Average Insurance Rates by Car Model Types

Many factors affect auto insurance premiums. However, there are three key factors and they are details of insured vehicles, drivers and location. The manufacturer, model, age, cost, safety ratings and past accident data of an automobile will influence premium quotes. It is pointless to list every car that is in circulation here. What you need to know is that insurance groups for vehicles can help you estimate your premium. To simplify it, we will look at average insurance rates by car model in widely accepted groups rather than complicating the issue and boring you with details.

Besides, every company would incorporate these car insurance group ratings differently into their rate structure. Furthermore, you can always get insurance quotes before buying a car to know exactly how much you would need to pay if you go ahead and buy it. Sooner or later you will need to insure your new vehicle. So, it is best to be prepared. By searching the site, you can find further answers to questions like do I need insurance to buy a car?

Remember that savings aren’t just for today. You will be saving a lot of money over the life of the automobile when you pay less to insure it.

Why Do Some Automobiles Cost More (or Less) to Insure?

You would have different insurance cost by car model and therefore you should consider the cost of insurance before choosing your new auto. Also, insurers charge varying rates for different car models that you need to compare auto insurance quotes from different companies. Here are the key automobile specifics that influence the cost of insurance.

  • Purchase Price — When you buy full coverage auto insurance your insurer undertakes to pay the full value of your car if it is stolen or totaled. That is why more expensive automobiles would usually cost more to insure.
  • Cost of Repairs — Luxury and sports models are made with special materials, using sophisticated engineering that requires highly trained technicians and expensive parts to repair. This drives up the repair costs when it needs to be fixed after an accident or other damages and that increases the premium.
  • Safety Features — Some cars protect their drivers and passengers better and don’t cause as much damages to vehicles they are collided with. This would mean that insurers would need to pay less for medical payments and therefore can charge less for insuring such automobiles. Furthermore, auto accident prevention technologies reduce accidents and claims.
  • Typical driver — Some vehicles are more expensive to insure because they attract the risk taking type of drivers. On the other hand, mums and dads, who are more careful as they drive their family around, normally drive minivans and sedans. This results in fewer accidents and cheaper car insurance rating group for minivans.

Usually new autos have the latest safety features and discounts offered for being safer negate the additional premium you may need to pay for its higher price tag.

Typical Insurance Rates by Car Model Types

Let’s see if we can demonstrate on a table how the above factors reflect on insurance premium costs of different model type and price vehicles. To show the premium gap as clear as possible we took the cheapest to insure model type – Cheap Old Minivan – as our base (100%) and cost of insuring the rest is shown as the percentage of the Base. And average cost of full coverage car insurance for an old minivan is approximately $1,000 in the US.

It is worth pointing out that the table below should be seen as a rough guide. Every vehicle model is so much different from the next one even within the same brand and there are so many different brands that it would be pretty exhaustive and confusing to extend this list any further. Our purpose is to point out how vehicle types affect your premium and help you estimate the premium cost based on vehicle price and model type.

Table: Average Insurance Cost by Car Model Types: Cheapest to Most Expensive

Model Type
Price RangeAverage Annual
Premium (%)
Cheap Old Minivan (BASE)$5,000100%
Cheap Old Family Sedan$5,000105%
New Midrange Minivan$30,000120%
Compact SUVs$20,000120%
Subcompact Car$15,000125%
New Family Sedan$25,000130%
Cheap Old Large SUV$15,000130%
New Midrange Pickup Truck$30,000140%
New Midsize SUV$55,000150%
New Large SUV$75,000160%
New Sports Car$90,000190%

Sources: Nerdwallet

Now, let’s look at every model type in detail to figure out why a particular type of vehicle is cheaper (or more expensive) to insure than the other.

Remember that average cost of car insurance changes depending on which state you live in. Also, your personal details and zip code will have to be added into equation that can make the final premium far above or below the median value. For example, drivers in large cities generally pay higher premiums than countryside drivers.

-> Minivans
Minivans are hardly the choice of automobile for joyriding or showing off. However, they are the favorite among drivers with families, who would obey traffic rules, avoid speeding or taking any risk on the roads for the safety of their family. Minivans are consistently the cheapest cars to insure partly because of the type of people buying them. In addition, they are generally reasonably priced, cheap to replace parts and get repairs done. All these characteristics work towards reducing claim costs and that in turn reduces premiums charged. Typical cost of insuring a minivan is about $1,100 – $1,300 per annum in the US.

