[Infographic] What is the Cheapest Car to Insure in 2021?
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UPDATED: Jun 24, 2021
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- Car insurance is mandatory in most states
- Your car’s make and model will impact your insurance rates
- Luxury vehicles, electric, or hybrid cars will have more expensive insurance rates
With car insurance mandatory in most states (and highly recommended even in insurance-optional states), you might be wondering how to find the cheapest insurance rate. And while there are several insurance-related factors you can’t control, there is a major one you can: the car you drive.
Calculating car insurance rates can be complicated, and the reasoning behind certain price adjustments isn’t always transparent. We believe that drivers should be well-informed about the ins and outs of car insurance before making a decision.
That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the cheapest cars to insure in 2021, along with a breakdown of factors that influence your car’s insurance rate.
How Does Your Car Affect Insurance Rates?
Most people recognize that their age, driving history, and location play a role in their car insurance rate. But did you know that the car you drive also influences your vehicle insurance cost?
To find cheap car insurance for your vehicle, you should consider all of the following factors.
Make and Model
The make of a car can influence auto insurance prices. Cars built by luxury brands or manufacturers with less-than-stellar safety ratings may cost more to insure than tried-and-true brands like Honda or Toyota.
Similarly, the style (or model) of a vehicle affects your car insurance premiums. For example, minivans and midsize SUVs typically dominate lists of the top cheapest cars to insure due to their reputation as safe, reliable vehicles. Many minivan drivers are extra careful when ferrying kids to and from school and soccer practice, and this (relatively accurate) stereotype drives insurance costs down for the vehicle type.
Your insurer looks at the statistics behind the vehicle you drive, and if your make and model sees more claims than other cars, you could end up with a higher insurance premium.1
Speaking of statistics, accident rates play a significant role in determining your annual insurance cost. In general, high-performance cars are involved in more crashes than your standard sedan or SUV, thanks to powerful engines and a tendency for fast driving. As such, the auto insurance rates for a supercar or luxury car model will be well above the average.
Looking at driver fatality rates is one way to compare vehicle safety (which affects insurance rates). An IIHS report from 2017 notes the following vehicles were involved in the most fatal crashes that year:2
- Ford Fiesta (141)
- Hyundai Accent (116)
- Chevrolet Sonic (98)
- Nissan Versa Note (96)
- Fiat 500 (95)
Having additional features in your vehicle can either hurt or help your auto insurance rates, depending on what they are.
If your car has safety add-ons such as brake assist or automatic high beams, insurance companies recognize that you are less likely to crash and lower your premiums.
On the other hand, opting for extra, non-safety-related features like built-in media players can make your insurance go up. That’s because the overall value of the car increases with these options. The more expensive your vehicle is, the more it will cost the car insurance company to replace it in an accident. As a result, you pay more per year to protect your investment.
A Vehicle with a high theft rate inevitably costs more to insure. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB),3 the most stolen makes and models in 2019 were:
- Ford F-150 (38,938 incidents)
- Honda Civic (33,220 incidents)
- Chevrolet Silverado (32,583 incidents)
- Honda Accord (30,745 incidents)
- Toyota Camry (15,656 incidents)
- Nissan Altima (13,355 incidents)
- Toyota Corolla (12,137 incidents)
- Dodge Ram (11,292 incidents)
- GMC Sierra (11,164 incidents)
- Honda CR-V (10,094 incidents)
Of course, one reason that these cars are at the top of the “most stolen list” is that they’re popular cars. There are more of them out on the road, so car thieves take them more frequently. Still, your car insurance provider takes this into account when determining your rate, so it may be wise to buy a vehicle that isn’t on this list.
Cost of Repairs
Does car insurance cover repairs? Sometimes, yes. The insurance provider pays for the most expensive car repairs when accidents happen, but if they have to shell out more when you crash, you have to pay more for insurance.
When parts are easy to find, the repair cost drops. As such, widely available cars—or vehicles that have been in production for years—are often cheaper to insure. Rare, vintage, or luxury car parts can be scarce and may need to be special-ordered, inflating repair costs.
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The Cheapest New Cars to Insure
With an increasing emphasis on high-tech safety features, some new cars are becoming cheaper to insure than used ones. To showcase this, we’ve picked out the top five affordable new vehicles to insure.
