The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure
If you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle, make sure you’ve done your homework about average auto insurance rates. According to Insure.com, the most expensive car to insure in 2011 was the Mercedes SL65 AMG, a sporty, two-door convertible that has the highest chance of getting in a car crash. Insurance companies are more likely to lower your insurance rates when they trust your chances of getting into a crash — or having your car stolen — are very low. This is why SUVs, minivans, and other non-sporty vehicles continue to rank at the top of the “cheapest cars to insure” list year after year. (See also: The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips)
Insure.com gathers data on national average annual premiums for different makes and models and ranks them based on premium price. For 2011, the top ten cheapest cars to insure were:
1. Chrysler Town and Country
The average annual premium for this vehicle was just $1,091.80 in 2011. The popular family minivan has been around since the late 80s, and the latest models have advanced safety features and high safety ratings.
2. Toyota Sienna
With an average annual premium of $1,100.66, this is another family minivan with high safety ratings, and the third generation Sienna was the first to receive a “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
3. Toyota Sienna LE
This is one of the trim levels available on the Sienna minivans, and it boasts a V6 engine with all-wheel drive. More control and power means increased safety on the road. The average annual premium was just $1,108 for this version of the Sienna.
4. Honda Odyssey LX
The fourth-generation minivan available in 2011 boasts a larger body and lower roofline. It also has ventilated front disc brakes and six-speed automatic transmission for a smoother ride. The average annual premium for this vehicle was $1,115 in 2011.
5. Nissan Murano SL
Probably the sportiest crossover vehicle you’ll find that commands low insurance rates, this stylish ride offers plenty of comfort and a full range of advanced safety features. The average annual premium was $1,127.89 in 2011.
6. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
This SUV boasts 40% more horsepower and 10% more torque than other Jeeps on the road, but still has the classic Jeep styling. It’s one of the best 4x4s on the market, and the average insurance rates are just $1,131.27.
7. Honda Odyssey EX
Another minivan to consider for those family outings and road trips, this reliable vehicle tops the “safe” list for many insurance companies. The average annual premium was $1,138.16 in 2011.
8. Toyota Sienna V6
The V6 engine versions of the Toyota Sienna are also a top choice for insurers, since these models promise more power and control among other minivans of a similar size. The average annual insurance premium was $1,143 in 2011.
9. Ford Escape XLS
This SUV is a popular alternative to the standard minivan and is also among the most affordable to insure. The average annual premium in 2011 was just $1,150.
10. Toyota Highlander
If you’re only interested in foreign vehicles, consider purchasing the Toyota Highlander. While it may be a gas guzzler, it’s also among the more attractive alternatives to a minivan, and it’s loaded with deluxe amenities and safety features. The average annual insurance premium was $1,154 in 2011.
Getting the Lowest Insurance Rates
When you’re looking for the lowest insurance rates, stick with the practical, less-flashy vehicles, and you’ll probably be looking at a lower-than-average insurance premium. Don’t forget you can also reduce insurance costs by purchasing a vehicle that has extra safety equipment and anti-theft devices installed. If you’re getting your car insurance coverage with the same insurance company that you have homeowners insurance with, you might also qualify for a discount.
Keep in mind that all insurance companies will take the type of vehicle you drive, your driving history, your credit score, and other factors into account when calculating your premium. The above averages from Insure.com are estimates for the average driver and the actual insurance premium you end up paying could be higher or lower based on where you live, how often you drive, and several other factors.