Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2020

There is a long list of inputs that go into the algorithm that decides how much to charge you for insuring your vehicle. The major considerations include location, driving record, the driver’s age, and the gender of the driver. One factor that may be most important of them all – the vehicle itself.

The year, make, and model all comprise a large portion of how your insurance premium will be decided. It is important to keep this in mind as you shop for a new vehicle. While you might be able to afford something fast or brand new, you might be shocked by the additional annual cost your car insurance imposes.

Car buying is typically a stressful experience, given the haggling and decision making. Add on the research required to find the best insurance rates and you have a recipe for sleepless nights! This guide is intended to relieve some of that anxiety by offering some suggestions of cars that are typically less costly to insure.

Old versus New

One of the critical factors in insurance pricing is the age of the vehicle (or current value). This can make the decision between purchasing a new or used vehicle difficult. The excitement of the potential for all the newest bells and whistles can lead many to forget that new vehicles are typically more expensive to insure.

Purchasing a used vehicle has many benefits. From getting a better upfront value at the dealership to being less expensive to insure, used cars are often the better option from a financial standpoint. However, sometimes that “new car smell” is impossible to resist. Whether used or new, there are a few things to avoid when deciding what to purchase with insurance costs in mind.

  • Cars Thieves Love: These vehicles are an insurance nightmare because a stolen car tends to cost the insurance company more than one involved in a minor accident. If you purchase a car known to be easy to steal or desirable to car thieves, consider getting a comprehensive plan that pays for the full cost of a stolen vehicle.
  • EVs: The electric vehicle is no longer a science fiction movie prop. These cars are being produced by almost every major manufacturer and are rapidly gaining popularity. Unfortunately, insurance companies are charging a lot to insure them. High repair costs are the primary reason for this.
  • Luxury Vehicles: If the car costs a fortune to buy, it also costs a fortune to insure. 
  • Sports Cars: While the risk of speed induced accidents is a problem, insurance companies have a bigger issue with the typical sports car owner – young, male, and maybe a little reckless. 

Avoiding the types of cars listed above, regardless of new or used, is a good start toward saving on your annual insurance premiums. 

The Best Used Cars to Buy with Insurance in Mind

A used car is widely considered a wise purchase. However, they are not all created equal in the eyes of insurance analysts. Here is a brief list of some models to consider if you prefer lower insurance rates.

The Buick Lucerne is a great car for smaller families. These cars are large enough to fit comfortably but will not run right through your monthly gas budget. Most Lucernes on the market are reasonably priced and come equipped with valuable safety features like blind spot alerting for the driver.

Honda is well known for its production of safe, durable, and long-lasting automobiles. Their Honda CR-V sports utility vehicle is no exception. From the oldest model to the brand new, Honda provides a safe ride along with a great looking design. Better still, the CR-V offers great resale or trade-in value if you decide to upgrade again.

If you need a little more room than the CR-V offers but still want to take advantage of Honda quality, consider the Honda Odyssey minivan. This roomy minivan consistently lands at the top of safest vehicles lists. Like most Honda products, the Odyssey offers great resale value. Insurance rates are kept low by the perception that a safe driver is behind the wheel.

Like the Hondas mentioned above, the Toyota Camry offers the benefits of safety, security, and higher than average resale value. These are all great reasons to shop for a Camry if a used car is in your plans. Insurance companies typically charge lower rates for these cars and the gas mileage is often very good.

If safety is your primary concern, look no further than a used Volvo V70. These cars are so safe that the insurance rates are often quite reasonable. This is a great option for anyone who might be driving in snow, as they offer all-wheel drive, front wheel drive, and Cross Country models. Volvos are famous for their longevity, as well.

As we have seen, used family cars are high on the list for lower insurance rates. Their overall safety and typical owner play a major role in this. If these types of vehicles are not your style or you’d like something newer, all hope is not lost.

The Best New Cars to Buy with Insurance in Mind

Not everyone wants to purchase a used vehicle and that is understandable. Insurance costs are usually higher for new vehicles because they are more valuable than an older model. The same factors apply when considering a new vehicle with your annual insurance rate in mind – safety and security. 

The chart below outlines the top 25 best sellers on the market and their average insurance costs. The average was determined by comparing rates in 10 of the states with the highest average insurance costs.

Average Insurance Rate by Vehicle (Popular New Vehicles)
Vehicle Approximate Annual Rate Average Starting Price
Subaru Outback $1,400 $26,125
Jeep Wrangler $1,400 $28,215
Honda CR-V $1,500 $24,435
Jeep Compass $1,500 $21,345
Ford Escape $1,500 $24,230
Subaru Forester $1,500 $24,345
Chevrolet Equinox $1,600 $23,655
GMC Sierra 1500 $1,600 $29,125
Toyota Tacoma $1,600 $25,795
Jeep Cherokee $1,600 $25,515
Toyota Highlander $1,600 $31,705
Toyota RAV4 $1,600 $25,495
Nissan Rogue $1,600 $24,989
Ford Explorer $1,600 $32,212
Ram 1500 $1,600 $33,213
Ford F-150 $1,700 $28,214
Honda Accord $1,700 $23,676
Chevrolet Silverado $1,700 $28,365
Hyundai Elantra $1,700 $14,653
Honda Civic $1,700 $19,343
Ford Fusion $1,700 $22,565
Toyota Camry $1,800 $24,343
Nissan Sentra $1,800 $17,767
Toyota Corolla $1,800 $18,335
Nissan Altima $1,900 $23,789

Beware of the Trim Monster and Other Expensive Pitfalls

Car insurance premiums are set after analyzing risk for the insurance company. There are multiple factors that you can impact, like driving history and where you live. Alternatively, there are plenty that you cannot control, like the number of claims a certain car model has had nationally. 

One area that drives premium costs up is the trim. Cars come with a basic package and buyers can select different trim options with enhanced features. Unfortunately, these add-ons frequently mean higher insurance costs, as well. 

The move from a basic model to the highest trim option can mean an increase of over $200 a year on your insurance premiums. Keep this and all the other factors we have discussed in mind next time you decide to purchase a new (or new to you vehicle). While it may not always feel like it, you can control some of the factors that influence your annual car insurance premiums.

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