When you're shopping around for a car, you might think that the cost of your car insurance will relate to the value of the car, and this is partly true. But there are many factors that go into the insurer's assessment, and the price you paid for your car is only a small piece of the pie. In fact, the price of a car alone is not always a good indicator of the price you'll pay to insure it.
Have you ever compared prices of car insurance and found someone with a more expensive car than you is paying much less? Or, have you ever swapped your car for a cheaper model and ended up paying the same or more in premiums? Have you thought about why? There are reasons why one car is more expensive to insure than another, and it would be wise to look at the average costs of insurance before you buy your next car.
The best way to find affordable insurance is to do your research and shop around. We made a list of the most expensive cars to insure, and some of the cars on this list just may surprise you. We'll also explain why.
- The most expensive car to insure in 2021 is the Maserati Quattroporte S. GranSport.
- Luxury cars can cost more to insure for many reasons. Their parts might be harder to find, they cost more to repair, they are common targets for thieves, and they can drive much faster (and much more dangerously).
- You may be able to reduce the cost of the insurance by adding anti-theft devices, bundling your home and car policies, driving safely, and taking a higher deductible.
- A major factor in the cost of car insurance is the profile of the driver.
Do Cheaper Cars Cost Less to Insure?
Yes and no. If you look at the big picture, most cheap cars are cheaper to insure, and vice versa. However, there are outliers. Also, since there are so many factors that go into a car insurance quote, you cannot draw a direct line between the cost of a car and the cost to insure it. So no, a thrifty car purchase doesn't always mean affordable insurance.
Every year various organizations compare the cost of car insurance to come up with lists of the most expensive cars to insure. These are useful starting points for your own research because they offer a good idea of how different factors can impact the rates.
Most of these lists stem from data compiled by The Highway Loss Data Institute of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS HLDI). They collect data each year on such things as car safety ratings, claims and payments, driving habits, causes of accidents (minor and major), and distracted driving, just to name a few. This data is used to look at the cost of car insurance, and how often claims are made, as well as claims payouts for car parts or damages on different cars.
The Most Expensive Cars to Insure in 2021
Insure.com conducts a review of the car insurance industry every year. Per their most recent data, these are the most expensive cars to insure in 2021, based on the average rate of car insurance surveyed.
|Make and Model||Yearly Rate|
|Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport||$4,823|
|Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport||$4,208|
|Tesla Model S Performance (Plaid)||$4,143|
|Tesla Model X Performance (Plaid)||$4,025|
|BMW M760i xDrive||$3,914|
|Audi R8 5.2L V10 Spyder Quattro||$3,863|
|Nissan GT-R Nismo||$3,829|
|Maserati Levante GTS||$3,803|
|BMW M5 Competition Xdrive||$3,777|
|Audi S8 4.0T Quattro Plus||$3,724|
|Porsche Panamera 4S Sport Turismo||$3,718|
|Porsche Taycan Turbo 4S||$3,706|
|Mercedes S560 4MATIC||$3,706|
|Mercedes S63 AMG 4MATIC||$3,694|
|BMW M850i XDrive||$3,648|
|BMW Alpina B7 XDrive||$3,607|
|Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400||$3,484|
|BMW 840i XDrive||$3,443|
It may come as no surprise that most of these are luxury cars. Note that the that the range of the entire list is between $3,440 and $4,832, so if you own one of these cars you can expect to pay a monthly premium of around $300 or $400 per month.
The logic behind the high cost is clear: a car that's worth more will cost more to replace or repair, so insurance companies charge more to cover massive claims. But that's not the whole picture. The cost of the cars in the list share some of following common risks which would make the costs higher than average:
- Their parts are more expensive to repair or replace (making collision costs higher).
- They have higher rates of theft (making comprehensive costs higher).
- They have more horsepower (making liability risks higher).
- In case of total loss, they have a high value to replace.
When quoting prices, insurers can look at the value of a car, as well as any patterns that show up. For instance, there could be a correlation between the cost to insure a luxury car, and the profile of the type of driver who is likely to buy a luxury car.
What Factors Make Expensive Cars Cheaper to Insure?
It is worth noting that when cars have more safety features, they may have a higher ticket price, but they will be less expensive to insure. Many luxury cars come equipped with technology to prevent damage or avoid accidents, and insurance companies take this into consideration when quoting prices. A safe car is less likely to get into accidents, and less likely to produce claims, so premiums are cheaper, provided all other factors are the same (age, location, driving history, etc.).
Many of these extra safety features can be found in non-luxury cars as well, as an upgrade. If you have the option to buy extra safety features it may be worth the money you'll save on insurance.
Cheapest Cars to Insure in Recent Years
To dig deeper, compare the list above to a survey done by 24/7 Wall St. on the annual cost of car insurance for the 25 most expensive cars to insure in 2019. They produced a very different list, and the reasons will be explained below.
