Most- and Least-Expensive Cars to Insure Revealed

By Chris Haak

Website insure.com, a site that allows users to request quotes for various insurance products such as auto insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and other insurance products, has released its lists of the most-expensive and least-expensive cars 2010 model year cars to insure. There are few surprises on the absolute lists – there are a lot of underpowered economy or family-hauling vehicles on the ‘cheapest’ list, and a lot of expensive, high-horsepower, low-weight, high-cylinder count vehicles on the ‘most expensive’ list.

The study’s methodology was to assume a single 40 year old male driver with a clean driving record who commutes 12 miles to work, “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. He has a clean driving record and good credit. The policy includes uninsured motorist coverage.” The study’s authors then went on to survey six large insurance carriers (State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Farmers and Nationwide) in ten different Zip codes per state to arrive at average costs per model. The site goes on to say, basically, that “your results may vary,” depending upon personal factors that apply to you such as your driving record, credit history, age, marital status, geographic location, and more.

Least Expensive 2010 Models to Insure:

  1. Mazda Tribute I 2WD ($1,070.25)
  2. Honda Odyssey LX ($1,095.26)
  3. Mazda Tribute I 4WD ($1,103.79)
  4. Chrysler Town & Country LX 3.3 liter ($1,119.83)
  5. Jeep Wrangler X 2-Door ($1,124.38)
  6. Mazda Tribute S 2WD ($1128.29)
  7. Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 liter ($1,131.06)
  8. Toyota Sienna CE ($1,133.97)
  9. Hyundai Tucson GLS 2WD($1,134.08)
  10. Kia Sportage LX 2WD ($1,138.41)
  11. Honda Odyssey EX ($1,139.80)
  12. Hyundai Santa Fe GLS ($1,141.07)
  13. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD ($1,145.58)
  14. Honda CR-V LX ($1,146.29)
  15. Dodge Grand Caravan C/V ($1,146.53)
  16. Mazda Tribute S 4WD ($1,146.69)
  17. Toyota Sienna LE ($1,148.78)
  18. Dodge Journey SE 2WD ($1,149.59)
  19. Ford Escape XLS 4WD ($1,149.67)
  20. GMC Canyon WT 2.9 liter 2WD ($1,152.39)

It’s worth noting that the average vehicle on the “least expensive” list had 5.1 cylinders and cost an average of $1,132.26 to insure for a year. The composition of the list is somewhat frustrating in ways similar to the frustrations that many had in looking at the Cash for Clunkers trade-in data last summer, in that various sub-models are broken down perhaps with too granularity. For instance, the slow-selling Mazda Tribute appears on the list four times, the Honda Odyssey twice, the Toyota Sienna twice, and the Chrysler minivans three times. Take away the repeats, and you end up with just 13 models

Most Expensive 2010 Models to Insure:

  1. Porsche 911 Carrera GT2 ($2,943.78)
  2. Mercedes S65 AMG ($2,863.03)
  3. Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe ($2,851.89)
  4. Porsche Panamera Turbo AWD ($2,837.39)
  5. Dodge Viper SRT-10 Convertible ($2,815.90)
  6. Mercedes CL600 ($2,754.80)
  7. Audi R8 4.2 liter V8 ($2,751.55)
  8. Porsche Panamera S ($2,744.78)
  9. Mercedes SL600 ($2,715.86)
  10. Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo ($2,706.04)
  11. Mercedes CL65 AMG ($2,699.74)
  12. BMW M6 Convertible ($2,689.13)
  13. Mercedes S600 ($2,667.48)
  14. Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series ($2,655.15)
  15. Mercedes SL65 AMG ($2,653.53)
  16. Mercedes CL63 AMG ($2,646.92)
  17. BMW M6 Coupe ($2,627.27)
  18. BMW 760Li ($2,565.59)
  19. Jaguar XKR Portfolio SC ($2,537.79)
  20. Jaguar XKR Supercharged ($2,533.48)

The “most expensive” list’s cars had an average of 9.8 cylinders (thanks to the eight V12s and two V10s) and an average annual insurance premium of $2,713.06. Driving up the insurance premiums of these cars is not only their high horsepower numbers, but also six-figure pricetags that make replacement of a total loss extremely expensive.

Insure.com also looked at the cost to insure each of the top ten sellers from 2009. There is a remarkable amount of consistency in the average premiums of the ten vehicles on this list, particularly given the fact that the top ten sellers are from various different classes (large pickups, compact, midsize, and a crossover).

Average car insurance premiums for the top ten selling vehicles:

  1. Ford F-Series pickup ($1,492.71)
  2. Toyota Camry ($1,274.61)
  3. Chevrolet Silverado pickup ($1,383.10)
  4. Toyota Corolla ($1,302.68)
  5. Honda Accord ($1,301.20)
  6. Honda Civic ($1,362.97)
  7. Nissan Altima ($1,399.35)
  8. Honda CR-V ($1,161.52)
  9. Ford Fusion ($1,354.84)
  10. Dodge Ram pickup ($1,467.63)

So, aside from the outlier that the CR-V is (and, you’ll recall, the CR-V appeared on the “least expensive” list, every premium for these popular models is between $1,274.61 and $1,492.71. Eliminating the two most-expensive premiums, and the spread from third most-expensive to 9th most-expensive is just $124.74.

The last list – based on 2009 sales results – was the most informative, since the numbers were averaged across all styles for the model. In other words, the Mazda Tribute would only count once in the third list.

Finally, in looking at the 2009 version of the above report, premiums seem to have really jumped in both the upper end and lower ends of the premium spectrum. The least-expensive premium in 2009 was the Hyundai Santa Fe’s at $832 (or , and the 20th-least expensive1, and that same vehicle now costs $1,161.84, a 39 percent increase over the cost to insure that model in 2010. The most expensive to insure in 2009 was the Nissan GT-R at $2,533 in annual premiums; several stories have surfaced about how the GT-R is absurdly expensive to repair. The 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera GT2 costs 16 percent more to repair than did the 2009 GT-R, incidentally.

In the more than dozen times that I’ve bought a car during my driving career, I have only once given more than a fleeting thought to the cost of insurance before choosing the model I wanted. That’s not a particularly wise approach, especially since premiums on even the cheapest-to-insure cars are close to $100 per month. I’ve been lucky to have chosen fairly inexpensive cars to insure and to live in an area without high premiums (the good driving record helps as well), and each of my family’s vehicles cost less than the least-expensive to insure does according to the national average, with a similar policy to the one quoted (with my marital status being an obvious exception). Once you sign on the dotted line, it’s too late to do much of anything about the cost to insure your car, so please consider calling your agent before choosing a car. I know that I will next time I buy a car.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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