November 30, 2021

The Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2020

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you’re probably looking for something affordable. But even used cars can be pricey to own when you factor gas, maintenance, and most importantly, car insurance.

Many people don’t realize that the type of car you drive has a big impact on your auto insurance cost. Before you purchase a new car, it helps to know which makes and models are the cheapest car to insure. It might make you think twice about buying a certain vehicle if you want cheap auto insurance.

But even if you can find the lowest insurance rates, you probably want to know which type of cheap car to insure to get the cheap car insurance rates you hear about.

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      Cheapest cars to insure

      The table below includes the cheapest cars to insure in the United States, including their MSRP, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) average price, and their average price of car insurance.

      Rank Model MRSP KBB Average Price Annual premium 6-month premium* Monthly premium**
      1 Honda Odyssey LX $31,790 $29,111 $1,298 $649 $108.16
      2 Jeep Wrangler Sport $31,795 $28,312 $1,304 $652 $108.66
      3 Subaru Outback 2.5i $26,645 $26,258 $1,306 $653 $108.83
      4 Mazda CX-3 Sport $20,390 $20,892 $1,307 $653.50 $108.91
      5 Honda HR-V LX $20,920 $21,083 $1,325 $662.50 $110.41
      6 Honda CR-V LX $25,150 $24,565 $1,333 $666.50 $111.08
      7 Jeep Renegade Sport $23,715 $22,971 $1,338 $669 $111.50
      8 Ford Escape S $24,885 $24,929 $1,344 $672 $112
      9 Subaru Forester 2.5i $24,495 $24,051 $1,347 $673.50 $112.25
      10 Jeep Compass Sport $22,280 $22,907 $1,349 $674.50 $112.41

      What makes a car cheaper to insure?

      Insurance companies price their policies with a number of factors in mind—and one of the most important factors is the car model. The cheapest car to insure is often safety-focused. Different auto manufacturers are associated with different types of drivers, so choosing a model that is known for safe driving will usually reduce the cost of the insurance premium.

      When people think about Honda minivans, families come to mind. Insurers like covering Hondas because they are a family-oriented brand, which means that parents will be driving safely with their kids in the back seat.

      If a manufacturer is known for integrating strong safety features in vehicles, insurance companies take notice. Brands like Subaru that focus on driver and passenger safety features are usually awarded lower premiums.

      [ Read: What’s the Average Cost of Car Insurance in the U.S.? ]

      Insurers also factor in how much it costs to replace parts after an accident, so insurance companies like to insure cars built from parts that are easy to replace. Jeeps are known as a rugged brand with parts that are easily interchangeable, so insurance companies might insure the vehicle at a lower rate when taking the maintenance cost into account.

      If you’re thinking about buying a more eco-friendly vehicle, keep in mind that insuring a hybrid or fully electric car is more expensive than insuring a gas-powered car. Electric vehicles are worth more than gas-powered vehicles because there is more technology and equipment under the hood.

      If you crash a hybrid, it will cost a pretty penny to fix. Not only would your insurance company have to pay for cosmetic damage, but it would also have to pay to repair or replace the battery, sensors, cameras and internal systems. If you have your heart set on a Tesla or Toyota Prius, be prepared to pay a much higher insurance premium for it.

      Other factors that affect car insurance rates

      1. Model year

      When looking for cheap car insurance, the year of the model might affect your premium. A good rule of thumb is the newer the model, the more the insurance will cost. Newer cars cost more to fix and replace, so they will also cost more to insure. However, some newer models come with advanced safety features that insurers love, so even if the model is recent, the safety features could offset the additional cost of insuring a newer car.

      [ Read: What Is the Make and Model of a Car? ]

      2. Theft

      All told, one-third of insurance payouts go toward theft, and the most stolen cars in America are Honda Accords and Civics. Others in the top 10 include Toyota Corollas and Nissan Altimas — not exactly luxury cars. While Chevy Impalas, Ford F-150s, Dodge Ram pickups, and Jeep Grand Cherokees aren’t what you’d call discount cars, they, too are among the most stolen vehicles—and companies keep this in mind when insuring cars. If you’ve got one of these popular targets for car thieves, you will likely pay more for car insurance.

      3. Cost of repairs

      Some cars are more expensive to fix than others. It probably goes without saying that a Tesla is significantly pricier to fix than a Honda CR-V. If your car has lots of bells and whistles, like backup cameras, a GPS system, Apple CarPlay or automatic windshield wipers, it costs the insurance company a lot of money to repair those systems if they get damaged in an accident. As a result, your insurance premium would much be higher than it would be for a car without as many fancy features.

