How Insurance Rates Differ by Car Model

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Insurance rates by car model: man using a tablet while sitting in his car

One major factor auto insurance companies use to determine your premiums is the make and model of the vehicle you drive. From safety ratings to total vehicle cost, many variables determine how “risk-proof” one car is over another. 

Should you go out and find the cheapest vehicle to drive? Not necessarily, as vehicle models are only one of several factors car insurance companies like GEICO and Nationwide use to determine your premiums.

This guide will help answer all your questions about average car insurance rates by car model, including how car models affect auto insurance premiums, which vehicles are the cheapest and most expensive to insure, and six other factors that affect rates.

If you are considering switching to a new vehicle, then now is an excellent time to check for car insurance quotes using‘s quick and easy tool:

Simplify Your Search for Cheaper Rates Today

What Does Make and Model Mean?

When researching or purchasing a vehicle, expect to come across the terms “make” and “model.”

In short, a make refers to a brand, and a model refers to a version of that brand. So, for example, in the case of a Toyota Camry, Toyota is the make, and Camry is the model.

How Does a Vehicle’s Make and Model Affect Car Insurance?

Man on the phone while looking at a scratch on his car

From Teslas to Buicks, all auto insurance companies apply a specific cost of car insurance to every vehicle make and model. This is because every make and model differs with regard to certain factors:

  • Repair costs: Repair costs are one of the most significant aspects of determining insurance rates by car model. Luxury and performance-based vehicles have a higher degree of complexity with parts and labor (requiring specific mechanical expertise), resulting in higher car insurance premiums.
  • Theft rates: The higher the likelihood of theft, the higher the premiums, thanks to the increased cost by insurers in covering theft claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the top five most frequently stolen vehicles in 2021 were the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the 2006 Ford F-150, the 2000 Honda Civic, the 1997 Honda Accord, and the 2007 Toyota Camry. You are very likely to see elevated rates for these.
  • Safety features: Vehicles with the latest safety features (e.g., anti-lock brakes and blind spot monitoring systems) and lower accident frequency usually come with lower premiums.

Now that you understand key factors affecting car model insurance rates, it’s unsurprising that a Tesla Model X’s insurance premiums would be significantly higher than, say, a 1997 Toyota Camry, thanks to the higher cost of repairs, replacement parts, and liability risk.

Other factors come into play for auto insurance premiums, not just make and model. These include age, gender, driving history, and chosen deductibles and liability limits. 

Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to Insure

According to Kelley Blue Book’s 2021 study, the least expensive vehicles to insure are:

  • Chrysler Voyager L: $1,272
  • Honda CR-V LX: $1,285
  • Mazda CX-3 Sport: $1,294
  • Fiat 500X Trekking: $1,301
  • Honda HR-V LX: $1,322

The most expensive cars/sedans to insure are:

  • Maserati Quattroporte S GranSport: $4,823
  • Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport: $4,208
  • Tesla Model S Plaid: $4,143
  • Tesla Model X Plaid: $4,025
  • BMW M760i xDrive: $3,914

All figures are based on the national annual average rate.

What Other Factors Impact Car Insurance Rates?

Couple holding hands while in their car

Outside of car make and model, other key factors affecting auto insurance rates include age, driving record, location, insurance coverage levels, discounts, and credit score.

1. Age

Young drivers tend to pay higher premiums than older drivers, thanks to a lack of driving experience and higher-than-average claims volume.

An 18-year-old can pay up to $455 more per month than a 65-year-old. Data collected by Quadrant Information Services breaks down the average monthly premium paid for liability coverage and full coverage by different age brackets: 

Monthly Premiums for Liability-Only Insurance Monthly Premiums for Full-Coverage Insurance
18 years old $297 $676
25 years old $109 $266
40 years old $97 $232
65 years old $97 $221

2. Driving Record

Drivers with a clean driving record free of claims, DUIs, at-fault accidents, insurance claims, and moving violations pay significantly lower premiums than problematic drivers. 

Drivers with one speeding ticket pay an average of $74 more per month for a policy with collision coverage and comprehensive insurance, according to data collected by Quadrant.

3. Location

Drivers living in dense urban areas with high theft and vandalism rates pay more for car insurance than rural and suburban drivers. City residents pay an average of $89 more per month for liability-only insurance than rural drivers, according to Quadrant data. Quadrant also found that New York drivers pay an average of $497 more per month in full-coverage premiums than Idaho drivers.

4. Coverage Levels

The amount of coverage chosen by policyholders affects insurance rates. High liability limit auto insurance policies come with higher premiums. Going for a higher deductible means lower premiums

Your premium will also vary based on if you go for minimum coverage or full coverage car insurance, which includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

5. Discounts

Do not underestimate the power of car insurance discounts. You can get discounts for paying your entire annual premium in full upfront, enrolling in automatic payments, participating in a defensive driving course, and maintaining a clean driving record for the past three to five years.

6. Credit Score

Insurers see policyholders with higher credit scores as less risky than those with lower credit scores. See below for the average monthly premium depending on your credit.

Monthly Premiums for Liability-Only Insurance Monthly Premiums for Full-Coverage Insurance
Excellent Credit $119 $262
Good Credit $143 $315
Fair Credit $174 $381
Poor Credit $277 $589
Difference between excellent credit and poor credit $159/month $326/month

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are sports and luxury vehicles more expensive to insure than older vehicles?

Think twice before purchasing any sports car. Sports and luxury vehicles are more expensive to insure than older vehicles because they have higher-end, more specialized parts and cost more to replace if they’re totaled.

Can I save money on car insurance by choosing a different car model?

Yes, it is possible to save money on car insurance with a different car model. Look for vehicles with high safety ratings, low depreciation rates, minimum theft rates, and average to low costs for parts and labor.

How can I lower my insurance rates for a more expensive car model?

You can lower insurance rates for a more expensive car model by increasing your deductible, lowering coverage limits, and participating in discount programs (e.g., autopay and defensive driving courses).

How can I find out the insurance rate for a specific car model?

Outside of the type of vehicle, many factors affect insurance rates. The best way to get insurance prices for a specific car model is to request a quote from multiple insurance providers with a comparison tool like

Switching to a New Vehicle? Let’s Check the Rates

Now that you know you do not need to drive a beat-up 1997 Honda Civic to take advantage of the lowest auto insurance premiums possible, check what rates you qualify for.

Don’t be surprised if you end up paying 30% less for a new car insurance policy from a competing provider for the same exact coverage.

Let’s Compare Car Insurance Rates Today

Methodology: All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a Honda Accord driver. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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