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Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst

Insure.com’s 2018 most and least expensive vehicles to insure

Average insurance rates for your 2018 car

 
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It’s that time of year again, Insure.com’s annual ranking of the least and most expensive vehicles to insure is here. We compared car insurance rates in every state for over 3,600 different vehicle models to find the cheapest and most expensive vehicles to insure.

We pulled quotes from six different insurance companies and averaged the premiums to give you a solid estimate of what it will cost to insure your dream car. All you have to do is search our list to find the perfect vehicle that fits both your style and your budget.

This year, the Jeep Wrangler Freedom managed to kick the Honda Odyssey LX out of the top spot when it comes to inexpensive vehicles to insure. In fact, Jeep has four models in the top twenty, the most of any manufacturer and one vehicle type dropped out of the least expensive to insure rankings altogether, highlighting a shift in consumer preferences. 

The most expensive to insure list is packed full of vehicles that the majority of us probably can’t afford but it’s cool to dream. Mercedes dominates this list with a whopping eight models making our pricey to insure lineup.

Keep reading to find a great vehicle that is easy on the insurance budget, or dream big and set your sights on a high-end luxury vehicle that comes with a big insurance bill.

Least expensive vehicles to insure

We have a new champion this year with the Jeep Wrangler Freedom replacing the Honda Odyssey LX as the cheapest car to insure. The Honda, which has made the top 20 least expensive list since we began the rankings, drops to number two.

Safety features low rates

Jeep not only captured the number one spot, they put four vehicles in the top 20 with two of them falling into the top 10. The Jeep Compass Sport was number eight, the Renegade Sport was number 11 and the Cherokee Latitude was lucky number 13.

Jeeps tend to be more bare bones in the luxury department while also being packed with safety features, which may account for their low insurance costs. “Jeeps are about ruggedness, not luxury,” notes Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. “Most of these Jeeps are entry-level vehicles which makes them less expensive to repair than vehicles that are loaded with luxury touches.”

It’s no surprise that the Honda Odyssey LX is number two, it’s joined in the minivan category by the Dodge Grand Caravan LX which slotted into the 17th spot and the Ford Transit Connect which came in 20th.

Minivans are usually loaded with safety features and always rank well in crash-ratings tests. This combined with the fact that minivans are usually driven by parents hauling kids (they tend to drive safely) and you can see why they are inexpensive to insure.

Subaru took spots three and four with the Crosstrek and Outback 2.5I, moving up from 6th place last year. Subaru is usually on the forefront of safety features, which often come standard on even their base vehicles making them a favorite with insurance companies. The Fiat 500X jumps up to 5th place from its 14th place showing last year.

A total of zero sedans made our list this year, it was dominated by SUV’s and minivans but a couple of pickup trucks also managed to hit the top 20 with the GMC Canyon SL and Nissan Frontier S hitting the 14th and 16th spots so even if you need the hauling capacity of a pick-up you don’t have to pay a huge insurance bill.

No matter which vehicle you choose off our least expensive list, you will be saving plenty of money. The Wrangler Freedom costs $1,169 to insure which is 28.9 percent less than the national average of $1,645. If the Wrangler isn’t for you, any vehicle on our list will result in major savings. The average premium of our top 20 is just $1,276.

RankMakeModelAverage premium
1JeepWrangler Freedom$1,169
2HondaOdyssey LX$1,181
3SubaruCrosstrek$1,236
4SubaruOutback 2.5I$1,238
5Fiat500X Pop$1,244
6MazdaCX-3 Sport$1,248
6MazdaCX-5 Sport$1,248
8JeepCompass Sport$1,257
8HondaHR-V LX$1,257
10FordEscape S$1,258
11JeepRenegade Sport$1,264
11HyundaiTucson SE$1,264
13JeepCherokee Latitude$1,266
14BuickEncore$1,279
14GMCCanyon SL$1,279
16NissanFrontier S$1,281
16DodgeGrand Caravan SE$1,281
16SubaruForester 2.5I$1,281
19HondaCR-V LX$1,282
19FordTransit Connect XL$1,282

Most expensive vehicles to insure

On the fantasy side of the list, sports cars and very expensive, high-end luxury vehicles match their sky-high sticker prices with extremely pricey insurance.

