When shopping for cars, familiarize yourself with two key words: make and model.
The make refers to the manufacturer of the car–think Chevrolet or Ford.
The model is the classification of a car within a brand. Models can vary by body style, upgrades, features, and options–think Camaro or Mustang.
Table of Contents:
- How Car Make & Model Affect Insurance Rates
- Does Body Style & Trim Matter?
- What Car Models are Cheapest to Insure?
How Does Make and Model Affect Car Insurance Premiums?
Keep in mind, the make and model may affect your insurance premiums.
Car insurance companies play a game of risk. The more you pay for a car, say a Mercedes Benz, the higher your premiums will be since any repairs for your Benz will cost more than a Ford Escape.
The same rule of risk applies for an older, less reliable car. The higher likelihood of repairs directly correlates to higher monthly premiums.
Here’s a list of four variables car insurance companies analyze when assigning premium rates:
Probability for Theft
The idea that car thieves target expensive rides like a Bently or Rolls Royce is a myth. In reality, thieves are more likely to target your average Honda or Toyota. These cars are disassembled for parts which are then sold on the black market.
According to insurify.com, these are the top 10 cars targeting for theft:
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Full Size Chevy Pickup
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Corolla
- Full Size GMC Pickup
- RAM Pickup
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
MSRP is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. This is the retail price suggested to the retailer by the auto manufacturer. It’s the sticker price of your car. The more your vehicle costs, the higher your premiums will be. It costs more to repair a BMW because of foreign parts vs. a Ford Ranger.
If we’re being honest, the sportier the car the greater the need for speed. Zooming around in a minivan isn’t nearly as appealing as driving an Audi R8. Due to higher chances of collisions, premiums will be steeper. Soft top convertibles are also easier to boost or steal. Both possible collision and theft odds place your premiums at higher rates.
Safer cars are less likely to need repairs from accidents or breakdowns.
Here are a few makes that routinely hit top 10 safety lists no matter the models:
Does My Car’s Body Style or Trim Affect My Premium?
Short answer, yes. You can either lower or raise your rates, depending on the type of car and any add ons/trim you choose.
It’s oh so tempting to throw caution to the wind and speed around in a sports car. SUVs, sports cars, and convertibles are higher to insure compared to minivans and sedans.
Convertibles are easy targets for theft. High tech cars are very expensive to repair or replace. Insurance companies keep these factors in mind and often charge higher rates for cars falling under any of these categories.
When buying a car, adding upgrades or luxury features can increase your monthly premiums.
Smaller upgrades such as leather seats or nicer wheels won’t necessarily tack on a higher monthly premium. Adding high-tech options, upgrading your engine, or adding a powered sunroof all bump up your rates considerably.
Most auto manufacturers have different trim levels, grouping certain upgrades together by each level. For example, the Volvo X90 has three different trim levels–the Momentum, the Inscription, and the R-Design. Each level offers something more than the basic model, adding more money to the sticker price.
Keep in mind shifting to a higher trim level means jumping to a higher monthly premium.
What Makes and Models are the Cheapest to Insure?
The more inexpensive the car, the lower your insurance rates will be. A safer car, like a Subaru, is cheaper to insure than an Audi convertible sports car. Lowering the odds of collisions and repairs by choosing a safer car with cheaper replacement parts will lower your car insurance premiums.
Try to avoid luxury cars, electric cars, high target theft cars, and sports cars. Each of these types of cars come with expensive repairs or high replacement prices.
We’ve researched and found a top ten list of cheapest cars to insure in 2020: (not ranked in order)
- Subaru Outback
- Jeep Renegade
- Honda Odyssey
- Honda CRV
- Mazda CX-3
- Jeep Wrangler
- Chevy Equinox
- Jeep Compass
- Subaru Forester
- Honda HRV
Rates may vary based on where you live, what car model you buy, and what company you choose. Shop around and be sure to ask if you qualify for discounts for any safety features.