The 56 Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in 2022
Shopping for a low insurance car? SmartFinancial's research found that station wagons, minivans and small SUVs are the cheapest cars to insure on average. We also discovered that compact cars, large cars and subcompact cars cost the most to insure on average.
The cheapest cars to insure have good safety features, lower repair costs and fewer historical claims. The most expensive cars to insure had higher repair costs, poor safety records and more car insurance claims.
What Are the Cheapest Cars To Insure?
According to SmartFinancial's data, Kia's Telluride was the cheapest car to insure out of the 56 vehicles we surveyed, with an annual auto insurance premium of $787.54.
This premium is 51.4% lower than the average annual premium of $1,530.98 across all cars we surveyed. Additionally, Kia Telluride's car insurance premium was 32.4% lower per year than the BMW X5, one of the most expensive cars to insure.
We found that automobiles valued between $22,000 and $35,000 had the lowest annual car insurance rates at $1,356.91 on average. Also, car insurance premiums were 29.7% lower than automobiles valued between $35,000 and $45,000.
Automobiles whose values exceeded $35,000 also cost more to insure, with annual car insurance premiums averaging $1,920.10. These vehicles included the Ram 1500, Ford Mustang, Chevy TrailBlazer and Tesla Model 3.
Vehicle Models (2021/2022)
EPA Size Class+
Manufacturer Standard Retail Price**
Average Auto Insurance Rates ***
Premium Percent of MSRP
*Based on insurance quotes for 2022 vehicles
**Manufacturer Standard Retail Price: Edmunds.com
***Annual Premiums: SmartFinancial
+EPA Size Classes: Fueleconomy.gov
Cheapest Cars to Insure by Model
SmartFinancial compared rates for 56 vehicles in every zip code, all 50 states and Washington D.C. Subaru models were the cheapest to insure with an average premium of $966.46. This low insurance rate was 36.6% lower than Ford's, the brand with the most expensive premiums on our list.
Here is SmartFinancial's list of the cheapest insurance premiums by model.
Average Auto Insurance Rates*
Hyundai Santa Fe
Toyota RAV 4
Tesla Model 3
*Source: Average of SmartFinancial premiums by vehicle model.
SmartFinancial found that the car brands Subaru, GMC, Mazda and Kia had the cheapest car insurance rates. Other automotive brands that made the top ten include Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai. These low-cost insurance cars are known for their impressive safety records, and These brands also topped The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's 2021 Top Safety Picks list.
Cheapest Vehicle To Insure by Car Type
When shopping for a new car, most people already have a vehicle model in mind. For example, a person with a family may want a minivan to keep everyone safe on the road. A rural farmer may need a standard pickup truck to transport equipment and tools.
Here is SmartFinancial's list of the cheapest vehicles to insure by type.
EPA Size Class
Average Annual Insurance Premium
SmartFinancial tabulated data from thousands of car insurance premiums and quotes. To our surprise, we found reliable cars, station wagons, minivans and SUVs have the lowest car insurance premiums. According to the IIHS, larger vehicles have a better safety record, and smaller cars have a higher statistical chance of accidents.
According to Joe Nolan, IIHS senior vice president of vehicle research, "Smaller vehicles offer less protection for the driver in crashes, and their lighter mass means that they take the brunt of collisions with larger vehicles."
The IIHS found that small cars and minicars accounted for 15 of the 20 models with the highest death rates. The lowest death rates occurred in large, luxury SUVs.
Small station wagons have the cheap car insurance premiums because these vehicles keep drivers and passengers safe. Additionally, minivan drivers are less likely to engage in risky behaviors on the road because they are transporting passengers.
In the station wagon class, the Honda HRV had an annual premium of $972.00, which was the lowest on average.
Does the Vehicle Type Affect Car Insurance Rates?
Yes, the vehicle you own has a significant impact on your car insurance rates.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, car insurance companies use several variables to calculate your rates, such as your vehicle's repair costs, engine size and the likelihood of theft. You may get charged higher rates on your auto liability premiums if you own a car with a poor safety record.
Also, automobiles with safety features may qualify for discounts on car insurance premiums.
Tips on How To Choose the Cheapest Car To Insure
1. First, consider your vehicle and driving record. Your auto insurance premium will be based on factors such as your vehicle's age, make and model, mileage and safety features. Older cars are cheaper to insure, while new cars have more expensive parts and higher repair costs.
Your driving record also has a direct impact on your auto insurance rates. Auto insurance carriers also consider factors, such as prior at-fault accidents and moving violations.
Car insurers typically charge lower rates to safe drivers. If you have a DUI, your car insurer may require you to buy a high-risk SR-22 insurance policy, which can increase your auto insurance premiums.
2. Next, examine personal factors that may affect your premium. Your auto insurer will use demographic factors such as your age, location and zip code to determine your rates.
Additionally, your credit score may affect your car insurance premiums, depending on where you live.
Several states prohibit insurers from using your credit score as a factor to determine your premium: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says credit-based insurance scores factor include:
Your payment history (40%): Measures how much you've paid of your outstanding debts.
Outstanding debt (30%): Analyzes how much debt you have today.
Length of credit history (15%): Tracks how long you've had a line of credit
Pursuit of new credit (10%): Researches whether you have applied for new lines of credit recently
Credit mix (5%): Views the types of credit you have (credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, etc.).
3. If possible, avoid four types of vehicles that typically have higher premiums. There are four classes of automobiles that are more expensive to insure. These vehicles include:
Newer vehicle models have higher auto insurance premiums because they have higher actual cash values. You'll pay an average of $500 more in car insurance premiums for a new vehicle versus an older model. For instance, you'll only pay a $902.43 auto insurance premium for a 2015 Nissan Versa versus $1,476.00 for a 2021 Versa.
Hybrid models have higher insurance premiums because their parts are more expensive to replace. For instance, a gas-powered Toyota Camry has a $1,398.47 annual car insurance premium versus a 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid that has a $1,608 car insurance premium. This means you'll pay 13.1% more on average in car insurance premiums for Priuses.
Sports cars are more likely to get into accidents and have expensive car insurance claims. According to the IIHS database, two sports cars – the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and Aston Martin DB11 – have the highest collision losses. Car insurers pay 400% more on average in collision losses involving sports cars.
Ultra-luxury vehicles are most expensive to insure because of their high-end parts. According to the IIHS, two luxury vehicles with the highest collision costs are the Rolls Royce Dawn convertible and Bentley Bentayga 4dr. On average, auto insurers pay 432% - 448% more in collision repairs for these vehicles.
4. To lower your car insurance rates, avoid car models that attract thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says the most stolen vehicles include the Ford Full Size Pick-up, Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup and older Hondas.
5. Save money by comparing car insurance rates online. When buying a new car, you should consider how much your vehicle will cost to insure. SmartFinancial has found that the cheapest cars to insure were best-sellers like the GMC Sierra, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester.
Get Cheap Car Insurance To Protect Your Vehicle
Your car is one of your most expensive investments, so you'll need a reliable auto insurance policy to protect it. Using SmartFinancial's insurance comparison tool may help you save up to 40% on your car insurance premiums. Enter your zip code below and answer a few questions to get started on a free quote.
Methodology: How This Data Was Gathered
SmartFinancial used insurance quotes from top selling cars in 2021. All sample rates are state averages for a 30-year-old California driver with a good driving record.
Our company sampled rates from hundreds of insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide and USAA. We gathered automobile MSRPs from Edmunds.com, and EPA size categories from Fueleconomy.gov.
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