It’s another big year for Mercedes, they squeezed 8 models into the most expensive category (they own the top three spots) which is one less than last year. The Porsche Panamera S comes in at number four and the BMW M6 Gran Coupe rounds out the top 5. BMW managed a big year as well with 5 models hitting our most expensive list.

A high sticker price (the Mercedes S65 AMG starts at $229,000) is a fairly reliable indicator that you will be paying a pretty hefty insurance bill. Insurance companies factor in the vehicles cost when setting a premium as they may have to fork up the sticker price if the car is destroyed. In addition, luxury vehicles are loaded with top of the line features making them very expensive to repair after an accident.

WortersExpensiveQuote

Tesla made the list for the first time this year with their Model X. The Model X P100D is not only fairly pricey (starts at $140,000) but it is also pretty quick and loaded with technology that can be expensive to fix.

“If you want the spectacle of an all-electric SUV with powered doors that motor upward or outward, the Model X is your family’s chariot. The P100D adds scintillating performance to that, with 60 mph coming in just 2.9 seconds, making this three-row SUV as quick as a Ferrari 488 GTB,” points out Kelsey Mays, Senior Editor at Cars.com

Electric cars come with one more factor that pushes up insurance costs, the big battery under the hood. These batteries are expensive to replace or repair which insurers take into consideration when setting premiums.

The lack of a solid roof can also push up insurance costs. There are four convertibles on our list including the most expensive car to insure, the Mercedes S65. Convertibles are usually more expensive than a hardtop version and they are also more prone to theft and vandalism (it’s pretty easy to cut a soft top), which leads to more claims and higher premiums.

While price is a major indicator of insurance costs it’s not the only factor that insurers consider. What’s under the hood can also push insurance costs into the stratosphere. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (number 18 on the list) is an absolute bargain (compared to the other vehicles) starting at $85,000, but the 840 horses it packs makes insuring it very expensive.

“Eight hundred and forty reasons exist why the Dodge Demon costs a lot to insure. That’s how many horsepower go under the hood of Dodge’s technically-street-legal dragstrip machine,” says Mays.

High-end performance cars with huge engines (the Nissan GT-R also falls into this category) tend to be driven more aggressively than a minivan putting them at a higher risk for accidents, damage and insurance claims.

RankMakeModelAverage premium
1MercedesS65 AMG$3,890
2MercedesS63 AMG$3,670
3MercedesMaybach S650$3,558
4PorschePanamera S$3,545
5BMWM6 Gran Coupe$3,493
6BMWAlpina B7 XDrive$3,465
7BMWI8$3,460
8NissanGT-R Nismo$3,458
9MercedesSL65 AMG$3,449
10MercedesAMG GT S$3.430
11AudiR8 5.2L V10 Quattro$3,421
12MercedesMayback S560$3,373
13TeslaModel X P100D$3,370
14MercedesSL63 AMG$3,369
15BMWAlpina B6 XDrive Grand CP$3,351
16AudiRS7 Quattro Performance$3,330
17MercedesS560$3,310
18DodgeChallenger SRT Demon$3,299
19JaguarF-Type SVR$3,229
20BMW750I$3,222

 

Always check insurance rates

Auto sales dropped a bit last year with 17.25 million units headed out the doors, this was a 1.80 percent drop from last year and brought a seven-year winning streak to an end. The big news for this year is the fact that pickup trucks and SUVs now account for roughly 67 percent of the U.S. market, no wonder zero sedans made our list.

“When shopping for a new car always consider how that make and model of vehicle will add to the cost to insure it,” advises Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

Insurance costs can sometimes be shockingly high, sending a once affordable car out of your price range and turning the excitement of new car into regret. The basic rule of thumb is that if you can’t comfortably afford the insurance premium, you can’t really afford the car.

Liability insurance is required in almost every state in the country and if you financed your new car (most of us do) your lender will require that you carry comprehensive and collision in order to protect their investment.

Fortunately, we make shopping your insurance coverage for a new car or your current car quick and easy. The Insure.com comparison tool, located at the top of this page, makes comparing insurance rates simple. It lets you compare the cost of insurance on up to 10 different vehicles so you can narrow down your choices before you purchase a new vehicle.

