The cost of auto insurance.
It may not be a factor when you’re purchasing a vehicle. You may not even think about the cost of auto insurance until after buying your vehicle.
But it should be one thing you take into account when you’re figuring out which used vehicle to purchase because there’s (almost) no getting around it. And there could be hundreds of dollars of difference, maybe more, in the amount of premiums you pay annually.
To take auto insurance into account, first consider you, the driver.
“It’s worth pointing out that the main variable when it comes to how much your auto insurance costs isn’t the car itself – it’s you,” wrote Nicholas Pell at The Simple Dollar, a consumer finance website.
“How safely you drive – as documented by how many claims you’ve filed (or other people have filed against you) or how many moving violations you’ve received – is a much bigger factor … Still, the type of car you own does have something to do with your insurance premiums.”
Drive a family vehicle and you’re likely to pay less, according to The Simple Dollar. Drive a performance vehicle or sports car and you’re likely to pay more.
For example, a study by 24/7 Wall Street of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data for 575 vehicles of 2014-2016 model years showed about a $1,250 difference between annual premiums for a Subaru Outback 4WD with Eyesight ($539) and a Tesla Model S four-door electric 4WD ($1,789). A study by mycarinsurance123.com shows about a $500 difference between average annual premiums for a Honda CR-V ($1,450) and a Dodge Charger ($1,956), the least- and most-expensive models to insure.
And those differences could be even greater, according to Insure.com, which recently showed a $2,700 gap between the vehicle with the lowest average premiums (Honda Odyssey LX at $1,112) and the one with the highest premiums (Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG convertible at $3,835).
The national average for car insurance is $1,605 annually, Insure.com reported from its study.
Following is 24/7’s list of the 25 least-expensive vehicles to insure, along with vehicle type, size and average annual insurance cost:
Subaru Outback 4WD with Eyesight (midsize), $539.32
Honda Odyssey (large), $680.40
Mini Countryman 4WD (small), $680.94
Subaru XV Crosstrek 4WD with Eyesight (small), $680.94
Acura RDX four-door 2WD (midsize luxury), $590.92
Subaru Forester four-door 4WD with Eyesight (small), $645.85
Jeep Wrangler two-door SWB 4WD (small), $647.85
Mazda CX-5 four-door 2WD (small), $649.78
Acura MDX four-door 2WD (midsize luxury), $660.06
Volvo XC60 four-door 2WD (midsize luxury), $665.28
Honda Pilot four-door 2WD (midsize), $677.38
Honda CR-V four-door 4WD (small), $678.46
Toyota 4Runner four-door (midsize), $688.12
Ford F-150 SuperCab 4WD (large), $690.91
Ford Edge four-door 2WD (midsize), $693.74
Subaru Legacy 4WD with Eyesight (midsize four-door), $667.79
Chevrolet Corvette convertible (midsize sports car), $671.58
Nissan Leaf electric (small four-door), $675.03
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD (large), $620.47
GMC Canyon crew cab 4WD (small), $633.70
Ford F-250 SuperCab 4WD (large), $684.51
Ford Expedition four-door 2WD, $660.16
GMC Acadia four-door 2WD, $712.83
Chevrolet Traverse four-door 4WD, $716.68
Toyota Sequoia four-door 4WD, $719.60
And the 25 most-expensive vehicles to insure?
The list includes lower-priced surprises such as the Kia Optima hybrid, Scion iA, Chrysler 200 2WD, Scion tC, Kia Rio, Dodge Dart, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa and Kia Forte.
You can find the whole list here.
Finally, says mycarinsurance123.com, “The only way to know for certain how much your auto insurance will cost is to get quotes online and compare companies, policies and prices.”
That is true especially if you have an unenviable driving record or credit score, are the wrong age or gender, live in the wrong state, or drive your vehicle more often and more miles than the average driver, all of which are factors insurance companies take into account.
But buying a vehicle that is less expensive to insure at least can reduce the pain in your wallet.