One overlooked item when shopping for a new car is the cost of insurance.  Consumers are so fixated on the cost of the loan that they often forget that their car insurance may increase too!  Each year, studies are published that lists the automobiles that cost the least to insure.  Insurance costs should factor into your car buying choice as it could mean additional hundreds or thousands of dollars per year. Whatever car you buy, be sure to investigate your insurance options using free online tools from sites like EverQuote.

Most studies conducted to identify the cheapest cars to insure must base their comparison on a standard driving profile.  Your driver profile can be influenced by age, driving record, expected mileage, location, and a few other factors.  For example, you may be eligible for policy discounts based on a clean driving record for the past 10 years.  The point is that every driver profile is different and you should shop for new insurance rates before your premium renewal every 6 months or a year.  

What makes a car less (or more) expensive to insure?

Insurance companies rely on historical data to build their pricing model.  The longer an insurance company insures a specific car, the more data they have to determine the premiums.  This allows them to analyze maintenance costs and frequency, propensity to be stolen, safety ratings, common problems, and many other factors.  Brand new models with no data are rated via a prediction of the car’s expected performance and, as data is collected, the insurance companies adjust their rates higher or lower based on their assessed risk.  Here are the top items that influence costs:

  • 1. High vs. Low Risk Drivers: Insurance companies compare an experienced 45-year old driver with a clean driving record vs. a new driver at 18 years of age and increase costs for higher risk drivers.
  • 2. Repair or Replacement Costs: Costs associated with repairing a high end automobile can significantly outweigh the cost of repairing lower cost cars from Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Chevrolet, or Ford.
  • 3. Frequency of Incidents or Claims: Drivers, on average, are less likely to get into an accident in rural (less travelled) areas than they are in heavily populated areas like Los Angeles or New York City.
  • 4. Auto Safety Ratings: When an automobile has a high safety ratings, the likelihood of paying claims for physical harm are less than they would be with lower safety rated cars.

So what cars are cheapest to insure?

You won’t be surprised to hear that in 2019, Insure.com reported that the Honda Odyssey was in the top spot.  The Odyssey costs, on average, $1,298 per year to insure.  This, obviously, is dependent upon the driver profile, location, mileage and many other factors.  The yearly cost is over $500 less than the national average, which is over $1,800.  The Jeep Wrangler Sport was second with the Subaru Outback 2.5i coming in 3rd place, only $8 off the top spot.  Here are the top 10 least expensive autos to ensure (for a more comprehensive list, visit Insurance.com):

RankMake & ModelAverage Premium
1Honda Odyssey$1,298
2Jeep Wrangler Sport$1,304
3Subaru Outback 2.5i$1,306
4Mazda CX-3 Sport$1,307
5Honda HR-V LX$1,325
6Honda CR-V LX$1,333
7Jeep Renegade Sport$1,338
8Ford Escape S$1,344
9Subaru Forester 2.5i$1,347
10Jeep Compass Sport$1,349