As you know, location, driving record, and other factors play a role in car insurance pricing, which means that the cheapest car to insure in one ZIP code may not be the same in another. Your personal rates may differ from those shown here. With that said, these cars should still be more affordable to insure for all drivers.
The following list compares data from six major US insurance companies across 10 ZIP codes in each state to create a national average.4
The rates from the comparison assume:
- A single, 40-year-old male with no credit issues and a clean record
- A 12-mile daily commute
- $100,000 injury liability for one person
- $300,000 for all injuries
- $50,000 for property damage
- $500 deductible and comprehensive coverage
Without further ado, let’s look at the cheapest new cars to insure in 2021.
1. 2021 Chrysler Voyager L
At the top of the list sits the Chrysler Voyager L, an affordable 7-passenger minivan that puts safety and security ahead of luxury. That’s not to say the Voyager L lacks comfort, though; with plenty of cargo space, legroom, and an available built-in DVD player, road trips are a breeze.
The Voyager L is cheap to insure because of its 5-star overall safety rating and its pared-down build. The national average for annual insurance is $1,272. Coupled with a base-level MSRP of $27,535, the 2021 Voyager L is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank.
2. 2021 Honda CR-V LX
The Honda CR-V LX is a compact SUV with a host of safety features. With details like the Blind Spot Information System, cross traffic monitor sensors, and a multi-angle rearview camera, accidents are less likely—and that’s good news for insurance purposes.
CR-V LX drivers can expect to pay $1,285 per year in car insurance. Considering $25,350 is the entry point for the standard model, the CR-V is an inexpensive option for families.
3. 2021 Mazda CX-3 Sport
This compact crossover SUV from Mazda takes the third spot, and it’s easy to see why. The CX-3 Sport offers a range of safety features, including:
- All-wheel drive for varying road conditions
- Lane Departure Warning
- Smart Brake Support
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TCS)
These appointments explain why the 2021 CX-3 Sport is the IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Because of all this and more, the yearly cost to insure this smart-looking crossover is just $1,294.
4. 2021 Fiat 500X Trekking
The Fiat 500X Trekking is an AWD, 5-seater SUV. Its compact size makes it perfect for zipping around town to run errands. To keep you safe and your insurance premium low, Fiat has included standard safety features such as hill-start assist and a rear back-up camera.
While the 500X Trekking hasn’t been as warmly received as some of the other vehicles on this list, it’s certainly affordable. Prices start at $26,620, and annual insurance costs total $1,301.
5. 2021 Honda HR-V LX
Another Honda SUV rounds out the top five. This time, it’s the HR-V LX—a roomy, 5-seat crossover with 34 MPG on the highway. Though the base model doesn’t include some of the desirable driver-assist safety features, the HR-V LX still earns a 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
At $1,322 for a year of insurance, the 2021 Honda HR-V LX is ideal for budget- and safety-conscious drivers.
The Cheapest Used Cars to Insure
For a variety of reasons, used cars can cost less than new cars to insure. Used car drivers can sometimes opt out of collision and comprehensive insurance, especially if it’s an older car and not worth much.
On the flipside, used cars tend to lag behind newer vehicles in the safety category, driving up car insurance premiums.
For a more in-depth look at the cheapest used cars to insure in 2021, visit our guide on the cheapest type of used cars.
Types of Cars to Avoid
If you’re looking to keep your insurance rates to a minimum, there are specific types of cars you should avoid, such as:
- Expensive cars – Supercars and luxury sedans have a higher value, are more likely to be broken into, and statistically crash more often. Avoid vehicles in the $70,000+ range unless you can afford $4,000 or more in annual insurance premiums.
- Electric or hybrid cars – While Teslas and other EVs are environmentally friendly and can save you gas money in the long run, they’re often quite pricey to insure. The reason? Replacing an electric vehicle’s battery can cost thousands of dollars. If you want an electric car, prepare to spend a bit more on insurance.
So, what is the cheapest car to insure? Ultimately, look for a vehicle with a high safety rating (4 or 5 stars with the NHTSA), a stellar reputation, readily available parts, and security features. Once you find that car, you’ll be ready to take advantage of low insurance premiums.
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Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance
Having a car on this list means you’ll have cheaper insurance than other drivers, but it doesn’t guarantee you the best possible deal around.
That’s where we come in.
4AutoInsuranceQuote compares rates from trusted US car insurance companies to find you the best available rate. Enter your ZIP code in our free tool to get started.