Finding the Cheapest Car to Insure When Making a New Car Purchase

List of Least Expensive Cars to Insure

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Keeping Car Costs Low

When shopping for a new car people often worry about the cost of insurance. Luckily there are several studies that do the research every year to find the cars which cost the least in insurance to help you make a choice. 

You're already spending a lot of money when you decide to buy a new car, so learning about how to save money on the maintanence and insurance costs can help save you hundreds of dollars a year.

 

How Your Choice of Car Can Make Your Car Insurance More or Less Expensive

Even though there are many other factors besides the car itself that will make your car insurance more or less expensive (which we will cover below) choosing a car that the insurance company is not going to charge you too much for will definitely help.

What's the Average Cost of Car Insurance?

To understand a little about the top 10 least expensive cars to insure list, it helps to have an idea of the average cost of car insurance. For example, the national average cost for car insurance is $1,605 per year, but the top rated "least expensive" car to insure is listed at a rate of $1,112 per year.

All the cars in the top ten cheapest cars to insure list had premiums less ranging from $1,112 per year to $1,203. This means that if you do buy one of the least expensive cars to insure, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars a year because of the lower price of insurance.

The top rated cheapest car to insure is $500 less per year than the national average! 

 

The Top 10 Least Expensive Cars to Insure in 2017 

Top 10 Least Expensive Cars to Insure 2017
RankCarAverage PremiumRankCarAverage Premium
1HONDA Odyssey LX$1,1126Subaru Outback 2.5l$1,187
2Jeep Renegade Sport$1,1387Jeep Cherokee Sport$1,188
3Jeep Wrangler Black Bear$1,1488Buick Encore & Jeep Patriot Sport (tied)$1,190
4Honda CR-V LX$1,1709Subaru Forester 2.5l$1,196
5Jeep Compass$1,18310Ford Escape SE$1,203

 

What Other Cars Save You Money on Insurance?

The data above comes from Insure.com's annual cost of car insurance study 2017 which also reviewed the most expensive cars to insure and expanded the list of cheapest cars to insure up to 20 cars. Although other lists of least expensive cars to insure do exist, in comparing the results above to those lists, the top 5 were already in this list, so this is a good guideline for the National Average expectation for cars costing less on insurance.

Here are the other cars that made the list of vehicles that will save you money on insurance costs compared to the national average.

All these cars cost between $1,204 and $1,221 per year according to the annual ranking of least expensive cars to insure.

  • Mazda CX-3  
  • Honda Pilot LX
  • Fiat 500X Pop
  • Nissan Frontier S
  • Hyundai Tuscon SE
  • Subaru (XV) Crosstrek 2.0l
  • Honda HR-V LX
  • Ford F-150 XL
  • Ford Edge SE

What Makes a Car Less Expensive for Insurance

The information used to determine the cheapest cars to insure can often also be a good indicator to you of the cheapest cars to maintain and service.

It can also be an indicator of potential problem areas because the insurance rates are determined when the insurance company takes the data of all the incidents with the given car into consideration when determining the rate that will be used for the vehicle.

For example, an insurance company insures hundreds of a model of any given car, at the end of the year they will notice if there is a frequency in claims or a common issue with a car when they have had to pay out claims on it.

The longer an insurance company insures a type or model of car, the more data they have to determine a fair rate. If they suddenly see a spike in incidents, like for thefts of a certain car, for example, then you might see a rate increase.

Brand new models with no data will be rated on what the insurer predicts may be the expected performance of the vehicle. Things like the safety ratings from the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) help insurance companies determine their rates because cars with safety features may have less injury and may be safer. The car insurance company will look at safety ratings, the price of parts, anti-theft features, anti-collision features.

Cheap Car Insurance and Driver Profiles


One interesting factor in all the cheapest cars to insure is the profile of driver. For the most part, even though the comparison of rates was done over many companies and cars, it probably isn’t a coincidence that many of the cars in the top ten are family type cars with strong safety features and technology.

Family type cars are potentially driven by people who may be more cautious because they have young kids and are living a certain kind of lifestyle.

