if you put a gooseneck in the bed and will easily haul almost 8,000 pounds of payload.
This sweet ride will set you back at least $72,000 but the interior is loaded with high-end features. The PowerScope mirrors are heated and powered for telescoping, which makes towing a big boat or trailer much easier. The Kingsville Antique Affect Leather seating is both beautiful and comfortable.
This truck is top of the line when it comes to power and comfort. The cost to insure it reflects this but its size is another factor that pushes up the cost for insurance. When you get into trucks this big, their risk factors push up insurance premiums. “Heavy duty and super duty trucks are much heavier vehicles and are more likely to total other vehicles in an accident,” says Ron Hettler with the Hettler Insurance Agency in Lubbock, Texas.
A vehicle that can do massive damage to other cars on the road is considered a risk by insurers as they will be on the hook for repair costs when it comes time to make a claim.
2019 Ford F-350 SD Lariat
Average annual premium: $2,213
It’s another F-Series. Ford managed to get four trucks (hint: the absolutely most expensive truck to insure is also a Ford) on our lists, which is the most of any automaker. The F-350 SD Lariat is a powerhouse that is extremely luxurious once you climb into the cab.
This version of the Lariat has a 6.2L V8 Gas Flex Fuel engine under the hood that cranks out 385 horsepower. It can tow up to 21,000 pounds so getting the boat to the water every weekend will not be a problem. It can also haul 7,640 pounds of payload so you can also haul plenty of gear.
These types of engines can be very expensive to replace or repair and that puts the cost of insurance up as your insurance company may have to buy a new engine at some point. “The F350/450 have large engines, heavy duty transmissions and axles which can be costly to repair. The engines alone can run north of $7,000 to replace – and that’s for a used/remanufactured engine,” points out LeeAnn Shattuck, with TheCarChick.com.
The interior is just as impressive with SNYC 3 coming standard. This feature allows you to control the sound system, navigation and other vehicle features with voice control. While this vehicle is on the expensive side of our lists, this kind of technology can actually help keep insurance costs down.
Insurers love features that help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and help prevent accidents, which is why most insurance companies offer big discounts for advanced safety features.
2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD SLT
Average annual premium: $2,026
This one-ton truck is a two-wheel drive monster that has a 6.0L V8 SFI Gaseous CNG/LPG capable engine so you can run it on compressed natural gas or LPG. This truck puts out 360 hp and can tow almost 24,000 pounds.
The $53,000 starting price certainly contributes to its high insurance cost but so does its luxury filled interior. The SLT comes with eight-inch diagonal high-resolution, color touch screen integrated with the 4.2-inch diagonal display as well as a leather interior as standard equipment. “The fact that it comes with a CNG compatible engine puts the price up when compared to a normal gas engine and contributes to its higher insurance rates as items like this that make a truck special can also make it more expensive to repair,” says Gusner.
2019 Ford F-250 SD Limited
Average annual premium: $2,006
This 3/4-ton truck is the first one on our list to go over the $2,000 mark when it comes to insurance. The F-250 SD (super duty) Limited is a 4×4 with a 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel Engine that generates 450 horsepower. This truck is built for towing and can handle 21,000 pounds.
The interior of this top of the line trim model is the definition of luxury and the $80,000 starting price certainly reflects that. Technology is key in this pickup with Lane-Keeping Alert
Trailer Reverse Guidance and 180/360-Degree Cameras coming as standard equipment. A Premium Sound System by Bang & Olufsen and leather interior ensure you roll down the highway in style.
All of this luxury and a sky-high starting price lead to expensive insurance but there is one additional factor that also helps put it on our expensive to insure list.
Insurers look at theft rates and will always price a commonly stolen vehicle higher as there is a better chance they will have to pay out a claim. “The Superduty Fords are among some of the top stolen vehicles in the US according to the Institute for Highway Safety,” says Satterfield. “There is a big market for used heavy duty truck parts in Mexico and rural parts of the US. A used diesel engine can be sold for $4,000-$6,000 pretty quickly.”
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD High Country
Average annual premium: $1,942
This one-ton truck kicks off our most expensive to insure list and its sheer size is one factor that makes it more expensive to insure. “If a pickup is over a ton it might be required to carry a commercial auto policy rather than a personal auto policy which in general is going to cost more,” advises Denise Metz with Warren G. Bender Company. Luckily, the Silverado comes in under that limit.
This version of the Silverado High Country is a two-wheel drive that has a 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. This truck is a powerhouse, putting out 445 horsepower, allowing it to tow up to 14,500 pounds and haul up to 4,000 pounds.
The starting price of $66,490 is one of the major reasons this truck is on the expensive to insure list but you get a lot of luxury for your money. The High Country comes with Chevrolet Infotainment System with Navigation and eight-inch diagonal color touch-screen as standard, as well as a Bose sound system and dual zone climate control.
Compare car insurance rates, regardless of what vehicle you’re buying
While it’s interesting to see the least expensive and most expensive trucks to insure, remember to take into consideration insurance costs, no matter what truck (or vehicle of any type) you’re thinking of purchasing. Read our guide to insuring new model cars to see nationwide annual averages for 2019 models but note that premiums will vary based on your own personal factors. Gusner advises that you comparison shop with at least three auto insurance companies before purchasing a policy to ensure you get the best auto insurance rates. Finally, don’t select coverage based solely on price. The best car insurance companies not only have affordable rates, but also shine when it comes to customer service and claims processing.
(All photos courtesy of vehicle manufacturers.)
Insure.com in 2019 commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2019 models. Averages were calculated using data from six large carriers, such as Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm, in 10 ZIP codes per state. Not all models were available, especially exotic cars. More than 3,000 models are included in the 2019 study. This article includes rate data on just the five most and least expensive pickups to insure.
The insurance costs listed here reflect the average of what an unmarried 40-year-old male can expect to pay for a year’s worth of coverage if he commutes 12 miles to work each weekday, has a clean driving record and good credit. Estimates also assume drivers get “100/300/50” policies ($100,000 injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 per accident for property damage), plus collision and comprehensive coverage with $500 deductibles.
All price figures refer to manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing for a given model’s indicated trim line, excluding options, rebates and destination fees.