When it comes to the most popular vehicles in the United States, pickup trucks are often at the top of the list. According to Edmunds data, the top three spots for the most popular vehicles of 2019 were all pickup trucks. The number one vehicle, the Ford F-150, has been the best-selling vehicle for over 40 years. The Chevy Silverado came in second and the Ram 1500 rounded out the top three.

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While trucks are big in size, it doesn’t mean their insurance premiums have to be a budget buster. We ran the numbers and many trucks are cheaper to insure than sedans. The average truck insurance cost nationwide in 2020 is $1,750 compared to the average for cars at $2,209. That comes to a 26% savings for truck insurance over car insurance.

Pickup trucks come in a wide variety of choices, from the basic working farm truck to a decked-out luxury ride that is good for commuting or a night out on the town with your special someone.

Obviously, the big decked out luxury trucks will cost a pretty penny to insure. The most expensive pickup truck in our study is 6% more expensive than the national average for cars and an astounding 67% more expensive than the cheapest truck in our study.

Here are the top five cheapest and most expensive pickup trucks to insure in 2020.

The cheapest pickup trucks to insure

This list of the most affordable trucks to insure is made up almost entirely of half-ton trucks that sport two-wheel drive. These base models are light are on tech features and bells and whistles, but they get the job done and are easy to insure.

2020 GMC Canyon SL 2WD Extended Cab 4 door

2020 GMC Canyon SL 2WD Extended Cab 4 door

The GMC Canyon moved up from the number two spot to capture the top spot for cheapest pickup to insure in 2020. This is the base model of this midsize pickup. The GMC Canyon is a reliable, solid, compact pickup truck that comes with excellent fuel economy ratings as well as better than average towing capacity. The Canyon has long been a staple on cheapest trucks to insure lists and has a base price that starts around $22,000.

2020 Nissan Frontier S 2WD King Cab

2020 Nissan Frontier S 2WD King Cab

The Frontier is a long-term member of our cheapest pickups to insure list. It topped the most affordable list in 2017, took second place in 2018, climbed back to first place in 2019 and is now number two again. The Frontier S is Nissan’s entry level pickup.

It comes with a solid engine, comfortable ride and a world class reliability rating. The Frontier comes with a payload capacity of 900 pounds and can tow up to 3,800 pounds. Nissan has produced the Frontier since 2014 so there should be an ample supply of parts to keep repair costs low, which helps keep insurance rates affordable.

However, the interior of the Frontier is a bit dated and lacks some of the infotainment and driver assistance features that other pickups in this class come with standard. The Frontier starts at around $26,000.

2020 Ford Ranger XLT

2020 Ford Ranger XLT

The Ranger is new to our list and is the only one-ton truck on the cheap to insure side of our rankings. Ford is certainly no stranger to our list though. This year they managed to put five vehicles on our list, two on the least expensive side and another three on the most expensive to insure side.

The Ranger returned to the market last year and the XLT is the mid-range trim, falling between the base XL and the much more expensive Lariat. The XLT is nicely equipped with plenty of safety features that help keep insurance costs low. The powerful turbo charged engine is quick and allows the XLT to tow up to 3500 pounds.

However, there are a few downsides to the Ranger. Critics complained about the ride quality as well as a lack of storage in the cab while also claiming it is less capable off-road then some of its competitors.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab 2WD

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab 2WD

This is the second year in a row the Colorado finished fourth in our rankings. The Chevy Colorado frequently hits cheapest new trucks to insure lists and is the sister vehicle of the top of the heap vehicle, the GMC Canyon. This is the base model of the Colorado lineup and comes with a four-cylinder engine with towing capacity up to 3500 pounds.

The Colorado is well reviewed by experts who love its ride and infotainment system but have issues with its interior finishes that feel a bit cheap. The Colorado starts at around $22,000.

2020 Ford F-150XL

2020 Ford F-150XL

The F-150 drops two spots to round out the top five. The F-150 is the only truck in the top five that comes with a V-6 but the abundance of parts available for these trucks (it has been around in one form or another since 1948) help make it very cheap to insure.

The F-150 comes loaded with a variety of infotainment features as well as advanced safety systems. Standard across all trim levels is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot as well as pre-collision assist with automatic braking.

Insurers love advanced safety features as they help prevent accidents and claims which is why vehicles equipped with these systems are typically cheaper to insure.

The most expensive pickup trucks to insure

On the pricier side of our list you will find big three-quarter ton or one-ton trucks that come with four-wheel drive, turbo diesel engines and plenty of high-end features in the tech and safety department. These trucks also come with pretty hefty price tags, ranging up to $90,000.

2020 Ford F-450 SD King Ranch Crew 4WD Turbo Diesel

2020 Ford F-450 SD King Ranch Crew 4WD Turbo Diesel

This is the second year in a row that the King Ranch has grabbed the brass ring when it comes to most expensive truck to insure and is one of three pickups that Ford has on the costly to insure side our list.

