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Ranking the Cheapest Cars to Insure

The Subaru Outback, the Ford Escape and the Chevrolet Equinox came out on top in our analysis.
Aug. 24, 2018
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

You pride yourself on being a smart shopper. When looking for a new car, you research features and compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal — and you also want to know which cars are cheapest to insure.

Rates vary, sometimes significantly, depending on the kind of car you drive (among other factors). NerdWallet looked at last year’s 25 best-selling models and analyzed premiums to determine which are the cheapest to insure.

» MORE: Compare car insurance quotes

Cheapest cars to insure among popular models

Ranked from lowest cost to insure to highest.

RankAverage annual insurance premiumStarting MSRP
1. Subaru Outback$1,566$26,810
2. Ford Escape$1,656$24,935
2. Chevrolet Equinox$1,710$24,525
4. Toyota RAV4$1,750$25,370
5. Honda CR-V$1,753$25,125
6. Nissan Rogue$1,762$25,775
7. Jeep Wrangler$1,764$25,190
8. Toyota Tacoma$1,769$26,245
9. Jeep Cherokee$1,775$25,490
10. Toyota Highlander$1,788$32,275
11. Ford Explorer$1,790$33,135
12. Ford F-Series trucks$1,805$29,100
13. Chevrolet Cruze$1,843$17,850
14. Ford Fusion$1,850$23,090
15. GMC Sierra$1,851$30,000
16. Honda Accord$1,852$24,465
17. Hyundai Elantra$1,865$17,835
18. Honda Civic$1,876$19,835
19. Chevrolet Silverado$1,885$29,580
20. Dodge Ram trucks$1,890$28,490
21. Chevrolet Malibu$1,912$22,555
22. Toyota Camry$1,937$24,530
23. Nissan Altima$1,962$24,145
24. Nissan Sentra$1,965$17,875
25. Toyota Corolla$1,980$19,495

» MORE: See your car’s value

Why car models affect auto insurance rates

Car insurance companies set pricing based on the risk they’ve determined you and your vehicle present. To determine a vehicle’s risk, insurers consider claim histories, including accidents and rates of car theft. More — and more costly — claims for a particular model mean higher car insurance rates.

Conversely, the cheapest cars to insure tend to have fewer, lower-cost claims.

» MORE: Total monthly car cost calculator

Want cheaper insurance? Avoid these vehicles

Owning these types of vehicles often drives up car insurance costs:

  • Sports cars have some of the highest auto insurance rates, not just because they’re built for speed: Drivers of these cars tend to be younger and therefore more accident-prone, which drives up the cost of insurance.
  • High-end luxury cars are typically expensive to insure because repairing them can be pricey, and it costs more to replace them if they’re totaled.
  • Electric vehicles can be pricier to insure due to their higher price tags and repair costs; replacing an EV battery alone can cost thousands of dollars.
  • Cars most targeted by thieves also cost more to insure. Comprehensive insurance pays out if your car is stolen; it also covers damage from vandalism, fire, floods and other problems.

» MORE: The 10 most-stolen cars and the cost of theft insurance

Rates vary quite a bit among insurance companies, so it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes. NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool can help. Ask your insurer about discounts, too. Many offer price breaks if your car has safety features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft.

» MORE: What does car insurance cover?

NerdWallet averaged insurance estimates from the largest insurers in 10 ZIP codes in five states: California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Rates were for 40-year-old male and female drivers with good credit, no tickets or violations, and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Vehicles listed were the 25 top-selling models in the United States in 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book. Starting MSRP and insurance rates are for 2018 models.