Everyone knows cars cost money — above and beyond the purchase price. A thousand different things come into play: tires, gas, repairs, inspections, and — of course— auto insurance. Together, it can feel downright overwhelming. But if you want to save some money from the start, choosing one of the cheapest cars to insure is ideal, especially if you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle .
Car insurance is one of the most significant 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 purchasing your next vehicle.
Here you’ll find information on the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The 9 Cheapest Cars to Insure
The auto insurance rates here were given in 2023 for models 2017 and later based on consumers insuring a single vehicle for a single driver. With a mix of trucks, cars, and SUVs, you can find the best rate on the vehicle you need on some of the cheapest cars to insure.
(Note that all rates are for full coverage auto insurance, which is a far more common car insurance choice than liability-only policies.)
1. Honda CR-V : $130 per Month
The top-rated Honda CR-V tops the list as the cheapest car to insure. As an IIHS Top Safety Picks for the better half of a decade and with superb resale value, it’s a smart pick. Plus, it’s a great car to buy used if you’re looking to save money on insurance, costing you only $130 each month.
The CR-V also gets excellent gas mileage, and the newer models are available as hybrids (though insurance costs may differ for hybrid models).
2. Ford Escape : $138 per Month
Next on the list is the Ford Escape . This compact crossover SUV offers seating for five, making it the ideal choice for small families or single drivers. Plus, you can insure the Escape for just $138 per month.
The newest model earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And with 31 mpg on the highway, it might just save you a few dollars on gas too.
3. Mazda CX-5 : $141 per Month
With an insurance cost of $141 per month, the Mazda CX-5 is a midsize SUV that provides seating for five, fuel economy of up to 30 mpg on the highway, and loads of great tech and safety features .
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.
4. Ford F-150: $142 per Month
The first pickup on the list, the Ford F-150 has been the top-selling car in America for over four decades, and at $142 per month to insure, its cost of ownership is light on the pocketbook. Gas mileage for the various options tops out at 26 mpg on the highway, but with the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning set to debut in 2023, you’re just one year away from even more savings.
5. Kia Sportage: $144 per Month
The crossover Kia Sportage doesn’t get as many miles to the gallon as some on this list, with just 31 mpg for highway driving. However, it is one of the cheapest cars to insure at just $144 per month.
Redesigned for the new 2023 model year , the Kia Sportage continues the South Korean company’s image overhaul, providing luxury-car looks at a fraction of the MSRP .
6. Buick Encore: $146 per Month
The Buick Encore , which costs $146 per month to insure, is a subcompact SUV that can comfortably seat a family of five. Boasting a turbocharged three-cylinder under the hood, the Encore mixes speed with fuel economy — a rare feat that few other vehicles attain.
Considered a luxury car due to its sumptuous interior, the Encore provides high-end features at a low price, making it one of the best cars for thrifty buyers with expensive tastes.
7. Toyota Tacoma : $148 per Month
The next truck on this list is one of the most affordable to insure. At just $148 a month, the Toyota Tacoma is one of the most affordable pickup options out there. 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.
8. Kia Soul: $148 per Month
With up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway, tons of features, and unique styling, the Kia Soul is number eight on the list, with an insurance rate of $148 per month. It seats five and was an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2022. U.S. News & World Report has also repeatedly named it the Best Subcompact SUV for the Money.
9. Chevrolet Silverado : $153 per Month
If you want a full-size truck but you don’t want to pay a ton to insure it, the Chevrolet Silverado is a smart option. With a towing capacity of up to 14,500 pounds, several trim levels to meet your needs and style, and multiple engine options, it’s an excellent option for some added brawn.
The Silverado was among the top ten for Best Resale Value in Kelley Blue Book’s 2022 awards and has won in the Full-Size Pickup category several times in the recent past.
Even if the car you want isn’t on this list, don’t let it deter you from buying the car you actually want. Some of the more popular models still have affordable insurance pricing, including these options:
Compare Rates for the Cheapest Cars
Cheapest Cars to Insure by Type
If you’re not sure what car you want or you’re still in the middle of the shopping process, considering the type of vehicle can help you find cheap car insurance — or at least narrow down your choices.
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 more minor 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.
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.
SUV: $167 per Month
Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, don’t have a consistent group description. Generally speaking, they 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, coupled with the popularity of SUVs among families — and the consequent assumption of a responsible driver — makes them one of the more affordable vehicles to insure.
Van: $177 per Month
The van is popular with parents of young children and certain business professionals. 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 eligible bachelors , depending on what’s under the hood, they have a similar driver group to vans and similar insurance costs .
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.
Coupe: $217 per Month
Coupes are two-door vehicles with sloping rear rooflines and are 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.
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 .
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 ?
Every insurance company uses its own methodology to determine your average annual premium or provide car insurance quotes . However, the overarching ideas behind your quote are similar across the board. In an effort to lower your monthly premium, you should understand how the following factors affect car insurance premiums :
Other factors related to the vehicle are also relevant — like the kind of car you drive, the safety features , and the age of the vehicle.
Keep in mind that the car you choose and how you purchase it can have an impact on your car insurance rates . For example, most lenders will require full coverage if you take out a car loan to protect the collateral — the vehicle. This includes liability coverage, collision coverage , comprehensive coverage , and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in some states.
But if you pay cash for a vehicle, you can use your discretion as to what coverage you need. Cheaper cars may only need a liability insurance policy , while some of the most expensive cars — even if you own one outright — should still maintain full coverage .
How a Car’s Make and Model Affects Insurance Rates
Beyond your personal information and driving history , a car’s make and model can also significantly impact car insurance pricing. So if you’re wondering why some cars are cheaper to insure than others, here are some reasons.
An older car is almost always going to be less costly to insure. Lower repair costs mean less of a payout, leading 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 will 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.
While it may seem counterintuitive, smaller cars are not necessarily 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 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 inflict damage to any vehicle in a collision with them. They’re also harder to maneuver in dangerous weather conditions.
Mid-size vehicles have the best insurance rates, large enough to be seen and less likely to be driven recklessly.
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 no significant difference in insurance costs on a car based on the trim, a luxury package will raise rates based on potential repair costs .
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. At the same time, 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 can. Even in cases where the rating is fair, insurance companies want to know if a particular make or model has more 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 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’ll pass that on to you.
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 unique 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 .
For obvious reasons, the favorite vehicle of the “live fast, die young” crowd, sports cars get a bad rap with insurance companies . 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 to your bill.
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 to install them. Commuters looking to save on transportation costs regularly drive hybrids further and more often than gas vehicles, and insurance companies take that into account as well.
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 commonly stolen models. Insurance companies know they’re statistically more likely to pay 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:
Full-size Ford Pickups
Full-size Chevrolet Pickups
While this may seem to contradict some of the earlier lists — both the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F150 are on 2022’s list of least expensive cars to insure — it’s essential to consider the model year .
The 2006 models of Ford pickups are the most stolen. For Chevy trucks, it’s 2004. However, those are much older vehicles with fewer anti-theft devices than 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 will be vulnerable to theft.
Shopping Around for Quotes: The Best Way To Find the Cheapest Rate
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 equally complex.
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. But by shopping around for insurance quotes , you can ensure you get the best rate possible.
Pop in your ZIP code below to find out how much you can save:
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FAQs About the Cheapest Cars to Insure
Even with the information above, you may still have a few questions and concerns about how to get the cheapest car insurance possible. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from thrifty consumers just like you.
What car is the least expensive to insure?
At $130 per month, the least expensive car to insure is the Honda CR-V .
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 will 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.