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Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst

Insure.com’s 2017 most and least expensive vehicles to insure

Average insurance rates for your 2017 car

 
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Insure.com’s annual ranking of the least and most expensive vehicles to insure compares car insurance rates in every single state for more than 2,800 different vehicle models.

We did the legwork for you -- by pulling quotes from six different insurance companies and averaging them -- so all you have to do is find a vehicle that fits your needs and your overall car budget (meaning car and insurance payments).  

It’s been an interesting year, the Honda Odyssey LX managed to maintain the top spot for another year and one manufacturer squeezed five models into the top 10 for the least expensive vehicles to insure.

While most of us can’t afford the vehicles on the most expensive to insure list, it’s always fun to dream. Read on to see where your current, future or dream vehicle may fall on our list.

Least expensive vehicles to insure

When it comes to cheap vehicles to insure, nothing has changed at the top of the list. The Honda Odyssey LX stays in the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row. It’s hardly a surprise since it has secured a spot in our top 20 least expensive list every year Insure.com has done the rankings.

Minivans have always been popular on our inexpensive to insure list. In 2011, all four of the top spots were minivans and every year since at least one minivan has been in the top five, with the exception of 2013 when a minivan didn’t slot in until 11th place.

Minivans are loaded with safety features and garner high safety ratings (the Odyssey was awarded an overall five-star crash rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and are primarily driven by a parent hauling children around.

All of these factors are music to an insurance company’s ears, safety features, great safety rating and extra cautious drivers lead to fewer accidents, fewer claims and lower rates.

Safety features low ratesSecond place goes to the Jeep Renegade Sport (more about Jeep in a minute), the Jeep Wrangler Black Bear ranks No. 3 with the Honda CR-V LX earning the number four spot and the Jeep Compass Sport rounds out the top five.

Jeep managed to set a brand new record with a whopping 50 percent of the top 10. In addition to the ones listed above, the Jeep Cherokee Sport took the No. 7 spot and the Patriot Sport tied for eighth place.

“When people think of Jeeps, they typically think about ruggedness, not bells and whistles. The Jeeps on the list are the entry-level and thus would cost less to repair or replace than a car that comes with lots of expensive luxury features,” notes Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. 

“Jeeps do have strong safety features, which can help lower auto insurance premiums,” says Gusner. Jeep offers owners multistage airbags, electronic stability control and also electronic roll mitigation.

The Nissan Frontier broke the pickup barrier last year, ranking tenth, but this year dropped to 15th place. The Ford F-150XL has joined the top 20 party this year tying for 17th place.

Regardless of which vehicle you choose from the “cheap” list, your insurance costs will be well below the national annual average of $1,605, which takes into account all of the vehicles in our study. The cost to insure the Odyssey shakes out to an average of $1,112 while the Ford Edge SE (number 20) is still very affordable at $1,221 – a difference of just $109 annually.

RankMake\ModelAverage annual premium
1 Honda Odyssey LX $1,112
2 Jeep Renegade Sport $1,138
3 Jeep Wrangler Black Bear $1,148
4 Honda CR-V LX $1,170
5 Jeep Compass $1,183
6 Subaru Outback 2.5l $1,187
7 Jeep Cherokee Sport $1,188
8 Buick Encore (tie) $1,190
8 Jeep Patriot Sport (tie) $1,190
10 Subaru Forester 2.5l $1,196
11 Ford Escape SE $1,203
12 Mazda CX-3 $1,204
13 Honda Pilot LX $1,205
14 Fiat 500X Pop $1,210
15 Nissan Frontier S $1,216
16 Hyundai Tucson SE $1,217
17 Subaru (XV) Crosstrek 2.0l (tie) $1,219
17 Honda HR-V LX (tie) $1,219
17 Ford F-150 XL (tie) $1,219
20 Ford Edge SE $1,221

Vehicles and rates for everyone

Affordable insurance no longer exists only in the compact or family sedan category. It’s now possible to affordably insure minivans, sport utilities and pick-ups.

In addition, some new comers made the cut this year. The Fiat 500x Pop is the first Fiat to ever make the top 20 list at No. 14. Fiat made its return to America in 2011 after a 27-year hiatus. Highly rated by critics and consumers, the new Fiat can now add “very affordable to insure” to its list of accolades at an annual premium of $1,210.

The common dominator in the least expensive to insure category is safe drivers. “Notice that all of these are essentially family vehicles that, overwhelmingly, will be subjected to normal driving in the hands of responsible parental types,” observes Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor with Cars.com.

While sport utility vehicles had their problems in the past, mainly with rollovers, the safety ratings of sport utilities have improved dramatically over the years. Safety features and accident rates have a big impact on rates.

“Generally speaking, the least expensive vehicles to insure on the list have to do with safety factors,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute. “Accident avoidance features, airbags, and restraint systems all impact rates. Anything that reduces the risk of damage to the vehicle and injury to the people inside results in less expensive insurance.”

Most expensive vehicles to insure

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most expensive cars to insure list is mainly made up of sports cars that are designed to be driven fast or high-end (think very expensive) luxury cars.

As usual, Mercedes dominates the most expensive to insure category with nine vehicles in the top 20. The Dodge Viper drops from number one, to No. 2 and Maserati breaks into the top 10 for the first time as the Quattroporte GTS slips into the fourth spot.

WortersExpensiveQuoteWhile most of the cars on the list are out of the average person’s price range, sticker price is not always a reliable indicator of insurance costs. In many cases, less expensive but higher performance cars cost more to insure.