The most expensive car to insure list below looks at the annual average price of insurance paid on these models (according to the IIHS HLDI), and the the approximate retail value of the car.
|Make and Model||Yearly Rate||Retail Value|
|Tesla Model X 4dr Electric 4WD||$1,909||$87,000|
|Tesla Model S 4dr Electric 4WD||$1,866||$71,000|
|Mercedes-Benz S-Class 4dr LWB||$1,783||$89,900 – $229,500|
|Mitsubishi Lancer||$1,556||$9,995 – $15,499|
|BMW 4 Series 2dr||$1,485||$44,800 – $53,200|
|Dodge Charger HEMI||$1,475||$26,655 - $32,420|
|Kia Optima Hybrid||$1,475||$28,090|
|Scion/Toyota FR-S/86 series||$1,447||$26,655 - $32,420|
|Chevrolet Camaro 2dr||$1,402||$25,000 – $62,000|
|Dodge Challenger||$1,399||$27,845 – $69,995|
|Infiniti Q50 4dr||$1,386||$35,650 – $53,350|
|Lexus IS 200T 4dr||$1,371||$50,915 – $54,355|
|Chrysler 200||$1,365||$10,995 – $15,961|
|Land Rover Range Rover 4dr 4WD||$1,362||$89,160 - $208,200|
|Hyundai Sonata hybrid||$1,352||$25,750 – $31,300|
|Ford Mustang 2dr||$1,333||$26,395 – $46,595|
|Mitsubishi Mirage||$1,317||$13,795 – $16,995|
|Nissan Maxima||$1,314||$34,050 – $41,540|
|Kia Rio||$1,295||$15,390 – $16,190|
|Kia Forte||$1,289||$17,790 – $21,990|
|Lexus GS 350 4dr||$1,288||$50,915 - $54,355|
|Chevrolet Sonic||$1,282||$15,420 – $20,720|
|Lexus ES 300h 4dr||$1,280||$41,560 – $45,210|
|Hyundai Accent||$1,279||$14,995 – $19,080|
|Nissan Versa||$1,271||$12,460 – $16,090|
Based on 24/7 Wall St.'s study, the median annual cost of car insurance for the 25 most expensive cars to insure is $1,365.
While it is normal to expect changes from year to year, the more likely cause of differences between the 24/7 Wall St. study, and the Insure.com study, is the methods they used to find quotes. Depending on the source of the data, and how data is calculated, there are going to be high variations in which cars make different lists. So these lists should be taken as indicators, but ultimately pricing cars using your personal information will give you the best estimates.
What Factors Will Make Cheap Cars More Expensive to Insure?
You may notice in the 24/7 Wall St. study that very cheap cars top the list, even surpassing luxury cars in many places. The Mitsubishi Lancer, for instance, which could be bought for less than $10,000 in some places, costs $1,556 per year to insure. Why is this? What you can't see on this list is that it is the car that racked up the most accidents in the year prior. Its high speed and ability to accelerate quickly draw many drivers who plan to race, or otherwise misuse the car. This model is also known to be souped up with features that enhance the speed.
How Different Methods Shape Pricing Lists
One crucial point from the lists above, is how your personal information, your choice of insurance company and even your location can impact the cost of insurance. When you compare the two lists, you can get a good idea of how insurance underwriters weigh factors to set prices.
Insure.com used data from six insurance companies in 10 zip codes per state. They based their data on the profile of a 40 year old male driver.
The 24/7 Wall St. list used data from IIHS HLDI's accidents, claims payouts, crash testing and average premiums across the USA. They did not limit the data to a specific profile or have a driver in mind, but rather based it on actual claims data.
A Real World Breakdown
To see how this plays out, take the Land Rover Range Rover 4D 4WD, for instance. It is probably not being driven on average by a 19-year-old as a main driver across the country, because it's not the kind of car most people get as their first car, or when they are students. It is most likely driven by someone with age discounts, professional discounts, strong credit scoring, and much more driving experience. So using actual data from the IIHS HDLI would account for this.
On the other hand, if you look at a Nissan or a Kia, there is likely to be more diversity in the profile of driver. A brand new driver could very well receive one of these cars as a their first. And new drivers cost more to insure. This could be part of what puts both these cars in the same price range of insurance in the list above. The actual price for you on these two cars may not be the same at all, even though they are almost the same in the list.
One way to lower the price of your car insurance is to increase the deductible. This way you may have to pay more out of pocket when you need to file a claim, but you will save on monthly bills.
How Can I Use This Information?
When you're shopping for a car, or looking to insure a car you own, you now have an idea of the many factors that can affect the cost of car insurance, aside from the cost of the car itself. The best way to find out what the most expensive cars to insure or the least costly for you is:
- Come up with your wish list of cars. Include a wide range of makes and models if it suits you.
- Get quotes and keep all your personal information the same.
- Switch up the car models and compare.
Repeat this process with a few car insurance companies, because some may be better suited to your profile than others, and these will give you a better quote. Also, don't be afraid to ask for discounts. You may be able to secure a cheaper rate if you can show that you're a good student, if you have good credit, or even if you own own a home.
This way you can get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for car insurance, without any major surprises. It's also a great way to work on your total car budget.