      4. Your claims history

      If you’ve filed insurance claims in the past, you will pay a higher rate for car insurance. Even the smallest fender bender can cause your premium to increase unless your policy has accident forgiveness. When you file insurance claims, your insurance company puts you in the “high-risk” category. Every time you file a claim for a covered loss, the insurance company has to pay, so to prepare for potential losses, they’ll charge you more money for coverage.

      [ Related: Why Is My Auto Insurance Premium So High? ]

      Types of cars with expensive insurance

      Just like some cars are known for their cheap car insurance, others can double your auto insurance (or more). The types of cars to avoid if you don’t want to be paying more than average for insurance include:

      • Luxury and sports cars: Typically more expensive to buy and maintain than a standard vehicle, high-end autos are also typically expensive for drivers to insure.
      • Full-size vehicles: When it comes to auto insurance, bigger isn’t always better. While a huge vehicle might actually make you safer, it’s less safe for anything else you might crash into. Remember that your insurance isn’t just covering you — it’s covering you and the damage that you do to others.
      • Electric cars: Teslas are all the rage among many drivers in search of a vehicle that doesn’t require a trip to the gas station. The savings on fuel is impressive, but electric vehicles (EVs) are often more expensive to insure than a standard car. High-tech, expensive parts and a limited number of mechanics add to the cost of an EV repair.
      • Vintage and collectible cars: Few insurance companies insure collector’s vehicles. Classic car values can be hard to determine and are often high — after all, replacing a one-of-a-kind classic car isn’t usually possible.

      Will a cheap car have cheap insurance?

      Not all cheap cars come with cheap car insurance. To make sure the deal you’re getting pays off in the long run, consider getting a few auto insurance quotes before you buy a car. There are a few reasons a cheap car doesn’t always have cheap insurance:

      • If you’re financing the low-cost car, you may need to have costlier full coverage on the vehicle to meet the lender’s requirements.
      • A cheap car may not have the number of safety and accident-prevention features, such as anti-lock brakes, multiple airbags or anti-collision systems newer or more expensive models may have.
      • Older, cheaper cars may not be as reliable as new cars and possibly cause more accidents or require repairs more often.
      • Vehicles that were declared totaled by an insurer, repaired and resold may have mechanical or structural issues that could mean the next time it’s involved in an accident, the crash may be more serious than expected.

      Why does the type of car impact my car insurance?

      Insurance companies analyze risk to determine whether to insure you. Besides looking at your driving history, area you live in and age, they analyze how expensive the car you drive is if involved in an accident. If they deem you to be higher risk because you drive a high-end vehicle needing more expensive repairs, a car model that tends to be stolen more often or an auto that may not be considered as safe if involved in an accident, you’ll probably pay more for car insurance.

      Your state’s insurance minimums and whether you have a financed or higher-value car can also affect your premiums. In the case of a financed vehicle or a newer model, full insurance coverage may be required, which is more expensive than basic liability coverage. When you’re in search of a cheap car to insure, it’s best to take the cost of insurance into consideration before you purchase a car — the decision you make today could cost you in the long run.

      Too long, didn’t read?

      Insurance companies love to offer insurance on vehicles they think are safe bets. The types of cars insurers are more likely to price with lower premiums are usually known as family-ordinary brands and focus on safety and easily replaceable parts. To find the best car for insurance rates, ask about these kinds of features at the car lot.

      Each car insurer determines the risk it believes is associated with each car make and model. This means that no two insurers will set the same rate for the same car. To get the cheapest insurance for your car, shop around with different providers and compare rates. Give each provider the same information and ask for the same level of coverage to make comparison easier.

      Methodology

      To find cars that won’t break the bank to insure, we looked at Insure.com’s list of the cheapest cars to insure. After digging into the different makes and models, we researched which factors those cars shared, and why those factors made them the cheapest cars to insure.

      Keep Reading


      40% of Americans Believe the Most Reliable Cars Are Built in the U.S. — Are They Right?


      7 Tips on How To Save Money on Car Insurance


      9 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Insurance (But Should)

      Elizabeth Rivelli

      Contributing Writer

      Elizabeth is a contributor to The Simple Dollar, where she reviews insurance providers and policies. She has more than three years of experience writing for top online insurance and finance publications, including Bankrate, Coverage.com and Reviews.com.

      Reviewed by


      • Nashalie Addarich

        Editor

        Nashalie Addarich is an editor for The Simple Dollar. She recently made a career switch from the legal field, where she was an attorney in Washington, DC. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages. You can also find her editorial work on Reviews.com.