MoneyGeek analyzed thousands of quotes across the country to find the cars with the lowest rates. We also looked at which auto insurance companies offered the lowest rates for those models. According to our research, the Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback and the Honda Fit are the most affordable to insure.
Which Cars Are Cheapest to Insure in 2021?
Several factors impact your insurance rate, but one of the major contributors to your overall insurance cost is your vehicle’s make and model. The age of your vehicle, the cost of repair after an accident and the likelihood that your vehicle will be stolen all affect the cost of your insurance. The good news is that you can use this information to your advantage: choosing to buy one of the best cars to insure can lower your premiums.
Cars With the Cheapest Insurance Rates
The 2020 models of the Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback and Honda Fit top our list of the cheapest new cars to insure. The Honda CR-V and Subaru Outback were both named top safety picks by the International Institute of Highway Safety. The Honda Fit rated slightly lower than the other two vehicles, but all three have excellent safety ratings.
When it comes to affordability, Kelley Blue Book named the Honda Fit one of the most affordable overall vehicles of 2020 and the Honda CR-V one of the most affordable SUVs. While the Subaru Outback isn’t as affordable as the other two vehicles, it is still a vehicle you should consider when thinking about low-cost insurance.
The chart below includes the lowest insurance rate for each vehicle. USAA may have cheaper rates than those listed for some vehicle models, but their rates were not included because USAA insurance is not available to most drivers.
Cheapest Insurers for Your Model
Insurance prices are determined based on multiple factors, not just the make and model of the car you drive. It is important to get a quote based on your specific situation to find the cheapest car insurance companies for you.
Cheapest Used Cars to Insure
It is common knowledge that new cars begin to lose value as soon as you drive them off the lot, so many drivers choose to purchase used cars instead. MoneyGeek reviewed the cheapest used cars to insure for 2016 model vehicles, and when it comes to used cars, you will get the biggest savings with the Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback, Honda Fit, Ford Escape and Jeep Wrangler.
Almost every used vehicle is cheaper to insure than a new model, but often the difference in premium is small, sometimes saving you as little as $50 or $60 per year. This is partially because the liability portion of your insurance costs doesn’t change as your vehicle ages.
Average Cost to Insure a Used Car
If Your Car Is Over 10 Years Old, You May Want Liability-Only
Full coverage insurance, which means carrying comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to liability insurance, is typically required by lenders for people purchasing new vehicles. Drivers with used cars, especially those that are more than 10 years old, may want to consider keeping their insurance costs low by carrying liability-only insurance.
Comprehensive and collision coverage is designed to pay for damages to your vehicle, but as the value of your vehicle drops over the years, the payment for those services will get lower and lower. For example, someone driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla may find that their vehicle is worth less than $2,000, meaning even a minor accident could cause enough damage for your car to be considered totaled. If the value of your vehicle is low enough, you might not want to pay higher rates for comprehensive and collision coverage each year. Finding the cheapest liability-only coverage can be a good option for drivers with older vehicles. Still, it is important to realize that you will be responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident, so plan ahead and make sure you can afford those costs out of pocket.
For example, our sample driver who carries liability levels of 100/300/100 and full comprehensive and collision coverage would pay $1,379 for their insurance each year. If that same driver carried liability levels of 500/100/50 and had an older vehicle that did not require full coverage, they would only pay $864 each year, saving them $515 on their annual insurance premium.
Cheapest SUVs to Insure
Typically, a lower purchase price for an SUV equates to a lower insurance premium, which is part of the reason why the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV-4 top our list of the cheapest SUVs to insure. The cost of repairing or replacing a cheaper vehicle is lower than its pricier counterparts, which means you will probably pay less to insure a less expensive SUV.
Average Annual Premium for SUV Models
Cheapest Sports Cars to Insure
Sports cars are designed for speed, which can mean higher liability rates. Sports cars are also more expensive to repair or replace in an accident, which can mean higher comprehensive and collision rates. Even though these factors translate to higher insurance rates for your sports car, we have put together a list of the cheapest sports cars to insure, including the Subaru WRX, Chevrolet Camaro and Subaru BRZ.
Average Annual Premium for Sports Car Models
How Your Car Choice Impacts Insurance Costs
Your age, what state you live in, the number of accidents in your neighborhood, and many other factors beyond your control help determine your insurance rates. But one factor that you control completely is the type of car you choose to drive. Choosing to drive a sports car or a luxury vehicle will generally increase your insurance rates, often by several hundred dollars each year.
