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.
|Rank||Average annual insurance premium||Starting 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.
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.
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?
- $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.