The Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2022

by Quiana Darden Updated January 12, 2022
ford escape cheapest cars to insure in 2021

Everyone knows cars cost money. There are a thousand different things to worry about: tires, gas, repairs, inspections, and—of course—insurance. The onslaught of it all can be overwhelming. But if you want to know how to save some money, finding a great deal on your car insurance can start with choosing the right car.

Car insurance is one of the biggest bills tied to your vehicle, and certain kinds of cars are more expensive to insure than others. If you know what to look for, you can save money before you even purchase your next vehicle.

Here you’ll find information on the cheapest cars to insure in 2022.

The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure

The prices quoted here were given in 2022 for models 2017 and later, based on consumers insuring a single vehicle for a single driver.

1. Ford Escape: $118 per Month

First on the list is the Ford Escape. A compact crossover SUV with seating for five, you can insure the Escape for just $118 per month.

The newest model earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a ‘Good’ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Also, with a highway gas mileage of more than thirty-one miles to the gallon, it might just save you a few dollars on gas too.

2. Jeep Renegade: $127 per Month

The number two pick, at $127 per month, is the Jeep Renegade. It’s a subcompact crossover that, like the Escape, seats five and gets up to thirty-two miles to the gallon. Its safety rating from the NHTSA, though, was a not-quite-perfect four stars, and some of its safety measures only rated ‘Acceptable’ from the IIHS.

These ratings, however, only affect your insurance cost to a certain extent, as evidenced by the fact that the Renegade is still number two on the list. And it did win OFF-ROAD magazine’s Best Compact SUV reader’s choice award for six years in a row.

3. Toyota Tacoma: $132 per Month

The first truck on the list, the Toyota Tacoma, costs $132 a month to insure. It seats four to five people, depending on the cab style. You won’t be saving much on gas, unfortunately. Like most pickups, the Tacoma isn’t exactly fuel-efficient compared to other vehicle types and tops out at twenty-four miles to the gallon.

That said, its safety ratings are impressive, and it has won the Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value: Midsize Pickup Truck award every year for more than a decade.

4. Honda CR-V: $136 per Month

Another compact SUV with seats for five, the Honda CR-V, can be insured for $136 per month. Although it’s fourth on the list, the CR-V has been one of IIHS’s Top Safety Picks for six years running and has a good resale value for a small SUV. It’s a great car to buy used if you’re looking to save insurance money that way.

The CR-V also gets excellent gas mileage, and the newer models are available as hybrids (though insurance cost may differ for hybrid models).

5. Kia Soul: $137 per Month

A crossover SUV that gets up to thirty-three miles per gallon on the highway, the Kia Soul, is number five on the list with an insurance rate of $137 per month. It seats five and was an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2020. In the same year, US News named it the Best Subcompact SUV for the Money.

6. Chevrolet Silverado: $138 per Month

Sitting at number six, the Chevy Silverado pickup seats five. The traditional gas engine gets about twenty-two miles to the gallon highway, though the diesel version can reach thirty-three. Insurance is $138 per month.

The Silverado was among the top ten for Best Resale Value in Kelley Blue Book’s 2020 awards and won in the Full-Size Pickup category for 2017.

7. Buick Encore: $140 per Month

The Buick Encore, which costs $140 per month to insure, is a subcompact SUV that, like many of the other vehicles on this list, can comfortably seat a family of five. It gets a maximum of thirty-one miles to the gallon.

Surprisingly, given its low insurance cost, but likely accounting for its seventh-place spot in the list, the Encore is considered a luxury SUV. Consumer reviews note that it has a spacious interior despite being a smaller SUV, and the 2017 model won a five-star safety rating from NHTSA.

8. Kia Sportage: $140 per Month

The crossover Kia Sportage doesn’t get as many miles to the gallon as some on this list, with just 31 miles to the gallon for highway driving.  However, it is one of the cheapest cars to insure at just $140 per month.

It was a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick, but only with the optional front crash protection, and won Autopacific’s Best in Class Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the compact crossover SUV.

9. Ford F-150: $144 per Month

The final pickup on the list, the Ford F-150, seats two to six people depending on the cab type, and the basic model can be insured for $144 per month. Gas mileage for the various options tops out at twenty-six miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2021 model of the F-150 won North American Truck of the Year and was named Green Truck of the Year by Green Car Journal and Top Truck of 2021 by Edmunds magazine.

10. Mazda CX-5: $148 per Month

And, finally, the Mazda CX-5 takes tenth place on the list with an insurance cost of $148 per month. This compact crossover, which gets a maximum of thirty-one miles to the gallon, seats five people.

The CX-5 has been rated among Top Safety Picks by IIHS in multiple model years and was named a Car and Driver 10 Best Winner four years in a row.

If you’re not quite ready to look for a specific car model or you just aren’t interested in any of the top ten, you can take a look at the most affordable vehicles to insure based on type. 