As an example, the most expensive car to insure (Mercedes S65 AMG convertible) is indeed the most expensive car on the list with a MSRP of $247,900. However, the second most expensive car to insure (Dodge GTS Viper) is a relative bargain with a MSP of $87,895.

”The Dodge Viper, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R are extremely powerful cars, exceeding 500 horsepower. This plays a part when it comes to insurance costs because performance vehicles are likely to be driven more aggressively, which puts them at a higher risk of damage” says Wisenfelder.

Mercedes takes up nine of the top 20 most expensive spots on the list, and six of the nine Mercedes models are convertibles. Convertibles can cost more, the Mercedes S65 AMG convertible is priced $21,000 higher than the hardtop version, and be prone to more theft and break-ins, and thus, car insurance rates will typically also be higher.

It’s not just high performance that jacks up the rates though, a sky-high sticker price and the accompanying repair costs also impact premiums. “It’s no coincidence that many of the vehicles on the most expensive insurance list are more than just Mercedes models – they’re among the most expensive versions of those models, and consequently the most expensive to replace and possibly to repair,” points out Wisenfelder.

RankMake/ModelAverage annual premium
1 Mercedes S65 AMG (convertible) $3,835
2 Dodge GTS Viper $3,779
3 Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic (convertible) $3,624
4 Maserati Quattroporte GTS $3,547
5 Mercedes S550 (convertible) $3,502
6 Mercedes C43 4Matic (convertible) $3,418
7 Mercedes Maybach S600 $3,355
8 Mercedes SL65 AMG (convertible) $3,322
9 Nissan GT-R Nismo $3,313
10 Audi R8 5.2L V10 Quattro $3,267
11 BMW M6 Gran Coupe $3,211
12 Audi S8 4.0T Quattro Plus $3,208
13 Audi RS7 Quattro Prestige $3,176
14 Mercedes AMG GT $3,164
15 Mercedes C300 (convertible) $3,157
16 Mercedes S600 Bi-T $3,111
17 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive $3,059
18 Porsche 911 Turbo S $3,050
19 Jaguar F-Type SVR (convertible) $3,035
20 BMW Alpina B6 XDrive Grand CP $3,030

 

Factors that impact your car insurance premium

While the vehicle you drive has a major impact on your premium, it’s not the only rating factor that insurance companies consider, and in most cases it’s not even the most important one.

Personal factors, some that are under your control, and some that are not, will definitely influence how much you pay for insurance, especially liability coverage. A few things insurers consider when setting your premium: credit rating, age, and driving record.

Where you and your car call home also affects your rates. “Generally, due to higher rates of vandalism, theft, and crashes, urban drivers pay more for car insurance than do those in small towns or rural areas,” advises Worters.

The car you drive will absolutely impact your rates, especially collision and comprehensive, so choose wisely. A few things insurers consider related to your vehicle:

Repair costs: “Luxury and sports cars are almost always more expensive to insure because parts and labor are much more expensive. A headlight on a luxury vehicle will probably cost at least twice the amount that a moderately priced vehicle does,” says Worters.

Claim rates: Insurers track claim rates by make and model and if the car you are driving has a high claim rate, you will be paying more for insurance, regardless of whether or not you have ever made a claim.

Vehicle type: As our list points out, sports and luxury cars are much more expensive to insure than a family vehicle. This is due to the cost to repair and replace the car as well as the risk factors the car presents. Most people don’t buy a Dodge Viper to drive the speed limit.

How to use our rankings

Auto sales set another record in 2016 with a record 17.6 million cars and trucks sold. This marked the seventh year in a row that a record has been set. While a slight drop is predicted for 2017, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) predicts sales will stay above 17 million.

The cost of insurance should always be considered when shopping for a new vehicle. Insurance cost can quickly push an affordable car out of reach. “We always advise consumers to check with their insurer before they purchase a new vehicle. If you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford the vehicle,” advises Worters.

Luckily, we have your back. The Insure.com comparison tool, located at the top of this page, makes comparing insurance costs easy. It lets you compare the cost of insurance on up to 10 different vehicles so you can narrow down your choices.

Our tool makes it easy to go onto the next step and shop for a great car insurance policy at a price you can afford.

See Insure.com's Best Car Insurance Companies

Methodology

Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2017 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 2,800 models are included in the 2017 study. 

Least expensive rankings were based on the best-performing trim line of each model. Most expensive rankings were determined by the worst-performing trim line of each model.

Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.

State averages were calculated by averaging the rates for all model vehicles surveyed for each state.

Average rates are for comparative purposes only. Your own rate will depend on personal factors.

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Comments
2 Responses to "Insure.com’s 2017 most and least expensive vehicles to insure"
  1. Chuck G.

    Tony, you're in a dream world, man. People with kids do drive slower. And most muscle cars and expensive imports are NOT restored antiques. They're driven by people who have too much money, want to show off, and are generally more reckless. The numbers don't lie. Don't apply for any insurance occupations.

      Reply»  
  2. Tony K

    To any good parent, our babies are our babies, be it a child, or an automobile. I must say that the statement "The driver carting around children tends to be more cautious than the person driving a muscle car" in most cases simply isn't true. Hot rod, muscle car and restored car owners are usually the type of driver that will go out of their way to park away from the other cars. Consider the fact that many of these cars have been built or restored by the driver. Typically the case is this person has an tremendous amount of time and money invested in the vehicle (Have you ever spent $15,000 on a paint job?). A restored muscle car or hot rod is a lot like driving a museum piece, many are rare, some are irreplaceable, so these drivers are many times more likely to be much more cautious so as not to harm their "baby."

      Reply»  

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