The cheapest 2016 models to insure include two minivans, seven sport-utilities and the tiny Smart FORTWO, according to our annual ranking of the most and least expensive vehicles to insure.
The iconic Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD repeated its cheapest-to-insure title, with an average rate nationwide of $1,134. The most expensive model to insure was the 600-horsepower, $150,000 Nissan GT-R Nismo at $3,574 a year.
We compared rates using an identical driver profile for all models at six major insurance carriers in multiple ZIP codes in each state.
Car insurance rates vary widely by state. The same buyer of that 2015 Jeep Wrangler would pay as little as $694 a year in Maine or as much as $2,027 in Michigan and a GT-R buyer in Montana would pay $6,630 in Montana versus $2,012 in Hawaii.
Insurance rates are all about claims – how many and how big. Cars that are cheapest to insure typically are easy to repair or have fewer claims or both.
The average rates below are for a 40-year-old single male driver with a good record. See the full methodology at the bottom.
The least expensive 2016 cars to insure
Rank / Make & model / Average annual premium
1. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD – $1,134
2. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD – $1,136
3. Honda CR-V LX 4WD – $1,160
4. Dodge Grand Caravan SE Plus – $1,162
5. Honda Odyssey LX – $1,163
6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD – $1,164
7. Subaru Outback 2.5i – $1,176
8. Ford Edge SE 2WD – $1,176
9. Smart FORTWO Pure – $1,186
10. Ford Escape S 2WD – $1,190
The most expensive 2016 cars to insure
Rank / Make & model / Average annual premium
1. Nissan GT-R Nismo – $3,574
2. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Convertible – $3,573
3. Dodge SRT Viper – $3,318
4. Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet – $3,216
5. Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro – $3,206
6. Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive – $3,174
7. BMW 760Li – $3,147
8. BMW M6 Convertible – $3,115
9. Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic Wagon – $3,042
10. Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG 4Matic Sedan – $2,972
The Smart’s showing may seem like a surprise, but it has racked up years of consistent below-average losses from claims, and that’s what your insurance bill reflects.
Averages were calculated using data from six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm) in 10 ZIP codes per state. Not all models were available, especially exotic cars. More than 1,500 models are included in this study.
Least expensive rankings were based on the best-performing trim line of each model. Most expensive rankings were determined by the worst-performing trim line of each model.
Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.
So are you overpaying for auto insurance? Most probably yes
Most American drivers find an auto insurance policy and stick with it for many years only to see their premiums continue to rise to the point where you’re overpaying for coverage. In fact, most American drivers overpay an average of $368 for auto insurance every year.
How does this happen?
Auto insurance providers use many factors to determine your rates, and charges for the same policy can vary 154 percent within one zip code. You expect certain criteria like your age, accident history and the amount of driving you do each year to affect the rate you’re given. But other factors such as data-mining are being used by auto insurers to perform “price optimization” on your rate.
What is price optimization?
Through sophisticated data analysis, auto insurance providers set rates just high enough that the prices keep customers from shopping around. Because of this process and because the longer consumers are with a company, the less likely they are to leave, premiums can go up every year.
Is price optimization OK?
Price optimization is legal, but has been frowned upon by some organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Economic Justice, USA Today reported.
“Price optimization is a new strategy to overcharge Americans who have to buy auto and home insurance,” said Bob Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America. “The tool is nothing less than an end-around critical consumer protection laws that are needed to ensure fair pricing of insurance products.”
You can beat the system
You can’t get away from price optimization but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for increasing premiums. You can outsmart the auto insurance providers by shopping around. If you’ve been notified your auto insurance rates are going up or even if you haven’t had a rate hike in a while, price compare to see if there’s a better deal out there.
The longer you’ve been with your provider, the more you’re likely to save by switching, USA Today advised. Customers who have stayed with their auto insurance company for 3 years or more save an average of $426 on their premiums when they move to a new provider.