Cheapest Cars to in Insure by Type

jeep renegade the cheapest car to insure in 2021

 

Convertible: $233 per Month

Driven more for fun than practicality and typically associated with luxury, convertibles are at the top of the price list for average insurance costs.

Coupe: $217 per Month

Coupes are two-door vehicles with sloping rear rooflines, a design often found in sports cars. Because they’re associated with fast driving and a higher likelihood of theft, their insurance premiums are more than other vehicle types. 

Sedan: $199 per Month

This is your typical family car: four doors, space for at least four people, and a decent-sized trunk. Sedans are the most popular vehicle body style and command expectedly affordable insurance rates.

 

Van: $177 per Month

The van is popular with parents of young children and certain business professions. Because these populations typically have lower insurance rates, it’s no surprise the van is less expensive to insure on average. 

Hatchback: $177 per Month

Hatchbacks come in various styles, but their defining feature is an increased storage space offered by a back that opens completely. Often marketed as cars for families or executives, they have a similar driver group to vans and similar insurance costs.

Sport Utility: $167 per Month

Sport Utility Vehicles—SUVs—don’t actually have a consistent group description. Still, it’s typically agreed they’re vehicles that combine car elements with the features of off-road vehicles. These features, like the four-wheel drive, can offer some safety advantages in difficult driving conditions. That, and the popularity of SUVs among families (and consequent assumption of a responsible driver) combine to make them one of the more affordable vehicles to insure.

Station Wagon: $165 per Month

Before the minivan was the car of choice for families, the station wagon was the go to vehicle choice, and this type of car is still a safe, reliable option. Big enough not to be overlooked on the road but not too bulky to maneuver, the station wagon also gets points with insurance providers for being inexpensive to repair and unlikely to be stolen.

Pickup Truck: $141 per Month

Although pickup trucks have become more luxurious in recent years, they are still frequently used by blue collar workers and others in physical, potentially messy labor jobs for hauling and towing. Their typical designation as utilitarian work vehicles and their sturdy design—which means smaller repairs and fewer injuries—make them some of the least expensive cars to insure and one of the best options for those looking to save money on monthly vehicle costs.

Of course, there are always vehicles that don’t fit the averages, and several other factors go into the algorithms that insurance providers use to determine costs. One of those is whether there will be high repair costs if the vehicle ends up in a collision or wreck, and the best way to spend less there is to purchase a used car.

What Affects Car Insurance Premiums?

There are almost too many factors to count that insurance companies use to determine your average annual premium. Some of them are related to the car and others to the driver. On an individual level, your driving record and yearly mileage are two of the most critical elements in assessing insurance costs.

Demographic categories like age, sex, and marital status have a substantial impact on insurance costs as well. Drivers between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-five have lower insurance rates than very young drivers or elderly ones. Married drivers are far less likely to be involved in a  wreck, which translates into lower insurance costs on vehicles typically driven by that demographic, such as vans, SUVs, and Station Wagons.

Other factors related to the vehicle are also relevant—like the kind of car you drive.

How a Car’s Make and Model Affects Insurance Rates

toyota tacoma the cheapest car to insure in 2021

Age

An older car is almost always going to be less costly to insure. Lower repair costs mean less to payout, and that leads to reduced insurance rates.

There are certain exceptions to this. Some classic cars may be more expensive based on their one-of-a-kind status or difficulty and expense in obtaining parts. But, typically, even vintage cars are going to be cheaper to insure overall.

You’ll want to balance the potential for decreased costs with the chance that even a minor collision in an older vehicle could damage it beyond its current dollar value and make repairing it not worth the price.

Size

While it may seem counterintuitive, smaller cars are not less expensive to insure. They may be hard for drivers of much larger vehicles to see on the road, and they’re often driven faster or driven by younger drivers.

For these reasons, smaller cars are statistically more likely to be in an accident and therefore cost more to cover.

On the other hand, larger vehicles are likely to cost more. While they generally don’t need extensive repairs after a wreck, they can do a great deal of damage to any vehicle in a collision with them. They’re also harder to maneuver in dangerous weather conditions.

Large enough to be seen and not as likely to be driven recklessly, mid-size vehicles have the best insurance rates.

Trim

Almost every new car will come in multiple trim styles. The basic option is the most affordable, and the cost goes up with each additional set of added features.

While there’s not a significant difference in insurance costs on a car based on the trim, a luxury package will raise rates based on potential repair costs.

Safety

Safety features have become much more common in newer vehicles. While airbags and seatbelts have been fixtures in every new car for decades, high-tech options like blind-spot monitoring and forward or side collision warnings are becoming nearly as standard.

Whether these safety options or similar features will help cut your insurance rates depends on the car insurance company and the state you’re obtaining that insurance. In the fifteen states where personal injury protection is required, discounts related to safety features that reduce harm to the driver and passengers will be more relevant, while those who can opt-out of such coverage will find no use in them.

The other reason that discounts for safety features aren’t standard or large is the features themselves make the car more expensive and add additional repair costs insurance companies have to cover.