Usually safer cars are cheaper to insure. So, you would kill two birds with one stone when you buy a car with the latest and best safety features. They are cheap to insure and keep your family safe.

-> Sedans
A typical four-door family sedan is one of the most popular and affordable automobiles in the country. Their parts are plentiful and most mechanics can fix them cheaply. Probably the main reason why sedans are cheap to insure is the fact that they are very common cars. Insurers have to make sure that they can offer low prices for sedan owners if they want to have any chance within this large segment of the market. In other words, you have a better chance of finding the insurer who has the cheapest auto insurance rates when you have a typical car to insure. Probably, sedan is a type with the widest variety of cars. Typical insurance premium for a sedan is about $1,100 – $1,500 depending on the manufacturer, model, trim and purchase price.

-> Subcompact Cars
You may think that these cars are popular with teenagers because they are cheaper and yet cute. However, senior drivers prefer subcompact cars too that improves their accident statistics and reduces insurance rating group. Their other mentioned characteristics also account for lower car insurance rates.

-> Pickup Trucks
One thing that works against pickup trucks is their numbers. They may be useful for rural and farming communities but they are not the first choice in cities where having a second vehicle is a luxury most people cannot afford. Nevertheless, you can insure them at a reasonable cost because their price is not usually high and not the type of vehicle people would buy for its speed. Again, there are a few choices and therefore its model will be influential in the final premium cost. Average cost of insuring a pickup truck is about $1,300 – $1,600.

-> SUVs
Sport Utility Vehicles have a large spread of premiums. Actually, several SUVs like Jeep Wrangler and Patriot are among the cheapest cars to insure. These affordable range SUVs are driven mostly by reliable middle-aged drivers and their solid structure protects them well in case of accidents. That is why they are cheap to insure. Compact SUVs can be insured for about $1,100 – $1,300 on average.

On the other hand, larger and sporty luxury SUVs like Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 can be really expensive to insure especially if you don’t have good driving records and you are still young. If you have good driving record you can probably find affordable insurance. Besides, little bit higher premiums may not put off buyers considering their usually high price. Families prefer these cars as they are in between a minivan and a sports car. They are expensive and fast and therefore you should expect to pay $1600+ on average to insure a luxury SUV.

-> Luxury Automobiles
Higher price tag and high cost of parts and repairs increase the premiums for luxury automobiles. The more exotic is your auto the more you need to pay to insure it. There are several reasons for it. First of all, it is harder to find mechanics and parts when you need to repair them. Secondly, fewer insurers are keen to insure them that reduced competition reflects on premium quotes.

-> Sports Cars
Usually the most expensive to insure vehicles are high performance cars. They are not for every driver as skill and experience is necessary to avoid accidents when driving a powerful automobile. They statistically cause a few speed related accidents and the damages tend to be large when they happen. On top of it, these automobiles are bought by people who like to drive fast. There are a few good reasons for expensive premiums and they are mostly speed related.

Furthermore, They are built with delicate fiberglass type materials that cannot just be quickly repaired by changing the part. You can replace most parts including doors and bonnets quickly and cheaply with other cars. This is usually not possible with special built sports cars. Sports cars are often foreign cars with limited part availability and expertise in the country. It is hard to talk about average costs since sports cars are never average and so much different from each other. You should expect to pay minimum $2,000 to insure a moderate sports car with good driving record.

Generally, the most affordable vehicles are minivans and family sedans because safety conscious drivers drive them. Also, they are built for the comfort of the whole family and not for speed. High performance sports cars are the most expensive to insure because they are built for speed and they are bought by people who like to drive fast.

Every driver’s circumstances are different that leads to varying car purchase decisions. Whatever your preferences, it is best to know what to expect so that you can prepare for it. Auto insurance rating system lets you estimate the cost of insuring any type of vehicle. Then, you either buy it or find a cheaper to insure car. If the high insurance cost is hard to swallow you can reconsider your decision and go for a different model of car instead. In any case, there are many ways of saving money on car insurance. The good news is that these solutions yield bigger dollar savings when the premium is high.

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