Drivers looking to keep their insurance costs low should consider a less flashy vehicle to avoid paying extra on their car insurance each month. A Lexus or a Corvette might be fun to drive, but a Subaru Outback or a Honda Fit could be just as likely to meet your needs and save you a significant amount of money on your insurance premiums.
Choosing a used model can help you reduce your premiums even further, possibly eliminating the need for comprehensive and collision coverage altogether if you choose a vehicle that you can afford to replace out of pocket. This means that drivers who want a brand-new car might be better off purchasing one of the cars from our list of most affordable vehicles to insure. And drivers who want a flashy sports car or luxury vehicle might be able to bring their insurance to an affordable level by purchasing a used model.
Average Annual Premiums by Car Type
The make and model of your vehicle can impact your insurance premium for a variety of reasons, some of which might be surprising.
- Stolen Cars: The likelihood that your insurance company will have to replace a stolen vehicle is one of the things that impacts the rate of your comprehensive coverage. The most stolen vehicles of 2019 were the Ford Pickup, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Pickup, which means those cars will have higher insurance rates to compensate for the increased possibility of theft.
- Electric Cars: Cars with newer technology that require specialized repairs will see an increase in insurance premiums because of it, which means choosing an electric vehicle can boost your insurance costs. However, some insurance companies offer discounts for drivers with electric vehicles, so do your research when choosing which car to purchase.
- Sports Cars: Cars that cost more to repair will cost more to insure, which means people purchasing sports cars should prepare for a higher insurance premium.
- Luxury Cars: Much like sports cars, the increased cost of repairing or replacing a luxury vehicle causes higher car insurance premiums.
What Factors Impact Cost More Than Car Model
Although car choice impacts the cost of your insurance, many other factors also play a part in determining your insurance rates. Everything from your ZIP code to your gender can potentially be used to help determine your insurance rates. Some, though not all, of these factors are things you can control, which means it is possible to use them to help reduce your car insurance costs over time.
- Age: Your age plays a huge part in determining your insurance rates, which is why insurance costs are so high for teens and young drivers. The lack of experience behind the wheel coupled with a higher likelihood of reckless, impulsive behavior means insurance companies are more likely to pay out claims for younger motorists. Seniors and older drivers, on the other hand, typically find their rates go down over time.
- Gender: Depending on which state you live in, your gender can be used to help determine your insurance premiums. This is more pronounced with younger drivers, but drivers of any age can see premium differences based on gender. There are multiple states, including California, Montana, Michigan, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, that no longer allow auto insurance companies to consider your gender when determining your insurance rate.
- Driving Record: The biggest factor in determining your insurance rate is your driving record. Brand-new drivers have no record at all, so they typically see the highest rates. Drivers with multiple accidents, tickets, DUIs and other offenses are also likely to receive some of the highest rates available. Avoiding tickets, accidents and other issues can go a long way towards keeping your insurance premiums low.
- Location: Each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to insurance, which means rates can vary wildly from state to state. Even within a single state, moving from one ZIP code to another can change your premiums significantly due to rates of accidents, vehicle thefts and other potential claims issues in each area.
- Coverage Level: Your coverage level is one of the biggest factors in determining your insurance rates. Drivers with older cars may choose to carry liability-only insurance. But people with newer cars or those who cannot afford to replace their vehicle on their own will want to carry full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision in addition to liability. Financial companies typically require drivers to carry full coverage when taking out a loan for a vehicle.
- Deductible: Your car insurance deductible is the portion you agree to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim. A higher deductible can help keep your insurance premiums low because it reduces the amount your insurance company will pay in the event of an accident.
- Credit Score: Your credit score can directly impact your insurance premiums in many states. The concept is that people with lower credit scores are more likely to file a claim, while people with higher credit scores are less likely to need to file a claim and more likely to pay the costs out of pocket to avoid an increase in their premiums when they do have an accident. You can get good car insurance, even with bad credit, but it is important to get multiple quotes. That way, you can make sure you’re getting the best possible rate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cars With the Lowest Rates
MoneyGeek partnered with Quadrant Data Services to gather car insurance quotes from the top seven auto insurance providers for 57 car models and eight model years to determine which cars are cheapest to insure. Our analysis assumed drivers choose a full-coverage 100/300/100 as this is our recommendation for most drivers with a new car. See our detailed methodology page for more information.
About the Author
- Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. "2020 Top Safety Picks." Accessed March 11, 2021.
- Kelley Blue Book. "10 Cheapest SUVs of 2020." Accessed March 11, 2021.
- Kelley Blue Book. "10 Cheapest Cars of 2020." Accessed March 11, 2021.
- National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Hot Wheels: America’s Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicle Makes." Accessed March 11, 2021.