While safety features don’t always reduce your rate, a good safety rating on a vehicle is often considered. Even in cases where it isn’t, insurance companies want to know if a particular make or model has a greater number of claims than comparable vehicles. As less safe vehicles are more likely to be in wrecks that rack up repair or medical bills, a car with a good safety rating is a good investment when you want lower insurance.

Cars to Avoid if You Want Cheaper Insurance

Ultra-Luxury Vehicles

Ultra-luxury means an ultra extravagant price tag. The more a car costs to buy, the more it will likely cost to insure, and those luxury cars like Bentleys and Maseratis aren’t cheap to repair either.

Top-of-the-line parts and specialist mechanics will cost your insurance company a pretty penny, and they’re going to pass that cost on to you.

Newest Models

No matter the make, a more recent model will cost more to repair. This is particularly true as cars gain more and more mechanical parts and special features.

Gone are the days when a mechanic could take a quick look under the hood and tell you what was wrong with your vehicle—at least in some cases. Now, most vehicle technicians must plug into an onboard diagnostics port and talk to a computer to find out what might be misfiring any of the dozens of sophisticated electronic elements in the car.

More complicated repairs mean more time training technicians, more time working on your vehicle, and higher repair costs handed to the consumer and their insurance company.

Sports Cars

The favorite vehicle of the “live fast, die young” crowd, sports cars get a bad rap with insurance companies for obvious reasons. They’re expensive, the parts are costly, and they’re more likely to pay out repair costs.

Any model with a reputation for young and reckless drivers will put insurance companies on alert and, consequently, add more digits on your bill.

Hybrids

Like luxury vehicles, hybrids cost more to insure because they cost more in general. They require special parts, some of which may be harder to locate, and specialized technicians. Hybrids are regularly driven further and more often than gas vehicles because they’re favored by commuters looking to save on transportation costs, and insurance companies take that into account.

If you’re eyeing an electric or partially electric vehicle, you’ll want to make sure increased insurance costs don’t eat up your gas savings.  

Hybrids do, however, have an advantage that luxury brands don’t. Driving a hybrid might net you a discount with certain insurers, either because they want to promote environmentally friendly cars or because hybrid drivers have a reputation for being less likely to end up in a crash.

Commonly Stolen Models

Last but not least on the list of cars to avoid if you want to cut the costs on your insurance are models that are commonly stolen. Insurance companies know they’re statistically more likely to end up paying out on these vehicles.

According to 2019 data compiled by groups including the Insurance Information Institute and the NHTSA, the most stolen car models in the United States are the following:

1.) Honda Civic

2.) Honda Accord

3.) Full-size Ford Pickups

4.) Full-size Chevrolet Pickups

5.) Toyota Camry

While this may seem to contradict some of the earlier lists—both the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F150 are in 2021’s list of least expensive cars to insure—it’s essential to consider the model year is also relevant.

In Ford pickups, the 2006 models are the most stolen. For Chevys, it’s 2004. Those are much older vehicles with less robust security and fewer anti-theft devices than those coming pre installed in newer models.

When you’re looking for a car that will help you save money on insurance, it may be a bit of a balancing act between a vehicle that isn’t too new and computerized and one that isn’t so old it’s going to be vulnerable to theft.

Final Notes

While car insurance cost is a complicated equation determined by several factors, choosing the right vehicle and saving money on insurance doesn’t have to be an incredibly complex process.

Start by selecting a vehicle category that offers the best average cost of insurance for your needs. Then, narrow down your choices by looking at the lists above for used and new vehicle models with affordable insurance coverage.

You don’t have to buy an old beater to get affordable car insurance. Just be informed about your options and drive safely.

Cheapest Cars to Insure FAQs

What car is the least expensive to insure?

At $118 per month, the least expensive car to insure is the Ford Escape. This was true in 2021 when we surveyed consumers and discovered the compact sport utility vehicle was one of the cheapest to insure across the board. If you’re looking for a car that can help you save and that won’t put a heavy insurance burden on you, then you might consider the Ford Escape. 

Are newer cars cheaper to insure?

A newer car is typically going to be more expensive to insure based on its higher value. Some insurance companies may also offer discounts for hybrid or electric vehicles, which are typically newer. 

Of course, this all depends on the car and the location because many newer vehicles are more expensive to insure because they’re more likely to result in claims for theft, for example. If the newer car is more desirable, it may lead to higher costs for you if it’s more likely to be stolen or vandalized in your area. 

Is it cheaper to insure an older car?

It is cheaper to insure an older car, but only because the car’s value drops as it ages, so insurance payouts for the vehicle are going to be lower. However, an older car with parts that are difficult to obtain may cost more. In general, because older cars have lower values than newer ones, you’ll find them more affordable and cheaper to insure simply because the insurance company doesn’t stand to pay very much if you make a claim. By comparison, a newer car that is currently more valuable will cost them much more to repair or replace if there’s a claim.

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