You should shop your insurance coverage on a regular basis even if you are not in the market for a new vehicle. Shop your rates annually to make sure you are getting the best coverage at the best price.

What the experts say

Our list clearly shows that safety factors and the cost of a vehicle can dramatically impact insurance costs.  

Vehicles loaded with safety features that tend to be driven by parents or other fairly responsible drivers make up the majority of our least expensive list. “Safety features such as airbags, lane departure, back-up cameras and automatic restraint systems all factor into insurance rates. If these technologies are found to reduce the risk of an accident, it may result in lower premiums for policyholders whose vehicles are equipped with these safety features.” says Michael Barry, Head of Media and Public Affairs at the Insurance Information Institute (III).

The sticker price of a vehicle can also result in a lower or higher insurance rate. This is highlighted by the Nissans on our lists. The Nissan Frontier, which tied for 16th place on our least expensive to insurance list, is apparently a bargain in the pickup market. “Nissan’s mid-size pickup truck still packs undeniable value. It’s the only pickup you can buy in 2018 that is under $20,000, says Mays.

On the other hand, the Nissan GT-R Nismo, which comes in at around $175,000 is number eight on the most expensive to insure list.

Regardless of whether a vehicle is on our least or most expensive to insure list, the cost of claims has been headed up over recent years. “Claims costs are rising with all of the new technology in cars, making them much more expensive to repair. All of the sensors in modern cars can make what was once a minor, inexpensive repair a very costly, more complex repair that also adds to the length of repairs and requires the use of a rental car,” points out Walker.

Factors that impact your car insurance premium

Insurers take a number of factors into consideration when setting premium rates. While the vehicle you choose to drive will absolutely set the tone for your premium, it is usually not the most important.

Your personal factors come into play, some you can control (your driving record) and others may fall outside your influence.  

Here are just a few factors that insurers consider when setting premium rates:

Location: Where you park your car every night will impact your rates.  “Thanks to higher rates of vandalism, theft and accidents, urban drivers will usually pay a higher price for auto insurance than those in small towns or rural areas,” advises Barry.

Whether your car is in a garage or on the street can also factor into your premium. Insurers look at medical costs and the litigation rate in your particular area as well as average repair costs.

Credit Score: This one is definitely under your control. Insurers pay particularly close attention to your credit score. “Your credit-based insurance score is a statistical tool used by insurers that predicts the likelihood of your filing a claim and the likely cost of that claim,” says Barry. The lower your credit score, the more likely you are to make a claim according to industry statistics.

Age and Gender: No way to control this one but it certainly impacts your rates. “In general, mature drivers are involved in fewer accidents than less experienced drivers, especially teenagers. Insurers will usually charge more if teenagers or young people below age 25 drive a car,” advises Barry.

Statistically speaking, women are involved in a fewer accidents which leads to lower rates for most women than men.

Driving Record: This is an obvious one and certainly under your control. “If you've had accidents or serious traffic violations, you will most likely pay more than a driver with a clean record,” says Barry.

Your vehicle: The car in your driveway will definitely affect your rates as our inexpensive/expensive list clearly shows. Here are a few things that insurers consider:

Repair costs: The cost to repair your vehicle will be considered when setting a premium. Luxury and sports cars are often much more costly to repair due to expensive materials as well as high-tech components.

Claim rates: Insurers keep track of claim rates and if your particular make and model is known for having numerous claims, you will be paying a higher premium regardless of whether or not you have ever made a claim.

Type of vehicle: Our list clearly points out that luxury and sports cars are dramatically more expensive to insure than a family vehicle such as a minivan. The cost to repair the vehicle plays into this but so do the risk factors of the drivers. Most drivers don’t need 840 horses under the hood to drive the kids to school. 

State laws also can affect how your car insurance rates are calculated as some states do not allow credit score or gender to be a rating factor.

The bottom line: How to use our rankings

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,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for III.

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 least/most expensive list is just a starting point, our comparison tool lets you get a quote quickly and easily on any vehicle you are considering. We can help you find great coverage at a price that fits your budget. If in the market for a used car instead of new, check out our used car buying guide and insurance rates tool.

Both of our tools make it easy to go onto the next step and shop for a great car insurance policy at a price you can afford.

Methodology

Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2018 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 3,600 models are included in the 2018 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 2018 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."

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