The King Ranch is a one-ton truck that comes with a turbo diesel under the hood as well as four-wheel drive. It is loaded with luxury features such as trailer tow camera and backup assist, heated seats and wireless charging pad. Advanced safety features such as Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning also come standard.

The King Ranch can pull 21,000 pounds and pricing starts around $77,000 so you will need a big budget for both the truck and the insurance premium.

2020 Ford F-350 SD Limited

2020 Ford F-350 SD Limited

This big Ford pickup stayed in second place this year but bumped up the trim level to Limited from the Lariat which was number two last year. The Limited comes with an even bigger price tag than the King Ranch, starting at almost $90,000.

The F-350 Limited is powered by a 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 Turbo Diesel that cranks out 475 horsepower. It is loaded with technology that makes cruising around town or long road trips easy and fun. A remote start system means you can warm up the car on cold days and the upscale B&O Play® Premium audio system combined with SNYC 3 allows you to voice control the navigation, sound system and other features.

2020 Dodge Ram 2500 Limited

2020 Dodge Ram 2500 Limited

The Dodge Ram 2500 is a newcomer to our list this year and it’s not the only Ram on the expensive side of the ledger. The 2500 Limited comes standard with a 6.4L Hemi but this version has the upgraded 6.7 Turbo Diesel which pushes the starting price up to around $70,000 which is a bit of a bargain compared to the other vehicles on the list.

The Ram is not as luxurious on the inside as the Ford’s but comes with a leather interior, Uconnect® 12-Inch with Navigation as well as a number of advanced safety systems such as blind-spot w/tag trailer & cross-path detection, electronic roll mitigation and electronic stability control.

Ford F-250 SD Limited 4WD Turbo Diesel

Ford F-250 SD Limited 4WD Turbo Diesel

The F-250 SD Limited takes the 4th place spot for the second year in a row. This four-wheel drive turbo diesel puts out 475 horsepower and can tow up to 20,000 pounds making it a perfect choice for a 5th wheel or other large travel trailer.

The F-250 comes with a number of advanced safety features and the high-end interior that you would expect at this price point. Luxury and power come with a price, the F-250 SD starts at around $83,000 and you will have a hefty insurance bill to boot.

Dodge Ram 1500 Classic Laramie

Dodge Ram 1500 Classic Laramie

The Ram 1500 Laramie is the second Ram newcomer to make our expensive to insure list. This is the only half-ton truck in the top five and is a bargain compared to the others with a starting price of only $51,000.

The turbo diesel is a $5,000 upgrade and allows the 1500 to pull roughly 10,000 pounds which is dramatically less than many of the other pickups on our list. It is well equipped with a Uconnect® 4C NAV with 8.4-Inch Display sound system as well as numerous safety features. While not as luxurious as some of the other rides, it is still considered a luxury truck.

Why is truck insurance cheaper than car insurance?

Trucks tend to be less expensive to insure than cars due to a variety of reasons:

  • Popular in the country: Trucks are always popular in rural areas, and rural areas tend to have less traffic which leads to fewer accidents and claims.
  • Cheap to repair: Pickups are often cheaper to insure than other vehicles due to the fact that the bed of the truck is usually made of sheet metal or aluminum and doesn’t contain any expensive components that have to be replaced after an accident. There are also plenty of parts available due to their popularity.
  • Big in size: Many pickups are fairly large which means they are more likely to protect the occupants and better absorb the crash impact than a car. This brings down the collision coverage costs but may also stoke the liability costs as a bigger vehicle can do more damage to others.
  • Base models are basic: Base models don’t come with the standard bells and whistles that many base model sedans carry. These base model pickups have lower insurance premiums since there are not lots of pricey high-tech parts and features that jack up repair costs.

Don’t forget to budget for truck insurance

Regardless of whether you are buying a bare-bones base model or luxury pickup truck with a huge turbo diesel under the hood, you should always research the cost of insurance before buying and build it into your budget.

Insurance can up the monthly cost of your vehicle and in some cases, push it into unaffordable territory. It is never fun to find your dream truck and then realize you can’t afford it due to high insurance costs.

It’s fairly simple to check national and state-by-state average rates for most 2020 pickup trucks before you go shopping and our lists will give you a good idea of what you can expect from numerous models.

If you decide your transportation needs are better met by another type of vehicle, check out our guide to insuring all types of new vehicles and see the national and state average premiums for 2020 vehicles.

Remember, it’s best to compare truck insurance quotes from at least three different insurance companies and always make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to coverage levels and deductibles. While the price you pay for coverage is always important, a bargain basement premium is never a bargain if the insurer is difficult to deal with or delays the claims process. Be sure to check out company reviews and complaint ratios so you know that the company is dependable.

Methodology

Insure.com in 2020 commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2020 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 2020 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.

All photos courtesy of vehicle manufacturers.