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Car insurance is a big part of total vehicle ownership, especially in this economy where even a few hundred dollars a year in auto insurance premiums can mean the world of difference to some buyers. Auto insurance rates are based on a number of factors including your driving record, credit score, where you live and other variables however the type of vehicle insured plays a big role in your overall premiums.
Why is the type of vehicle important?
Every vehicle has its own risk level in the eyes of a car insurance company. This includes analyzing the vehicle’s safety record, safety features, industry ratings, replacement value and more.
The replacement value of the vehicle plays a very large role. Typically more expensive cars have higher car insurance rates since in the event of a total loss accident the financial exposure is much greater to a car insurance company. Vehicles in the same price range however can often see drastic changes in car insurance premiums simply based on the vehicle safety features. A car priced at $20,000 may be much more expensive to insure than a car priced at $25,000 if the more expensive model has features like ASBS, brakes side and front airbags and other safety features unavailable on the cheaper model. Each car is analyzed individually when it comes to car insurance so it’s critical to understand the cost of auto insurance for any vehicle well before signing a purchase agreement.
What are the cheapest cars to insure?
Every year a list of the cheapest and most expensive cars to insure are published by various agencies. One important factor to remember however is that these statistics are based on national averages and may/may not apply to you. Drivers with a high risk profile (such as young drivers, drivers convicted of a DUI and those with bad credit) often end up paying much higher rates than the national average. Women drivers with good driving records usually pay less since statistics show women are generally a lower risk profile to insure than men. In 2010 some of the cheapest cars to insure were:
- Chrysler PT Cruiser
- Chrysler Town & Country LX
- Dodge Caravan
- Dodge Grand Caravan SE
- GMC Safari Minivan
- Honda Odyssey EX
- Honda Odyssey LX
- Hyundai Santa Fe GLS
- Hyundai Tucson GLS
- Jeep Patriot Sport
- Kia Sportage LX
- Mazda Tribute i
- Toyota Sienna CE
Car insurance rates can vary for a number of reasons so while these are some of the cheapest cars to insure nationally don’t be surprised if a car insurance company quotes you lower rates for different vehicles. It really depends on your overall profile however you can be assured that any of these vehicles are much less to insure than any luxury or sports car.
Do vehicle safety ratings influence car insurance rates?
Absolutely. Any vehicle sold in the US must be evaluated for its crash test performance. Vehicles which earn higher ratings on these crash tests (such as those performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) often get a much lower risk assigned to them vs. vehicles which do not perform so well – translating to cheaper car insurance rates.
Outside of ratings car insurance companies also evaluate the risk of insuring a certain type of vehicle by looking at things like the amount of glass a vehicle has, whether or not the car has anti-lock brakes, sufficient airbags, anti-theft devices, daytime running lights, traction control and more. The crash tests play an important role in auto insurance but are just one factor for the overall risk of insuring the vehicle.
Are some cars cheaper to insure depending on where you live?
Of course. Auto theft is still a huge problem in this country and if you live in an area where a certain type of vehicle has a risk of car theft it doesn’t matter what national averages say about cheap car insurance rates. Your car insurance company will most likely increase the premiums on this particular model to account for the additional exposure to car theft.
Who has the cheapest car insurance?
This depends on your unique profile. For most good drivers the easiest way to find the cheapest car insurance quotes is to compare auto insurance companies online. However if you have a high risk profile you may want to call around. Its also important to always compare policy quotes equally which means making sure any potential policy quotes have the same levels of coverage, types of coverage and policy deductibles.
Start your car insurance comparison search today with our national database of car insurance companies nationwide. Simply enter your ZIP code and find local quotes so you can compare auto insurance rates online.