The cost of auto insurance premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on what type of vehicle you have, where you live and who insures it. Fortunately, in an effort to help you compare rates, Insure.com conducts an annual ranking of the cost to insure vehicles by comparing auto insurance rates in every state for more than 2,300 models from six major insurance companies.
This year, the top 10 least expensive list has some repeat winners, a new number one, and a surprising number 10.
When buying a car, it’s important to consider the price of insurance, since that’s a cost that you’ll have for as long as you have the car. And a large number of factors play a role in determining each model's insurance rates.
Sport-utility vehicles, crossovers, and minivans dominate the list, and there's one key reason why.
According to the New York City-based Insurance Informaton Institute, variables include the likelihood of theft, the cost of the car itself is major rate factor, the cost of repairs, and the overall safety record of the car. Engine sizes, even among the same makes and models, can also impact insurance premiums. Cars with high quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.
Insurers not only look at how safe the car is to drive and how well it protects occupants, they also look at the potential damage a car can inflict on another car. If a specific car has a higher chance of inflicting damage on another car and its occupants, some insurers may charge more for liability insurance.
About the rankings
Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2016 models. Averages were calculated using data from six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm) in 10 ZIP codes per state.
Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.
A wide variety of vehicles in the top 10 means there’s a low-cost insurance option for consumers’ varying needs. Here are the 10 least expensive 2016 models to insure:
10. Nissan Frontier S King Cab Pickup
Average annual premium: $1,204
The Nissan Frontier S King cab is the first truck to make the least expensive list.
9. Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,203
8. Buick Encore Sport Tour 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,200
7. Ford Escape S 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,194
6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,190
5. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD
Average annual premium: $1,181
4. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,180
3. Dodge Grand Caravan AVP 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,174
2. Honda CR-V LX
Average annual premium: $1,170
1. Honda Odyssey LX
Average annual premium: $1,113
The Odyssey has a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is relatively inexpensive to repair.
Don't forget, the vehicle insurance amounts vary greatly by state. The average annual policy in the country for the Honda Odyssey costs an average of $1,113; it would cost the same driver $651 in Maine and a whopping $2,387 in Michigan, according to Insure.com.