The rates get determined by the loss experience of insurance companies with a given car, so even if you aren’t the family type profile, but you buy one of these cars, you benefit from the insurance company’s general experience with claims paid out on all these cars.

What Helps Get a Lower Price on Car Insurance 

Even though the car you want may or may not be on this list there are ways to get cheaper costs on car insurance by negotiating with your insurance company and learning more about the car rating factors that can make your insurance rates go up, even if you don't have claims.

5 Things That Determine the Cost of Car Insurance

The cost of auto insurance is based on 5 key factors:

  1. Your personal information and rating factors
  2. Costs of repair or replacement of the car, which affect the rate in the comprehensive and collision sections of the insurance premium
  3. Frequency of incidents or claims with the car model in question
  4. Cost of the damage the vehicle can cause to others (property and people)—you can get a sense of this in the car liability insurance and medical coverage section of your insurance premium. These coverage requirements are different in each state.
  5. The insurance company's own target client and target vehicle profiles, which also drive discounts that help them attract the type of "risk" they are looking for in any given year. Some insurance companies will surcharge certain type of situations, which make rates go higher. Some will be more lenient. Other insurance companies, depending on the state laws, may even give a special rating for good credit scores. It is a very good idea to research the best car insurance company in your area to find the one who will give you an even better price.

Finding Low Insurance Rates in Your Area

When it comes to car insurance pricing, the best company or cheapest insurance will vary in each state. The cars we listed above are base don National Averages. Local rates can be different based on a number of factors, such as the 5 we discussed above.

Example of Rate Variations By Area and Insurance Company

For example, according to NerdWallet, the cheapest car insurance in California for drivers with one at fault crash is AAA, but the cheapest car insurance company for retired drivers is 21st Century Insurance. Young Drivers and Good Drivers get the best rates with GEICO.

However as a comparison point, in Vermont, NerdWallet rated Co-operative Insurance Companies as the cheapest car insurance for Good Drivers and Retired Drivers and Geico for Young Drivers.

What Other Factors Can Impact the Price of Car Insurance?

Our article on car insurance rates increasing includes lots of information on what makes an insurance company rate go up for car insurance, read more here for full details of cost impacting factors, besides claims. As a basic list of things that can affect your insurance, here are a few points that can change your rates:

  • Mileage: the distance you drive per year can affect the rate of your insurance. Some people tend to guess the amount of mileage not worrying too much about it, but underestimating or overestimating your mileage cost may cost you money. Try and be accurate. 
  • Age and driving experience: The more driving experience you have without accidents, or having extra driver training like defensive driving, the less expensive your insurance tends to be. 
  • Location: When you are in areas with heavy congestion, traffic, or even street parking vs. garage parking, your insurance rate may be higher than someone with the exact same profile living in a different area. The insurance company will base the rate of insurance on where the car "sleeps" at night, this is often referred to as the garaging address. For most people, it is their home address, but in some cases, a car might be registered to one address, and really stays somewhere else. For example, a parent buys a car for a student who lives on campus and takes their car to college. The location of the school is where the car is being garaged, not the registered address. The insurance company will use the garaging location and this may change the rate up or down. The same may apply for a car registered to an employer, yet the car is really kept at the employee's home. 
  • Weather conditions: For example, imagine you are in an area with heavy snowfall. Cars that do not perform well in the snow may have more accidents. The local insurance rates to insure that car in an area where they are not equipped to perform, vs, another area where the risk of snowfall doesn't exist could drive the cost of that car to be more expensive in one place vs. another.
  • Credit scoring: Insurance companies have seen in data that people with good credit scores tend to have fewer claims. Some states allow credit scoring for car insurance rating. 
  • Discounts: There are many kinds of discounts you can get with car insurance, these will impact the price you pay.

What Is the List of Cheapest Car Insurance Rates Based On?

The cheapest cars to insure study by Insure.com is based on a certain profile of driver, Your driver profile will likely be different, as you can see by all the different factors above, you might be eligible for more discounts on your policy or decide to participate in cost-reducing programs like Usage Based Insurance. The key is to shop around to get the best insurance rate for your circumstances when you are buying a new car. Don't just stay with the same company you were with before, you never know who has the best rates for your new circumstance.